Following our arrival into Geneva, we were speedily transferred to our featured hotel in southeast France, Alpaga, where we received the warmest of welcomes from the General Manager and staff. Whilst cosy, chic and boutique, the property offers a good selection of twenty-two rooms, four apartments and six chalets — so providing privacy and freedom, alongside the convenience and services of a hotel. Boasting a traditional exterior, the interior is well appointed and extremely inviting.
After a quick freshen-up, we met on the hotel terrace for Champagne and eagerly soaked-up some welcome afternoon sunshine, whilst admiring the wintry Alpine views. The vistas of Mont Blanc and Val d’Arly are simply stunning! We ate lunch in La Table de la Alpaga, which has recently been awarded a Michelin Star, and enjoyed a set seven-course menu with wine to complement each course — it was superb!
Our magical evening, began by waiting outside in the dark, cold, crisp air - until we heard the distant sound of hooves and tinkle of sleigh bells...then a romantic horse-drawn carriage came into sight and we sat, with a blanket over our knees, whilst trotting down to the village — it was the perfect transport for a festive evening! We soon arrived in the village square, which was buzzing in anticipation of the annual Christmas tree light switch-on! We meandered through the pretty cobbled, pedestrian streets with their array of attractive boutiques, designer shops, bars and restaurants, before stopping for a warming glass of mulled wine!
At 7.30pm, the church steeple was lit-up in the colours of the French Tricolor, and there was a countdown from 10 to 1 on the main stage area. An angelic gospel choir burst into the ‘shine bright like a diamond’ chorus of Rihanna’s hit song, ‘Diamonds’ and there was a light display until the end of the song, and all the lights were lit-up on the tree....it was spectacular! This event is a significant calendar date for Megève, and one, which it seems, the entire village enjoys — from ‘babes in arms’ to great grandparents – it’s the event which makes them feel as though the season is officially open, even if the slopes aren’t! The event was actually sponsored by BMW and Tattinger, so there was plenty of complimentary Champagne flowing!
After soaking up the festive atmosphere, and a glass of Champers or two, we headed back to our luxury chalet, where we lit the log fire, popped open the Champagne on ice, put Michael Buble’s Christmas album on, and enjoyed a raclette supper with handmade coffee macaroons to finish!
Being fortunate enough to be staying in the best bedroom of the chalet, the next day I woke to stunning views of Mont Blanc, enjoyed a delicious Alpine breakfast, said a final farewell to the village and followed lunch with a memorable glass of Champagne...it was most definitely a magical 24 hours in Megève...