As we arrived at the Palace de Menthon as dusk was falling we didn’t really appreciate the aspect or position of this grand old lady of a hotel. We would have to wait until the alpine sun burst through our curtains before we were rewarded with this view the next morning.
Slightly weary from our days travels we were greeted warmly at reception and told that we were just in time for last orders in the hotels restaurant. In the summer this decamps next to the lake in a huge Morocan tent with open sides complete with colourful red and gold moorish furnishings. I’d call it semi al fresco dining and the standard of food was also very good. An example of which was this tasty starter of Burrata, sweet nectarines, rocket and prosciutto.
The next morning we decided to head off to Annecy but rather than battle against the traffic on the busy lakeside single carriageway road that skirts the lake we decided to take the more relaxing option of the boat shuttle which weaves its route around the lake on a less than frequent basis. After an early morning dip in the lake, reputedly the cleanest in France and potentially Europe we sauntered off to take the 10:30am boat. Details of the services here Annecy Lake Shuttle.
It takes the best part of an hour to make the journey to Annecy so not great if you are pressed for time but a brilliant way to see all the diverse villages and recreational activities going on along and around the lake. A must for thrill seekers and adrenalin junkies who can indulge in launching themselves off the surrounding peaks to glide on the thermals down to the lake shore, you get some fantastic views of these paragliders from the boat.
Arriving in Annecy the boat drops you off conveniently by the old town where you can stroll with the crowds amongst the canals and medieval buildings.
You can escape the crowds by walking along the canals away from the lake , we found a charming little restaurant , Auberge Du Lyonnais , with white table cloths and tables overlooking the canal. Looking for a light lunch we went a la francaise and ordered the plat du jour with a glass of Pouilly Fume. As it happened the plat du jour was a triumph! A trio of pan fried salmon and sea bass fillets and fresh scallops with wild mushrooms, fresh alpine herbs and a buttery foam and with the creamiest and silkiest pomme purée I’ve had in a long while.
Refreshed and with our appetites saited we continued our stroll around the old town and built to a crescendo with some stunning views from the chateau at the top of the hill surrounding Annecy. We just caught the 4pm shuttle back to Menthon St. Bernard in time for a pre dinner swim in the cooling and refreshing waters of the lake before heading off to meet Natasha and Stephen who we had met the night before in Courban and were regular visitors to Lake Annecy. Natasha has been coming to Lake Annecy for several decades so she recommended dinner at The Cottage Bise in Talloires with pre dinner drinks with them before at The Abbaye D’Talloires. Both of which were highly endorsable recommendations and I would go as far as saying that I think the Abbaye has just been added to my bucket list of places to stay.