4. Le Fornet, Val d'Isere, France
Clued-up skiers have long headed to isolated Le Fornet on the edge of the huge L'Espace Killy ski area, but now Val d'Isere's little neighbor is becoming a culinary hotspot.
, a cosy chalet created from an old farm building, won a second Michelin star for chef Benoit Vidal in 2015. Vidal's authentic cooking is a nod to the old Savoyard ways, infused with Mediterranean style.
Specialities include lamb saddle noisette from the Tarentaise flavored with wild thyme, a cake of potatoes and ewe cheese from the Bergerie Saint Pierre. Or confit of duck foie gras with a Mondeuse grape reduction with blueberry and pepper. The old-fashioned atmosphere is maintained with rooms dressed as a carpenter's workshop (atelier means "workshop") or a mountain refuge, with furniture, tools and trinkets to match.
"The three-course lunch is way more than just that -- with amuse bouches and pallet cleansers, it is a real treat," says Colin Tanner, founder of The Development Centre
ski school in Val d'Isere.
At the top of the Fornet cable car is Le Signal
, a homely, high-quality joint, while lower down the blue Mangard piste is the impressive L'Edelweiss
. La Table de l'Ours
is a fine-dining emporium in central Val d'Isere.