Alpine Adventure

Nightwear by Marks & Spencer

On Saturday morning, we rose bright and early, enjoying a peaceful cup of coffee in our (ridiculously comfortable) bed before making our way down for breakfast. Sitting outside, enjoying the fresh mountain air, Charlie and I enjoyed a bowl of home made berry Bircher Muesli, followed by a made-to-order plate of American pancakes, complete with crispy bacon and maple syrup. Charlie’s Eggs Florentine did incur some slight food envy, but our day’s activities meant that I had no remorse for clocking up the calories at breakfast time!

We took a taxi to the small nearby town of Launen, before embarking on the scenic walk to the majestic lake of Launensee. Every corner we turned revealed another postcard perfect vista. Against a crisp blue sky, the peaks of the surrounding Alps were sprinkled with just a hint of snow, dominating the landscape. Wild flowers were everywhere, and traditional Swiss chalets dotted across the fields. Charlie and I abandoned Google Maps (sorry, we’re city folk!) and followed the trail signs pointing us in the right direction towards the lakes.

After almost two hours of wandering across fields, over waterfalls and through small towns, we came across the opening that we had been aiming for, and it took us no time at all to decide that the lake looked far too inviting not to jump in. I wore my swimming costume, and changed into my Superdry dress after drying off in the sun.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon in Gstaad, the Swiss ski resort in the heart of the Bernese Oberland that is quite unlike any other ski town. In place of dowdy knitwear shops and Intersport, there’s a Louis Vuitton, Hublot and Prada. With the likes of Madonna, George Clooney and Valentino frequenting the resort, the place is a magnet for the super rich, and it’s not hard to see why.

Back at Le Grand Bellevue, there was no time to change before our dinner reservation at Le Petite Chalet.  The charming log cabin located on the edge of the grounds of the Bellevue, it exclusively seats just 20 diners. Even in the middle of Summer, we instantly fell for the Swiss charm of the chalet, with it’s log fire, Edelweiss printed table linens, and rustic pots and pans hanging from the walls. Serving the traditional Swiss dish of cheese fondue (we chose Vacherin & Gruyere, but there’s also goat’s cheese or truffle fondue on the menu) as well as the regional dish of raclette; firm cows milk cheese which is melted and then you scrape off and enjoy the delicious melted top layer.

The fondues were prepared before our eyes, and both the fondue and raclette were set up on our table, so that Charlie and I could perfect our bread and meat dunking, setting each other forfeits for any food that fell into the molten cheese.
We headed back to our room for an early night, ready for another day of Swiss adventures tomorrow.