Samoëns (pronounced Sam-mw-ah) is an old farming village that is a part of the Grand Massif, and attached to a ski resort. If you’ve read my book, you’ll know I’m a fan of fabulous ski towns, even though I cannot ski, am bad on two feet, and not a fan of the cold. But this was a winter wonderland of snowy white perfection, cabins, chalets, and log fires and hot cocoa and indoor heated pools. In otherwords, Winter perfection.
A dear friend of mine got married there last year around this time, the ceremony was actually outdoor in the snowy hillside, the bride wore uggs beneath her wedding down and the groom wore timbs; I have really weird and really really wonderful friends. She got married at the Ferme du Ciel chalet, an utterly resplendent chalet, beams, high ceilings, fire places… the works. It was an intimate ceremony with family and friends.
Deep into winter proper, it got me thinking of where I’d like to go on a getaway and Samoëns is just perfect. One hour away from Geneva, Samoëns is an ancient village nestled in South-East of France in the Haute-Savoie department, in the Giffre valley surrounded by picturesque mountains that don’t even look real in person. The small village feels well… small, but oozes with a mystifying charm. Back in the day, it was famed for its stone masonry. It is an intimate town, where everybody knows everybody but guests are welcome. You can roam the town via foot, you are implored to do so, and take in the quaintness of this village. Its main square is dominated by a large lime tree Le Gros Tilleul planted in 1438, which was bare and still beautiful in the thick of winter. There are little boulangeries and cafés with daisy specked table clothes and the heavenly scent of pastries, serving hot crepes and hot chocolates.
Even though none of us ski we went up to the mountain to people watch other skiers and those doing snow mountain yoga… there’s always someone but whatever floats the boat innit. From the top of the ski gondola you could see the summit of Mont Blanc. A ski bus takes you to the gondola station, and though it gets busy, its a quick and organised service. Once we were done for the day, making mental notes to take ski lessons… who knows, we take the gondola back down and hop on the free bus. We were hungry, really hungry so we stopped of at Les Tartines des Martine and had crepes, bought pastries to go and wandered the town a little bit. There are ample places to eat and drink, that go well into the night but nothing wayward to upset the locals. The restaurants are not swish at all, the look an feel local, with a family feel not a modern spruced up look atypical to more modern resorts.
We stayed @ The hotel Neige et Roc, with a room facing the mountains, indoor heated pull and wonderful breakfast. Done up cosy and charming with a thoroughly relaxing flare.
We ate at two lovely places when we were in town: brunch at Les Tartines des Martine good crepes, truly scrumptious food. Auberge de Montagne la Table de Fifine where serves amazing steaks and incredible fondue which we stuffed our faces with.
To-do; we’d signed up to go paragliding but the winds weren’t strong enough but you can do that. Alison nearby Sixt Fer a Cheval you can go husky sledding but be sure to book well in advance.
Pro-tip: Make sure you stop at the tourism information office for information on everything you can do whilst in town.