Alpine nightlife can be hit and miss. Gregarious après, repetitive music and a general sense of excess over excellence can become wearing to the discerning traveller. So what if your holiday time is too precious to waste and your palate too discerning for disappointing drinks? Here are a few of our preferred destinations for the famous aperitivo hour and beyond.


Morzine town

Morzine’s incredibly popular microbrewery bar that’s more Shoreditch-chic than mountain-cliché. With mismatched furniture and a menu of Asian-fusion pub grub it is the perfect post-piste destination or a great choice for a relaxed night out. Let yourself be led by the knowledgeable too cool for school staff who will happily talk you through the different craft beers on tap, (all brewed on-site) the organic wines and the ever-changing cocktail of the day. With a team passionate about offering ethical, well-sourced and quality wares it’s easy to see why this has become the destination for locals, tourists and French Morzinoise alike (who would typically have stuck to French-owned wine bars). If you are with a bunch of friends order a pitcher of beer with a side of nachos and take a seat in the mismatched sofas in the window. We would particularly recommend the owner Chrigl’s house IPA – an American-style brew that is full of flavour.


Morzine town

The Chaudanne restaurant first opened its doors in 1979 and remains the popular choice for locals and tourists alike. In 2010 the owners Thierry & Veronica completely renovated the building. With modern clean lines, still inspired by Savoyard chalets, the restaurant now offers a large internal dining area and covered outdoor dining spaces including a raised lounge area for comfortable aperitifs. We go for the cellar bar downstairs. It can be glimpsed through the glass floor at the restaurant’s entrance and is the perfect wine cave with a vaulted stone ceiling, thousands of bottles of wine and a sommelier on hand. People cluster on soft cream leather sofas around chunky wooden tables enjoying a delicious tapas menu, but we say take a seat at the bar. On quieter nights the sommelier is always happy to talk wine and may even offer you a few recommended tasters.


Rue du Bourg

On a ski holiday, finding and connecting with the authentic local population can be near on impossible. Which is why we take our coffee and aperitifs in the Tyrolia at the bottom end of the Rue du Bourg, opposite the Mairie. French owned, run and frequented, have a morning espresso on one of the tables overlooking the river, or a lunchtime galopan (the French version of half a half pint) with the plat du jour. This is the place where people are watched, news is shared and French gossip is made. They also make an incredible house burger.


Morzine town

From 7am through to 1am this local wine bar is open to an ever changing array of locals and tourists alike. Pre-9am you’ll find French business owners running in for their morning espresso, some stopping long enough to enjoy the complimentary side plate of small pastries and macarons offered with every drink. From 9am it becomes more traditional, with French ladies organised in small clusters catching up on local happenings, and tourists reading newspapers, planning their day ahead. With a heated front terrace with comfortable sofas, and a large, slightly bohemian rear seating area with tables and chairs mixed up with plants and sculptures, the Coup de Coeur appeals at all times of the day. A large wine list, knowledgeable staff, and an impressive selection of spirits (including some interesting international whiskeys) makes Coup de Coeur a great choice. At night snuggle under blankets and watch the antics on the outdoor ice skating rink located opposite the rear terrace; try one of their home made pizzas, which are some of the best in town; and try their quite delicious Jeeper champagne, so called to honour the Jeep 4×4 given to producer, Armand Goutorbe, by the prefecture, so he could peruse his growing vines.


More specifically, cocktails from Bertrand in the French side!

It is as specific as it sounds. One particular barman, in one particular section, of one sprawling bar. The Dixie Bar is actually a French-owned Irish bar, one side of which offers the very traditional experience of beer and sports. Live music is sometimes played in the far end of the bar (catch The Dixie Mix if they are in town). But the Wine Bar is our preferred destination. Enjoying its own entrance (the entrance closest to The Rhodos) its décor will leave you wanting but you’ll find French locals here enjoying the hospitality of the owner, a large man called Pascal. Pascal splits his time between Spain and France and offers his guests Spanish olives, bread and dried meats on platters all from his home in Spain. Fresh oysters are sometimes on offer and the local chocolate maker frequents this bar and often brings with him delicious handmade chocolates that are handed around the bar. We go there for Bertrand, a French barman who diligently studies the ever-changing art of cocktail making and makes delicious cocktails that easily eclipse the best of London or Manhattan. There is art and drama to his creations, such as his Smoked Old Fashioned, presented with fresh sprigs of thyme smoking on an antique wooden platter covered by a glass bell jar. It’s all about Bertrand so if he’s not there you better take a seat at the bar, order a glass of rouge and hope for some free chocolates.