L’Encrenaz Cafe on Mont Chery Sunday, 27 January 2013
Some of the hardier families will be fifteen minutes early for the first lift up in the morning, whatever the weather. Hours of intense skiing follow. The piste map was carefully studied the night before, and is now covered in biro, solved like a dot-to-dot problem. It guides the group across the mountains, ticking off run after run. The operation has militaristic efficiency. Come midday, the group is tired. They might take shelter with pre-packed baguettes and thermos flask. And the weaker among them might look longingly at another family below them. This family is heading into a restaurant, ready, after a leisurely ski, to soak themselves for an hour in espressos, vins chaud, pressions, and frites with mustard mayonnaise.
There is a less well-known café in Les Gets that will perform this service better than most. Outside, a chicken runs around the picnic benches advertising the food. The seats are angled towards the sun. There is a log stove inside. The owner is friendly and accommodating. The food is excellent, and well-priced. The best thing about it? Not enough people ever get there. It has always has an air of calmness, even when the mountains are full. If you want a relaxing lunch, this is the place to go in the area. The café is on the Mont Chery, the quieter (and better) skiing mountain in Les Gets. It is also on the north face of the mountain. Coffee-hungry skiers will mostly be drawn into the two cafes on the main slope on the south of the mountain next to the cable car exit. As if being on the quiet part of the quiet mountain weren't enough, it is also cartologicallly challenged. The people who draw the map have put it in the wrong place. At risk of spoiling the secret: ski down towards L'Encrenaz, but keep right towards the end. You will go on a small section that is labelled as a black run (but it is not at all challenging). It's on your right. Good luck.