Winter travel: Alpine adventure

Winter travel: Alpine adventure
Morzine is the picture-perfect winter destination for ski and gourmet food

With a stunning, snow topped backdrop, Morzine offers both the luxury and adventure moments that make for a perfect winter honeymoon or minimoon

Words by Elysia Agnew

There’s nothing more romantic than a winter break; days spent roaming the powdered mountains and evenings spent by the fire in a wooden chalet. Snowed in? Even better, because Morgan Jupe’s chalets are a place where luxury meets home in one of the world’s most desirable ski locations. With French cafés, bars and brasseries, and an intimate village vibe, this is the perfect post-wedding wonderland for couples seeking out a combination of snow and serenity.

For a true winter honeymoon, you want to see snow, and lots of it – whether you’re a skier, a snowboarder or you just like the idea of cosying up by a roaring fire in the mountains. There’s no pressure to hit the slopes here, and there’s plenty of entertainment for honeymooners who wish to explore the area.

“Morzine offers a perfect marriage of snow-topped mountains and French village charm”

Winter travel: Alpine adventure
Want to be snowed in? This is the perfect spot

The journey from London to Morzine is easy – often a rarity for ski holidays. With a 90-minute flight and the same transfer time, you can be checked into your chalet and ready to hit the slopes in under four hours. Morzine is set within the Portes du Soleil, a vast area of skiing close to the Swiss border. It’s an area of white tranquility, where the pistes are left relatively quiet for skiers and boarders to explore. The area has so much to offer off-piste too – suiting me perfectly. While my partner heads up the mountain for a day of skiing, I wrap myself in fur blankets, enjoying a mulled wine as skiers fly by. From Le Gets, across to Morzine and up towards Avoriaz, the immediate skiing area is packed with après-ski opportunities and quaint cafés on and off-piste. So if you’re hoping to combine skiing with some serious downtime, or nightlife, you’ll be pleased to find an array of restaurants and quirky bars and eateries over every mountain top.

Winter travel: Alpine adventure
Après-ski opportunities range from charming traditional inns to quirky restaurants

Morzine is a fascinating resort, retaining much of its French heritage. It’s also unpretentious and embodies everything you’d expect from a classic ski resort – including serious sporting opportunities because the Portes du Soleil offers more than 650 km of marked pistes spread over 14 valleys.

The locale is characterised by its chic wooden chalets and its laid-back vibe, and in tune with that theme, our home for the week is Morgan Jupe’s Chalet Chardon, nestled part way up the winding road heading out of Morzine towards Avoriaz. It is a cosy lodging on the slopes for up to nine guests – or the perfect luxe retreat for couples and honeymooners in search of white magic in their own private hideaway in the mountains. If unwinding in the hot tub isn’t for you, the chalet’s unspoilt ski-in-ski-out position means you simply head to the private boot room, pop on your heated boots, grab your skis and head up the mountains straight after breakfast.

Winter travel: Alpine adventure
Cosy Alpine comforts at Chalet Chardon, with fabulous views over the piste

In the chalet itself, you’ll find twinkling candles, fairy lights and love-heart decorations in every nook and cranny. It’s cosy, it’s intimate, but it’s also chic. A seriously charming home from home, where you won’t feel guilty for spending the day inside, with the doors locked and the fire roaring. Each room follows a similar theme, but with individual touches to make this feel like your own place. Every window offers breathtaking views – over the valley from the front, while towards the back of the property you’ll see skiers soaring through the trees.

On arrival, the space is set out for us with sweet treats and a well-chosen bar offering spirits, soft drinks and a carefully selected wine list. We meet with our chalet host and our chef for the week, who talk us through the menu and note down our foodie preferences, also giving us advice on the local area and the skiing. Our hosts are very accommodating and it’s not long before they seem like old friends.

Winter travel: Alpine adventure
The emphasis here is on fresh local ingredients – and the team are passionate about their wines

The menu changes on a daily basis, with the choice of a cooked or continental breakfast, an afternoon tea and a three-course evening meal with pre-dinner champagne and canapés. The dinner is prepared with local produce in mind, tailored to suit our palette. Each course is served with a paired wine, an exclusive offering by Morgan Jupe. Jess and Josh, the company founders, who actually met out on a ski season, are passionate about their wine selection and work very closely with the chefs to offer the very best match. This is a personalised service from start to finish, every touch point feels authentic and specialist.

The Defender shuttle service is also something exclusive to Morgan Jupe. Two Land Rover Defenders are available at your every beck and call to pick you up and drop you off at your preferred skiing and dining destinations across the Portes du Soleil area. Covering everything from clearing the drive in the morning, to carrying your skis and tackling the snow-stacked roads, the drivers will do everything to ensure you sit back and enjoy the valley views as you are whisked away to the ski lift.

Winter travel: Alpine adventure
You can wrap up warm in the chalet and watch the skiiers at work – and it's just a short walk to the town

For those who want to head out for dinner, the village is just a fifteen minute stroll through the valley. On the staff day off, I’d recommend reserving a table at L’Etale, a restaurant located at the foot of the Pleney lift in town. It gets very busy in high season so is definitely worth booking in advance. The wide-ranging menu includes local specialities such as fondue, raclette and hot stone main courses cooked at your table.

Whether seeking out the black runs, beginning on the tree-lined blues, exploring the quaint shops, relaxing in the hot tub or supping wine by the fire, Morzine ticks all the boxes for a romantic Alpine escape. With a discreet and stunning setting, fine dining and the perfect balance of adventure and luxury on hand, Jess and Josh at Morgan Jupe have your romantic winter holiday covered.

Morgan Jupe, Morzine, France. For more information call 07739 692 908 or visit