Nestled in the picturesque centre of Meribel Village and right by the ski lift, the adjoining Terrasse du Village and Lodge du Village are at the hub of this bustling Meribel satellite. In winter they offer a cosy, relaxed dining experience and an unmissable après ski location. In summer it’s the same story, but at a different pace.
We caught up with General Manager, Jeremy Saunders, to hear more about the set-up, how he juggles the bar vs restaurant and the contrast between sleepy summers and frantic winters…
Tell us a little about The Terrasse and The Lodge du Village
We’re based in Meribel, we’ve got the Terrasse which is a restaurant and also the upstairs Lodge du Village, which is an après ski party bar. In la Terrasse, we’re mainly busy at lunch, we do around 120 covers each lunchtime, and then dinner is quieter and more intimate. I’d describe it as good food, done well. It’s intimate, friendly and fun.
How does the business change between summer and winter?
It’s completely different, in summer we just have so much more time, and it’s quieter. We normally have around 4 or 5 waiters employed during the ski season but during summer we cut down to around 1 or 2. It’s great though, we get more time to talk to our clientele and a chance to think more about what they want from us. Plus, I get a chance to have the odd barbecue and actually see my kids! Everyone out here moves out here for the winter, but the summer months are what keeps them here.
What are the most popular wines amongst your clientele?
Our house wines are the most popular, and that’s probably because they’re a cut above what a lot of other restaurants around here offer. We have the Croisade Carignan as our house red and the Horgelus Gros Manseng Sauvignon as our white, and they always go down really well. Aside from those two, the Alamos Malbec is ideal with our fairly meaty menu, and nothing beats a glass of Tour St Honoré Rosé on the terrace, it’s perfect for summer.
If you had to drink one wine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oo that’s a tricky one. But I would probably go for a New Zealand pinot noir. I like younger wines but that strikes the balance between a young wine and being a bit grown up too.
And finally, why do you choose LVG as your wine partner?
Primarily because of our diverse client base. We serve a range of nationalities, and a range of incomes, so it’s really important that we have a range of suitable wines and LVG really offer that. The French generally prefer older, traditional wines while Brits will go for something a bit more modern, a little different. We also love the training that LVG offer, it means our staff know about the wines and that we choose house wines that the staff actually like, and then they want to sell it. It makes sense but it helps us a lot. The other thing is that I’m no wine buff. I come from more of a cocktail background, and I’m a foodie but I’m no wine connoisseur. I rely on the expertise that your guys offer and I really depend on them for their knowledge and recommendations.