Happy New Year of the Stallion! We have finally reached mid-February and 2014 has already been full of exciting voyages in the Alps – the snow in Europe has been a little shy this year but this has not kept me away from the slopes.
First stop was Gstaad, renowned for its chic charm and understated luxury. Like many Swiss resorts, it has successfully managed to preserve its alpine character. The life and soul of the town revolves around the celebrated Gstaad Palace which comes to life at twilight. After some skiing and then relaxation in the beautiful spa, I headed to a superb new restaurant called 16 in the neighbouring village of Saanen. It came highly recommended through a Gstaadian friend – contemporary, well balanced Swiss cuisine, accompanied by some exceptional regional red wine.
All play needs to be followed with some work, which led me to Geneva for the annual watch exhibition. Linde Werdelin set up at the outstanding Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues for the week to officially present to the world our latest Oktopus Moon Tattoo timepiece. It was embraced by watch enthusiasts and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting with existing/new LW partners from across the world.
The following weekend, I joined friends in Verbier to experience the freshly fallen powder which I had been a little deprived of this season; visibility was poor, but thankfully I am well acclimated with the pistes there and was able to find my way. I stayed at the new W Hotel which was delightful, however food mediocre. The perfect excuse to visit a favourite of mine Au Vieux Verbier, at the bottom of the Medran lift offering traditional Swiss cuisine for the finicky diner like myself!
This week I have been in London preparing for the Baselworld Fair in March, which deserves a week of skiing in Courmayeur next week. Home to Via Roma, probably the finest main street of any ski resort in Europe, brimming with delicious restaurants and wine bars offering a sophisticated ambiance perfect for the family. For proper skiing I suggest skiing outside the main area, Rocce Bianco and a few others are the only marked black runs. On snowy days it is like Megeve in that it is empty on the pistes; the ski area can be covered in one day but Chamonix is only 30 minutes drive should you desire more. I will end the season with another trip to Verbier for some heli-skiing and touring. This will be the cherry-on-top for the season!