How a Law Student in Paris and a Designer in Tokyo became Guardians of a Mountain Refuge in the Alps
When packing for your stay at Refuge Entre Deux Eaux, we recommend leaving your neon lycra pants and tinned food at home. Upon arrival, you’ll meet your hosts Clara and Björn who will probably greet you in ripped jeans and sneakers, and then offer you a slice of local, organic blueberry pie hot from the oven.
Perched 2200m above sea level in Vanoise National Park, there stands a one hundred year old mountain refuge situated “entre deux eaux” (between two mountain streams) which richly rewards those who venture out to find it.
From June to September every year, Clara and Björn ascend into the French Alps to assume their seasonal role as caretakers of the refuge, creating a haven for hikers and travellers who stop by for anything from a glass of local wine to a night’s stay complete with dinner and breakfast service. For those few summer months, the old house is filled with the aromas of country cooking, the sounds of different languages and occasional accordion jam sessions which have been known to break out spontaneously in the communal kitchen.
Today at the Refuge Entre Deux Eaux, travellers can enjoy organic blueberry pie from the tiny nearby village of La Chappelle-du-Bard, buttery tomme cheese from a local fromagerie and natural locally made wines by families who have practised their art for generations.
Guests who wish to stay for a meal are treated to dishes characterised by simplicity and showcase products from the region like pork sautéed with baby carrots and turnips, veal blanquette and hachis parmentier, France’s answer to shepherd’s pie.
The kitchen also happily caters for vegetarians on a daily basis, to support individuals who wish to minimise the impact their food choices have on the planet. “Our dishes are designed around local products and from environmentally friendly agriculture,” says Clara. “We’re committed to investing in the local market and supporting producers by paying them at the right price. When food is sourced, produced and prepared sustainably and locally, it tastes better. And isn’t eating well the most important thing on a mountain expedition?”