The chalets of Meribel and the enchanting countryside can force you into a kind of relaxed stupor that you never want to shake from. However, don’t let the idyllic surroundings and inviting accommodation keep you from visiting the many bars, restaurants and pubs dotted around the town. Listed here are some of the best places to go at any time of year. Some are more suited to casual afternoon drinkers, others are ideal for the younger crowd wanting to throw some beers back watching live music.
Most of the bars around Meribel are British-run. What this says about people from the little Island I don’t care to guess, but you are guaranteed a warm welcome and ice-cold beer.
La Folie Douce
If you’re coming straight in off the slopes, La Folie Douce is the place to head. This place invariably attracts a younger crowd, pounding music emanating from the DJ, a raucous atmosphere if you go at the right time, and an incredible mountainside view.
As Douce begins to die down at around 5pm, seasoned Meribel party-people will head over to the ‘Ronny‘, or Rond Point, as it says above the door. Happy Hour is from 4 – 5pm, although it is generally fairly priced so there’s no real need to rush from Douce. However, be sure to leave La Folie Douce before it closes at 5pm, lest you be caught in the swell that surges to the ‘Ronny’. Rond Point offers live music from 5pm, usually until around 7pm, and it is normally worth seeing. Both of these places offer an excellent lunch menu. Although the food is, in my opinion, nicer at La Folie, it is certainly more expensive, and not necessarily worth it if you are looking for a tasty, filling lunch which can easily be found at the ‘Ronny’.
If you are more inclined to wander out for some fresh mountain air and a few looseners before dinner (or if you are still with us from Rond Point), then Barometer in the middle of town is absolutely perfect. It has a cosy, welcoming country-pub ambiance, and it is certainly several notches quieter than La Folie Douce. It has a great array of beers and wines, and on occasion it will have some music playing, although it is in general much more sedate than the much busier places in town.
Le Poste de Secours
Le Poste de Secours is a very similar haunt; it seems to attract an exclusively older crowd, for which I am sure many of its patrons are very grateful. It has an incredibly relaxed atmosphere early on, progressing into a more lively and loud place as the night wears on and people let their inhibitions go. Both of these places are excellent for a quiet drink before dinner, or for a relaxing beer after a late lunch. It is also perfect for those wanting to avoid the pounding music that seems to permeate from most other places in town.
After a long day tearing it up on the slopes, nobody can blame you for wanting to tear it up on the dancefloor. If that is the case, you will not be disappointed by what Meribel has to offer. A whole host of late bars dot the town with live bands, DJs, drinks promotions, happy hours, and the ubiquitous two-for-one cocktail offer.
If pressed to recommend one place to really let your hair down, it would have to be Jack’s Bar. Bands perform throughout the afternoon and evening at varying times, and they quite often have a stand-up comedian. You’ll find plenty of drinks promotions here, and the cocktail hour is nothing short of dangerous. Getting there at the right time, ordering one of their big jugs of cold beer and listening to some, surprisingly excellent, live music is sheer bliss. Particularly if you’re nursing aching feet from a day on the snow.
Regardless of your taste, Meribel’s night life has a lot to offer. Be sure to check out these places the next time you are in town and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Depending on where you go, you may not want to arrange an early pick-up the next day!