I just returned home after the most relaxing Easter holiday I ever experienced. Together with 5 friends I spend it in Wallis, a wine region in the French speaking parts of Switzerland. 11 hours of sleep. Late night cooking. Slow roasted easter lamb. Never ending breakfasts. Spa warm up on a rainy easter saturday. A whole day of sun while catching the last skiing possibility of the season in Verbier.
And long hikes up the mountain.
I think we all agreed that the last dinner was the highlight of the weekend. Philip had arranged for us to have classic swiss cheese fondue in a remote cottage called Le Grenier de Zalan. No car could make it up the mountain so we had to leave it in the village. We packed the head lights for the return hike in the dark and walked for over an hour through the snow.
It was a slow hike.
But it is crazy how fast we forgot all of that (the wet feet and the heavy breath) when we arrived on the top.
Pascal welcomed us as his only guests that night. As we were covering ourselves with sheep fur, he served us black tea to prepare us for the Cheese fondue (apparently the black tea will make it easier to digest the cheese – not the schnaps!)
It is hard to say if it was the beautiful surroundings, or the actual food, which made us all agree that we were eating the best Fondue we ever tried. But it does not really matter. With cheese made from milk from the hills around and bread still warm this was highest quality.
This was the last fondue this season for Pascal before he is leaving for holiday to (oh, I realize that I was too excited about all the impressions that I forgot where he was actually going.. Maybe Kirghizistan?).
He is a well travelled man. Born in France and with a profession as Shepherd he is usually spending the winter months by travelling 600km through the Swiss-French region with his horde of 800 sheep.
In 2010 his journey was made into the beautiful film, Hiver Nomade.
Thanks to the romans who passed through the Rhone valley the region around Sion is an old Wine district. Sion is also the oldest village in Switzerland. We were looking for a good restaurant in the town.
So, please help us dear Swiss friends, Maybe you know something and like to share?