48 hours in Lake Annecy (Gourmet Chick in France)

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France is hardly an undiscovered country but I felt like a genuine pioneer woman when I came across the Lake Annecy area.  Why had I never heard of this stunning region of France before?  Nestled away in the Haute-Savoie region of France, a friend tipped me off about the lake where she said the French went to enjoy la plage without the crowds of the Riveria.  MTV boyfriend and I promptly added it in to our French road trip and I suggest you do the same for your next trip to France.  The scenery is jaw dropping with the brilliant blue waters of the lake ringed by soaring cliffs.  The food ranges from hearty mountain fare to refined Michelin star cuisine, and is all delicious.

 
The cheese board at La Ciboulettte


La Ciboulette
Michelin star restaurant La Ciboulette is oh so chic, oh so French and not too ridiculously expensive if you order the four course “menu” for €48.  In a little back street in the old town of Annecy there is a quiet terrace area for outdoor dining or two dining rooms with soaring ceilings and well spaced tables and chairs.  La Ciboulette offers the usual assortment of amusés and petit fours but the meal started properly with an incredible entrée of foie gras which had been roasted to an almost caramelised state.
  
Squid at La Ciboulette
 
Fillet of Royal Dorade was cooked to a crispy skinned state of perfection and teamed with puréed aubergines and olives.  The highlight was the cheese course served from a cheese trolley groaning with local specialties including a creamy Reblochon.  
 
Fillet of Royal Dourade at La Ciboulette
Essentials
Details: La Ciboulette, 10 Rue Vaugelas, 74000 Annecy, France (Ph +33 (0)4 50 45 74 57)
Damage: Budget Breaking
10/10



Chalet la Pricaz
Situated on a mountain pass high above the lake the view from Chalet la Pricaz is so amazing it is almost surreal.  The lake is dazzling, the mountains awe inspiring and bells peal in the background from the grazing cows.

Gazpacho starters overlooking Lake Annecy from high above

The simple wooden chalet serves food made only from locally sourced organic ingredients.  A complimentary amusé of gazpacho was superbly fresh and sweet.  The tartiflette (€18), described by the New York Times as the “nirvana” of tartiflettes, oozed with tangy Reblochon cheese, a whiff of onion and lashings of salty diced bacon.  An amazing experience.

The nirvana of tartiflettes

Essentials
Details: Col de la Forclaz, 13km south of Annecy, France (Ph +33 (0)4 5060 7261)
Damage: Reasonable
9/10

Chez Ma Cousine
Another location with to-die-for views, at Chez Ma Cousine you actually sit at tables on the lake, the sound of the water lapping against the yachts moored nearby the only distraction.  Unfortunately, unlike Chalet la Pricaz, the food at Chez Ma Cousine did not match up to the views.  I was distinctly underwhelmed by my stringy bavette steak (€26) although the accompanying frites were crisp and golden.  There was some redemption in the form of a decadent dessert of Vacherin (€11) but this was the one disappointment of our dining out in Lake Annecy.

Great views and drinks at Chez Ma Cousine – pity about the food

Essentials
Details: Chez Ma Cousine, 2036 Route Annecy 74210 Doussard, France (Ph +33 (0)4 50 32 38 83)
Damage: Reasonable
5/10

I recommend paragliding over Lake Annecy – foot modelling by me

Gourmet Travel Tips

 
  • Don’t stay in Annecy itself but rather stay in one of the villages on the North East side of the lake which have the sun for as long as possible in the afternoon.  We stayed in Talloires which was beautiful and about 10 mins drive into Annecy. 
  • The weather was stunning so we went for the budget option and stayed at one of the lakeside campsites.  The La Chapelle Saint Claude Campsite had wifi and a private beach area on the lake but unfortunately there were no BBQ or cooking facilities.  €20 a night.
  • Lake Annecy is one of Europe’s top paragliding locations.  We took to the air on beginners tandem flights (€85 for 30 mins) to get a birds eye view of the lake and cliffs.   

10 comments

  1. Looks gorgeous. Tartiflette and hang gliding. Perfect stuff…

  2. Looks amazing, especially that tariflette….

  3. I was there just last week and loved it! Can’t wait to go back and try a couple of these places.

  4. Great tip – just looking at whether I can work it into our road trip now…somewhere between Barolo and Lyon! I can’t BELIEVE you went hand gliding though – terrifying.

  5. That squid and dourade look absolutely delicious – I love the presentation. And that view with your Converse peeking through is epic 🙂

  6. Tori – I think I had earned a tartiflette after the hang gliding!

    Hanna – It was delicious

    Anon – Such a great part of the world

    Greedy Diva – I would highly recommend – not to far to drive from Lyon and just stunning.

    The Little Loaf – Gotta love the converse

  7. Oh thanks for the wonderful re-memories! I used to live 45 minutes away and would often go shopping in Annecy. It is also wonderful at Xmas time. It is a hidden gem.

  8. What a nice view over the lake. I hope i can do paragliding over that lake someday.

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