Swiss Alps

Andermatt

The first thing that struck me on the 90-minute journey from Zurich to Andermatt was the enduring beauty of Lake Lucerne. The temperature was twice that of England and so a quick dip in the mineral-rich lake would have been appreciated, had we not been eager to reach our alpine destination.

A man and his meat

After navigating icy hairpin bends, snow banks and rushing waterfalls, we found our destination concealed in a valley between Lenzerheide and Chur in the Swiss Alps. In hushed tones, we had been told there was to be found a true specialist in the artisan field, who we could not miss visiting whilst we were in the area. The exclusivity of the suggestion was reinforced by the fact we were unlikely to discover his wares outside of the immediate region due to export restrictions. On checking the ‘tip off’ with restaurant and bar staff, we were returned the knowing smiles that experience has shown often lead to culinary excellence. Our interest…

Restaurant with a twist

1,775 metres above sea level in the Valsana hotel is not where you expect to find an English library, but that’s where I found myself. Sat in the ski resort of Arosa, surrounded by books, in front of a log fire, enjoying a glass of Roederer. Although the books in this recreation are a little modern, it’s the thought that counts. It’s a nice homage to the UK by the owner of the hotel, who dictated its form as he was a fan of all things English. All I need now is my smoking jacket and slippers, and I could be ensconced in a modernised 221b Baker Street with Watson…

Andermatt – Summer in the mountains

It’s bittersweet, really. On the one hand, the weather is always going to be much more agreeable than here in Blighty. Their green and luscious meadows are filled with Swiss chocolate and beer, and you can slip in and out of your banker’s office in Geneva en route. On the other hand, there is no snow. Well, not none – there is some at the top, up by the pointy bit of the mountain, but you can’t really ski on it. Not just because it is wildly dangerous, but also because it is frowned upon by the authority-obliging Swiss. No matter how hard I try, I stare up at the…