Lunch at Chez Babeth is one big show stopper!
‘Christmas meets Valentines Day in a cosy mountain chalet’ is the best way to describe the interior scene at Le Vieux Chalet, more commonly known as Chez BaBeth. Beyond the low entrance door a mass of festive decorations trimmed with pine branches greet the visitor, with sheepskin covered pews surrounding tables squeezed into every space left by the old cattle stalls. The place is never quiet and buzzes to the sound of hungry families and groups of skiers. A constant procession of waitresses deftly facilitate the flow of plates from the kitchen to the tables through narrow passages adorned by the morning’s ski gear. The eponymous BaBeth is ever present, an engaging figure in leather and fur, the matriarch amongst the bobble hats and thermals. BaBeth rarely misses an opportunity to take the mic, to welcome her guests and accompany some europop. It is all harmless fun and there is nowhere else like it.
Chez BaBeth is located on Plain Dranse, half way up the Pré-la-Joux section of Châtel between the Pierre Longue and Rochessons lifts. Look to the left after getting off Pierre Longue and you should be able to spot the the name in lights, flanked by the red hearts synonymous with BaBeth. It is an old favourite for visitors to Châtel and the Portes du Soleil ski area.
The food is very much Savoyard, as befits the location, while also including pizzas, steaks, soups, salads and some ‘spécialité de la maison'. The meals are very tasty and just the thing to look forward to after a morning on the mountain. Main courses are usually generous and if preferred can be shared (for example between children) but with a small cover charge. As one would expect, a selection of house and chateaux wines are available to balance the hearty cuisine.
If you have room for a desert there are always a number of rewarding sweet treats to be devoured. Choose from the likes of a tarte aux myrtilles, framboise or a crème brûlée but don’t expect to ski so deftly once you leave. If you think you can escape at that, pause a moment. There is usually a little digestif in the form of the house génépi to see you on your way.
The terrace of tables in front of the restaurant are wonderful in sunny weather, overlooking the rest of Plain Dranse. This is a lovely spot to soak up the rays but if you have not yet enjoyed the interior I would recommend a table inside for your first visit.
If you don’t have the time, inclination or a reservation to dine but still want a slice of the atmosphere, BaBeth runs an outdoor tented bar in the round beside and to the rear of the restaurant. While lacking the chalet interior it tends to draw a particularly enthusiastic crowd who, egged on by BaBeth, more than compensate for the lack of mountain styling. Just follow the sounds of a lunchtime party in action!
Chez BaBeth is very popular so booking is highly recommended, although phoning first thing in the morning will often secure a table for lunch the same day. The food is enjoyable but the unique interior and persona of BaBeth mark this restaurant out from the crowd. A visit is highly recommended.
For reservations tel. 04.50.73.38.77
At Clarian Chalets we aspire to create wonderful family holidays.
We aim to make “fabulous” happen.
Have fun with your family this winter!