Another little bit of Alpine history has gone up in flames. L’Alpette, one of Megeve’s most famous mountain restaurants, burned to the ground in the early hours of Sunday morning.
By the time the fire brigade made it up the mountain with a 4×4 engine designed for forest fires, it was well and truly alight. Some 40 firefighters, many wearing breathing apparatus, worked throughout the morning to try and save part of the restaurant, but to no avail. Fortunately, no-one was injured.
All that remains of the building with its distinctive black and white façade and sun terrace are charred timbers. The reason for the blaze is not yet clear.
L’Alpette at 1895m at Rochebrune had wonderful views across Mont Blanc. It has been a lunchtime institution since 1935 and in winter it was reached by courtesy snowcat, on foot or on skis from the top of the Rochebrune chair.
In its day, regular winter visitors included Brigitte Bardot, the Aga Khan and Jean Cocteau. It is now part of the Sibuet stable of hotel and catering excellence that includes Les Fermes de Marie and Hotel Mont Blanc.
In fact, it became two restaurants over the past couple of years: the Traditional was on the ground floor and the terrace, serving local produce and with a fabulous pudding buffet. On the first floor was the Fromagerie, which was dedicated to Savoyard specialties.
The owners are expected to rebuild L’Alpette, but it will inevitably be closed for the coming winter.