A Taste of France in Queenstown

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Before I post about the incredible scenery here in Queenstown, I have to  tell you about this beautiful restaurant we went to yesterday.
As prearranged, we met Robin’s cousin on Church Street at Les Alpes - a fairly new French restaurant here in Queenstown.

Robin’s cousin is a local and I am always amazed at the people she knows here - she knows everyone - and such interesting people too. As she said herself, Queenstown does attract all kinds of  people from all over the world.

So we met her at this lovely place and ordered coffee. It was surprisingly child-friendly too (though it may not be for evening dining unless they're very well behaved). There was already a young family there, and even though there were no specifically designated places for children, my kids seemed to be happy  just  wandering around the little eating area down the back of the restaurant, drawing on bits of paper that we found for them in our bags, and playing with some of the stuffed animals that the restauant had on the chairs, and indulging in the very sophisticated ‘fluffies’ (also known as coffee for children, which is not much more than fluffed-up milk) that we got them. My 5 year old, Teddy- even had the nouse (cheek) to ask the waiter to light the candle. Please. Anyone might suppose he is a restaurant connoisseur.

Such beautiful French décor with the wooden rush chairs, the wooden floors and the red quilted throws over the backs of the dining chairs, the red quilted pillows on the couches and the lovely, eye-candy French cuisine books scattered on the coffee tables. And then there was the large, high wooden dresser with plate, and the rustic wooden mantle over the fireplace. I’m going home inspired.

But the best part of our little sojourn was meeting Serge (thanks to Robin‘s cousin knowing everyone in Queenstown), a real, genuine French chef and owner of the restaurant, and he really did look French. I told him that we’d all been learning French for two years, and then thoroughly embarrassed myself when I couldn’t make out a word he was saying to me in his beautiful French accent and language. They do talk too fast! It took me a good hour to figure out that he asked me if I spoke very good French. Obviously not!

But it was interesting to hear how he and his wife had bought a little bit of France to Queenstown - he said they aimed to make Les Alpes feel like a French ski lodge - and it really did, although I have no experience on how a French ski lodge feels.

Right now, this week, it is my sole purpose in life to talk my husband into taking me back there for dinner sometime in the next year. I suppose it will take a year of saving up to do it, but I am determined.

And the coffee was exquisite.


Clara said...

Sounds like a wonderful experience!! In Australia, we call your "fluffies" a "babychino" - it is just fluffy milk with chocolate powder sprinkled on top! :) I would love to go to this French restaurant you wrote about!! :)

Cate said...

It looks gorgeous Rachel!

call*me*kate said...

What a lovely place! We would enjoy a place like that. I love most things French, my kids and I have been learning French for several years now - not too seriously but we know a bit. My favorite phrase is, "Je ne ce pas" (I think that's how it's spelled!) Learning how to write and speak French is so different from trying to understand someone speaking to you. You want them to slow down or rewind or something.


Serena M. said...

Hi Rachel,
Thank you so much for your article. And the pictures look gorgeous too! It is always a pleasure to read about satisfied customers. It means that we are doing something right!
Hopefully, we will see you again soon.

All the best,
Marketing manager for Les Alpes :)

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