ARCHIVE LWSY A Grand Design > Design Details at Ferme de Moudon, Les Gets, France
Ferme de Moudon in Les Gets, a place I had wanted to visit for over a decade. This alpine farmhouse has the most wonderful story, and to me, the memory of my visit will last a lifetime.
I think I must have been about 17, still at school, and definitely in pursuit of a career in design via university where I planned to study something creative. Unsure of what exactly, our school sent us out on a few weeks work experience during our Easter holidays. With my main point of inspiration at the time being both my art lessons and my love of Grand Designs, my very clever mother found out that not only did Kevin McCloud have his own lighting studio an hour from my home, but she found his address and implored that I wrote to him to request my work experience placement with him. To fast forward a bit, he said he didn’t offer placements, but I was welcome to pop by and see his studios and workshop. My powers of persuasion convinced him to let me stay for a fortnight. I was hooked, and once my fortnight was over, it made up my mind to pursue Furniture & Product Design at Kingston university.
One of my first memories of Grand Designs was the episode Kevin followed James and Nicky Dobree on their journey to create this beautiful contemporary chalet in the french resort of Les Gets. All these years later I can safely say it was even more glorious than I could have ever imagined. Back in 2015 I began to work for Nicky in her design studio in London, and after a few years away I’ve just joined Nicky’s team again, working remotely from Paris. As winter is upon us once again, I wanted to share the memory of my wonderful stay at Ferme de Moudon back in early 2015. This is my photo diary of those few days away…
I travelled with writer Leo Bear, and photographer Tom Lakeman, we were being sent out to soak up the design, envelope myself in Nicky’s World (her new blog is here btw), meet the team who work tirelessly throughout the season, and to shoot some new images for the chalets website.
Welcome to Ferme de Moudon
We couldn’t have arrived at a more beautiful time of day. As we arrived, the chalet staff were lined in time to greet us. How did they see us coming on such a private road?!! This place thrives on being so hidden from view. Arriving just before sunset in time for tea on the terrace, this was heaven on a plate.
No snow you say? Actually lots of snow, we just had to head up the mountain a little bit. Personally I love this time of year in the Alps (between New Year and the Easter hols). Safe in the knowledge there was still great snow on the mountains in Morzine, just a short drive away, there was a magical soundtrack to our weekend when you stepped outside, Just birds and the sound of trickling water from the stream below. A perfect Spring day.
Time to explore the house. With a team of five full time staff, Ferme de Moudon (which sleeps twelve) has been designed to the highest specification. With a house manager, chalet assistant, chef, driver and household assistant I practically floated around on a little cloud, I can’t tell you how magical this place is. As their website says, “You make the rules and the manager is your personal concierge”.
With breakfast, tea and dinner whenever you want it, chilled champagne in the Jacuzzi or up on an ice bar carved from snow, it’s all the same to them. With unparalleled local knowledge and contacts, the team will get you anywhere, whether by 4×4, helicopter or ski lift.
Beautiful Jo Malone products kept me smelling sweet all weekend…(which have recently been replaced with Bamford products and a new spa treatment room).
After a champagne reception early evening, we enjoyed a beautiful 3 course candle lit supper, prepared for us by our chef, with a glass of wine or two by the fire before bed, we were all ready to hit the hay before our day of skiing in the morning. With a media room downstairs stacked with books and DVD’s I thought best to get a good nights rest before my first day. The DVD’s, sauna, jacuzzi and book collection could wait another day.
What a spot for a morning cup of coffee before breakfast. With uninterrupted views across the valley ahead, my little weekend paradise couldn’t have started with a better wake up. Up to the kitchen for a hearty breakfast, anything I probably could have wished for, I’m sure the chef could’ve prepared. Look at the sun streaming through, beautiful. The light here is just fabulous.
Still an authentic farming community at heart, Les Gets has the advantage of being just an hour from Geneva. So you really can ski all day Sunday and still be back in London at a sensible time in the evening. The resort prides itself with being unspoilt by the commercial pressures that so many French and Swiss resorts face, and I can tell you from my few days there, we found some charming restaurants, plus it’s a lovely area for hiking in the spring and summer.
La Ferme de Moudon is Les Gets’ most impressive luxury chalet. Designed of course by Nicky Dobree, this was Nicky’s first chalet design under her own name. If you haven’t seen the episode on Grand Designs, watch it here filmed back in 2004. the house is still as immaculate as the day it was built.
Out through the boot room entrance, our driver whisked us off to collect our ski’s as he collected our ski passes. I can’t forget to tell you about the tuck box by the back door. Fill your pockets with mars bars and kit kats for a mid morning ski lift sugar hit!
Portes du Soleil has overwhelming statistics. With runs up to 11 kms long, 650 kms of tended trails and slopes, limitless off-piste terrain, and 207 lifts of every shape, size and description. Of the three of us skiing, all at slightly different levels, there was no trouble in us all keeping up with each other. Now that’s a pretty ideal situation really isn’t it. Helped of course by our wonderful ski guide Angela, we were whisked off to all the best slopes as the sun moved from piste to piste. With a non-negotiable request for a fondue and hot chocolate for lunch, that smile on my face was pure joy.
Tom our photographer saw this jump as we were making our way down the mountain at the end of the day. He did the jump, I couldn’t not. So there we are, that’s me, looking like a fool, but I DID IT! Next time I might have a bit more grace.
With views for miles, I could’ve sat for hours gazing at this view…
With David collecting us from the lifts, we were soon home for afternoon tea by the fire, boots back in the heated boot room, I was shattered!
You might recognise this guy?
So here I am, on our last day.
Photography (where not my own cc. Tom Lakeman & Nicky Dobree Interior Design)
If you’d like to stay at Ferme de Moudon, just click here.
LWSY visited in april 2014 – Article updated January 2017 (Pleas excuse the old webpage format – the post didn’t like the new look to my website so images are disappointingly small!