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The story of a Crêperie, unlike any other…

, March 27th 2013, No comment, 860 vues.


Established in 1845, the small, but nevertheless famous  crêperie, “les Airelles”, is rich in history and past owners. Below, a few key dates will help you understand the past behind this popular eatery in the village of les Contamines-Montjoie:

  • 19th June 1845

Mr DÉLÉTRAZ , reverend of the parish, proposed the construction of a school for girls. At the time his project was rejected by the town council.

  • 10th December 1849

The council finally agreed to build the school. Mr Granges,  a local builder and carpenter  completed the building in 1850.

  • 15th December 1851

The council authorized Mr BOUVARD , a local innkeeper , to become the first tenant. A single room was reserved to educate girls three months of the year,  December, January and February.

  • 9th December 1852

Mr BOUVARD committed himself to plastering and whitewashing the north-face of the building to match the front. He painted all the exterior woodwork green.

  • In 1858

Mr MOLLARD became the new tenant. He remained so for a nine year period during which time he opened the  first hotel in les Contamines-Montjoie, the Hotel de l’Union . The establishment  boasted several apartments, bedrooms, kitchens, stables and gardens. Travellers, researchers and local minors stayed here.

  • In 1864

Mr. LABOUREAU , primary inspector,  questioned the use of the Hotel de l’Union  and claimed that the building be returned to its primary vocation, a school for girls. The local council failed to respond, questioning the integrity of the inspector.

  • In 1867

The town council decided to rehabilitate school rooms within the building.

Between 1867 and 1901 the tenants changed regularly until  Mr ROCHE-DUPLAND and Mr MILLION decided to carry out the necessary work on the building to obtain the letting.

  • In 1903

Mr MILLION accepted the installation  of a telephone exchange within the hotel. In 1917 this service was transferred to the new Post Office.

  • 14th July 1918

A fire, caused by lightening, seriously damaged the Hôtel de l’Union.

  • 1928

From 1928 to 1930  Mr CAMORS ran the  l’Hotel de l’ Union .

  • In 1930

The Town Council is called to reflect on the future use of the Hôtel de l’Union.


  • In 1931

The Hotel de l’Union was purchased by Mr Ruffin Barbier, a native of les Contamines-Montjoie who lived in Paris.  He christened the hotel the ‘Val Montjoie’. According to Gérard Barbier, his Grandson,  his grandfather had never intended to become a hotelier in Les Contamines, he had put in an offer out of curiosity! With his wife, Angele, an excellent cook, this generous man welcomed guests for  over fifty years . Mr Ruffin BARBIER was the origin of the true history and reputation of this hotel.

  • In 1985

Roger Barbier, the son of Ruffin Barbier, took over the establishment. It later closed when his father passed away. Martine CHAPPOT, one of

Roger Barbier’s daughter  and her husband Gilbert decided to create the restaurant/crêperie, “les Airelles”.


  • Today

Its reputation was such that today many former customers return for dinner here when staying in Les Contamines-Montjoie.  On the wall of the building, opposite the church, one can still read the words   ‘Val-Montjoie”.

Martine, Gilbert and their daughter  offer their guests a warm welcome and a varied selection of flavorsome dishes.


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