Forget the exhilaration, forget the sense of freedom, forget the beautiful landscapes and joy of sliding effortlessly through a wonderland of snow and ice, most people in France only ski so they can burn enough calories to justify eating a median-lethal dose of cheese every evening. Even for the painfully British among us, no trip to the French Alps is truly complete without indulging in at least one delicious, gooey Savoyarde fondue.
There is an old rhetorical question around these parts, “who did we love first, the cow or the cheese?” In the summer, when the snow has mostly melted away and the pistes have become huge vertiginous fields full of grazing cows, the people of the Haute-Savoie turn their collective attention to the production of fantastic flavoursome cheeses. You can turn heads in the Tarentaise Valley by simply saying the names of these local fromages aloud: “Beaufort, Raclette, Tomme, Emmenthal, Abondance, Reblochon...” During the cold winter months when luxuriously hearty meals are highly-prized, it is no wonder that that fondue, the supreme incarnation of molten cheese, tops the bill at many restaurants. So grab some friends, and a fork, and join me on a tour of the best places to get your cheese-fix in Les Arcs.