If you’re an avid skier and have never been to the Chamonix in the Alps, you are definitely missing out on something wonderful. In fact, even if you do not care for winter sports, here is a trip and a meal you will not easily forget. The Restaurant 3842 is located at the top of the Aiguille du Midi at the 3842 metre mark.
Obviously, it can’t be reached by automobile, bus or train. It’s aerial car all the way… and that’s over 9,000 vertical feet in less than 30-minutes. This is one thrilling ride – partly because of the views and the other part is definitely due to the altitude. This is not for the weak of heart or for those who are challenged by heights. However, with the right amount of financial incentive, one might be able to helicopter in for lunch.
When you get off the cable car at the summit you will be greeted by one of the most breathtaking views that you may ever see in your life. Photographs can barely capture this awesome scenery. It will be chilly, even if it is in the summer on the ground, so be prepared for about a 50 degree spread in temperature (ground vs. 3,842 metres up). This vantage point provides a panoramic, and startlingly beautiful view of Mt. Blanc (means White Mountain in English), which is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union.
Once you are there, you will be excited and thrilled – for a most unique experience awaits. There it sits, in all it’s snowy splendor – Restaurant 3842. Restaurant 3842 only seats 26, so reservations are mandatory if you expect to get fed during the three hours they are open per day during the summer only. The atmosphere is cozy and warm. There is also a Cafe 3842, which seats up to 65 people, and it also boasts an excellent menu and year-round dining availability.
This is truly what we call “adventurous dining” so if you haven’t been, be sure to put it on your “wish list”.
1. Locally-grown ingredients
The French cuisine that is prepared fresh daily uses locally-grown produce, cheeses and meats. Reviewers all seem to agree, the food is très magnifique! You will be dining on traditional plates that are specially prepared and are said to give diners a taste of “France in the heavens”. Be sure to review the specials of the day that are listed on the blackboard – as they are always outstanding.
2. An unparalleled view
Breathtaking hardly begins to describe the experience of being at eye level or higher than the clouds. It is surrealistic and somewhat humbling. It is like staring at a fireplace, your eyes can’t seem to get enough of the natural beauty. It should be noted that the high altitude can be difficult for oxygen-challenged travelers, but for those who are unaffected, it is clearly amazing.
3. Le Restaurant 3842 interior
The restaurant’s interior is chalet-like but you know you are in a fine-dining establishment by its use of white tablecloths, wine goblets and the finest in ceramic ware. If you have forgotten to make a reservation, take heart, there is also a cafe Summit 3842, that offers the same incredible views and epicurean delights, such as bruschetta, sandwiches (hot & cold), gratins, pasta, crepes and other plats du jour (daily specials). As listed earlier, the restaurant seats only 26, while the cafe seats 65.
4. Restaurant 3842 stays booked
With only three hours of dining availability per day, this restaurant is continuously booked. In fact, many companies and clubs use this location to hold amazing seminars. When those are booked, it means there will be no availability for outside diners. But for those who want the epitome in destination meetings, 3842 is difficult to beat. The restaurant is equipped with white boards, screens and other seminar equipment for ease in holding these types of meetings.
5. An aerial view
This photo will give you a better idea of how the restaurant is perched on top of this smaller mountain. This summit has been a destination for over 50 years and looks as though it is there to stay for another 50. Millionaires and billionaires love this location – yet it is available for all travelers.