A casino in a French ski resort that doesn’t normally attract the high rollers in a way that Chamonix, Courchevel or Megeve might is perhaps a bit surprising, but the Casino Brides-Les-Bains (Esplanade des Thermes; +33 (0)4 79 55 23 07; casinobrides.com) is a unique attraction in the region and open until 3am, so despite the resort’s less than rocking reputation, it is in fact only between 3am when the casino closes and 6am when the boulangeries open that there is nothing to do (except perhaps sleep!).
There are lots of fruit machines here or you can play blackjack, the roulette table, poker or any other gambling favourite. There are also sometimes live shows and concerts.
Casino (Esplanade des Thermes)
+33 (0)4 79 55 23 07
Cinema (Place du Centenaire)
+33 (0)4 79 55 26 10
Brides-les-Bains is the major town for the wider region and remains a year-round destination for locals and visitors alike, so there are some 50 shops in the resort giving quite a good selection.
Along with a few dozen grocery and ski shops (see separate listings) there’s a chemist, tobacconist, newsagents and photographic store as well as a good range of souvenir and clothing shops.
Shoppers will find several parfumeries including the well-stocked Parfumerie des Thermes (+33 (0)4 79 55 23 42) on Rue Emile Machet; half-a-dozen fashion boutiques, a similar number of stores selling jewellery of one type or another and four shops selling French lingerie, of which My Fair Lingerie (+33 (0)4 79 55 27 52) is the specialist.
Espace Mineral (+33 (0)4 79 55 21 83) on Rue Aristide Briand is an interesting option, specialising as it does in local gem stones and minerals.