The high-altitude en permaculture

‘Growing a vegetable garden isn’t just about growing your own vegetables, it’s about learning to marvel at the mystery of life’. Pierre Rabhi

Aromatic spirals, erraces, gullies and flower meadows

The high-altitude kitchen garden is a place for sharing, where the spirit of the family is authentic, generous, committed and creative. In this unique garden, Magali Suchet has learned to listen to nature. She has passed on her values and positive attitude to Joseph, our gardener, who helps an entire natural ecosystem to grow, flower, mature and dazzle our eyes.

Like a jewel nestling in the hollow of the peaks, the Chez Pépé Nicolas garden has gone through several stages of development: first a small alpine vegetable garden created in 2012. And in 2020, Thierry Suchet, grandson of Pépé Nicolas, then manager of the restaurant, and Christophe Gonthier, a landscape gardener from Chambéry, took up the challenge of creating a garden at an altitude of 2,000 m, reflecting their shared commitment to protecting the environment.

Over an area of 2,000 m2, attentive visitors can discover a range of permaculture techniques: aromatic spirals, vegetable patches, mounds, terraces, gullies, etc. In this garden, everything is eaten, even the edible flowers that feature on the restaurant’s summer and winter menus.

An invitation to contemplation and curiosity at 2000 m altitude

Chez Pépé Nicolas - Jardin 6
Chez Pépé Nicolas - Cuisine

From the nurturing garden to the restaurant plate

Martial Vuillemin, the restaurant’s head chef, creates his menus based on what the garden produces. What better way to embark on this gastronomic journey than to cultivate a garden bursting with aromatic herbs, delicate edible flowers and an abundance of natural fruit and vegetables?

From the soil to the locavore plate, in a short circuit.

Guided tours of the garden on permaculture techniques

We are delighted to offer you an exclusive guided tour every Thursday during the summer season, in the company of Joseph, our gardener. He’ll tell you all about the secrets and principles of permaculture, carefully applied in our garden.

These tours, which are for adults only, take place every Thursday at 11am and last between an hour and an hour and a half.

Discover a different way of gardening, in keeping with our ecological values.

Chez Pépé Nicolas - Jardin 21
Chez Pépé Nicolas - Fleur

Living with the seasons

Like all our activities, the garden adapts to the rhythm of the seasons…

  • In winter, a time of peace and quiet, the garden rests under the snow.
  • Spring is a time of great splendour, heralding a period of great excitement. The soil is meticulously prepared, the new shoots delicately rooted and the precious mulch carefully laid out.
  • During the summer, delicate attention is lavished on each plant, while cultivation requires careful patience.
  • Autumn is the time for harvesting, followed by meticulous preparation of the land so that the plants are ready to face the rigours of winter.

Our high-altitude permaculture garden is unique in Europe at 2000 m altitude.

Among the areas to discover in our garden…

  • The aromatic spirals, where the stones exude gentle warmth and offer shelter from the whims of the wind.
  • The gardens are shaped like flowers with 12 petals, symbolising the 12 authentic principles of permaculture.
  • Mounds, elegantly designed to optimise the use of space and encourage biodiversity.
  • Restanques, where the stones act as gentle radiators, spreading heat and offering protection from the elements.
  • The water gutters, where the run-off finds a gentle temperature.
  • The warm layers, a feast for the senses, where manure ferments to preserve the earth’s heat.
Point de vue depuis le jardin de Chez Pépé Nicolas
Magali et point de vue depuis le jardin Chez Pépé Nicolas

A unique view over the Belleville valley

The route through our garden can be completed in around thirty minutes. It also includes a belvedere platform offering breathtaking panoramic views of the majestic peaks of the Belleville valley, including Cime Caron and Peclet Polset.

Don’t hesitate to take your binoculars: you might spot marmots and ibex in the scree slopes below Lac du Lou, right in front of you.

Chez Pépé Nicolas is also an unmissable gourmet stop-off for walkers. on foot or mountain bike between Les Menuires, Val Thorens and Lac du Lou.