The Gods Know Where

Haven’t been to Mount Olympus yet? Come, I’ll point the way…

Photo Credits: La Folie Douce

March 14, 2024

France may offer some of the world’s best ski-resort options, appealing to the fussiest and most extravagant of tastes, yes. But there is one in particular that I think transcends them all. If you still haven’t been, oh dearest Gastronaut, I can tell you why I think it is so. 

Courchevel, a renowned ski resort in France, is tucked within the renowned Three Valleys ski domain and boasts 19 five-star hotels along with 6 Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s where Russian oligarchs and David and Victoria Beckham withdraw to their private chalets and where Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge regularly escape. But what may be attracting these most demanding profiles? I have a hunch the ski slopes in Courchevel are breathtaking, but as per my experience, there is something else that I think makes it “sans-pareil.”

Do you know what it feels like to be cloaked in ethereal mist, to have your deepest yearnings for otherworldly passions cradled and coddled? Or what it looks like to be shrouded in pizzazz, sensuality, the pleasures of the palate and sublime celebration? Well, I shan’t be humble when I say that I do know… 

It was a weekend encounter I had with the greatest potpourri of wedding invites from across the globe. We all came together—from Europe, America, the Middle East, and Asia—to attend the wedding of our beloved friends, Juba and Marzio. It was instantaneous combustion. We glowed furiously for three days, then departed our separate ways heartbroken, but forever changed for the better. To respect their privacy, I won’t go into the marvels that rendered this weekend so unforgettable… 


What is “La Folie Douce?” Literally translated, it is “The Sweet Folly.” The creators of La Folie Douce describe it as “the perfect spot to enjoy the sun and absorb some maximum human energy.” But “human” energy begs to be corrected, as it felt anything but mortal. Anyone who steps foot into La Folie Douce, is within a flash transported into the company of the Gods. 

It may have been 38°F., and we may have been in the middle of misty snowy Alps, but LFD cloaked us in sunny hedonism. It urged us to seize the moment’s offerings, which couldn’t have been anything short of what you might expect from the majestic peaks at Mount Olympus. There we were, like Greek Deities, indulging in the fruits of Divinity. Any and all shadows of life’s limitations, unsatisfied hungers and badgering chagrins vanished completely into that crisp Alpine air. 

We were served (among other things) voluptuous Reblochon fondue inhabited by gorgeous, gargantuan, gushingly spongy morel mushrooms. This pot of Gastronautical gold, by the way, amounted to infinitely more than what I could fit on my 2-pronged fork or convey in this post. We cooled our lustful palates with goblets of wine that arrived via wine gondola and poured forth from double magnum bottles of Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot. 

Here, the food, the wine, were far more titillating and soul-warming than all the fussiness and extravagance often associated with strains of “foodieism.” The same way good food and good wine can nourish our minds and souls and bodies, so too does La Folie Douce, only La Folie Douce combines these necessary comforts with music and spectacle and altitude and instant thumping soulful camaraderie. Behold a vision of us as momentary Deities:

We can’t deny the innate glamor and long-unassailable preeminence of French cuisine (or French anything), but Courchevel (and La Folie Douce) offer more. More, for those hungry for a different—a celestial, a sublime—experience. I offer another portrait of this “spot” in the world, and for those of us who’ve been there, a consolation on a dreary, vapid and devastatingly mortal day. 

Our current world holds too many shifts for us to swallow… sudden truly excuse-less and downright insulting inflation price surges, daunting robotics, worsening political farce and dwindling quality, class and respect across the globe. Courchevel, you give us a momentary reprieve. Your Sweet Folly (and your Reblochon) are our 🖕  against these unbearable mundanities, and might just be our one worthy remedy for our mortal woes.

In an apres-ski so perfectly and passionately orchestrated, La Folie Douce raises not only the image of the “apres-ski,” but of what we define as free, exhilarating, passionate, revelrous connection.

(And no, I did not ski during that trip. Thus, I can only imagine the emotions a dedicated skier might experience in Courchevel.)



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