Nestled in the southeast corner of France near the Swiss border, the Savoy region has a cuisine that befits its alpine location. Visitors should expect hearty dishes, such as its famous tartiflette, a creamy baked gratin of potatoes, onions, lardons and reblochon cheese; and farcement, a sweet and savoury potato cake that contains both bacon rashers and fruit such a prunes or pears.
Savoy is also home to several signature desserts, from its beloved blueberry tarts to saint-genix brioche. But away from the mountains, the region’s gastronomy has a lighter side, especially by the shores of Lac Léman, where visitors can dine out on the tender flesh of several varieties of lake fish.
Lac Leman To the Swiss, as to many, it’s known as Lake Geneva. But here, in the village of Yvoire, on the French side, it’s known as Lac Léman. And, from the rooftop terrace of the restaurant Les Jardins du Léman, I can see it glistening in the mid-distance.
Although I hadn’t realised it when I first sat down, I’m here for fish — because, as it’s soon explained to me, no food-loving visitor to Yvoire should leave without trying at least one of the lake’s three most treasured specimens: fera, omble chevalier and perch.
Right now, it’s time for fera, which arrives sitting in a fragrant, buttery puddle, accompanied by a punchy bowl of thyme risotto. A type of whitefish, it’s quite tender and absorbs the sauce wonderfully, while a cluster of gingerbread croutons give occasional forkfuls some extra pizazz. And, as I work my way through a long-necked bottle of crisp Savoie Crépy, I feel like I’m getting a fix on flavours of the lake.
Everyone who lives near the shores of Lac Léman will have a view on its three prized fish. And, over the course of my stay, I get the feeling opinion is decidedly split. But my guide, Evelyne Hurtaud, is in no doubt as to her favourite. “For me, it’s the omble chevalier,” she says. “You’ve just had fera? Well, the omble is even finer, even more delicate.”
I ask her if the locals know instinctively how to prepare these fish. “Yes,” she says. “Because local people have always buy them directly from the fishermen, so they often cook them at home and know how to do it — usually quite simply: for example, just grilled, with a little sauce made of cream and lemon.”
A type of arctic char, the omble chevalier favours the colder depths of the deeper Alpine lakes. And, in the atmospheric lakeside dining room at Hotel Restaurant Du Port, I get my chance to try it. In keeping with local custom, two whole fish are presented to us in a frying pan. Then, at an adjacent table, the heads are removed, the soft cheek meat is retrieved and the fish are filleted, before being served up with waxy potatoes, vegetables,
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Of the key Alpine ski destinations, Italy offers the best value for money. Here, an espresso can cost €1.50 (£1.30) a shot, and a piste-side plate of pasta €10-15 (£9-13), items that are often 70-100% dearer in the A-list ski areas of France. And a peak-week, February half-term holiday in a three-star hotel can come in less than €1,745 (£1,500) per person half board, including flights and transfers. And that’s not taking some back-of-beyond resort as a point of comparison, either: all these prices are available in or around Canazei in Val di Fassa, part of the vast Dolomiti Superski area. On its doorstep, more than 300 miles of perfectly groomed pistes spin off the central Sella Ronda circuit; explore the area’s outer limits and that total hits 745 miles.
Whether you’re a dedicated bargain hunter, passionate about interiors, a spa-o-holic, an obsessive foodie, love exploring places brimming with history and atmosphere, or adore contemporary art, then you’ve come to the right place. Few places on Earth do any of these things quite like Marrakesh.
Danish design, a style characterized by its simplicity, excellent craftsmanship, and focus on function, has become known around the world for its seamless blend of tradition with contemporary aesthetics.
Hotel Lutetia Paris named hotel of the year, Capella voted leading luxury hotel brand, Japan shines as most popular holiday hotspot and Portrait Milano recognised as best new hotel, while Dubai wins multiple airline and airport accolades.
One of the most delightful holiday traditions is counting down the days to Christmas with an advent calendar, especially with one filled with chocolate. The tradition of advent calendars dates back to 19th-century Germany, where people marked the days leading up to Christmas with daily small treats. The first printed advent calendar appeared around 1903, with religious images behind small numbered doors. Over time, the concept evolved to include a variety of themes, from chocolates to toys and was adopted outside of Germany too. Here are ten of the finest luxury chocolate advent calendars, created by the world’s top chocolatiers.
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