Les Gets - Better than the Caribbean in the summer - Family
Having just spent part of the summer in Les Gets, my feeling is that I just have to share some of it with those who have not yet allowed themselves the indulgence of a visit there. Where to start? It's a toughie, I have to say. One of the things that I loved the most and was most impressed by is not only the amount of FAMILY activities, but, that by all accounts and purpose, all ages and stages and needs and wants are catered for in this region. From mountain biking (or cross country) to horse riding, swimming in the mountain lakes, Alpine walking - parapenting – which I did, with my 23 year old daughter, specifically because I am afraid of height's – and I ABSOLUTELY loved it.......
Everywhere I went, every walk I took or activity I participated in, there are families EVERYWHERE. From young to old, everyone was doing SOMETHING. My son (who is eleven) would ride down the mountain – on his own - every evening after dinner, by himself, to practise at the 'Pump park' to hone his bike riding (or bouncing?) skills. The scenery is picture post card, the weather never dipped below 28 and some days reached 36. I have, in my lifetime been to the Caribbean a few times. Whilst it is beautiful there, I believe that the French alps are just as good, if not better. Why? You have the weather, you have the most beautiful lakes to swim in. Indeed, there is an excellent choice of two lakes close to Les Gets. The first is on Les Chavannes itself (in Lets Gets) and is named 'Lac du L'Ecole' or, about a fifteen minute drive away, you have Lake Montriond, set amongst some of the MOST majestic mountains. Both lakes are manned by lifeguards, have toilet facilities and both cater from the small (and non-swimmers) to the older, more proficient. Also, by the Lac du l'ecole, there is horse riding. Trust me when I say, you WILL NOT be disappointed ! There really is more than one thing for EVERYONE! It definitely beats sitting in a resort in a country where you cannot just leave and go out and roam freely and feel safe (unless you see plenty of armed police). There is a free bus that runs daily up and down the mountains and runs between the resorts in the area.
On a food note, might I just start by mentioning that one thing I have always loved about France is that any time you go into a bar or restaurant, again, all ages and tastes and stages are catered for. Hot chocolate, mint tea, pastries, amaretto on ice with lemon, hoegarden from the pump, the bars and restaurants always have families in them.
Am gonna drop a few names here, simply because I have to (because these places are actually worth my mentioning them by name). Bar Bush, run by a MAN called Cindy. (Yes, you heard right). Bar Bush is warm, friendly and inviting. They also do a pub quiz every Thursday AND they have a football table for the kids. There are also, ideally situated right next door to a place called K2 where you can get tasty food which includes crepes and chips. Yum! Next, we have a bar called Big Foot. The most fantastic thing about this place is that it has recently been refurbished to include a high class high tasting quality Indian restaurant. The guys who cook the food are award winning chefs (in fact I believe the head Chef came second place in Master Chef not a hundred years ago). And i have to say that after having lived in London for over thirty years, during which I have eaten in many an Indian restaurant, it is easily the best Indian food I have ever had – amazing !! Next, we have Boomerang. Again, run by lovely friendly people and their speciality (for me) is their Tapas. Filling, tasty and caters equally well for vegetarians or meat eaters.
And last, but by no means least, I must mention the Bellevue. In the summer you can sit outside on the grass (or play table tennis) whilst your children spend their time either on the bouncy castle or, practising their biking tricks on a small run that leads to a ramp finishing on a large air bag. All of this is all together on the grass space by the Bellevue. There is a choice of seating, sun shades and, for the really energetic, a ping pong table. Behind the bar, you will more often than not, find Tom, son of the owner. Very friendly and happy to help with most wants/needs.
FABULOSIS ! Really is the only way to describe my time there. I really am looking forward to going in December and learning to ski. And whilst the weather will not allow for the bouncy castle and ping pong outside the Bellevue, I can look forward to drinking either a warm red wine or mint tea whilst still sitting outside watching all the skiers and snowboarders coming down the mountain.
A bientot ! (See you there ?)
Sharon Lee...in Les Gets