Chef Marc Veyrat

After a disastrous fire in 2015 destroyed the eco-lodge he’d lovingly built in the tiny Savoyard hamlet of Manigod, chef Marc Veyrat, 67, painstakingly rebuilt the auberge on the hillside above the village where he grew up, and made it even better than it was before. An obvious winter destination when the surrounding slopes are covered with snow, it’s also a delightful place for a warm-weather getaway, since the surrounding forests and fields are magnificent places to walk. The days are warm and the nights are cool; and Veyrat’s almost all-organic tasting menus are superb.

“My restaurant is a display of le bon sens paysan (good old-fashioned common sense). When I was growing up we lived with our animals and almost everything we ate came from our farm. Today, they call this locavorism, but here in the mountains, we’ve been living this way for centuries,” the black-hatted chef said with a grin when he stopped by our table at a recent dinner.

Marc Veyrat’s “Avalanche des desserts”

If every one of our 15 dishes was superb, the ones that were most memorable were also the most delicately flavoured, including trout from Lake Geneva cooked in pine-tree bark and served with beurre blanc, an ethereal expression of Alpine scents, and pigeon breast baked in clay then sliced tableside and served with a peppery, emerald-green wild watercress sauce. A vegetarian version of the tasting menu is available.

Chemin Rural de Manigod au Col de la Croix Fry, 74230 Manigold. Tel: +33 (0)4 50 60 00 00. Tasting menus €295, €395, no à la carte. Website:

From France Today magazine