In Praise of Slowness-Gstaad and Saanewald Lodge, Come up Slow Down

Leave a comment

Situated in the Berner Oberland, Gstaad is home to one of the largest ski areas in the Alpes.  When you Come up to Gstaad you Slow down. This is the  way I  like to see my time spent there. You run away from the big cities to come here and  really take care of yourself, with good organic food, lots of sports and where you can replenish your lungs with pure mountain air. We challenge to cult of speed here! Gstaad has many beautiful villages that surround it and are equally interesting. One of them is the village of Saanemoser which is home to the lovely Saanenwald Lodge Hotel. The hotel was built in 1963 and acquired by Paul Peyer and his brother in 2011. The owner says that this the place where you can practice  Active Slowlife- a concept that tackles the misunderstanding about Slowness. It forces people to stop and challenge their lifestyle, which is good!

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 18.04.46

This post is dedicated to people that have not been to this lovely ski resort and not to all my friends and followers that have been coming here since they were born. Please do bear with me the detailed descriptions of certain locations. And the ones that have been here, why not keep on reading , maybe you discover something new.

“Last paradise in a crazy world” is how Hollywood and Broadway star Julie Andrews described her holiday home in Gstaad. Completely agree with this view. In fact no matter how international Gstaad is it has remained truly Alpine. The atmosphere is quiet and discreet and that is precisely what its visitors and residents have come to appreciate. Some of the home owners in Gstaad were/ are Roman Polanski, Sir Roger Moore, Elisabeth Taylor, Jeanne Moreau, Julie Andrews, Bernie Ecclestone, Yehudi Menuhin, Prince Rainer and Grace Kelly,  Balthus, Gunter Sachs. The middle of the village features a cosy picturesque promenade reserved for pedestrian use only bundled by many shops, restaurants, galleries and hotels. I popped in quickly into the multibrand boutique Lorenz Bach to try out some fur hats and coats. This is usually where we would all come to get some traditional laderhosen and Austrian jackets too. It is not only in winter that  Gstaad is a popular destination- there are events such The Menuhin Festival Gstaad of classical music, The Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad of classical music, Swiss Open, The Hublot Polo Gold Cup, Bonhams auction of Ferraris and Maserattis and Davidoff Saveurs Gstaad which is a celebration of authentic kitchen and cellar flavours.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.08.29
How many times have you asked yourself- why can’t I just roll out of bed and hit the slopes directly from my hotel? Well, here you surely can. You can ski or snowboard straight out of the front door. 220 km of pistes and 53 liftes await you.
Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.08.56
I would like to introduce you to a little 60′s gem, hidden in Swiss Alps, located close to the village of Gstaad. dare say-  finally something different to the usual Gstaad glitzy, expensive offering.  A retro mountain lodge with clean lines and a hint of Barbarella.
Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.55.27

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.19.14Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.56.07Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.19.25Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.19.19The three muses, moi, Princess Tatiana and mummy all wrapped up in fake fur long coats that the hotel gives you in case you want to step outside for a naughty cigarette. All girlies wearing Zanzan  sunglasses. The boots are by Ikkii.

Have I talked about the food at the Saanewald Lodge Hotel? It must be the best burger in Gstaad, well apart from the little kiosk on the Promenade. Do make sure you stop here if you are skiing in Saanemoser

And onto the milk maid. Gstaad is one of the world’s leading cheese producers, with nearly 500 varieties available. It comes as no surprise that Swiss national cuisine is based around this delicious dairy product . Raclette  is something I always eat when I come up here , also the cheese fondue and the inoubliable emince de veau a la Zurichoise. Also can we not forget the chocolate. The Swiss produced chocolate.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.08.35Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 19.03.16
Gstaad is famous for cattle breeding, milk and meat production. I went to Rossinieres, a village next to Gstaad to see a  farm. I was worried that the  the local farmer would be standoffish but he was very appreciative of our visit.
Etivaz cheese is the local delicacy that I eat the most of when there I make sure I buy a large quantity of it to take back home with me. It has fruity, nutty flavour and it is similar to Gruyere.
Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.50.11

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 18.48.12

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 18.49.41

Above is a shot how these lovely supermodels will look in the summer. Each of their heads will be adorned with  beautiful flower crown.

On the way back I had lunch at my favourite spot, The Olden. It takes a genius to make adelicious tomato sauce and they do it so right here .

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 19.03.39Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 19.03.44

I had to stop at the institution as well, the iconic Palace Hotel It was opened in 1913 as Gstaad’s first luxury hotel and since has earned an unrivaled reputation for discreet, refined hospitality.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 18.24.57

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 18.04.20

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 18.03.20Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 18.39.09Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 18.39.01

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>