Most snowsports enthusiasts will agree that there is rarely a sight as beautiful as blue skies over the Alps. Dramatic snowy peaks drenched in bright, warm sunshine - these are the days when you ski hard in the morning and take a late lunch on a panoramic terrace and relax well into the afternoon. Here are Ski Independence top 5 mountain restaurants for a self-indulgent late lunch this spring.

Chez Vrony, Zermatt

Few mountain restaurants can boast the reputation or rich history of Chez Vrony. From its humble beginnings as a spartan farmhouse, to its current position as #1 restaurant in Zermatt on Tripadvisor - one trip to Chez Vrony will have you reminiscing for quite some time, especially if you visit under clear blue skies. [caption id="attachment_8468" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Chez Vrony, Zermatt Chez Vrony, Zermatt[/caption] Sitting comfortably on the large sun terrace, facing the Matterhorn, the dramatic views are truly breathtaking. The stunning setting is only to be enhanced by the seamless, attentive service and remarkable food. Chez Vrony uses all of its own organic products made from traditional family recipes. Anything they can’t make on the premises is sourced locally, and with ingredients that fresh, you’re in for a treat whatever you order.

Les Chalet de L’Arc, Les Arcs

After working up an appetite on the slopes, there is nowhere likely to reward you with a heartier portion than Les Chalet de L’Arc! Husband and wife, Claudie and Robert Falcoz, have themselves a wonderful spot here in the Paradiski area, very close to both Arc 1950 and Arc 2000. [caption id="attachment_8471" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Les Chalet de L’Arc, Les Arcs Les Chalet de L’Arc, Les Arcs[/caption] A baker by trade, Robert’s traditional French menu is accompanied by a superb selection of breads and baked goods fresh from the wood fired oven. We recommend ‘Le Chausson du Boulanger’ a huge, calzone like dish, bursting with local cheese and baked in the traditional way. Inside you’ll find a cosy, chalet style setting while sitting outside you’ll be treated to panoramic views and plenty of space to relax in the sunshine.

La Soupcoupe, Courchevel

From the outside, La Soupcoupe looks very tempting with its fire wood piled high and two sunny terraces. Its fantastic position means its easy access with great views and lots of indoor and outdoor seating. This place is large enough to cater to big groups but busy enough to maintaining its cosy atmosphere. [caption id="attachment_8480" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]La Soucoupe, Courchevel La Soucoupe, Courchevel[/caption] The menu is filled with Savoyard classics but it’s easy to find something to suit all tastes. The pot-au-feu deserves a special mention, as do the prime cuts of meat - grilled on an open fire in full view of the dining room, giving you an authentic Alpine experience. La Soupcoupe is so much more than just a mountain lunch stop, so set aside time to enjoy it. The staff are renowned for their friendly, attentive service and children are well catered for, with plenty of room for them to play outside in the snow. On a sunny day we suggest booking the 2.30pm sitting, getting the best skiing in in the morning and relaxing here well into the afternoon.

 La Grand Ourse, Les Gets

La Grande Ourse occupies a fantastic position, right in the heart of the Mont Chèry area, which is renowned for having some of the best skiing in Les Gets. The enormous balcony area offers stunning views of Mont Blanc on a clear day and is perfect for accommodating larger groups. [caption id="attachment_8486" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]La Grand Ourse, Les Gets La Grand Ourse, Les Gets[/caption] The restaurant is owned by a British family who have worked hard to put their own spin on the rustic 1930’s building and cater to all tastes with their eclectic menu. Everything from burgers to the house speciality, lobster and scallop Tartiflette, get the thumbs up from us, but the goat’s cheese salad deserves a special mention. A trip to the Rhône-Alpes just wouldn't be complete without sampling the delicious local goat’s cheese. The Venning family also impress with their decadent hot chocolates – full cream, marshmallows and chocolate flake – definitely a dessert in its own right. We suggest visiting on Wednesday afternoon as they often have a live band playing on the terrace which creates a great après atmosphere if you want to stay a little later into the afternoon.

L’Altiport, Alpe d’huez

The L’Altiport is no average Michelin starred dining experience. Firstly, the dress code is certainly not what you would expect. Welcoming skiers, cyclists and walkers throughout the afternoon, you are certainly going to be more comfortable in ski boots than stilettos! [caption id="attachment_8487" align="aligncenter" width="640"]L’Altiport, Alpe d’huez L’Altiport, Alpe d’huez[/caption] The L’Altiport is located next to a small mountain airport were the blue skies play host to a breathtaking aerial display, showcasing everything from paragliding on skis to small planes landing gently in the crisp white powder. Once you have chosen your table inside by a crackling fire, or on the terrace in the sunshine, it’s time for the real treat and biggest surprise of them all… the Menu. French classics with a modern twist, cooked to a Michelin star level - be sure to try the frogs legs poached in vin de Savoie, tourtine de foie gras, snails forestiere and slow-roasted lamb hocks. If this sounds a little adventurous for the kids, don’t worry, owners Phillippe and Veronique will go out of their way to accommodate every pallet. We recommend allowing plenty of time to enjoy this unique experience and booking in advance to ensure the best table. For more information about skiing in Europe, or any of our other ski destinations, speak to one of our expert reservations consultants on 0131 243 8097 or get a quick and easy tailor-made quotation online.