From the outside, Les Airelles Courchevel – one of the most exclusive resorts in this elite mountain destination – looks like something from a storybook. There’s the gingerbread exterior, with whimsical turrets dusted in icing sugar snow, twinkling lights and curved balconies, not to mention the army of beaming staff buzzing around in their signature white baker boy-style uniforms. It’s only fitting, then, that this hotel has become the sweet capital of France’s Trois Vallées, adding to its impressive dining roster with a brand new partnership with French pastry chef and social media sensation Cedric Grolet – his first alpine residency.
Nestled in amongst snow-covered pine trees on a piste near Courchevel 1850 village, this luxurious escape is one of the most sought-after in the French ski resort, a ski resort which has seen an influx in Arab travellers in recent years, including annual visits by the Dubai royal family. Les Airelles Courchevel’s latest partnership gives GCC travellers yet another reason to add Courchevel to their winter travel destination – the delectable and highly Instagrammable creations by the acclaimed chef – who has amassed 9.2 followers on Instagram.
The tantalising new partnership has seen Grolet masterfully curate all of the property’s desserts, viennoiseries, pastries and sweet treats, including taking control of Les Airelles iconic dessert table – a communal staple of its four dining experiences and highlight of the legendary La Table des Airelles restaurants. The collaboration sees Grolet reimagine French mountain desserts, infusing them with a dose of his signature fruit-inspired creations and use of gloss and colour – playful touches that have made him a household culinary name.
For guests staying in the prestigious ski-in ski-out Alpine address, it’s possible to enjoy a whole day of Grolet’s confections, while visitors will have to return on multiple occasions to taste all on offer this ski season. For breakfast, it’s a choice of his intricately crafted croissants, puffed, glossy and almost too large for a standard plate, pain au chocolate and brioche, alongside creations like vanilla flan, kouglof, and apple turnovers.
Lunchtime – the first appearance of the famous dessert table – is emblematic of the hotel’s ‘more is more’ ethos. There are his signature “Flower” tarts in a giant, shareable design, perfect for family feasts, chocolate mousse, floating islands and warm, fluffy madeleines. These same madeleines make an appearance for an afternoon snack – where guests back from the slopes cosy by the fireplace with Grolet many of delights like marble cake, crêpes, waddles and Bourdaloue tart, and of course, there’s an iteration of his indulgent and famous afternoon tea – with traditional finger sandwiches alongside his signature creations, this time in miniature form. For dinner, the dessert table is wheeled back on display, this time, with sculpted fruits – his most famous creation – with flavours like lemon, hazelnut, mango and vanilla pod.
Guests dining in all of Les Airelles Courchevel’s unique and impeccable restaurants can visit the dessert table, post-dinner, or lunch, a testament to the property’s warm, convivial approach to living, where opulence, indulgence and excess are the names of the game. Restaurants hide away off a main, open-plan ground floor, complete with roaring fireplaces and cosy nooks, and during the festive period, kitsch – yet utterly fabulous – all singing, all dancing Christmas decorations and displays.
There’s the iconic La Table des Airelles, the home of Courchevel’s most famous breakfast, lunch and evening buffet dinners – and the official home of the Cedric Grolet dessert table, Le Coin Savoyard, home of hearty regional cuisine in a traditionally decorated setting, and La Table des Grands Crus – a wine cellar and private dining experience. Palladio transports guests to the mountains of the nearby ski resorts of Italy in a dining room with wooden beams, cosy corners, pinky-red velvet seats, crisp white table cloths, oak panelling and nostalgic wall sconces – creating a seductive, Sixties-ski resort vibe.
Les Airelles Courchevel is, undeniably, the dining epicentre of Courchevel 1850, and its partnership with Cedcit is the perfect mix between traditional and modernity, elegant and playfulness, indulgent and refined.