It was in 1969 when Luc Reversade, a former ski instructor, founded the first La Folie Douce in Val d’Isere.
The restaurant and bar soon built up a reputation as the place in Val to go for apres-ski.
As has been clear for years at the Krazy Kangaruh and Moosevirt in St Anton, apres-ski doesn’t have to start at the bottom of the hill
Open air clubbing at altitude
La Folie Douce is about style and fashion. It’s about drinking and dancing on the tables too, but there’s no DJ Otzi or ‘Living on a Prayer’ at the Folie Douce. Expect instead a mash-up of dance music, funky jazz and cabaret – this is ‘open air clubbing at altitude’.
The Val d’Isere location was followed by more restaurants in Val Thorens, then in 2012 in Meribel, before this winter also opening in Alpe d’Huez.
Folie Douce to open in Megeve
Now Reversade has announced plans to open a fifth Folie Douce in Megeve.
He has bought a site at the top of Mont Joux at 2000m overlooking the slopes of St Gervais and Megeve and hopes to open next winter.
Are the Megevois ready for this?
Expansion to Switzerland?
And by winter 2015/16, the rapidly multiplying Les Folie Douces could be in Switzerland as well.
Reversade has been looking for suitable properties in the resorts of Zermatt, Verbier and Crans Montana.
It will be interesting to see if they can keep adding venues without diluting the unique atmosphere of the Folie Douce that makes it so ‘cool’.
So far expansion has done nothing to dull the brand – if that can be continued then there’s plenty more dancing on Folie Douce tables to come.
By Iain Martin