Last week my non-skiing parents came out to resort to visit. This was a nice excuse to try out many of the activities other than skiing on offer in the 3 Valleys. We went luging, on the ESF Snake Gliss, attended the ESF Snow and Fire show in Courchevel and enjoyed an après session at the Rond Point among other things.
But my favourite activity the whole week was, unexpectedly, an evening trip to the mountain restaurant, Cote 2000, in Mottaret.
We wanted to do something special to mark the end of the week so we booked a table at Cote 2000 on Friday evening. One of the cool things about the Cote 2000 (there are many as you will soon learn) is that it is half way up the mountain and included in the price of your meal is a return journey on a piste basher.
So for this reason, my friends, family and myself found ourselves standing in the dark at the bottom of a piste in Mottaret, shivering as we watched a light in the distance get closer and closer.
The big red piste bashed pulled up next to us. There was no mistaking it with Cote 2000 written on the side. The driver jumped out and helped us into a large box on the back with bench seating inside. He secured the door with a bit of string, jumped back in the driver’s seat and put his foot down.
It was a bumpy ride up the mountain and the door was trying its best to swing open. One of our group looked quite terrified as the gradient grew and grew on the approach. The view of Mottaret beneath us got more spectacular the higher we got and as the lights shrunk down to pin pricks in the distance we were able to appreciate the size of the mountain in a way that isn’t possible during the day.
The restaurant itself was not what I expected. I had pictured a small, dimly lit wooden room with a fireplace, filled with candles and possibly a smattering of taxidermy to complete the look. Instead we walked into a large, brightly lit, open room bustling with maybe 100 noisy people.
The Cote 2000 is a family run affair. I asked one member of staff where we were sitting and his response was, “Go and speak to my Grandmother, she will tell you where to go.”
Once granny had told us where to sit we ordered some drinks told the waitress that we were ready to eat. The menu is simple and you must decide before you come if you would like raclette, fondue or a hot stone. We went with fondue and were pleasantly surprised when we were brought an enormous charcuterie platter as well as pots of steaming molten cheese and told to let the waitress know if we needed more of anything at all.
The food and service were faultless but it was what happened around us during and after the meal that made it a magical evening.
A group of English people behind us was celebrating a birthday and loudly sang happy birthday to their friend. Not to be outdone, the French guests in the restaurant all stood up and sang ‘Joyeux Anniversaire’ back at them ten times louder.
This set the fun, noisy, party tone for the rest of the evening and as people began to finish their meals and the tables were cleared, the DJ (yes, there was a DJ) turned up the volume to ‘Uptown Funk’, dimmed the main lights, turned on some disco lights and three members of staff leapt into the middle of the room to perform a perfectly choreographed dance routine to the delight and hilarity of everyone in attendance.
The song finished and everyone in the room jumped to their feet and onto the newly established dance floor. There was singing, dancing and crowdsurfing and the atmosphere was electric.
Go to the Cote 2000 for an unpredictable evening of fun. An impressive dinner, wine, dessert and a return journey on a piste basher was just €46 and worth every penny.
My parents have left Meribel thinking I live in the most bonkers place on the planet – but they absolutely loved it!