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Both resorts can become lively after the ski day is over, perhaps more notably in Avoriaz, as French purpose-built resorts are rarely so animated.
There are eight après-ski bars in Avoriaz, including Le Yéti (582A Route de L'Alpage; tel: 04 5074 1278) and Le Shooters (73 Place du Snow; tel: 04 5074 0722). The sole nightclub in Avoriaz is Le Yak (39 Place du Snow; tel: 04 5049 5166).
The vibrant après-ski scene in Morzine has developed massively over the last few years, with popular venues including Chaudanne wine bar (590 Route de la Plagne; tel: 04 5079 1268) for electro-jazz. Another favourite is Le Robinson (62 rue du Bourg; tel: 04 5079 0978), a Morzine institution that’s owned by Rosine and Jean-Marc, who are both over 70 years old. Their clientele includes trendy snowboarders and skiers who appreciate the relaxed atmosphere and the famous Mutzig beer.
For late night clubbing, there’s L’Opera Rock (Route Pleney; tel: 04 5079 1665), which is open till 0500; Le Laurys (60 route des Udrezants; tel: 04 5079 0610); and The Cavern (Immeuble Capitale; tel: 04 5074 2279).
Morzine (and the Portes du Soleil area as a whole) also hosts the annual Rock the Pistes (www.rockthepistes.com) après-ski music festival, which puts on pop and rock concerts at various sections of the ski area every March. Attendance is free for those with a ski pass
There are around 20 restaurants in Avoriaz, predominantly serving French mountain staples or pizza. However, La Table du Marché (40 place des Dromonts; tel: 04 5074 0811; www.christophe-leroy.com) in Hôtel des Dromonts, has set high standards for its innovative gourmet cuisine thanks to the efforts of award-winning owner/chef Christophe Leroy.
There is a slightly bigger selection of restaurants in Morzine, with about 30 eateries, including Italian as well as a wide choice of traditional French establishments. Among the options for local specialities is La Grange (60 Chemin de la Couttetaz; tel: 04 5075 9640; www.lagrangemorzine.com), and the new La Ferme de l’Alpage (337 Route de la Plagne; tel: 04 5079 1239; www.alpage-morzine.com), which is owned and run by the local fruitière (cheesemaker) and understandably has a mostly cheese-based menu.
In addition, L'Atelier d'Alexandre (9 Place de l'Office de Tourisme; tel: 04 5079 0079; www.hotel-lesamoyede.com) in the Samoyède Hotel, which is run by the son of the owners, has been awarded two Chef’s Hats – a high grade from the famous Michelin gourmet guide – for his efforts.