After four days of hard work hiking the highs and lows of the sensational French Alps, we finally found salvation: Refuge de l’Aiguille Doran. Known as one of the best, more luxurious refuges in Vanoise National Park we were in for a heavenly night of fine wine, chef-prepared french food and delight. I could hardly wait!

Here is the owner’s lovely stone house….

The inside was just as delightful as the outside. Beautifully appointed rooms with the heavenly scent of fresh French cooking drifting out from a specious kitchen. I knew we were in for a delicious treat.

After a luxurious hot shower it was time to dive in and celebrate with an apres-hike treat. It was just as delightful as it looked and no, I didn’t share…

Next came the best Vin de Savoie of the entire trip! We had to have two bottles, it was that yummy.

My dad stuck primarily to beer:

We had a wonderful afternoon just taking it all in and relaxing in such a beautiful place. The only downside was that this refuge is actually accessible by car, meaning people from the village below can come up for an evening stay in a “mountain refuge” without the hike. A group of two french families decided to come along with their lively children. So much for peace and quiet!

We decided to also join in the fun and play a little boule, a french sport. The view was so fantastic and the wine was so good! Ah, everything was wonderful and we hadn’t even had dinner yet! But the delicious mesmerizing smells were floating through the open windows of the refuge making us hungrier by the minute.

Finally around seven o’clock after a tortuous wait of enduring such savory smells, it was time to eat. And eat we did! My only regret is that I didn’t capture more pictures of our fabulous french meal! I was too busy eating!

After an exceedingly memorable meal with lots of wine, cheese and laughs, I couldn’t resist taking a blurry (hmmm….did I have too much Vin de Savoie at this point) photo of the sugar packet. The name “l’Instant Plaisir” (instant pleasure) brought roars of laughter across the table. Poor fourteen-year-old Jonty. We were corrupting him! Sometimes adults can be worse than adolescent boys!

After dinner, I snapped a few photos of this memorable place. It was truly a special night that we would never forget.

Bon soir…..

This post is a continuation of my series on my hiking trip, Tour de la Vanoise. To read more of these posts, click here. It also is in honor of Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post: Delicious. To read more entries to this theme, click here.


  1. You can get fine wine, chef-prepared french food in the Vanoise National Park! That is so impressive!
    “Bon soir” is beautiful!

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