Divine Decadence At The Legendary Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St.Moritz, Switzerland

A magical weekend at the “Grande Dame” of  St. Moritz, Badrutt’s Palace hotel. Set in the heart of the Engadin region, 1,856m above sea level, It is one of the prettiest Swiss villages. A  jewel of a winter sports resort with over 350km of ski slopes. Home to the famous “Cresta run”, it plays host every year to the “World Cup Polo on snow ” and  “White Turf weekend” horse racing on ice.

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Having always had St.Moritz on my bucket list after a ski season spent in Saas Fee many years ago! The more glamourous ski resorts of Gstaad and St. Moritz have somehow managed to elude me. These are the ski resorts that are destinations and playgrounds for the rich and famous and legendary in their own right. A seasonnaire at heart – for me it is all about the skiing and the snow, although I’m not averse to a little pampering once in a while and staying at the five star Badrutt’s Palace certainly is a taste of a different world.

This legendary  “Grande Dame” is in a class of its own, leading the field in luxury hotels it has played host to European Royal Families since opening its doors in 1896, followed by Hollywood Royalty and today it still plays host to the great and the good of the glitterati. The staff are impeccably mannered and extremely welcoming with generations of  the same families working here, they are clearly very passionate about Badrutt’s Palace hotel and it shows.

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I was of course beyond excited to be leaving a rather dull and overcast City airport for Zurich early Friday morning, transported at the other end by an efficient Swiss train service, which naturally ran like clock work. Within 20 minutes of landing we were on our way to Zurich railway and connecting trains to Chur and on through the UNESCO World Heritage site of beautiful snowy landscape and an awe inspiring winter wonderland before arriving in St.Moritz. We were met at the station by a fleet of Badrutt’s Palace porters with impressive Rolls Royce cars, which whisked us up to the hotel in style.. filmstar moi! Oh alright then…

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For our very first evening we were invited by the Head Chef of the hotel’s  “Le Restaurant” kitchens to dine at the Chef’s table, a first for me and an absolute delight. Each course was matched to a wine and we were treated to an extensive menu of:

– Cooked Egg whites with Imperial caviar and truffles

– Steamed Scallops and foie gras wrapped in Savoy cabbage with brioche bread

– Pumpkin Cream Soup and Caraway purple potato flower and leek

– Two styles of Venison filet seared with a truffle sauce and braised Veal cheeks in red wine sauce with black truffle shavings

For dessert we had a special surprise in the Patisserie Kitchen with Head Patisserie Chef Stefan Gerber and his team whom created a spectacular fireworks and music display to present every dessert imaginable.

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It certainly gave us a good sugar rush to head to the famous “King’s nightclub” dance floor and attempt some cool moves at the ‘ClubHaus’ 80’s evening.  “King’s Club” is situated within the basement of the hotel which proved handy in L.K. Bennett killer heels! This was no ordinary dance floor as the hotel PR informed me its claim to fame is being the richest dance floor in Europe with at least every other guest apparently a billionaire… how could I go wrong?

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Next morning we were up early to enjoy breakfast in “Le Restaurant” including a harpist to play some music to us while we ate. Definitely a new one on me, but relaxing all the same as we looked out across the lake before the morning’s ski activities with our Swiss ski instructor’s, John and Aurelia.

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A little apprehension had sunk in as we climbed the mountian after a few too many bad moves at “King’s” but once on the slopes, we all started to find our ski legs again, before heading up to the highest pinnacle on the mountain range and indulging in some delicious cheese fondue and fantastic Swiss white wine. Yes Swiss wine! surprisingly delicious and perfect for the cheese fondue.. who knew?

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Après-ski in St.Moritz is of course a very stylish affair, so post a few red runs and wobbly mogul attempts after lunch, we took ourselves off  for a Gluhwein and hot vodka or two,  (can you see our common theme here?) hoping to mingle with some of the young, the rich and the beautiful people…

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Post  après ski we donned our most glamourous outfits to visit the underground cellars of Badrutt’s Palace, where they hold guests cases of vintage wine and cases and cases of the finest Champagne in preparation for the winter season. Guests can also reserve a table in the romantic wine cellar on request for dinner during the winter and summer.  After a Kir Royale we headed back upstairs to dine in the classical setting of “Le Restaurant” set with beautiful chandeliers and stunning views across the lake. We indulged ourselves once more with foie gras, lobster and Crepes Suzette on this very classic French haute cuisine menu, I could feel my waistline expanding with every delicious mouthful.

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Badrutt’s Palace hotel is open in the winter season from the beginning of December to the end of March and reopens for the summer season from the end of June. There are 157 rooms and 37 luxury suites, guests can arrive into St.Moritz by car, train or even private jet if they wish to.

A full programme of season highlights in St.Moritz and at Badrutt’s Palace can be found on the website: http://www.badruttspalace.com/en/stay/rooms  it’s a great destination to savour, experience and enjoy a most luxuriously opulent lifestyle, at least for a lovely weekend!

We travelled from London City airport with Swiss airlines 1hr 50 and the Swiss rail service from Zurich airport to St Moritz – 3hr 30 transfer time into resort.

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The Chedi Andermatt: In the heart of the Swiss Alps, Opening Soon

Set in the heart of Switzerland in the Swiss Alps, just 1.5 hours by train from Zurich or two hours from Milan, is Europe’s first Chedi Hotel and Residences development, now nearing completion and set to open to the public by this Winter Season 2013. The resort is already covered in snow and looking spectacular. I’m ready to pack my case and head off to the mountains for a quick annual ski fix.

Designed by world renowned architect Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston and managed by leading hotel management company GHM, this will be a hotel and residences development that breaks all boundaries and caters for those seeking very high standards of service, location and luxury.

Chedi hotel and Residences Andermatt

Chedi hotel and Residences Andermatt

The Chedi Andermatt promises an elegant mountain haven complemented by all conceivable amenities. Forward thinking investors who are keen to be part of the next generation of luxury hotels have the chance to own a part of this very special property, the first Chedi in Europe.

Buyers from around the world can expect a fully serviced hotel residence that can not only be enjoyed for its myriad lifestyle-enhancing elements, but also for its strong delivery of year round rental yields.

Chedi luxury Andermatt

Chedi luxury Andermatt

Located in a beautiful valley in the mountains, it will allow visitors the freedom of choice across the year from summer climbing, mountain river swimming (if you’re brave enough) a brand new 18 hole golf course to a challenging ski area, which Olympic Ski Champion  and Andermatt local Bernhard Russi, skied every winter as a child. It’s the perfect location for families as a destination for all four seasons, with breathtaking panoramic mountain views.
The amazing Swiss cuisine also sees the valley to table experience come to life in Andermatt and is an indulgent foodie experience. With such an emphasis on locally grown produce, it is no wonder that the food served in Andermatt’s countless restaurants tastes so fresh and authentically Swiss. The region produces some of the best cheese, meat and wine in Switzerland, from the alpine valleys to our tables. In addition to the village’s traditional restaurants there are now some interesting international restaurants to savor and taste when in resort.

If you haven’t already booked your ski trip for this Winter 2013 Season, this could be the perfect excuse to explore a new luxurious destination, visit: http://www.makingofandermatt.ch/

Gramercy Terrace NYC debuts a new look menu with a nod to the American Classics

New York’s love affair with the Gramercy Terrace at Gramercy Park Hotel reignites with its re-opening this week. A (previously) well-kept secret for New Yorkers this iconic and original Manhattan rooftop garden dining space, will re-open after eight weeks of renovations. With a nostalgic nod to a classic, sophisticated and bohemian American style menu; Gramercy Terrace solidifies its reputation as the place to be year-round for a sky–view breakfast, power brunch or lunch and a destination must for international gourmands.

Gramercy Terrace

The newly refurbished dining space will now be under the direction of Chef Jeff Seizer, who has created an inspired brand-new American Classic cuisine menu, which will serve an à la carte comfort tastes made fresh to order.

Panckes with Peach Compote and Pecans with Strawberry daiquiri

A hand-crafted cocktail menu is available for breakfast, brunch, and lunch The Hemingway 75 and Strawberry daiquiri, add a fun and quirky twist on the traditional cocktails.

The newly renovated kitchen, which has doubled in size, will be operated by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group team, providing an enhanced culinary experience for all clientele. Gramercy Terrace will also debut world renowned Stumptown coffee bar coupled with hallmarks of Union Square Hospitality, attentive service and warm hospitality.

The Gramercy Terrace Experience

Capitalizing on the unique indoor – outdoor space, the refurbished décor serves to enhance the chic yet comfortable, charming garden feel. Where guests can take in breakfast under the sky and power brunch or lunch at a rooftop oasis.With its classic charm and Manhattan vibe, Gramercy Terrace’s retractable roof allows for alfresco dining all year-round. Its glamorous and artistic ambience provides the comfortable and intimate setting of a private home, amidst a world-renowned art collection, custom furniture and accents.

With an artisanal seasonal menu, Gramercy Terrace’s inspiration comes from classic American food: seasonal produce and regionally-sourced meats and fish.

Highlights of the American classic breakfast menu are: Chef Jeff’s baked eggs with asparagus, tarragon, spring onions or biscuit sandwich with house made sausage, folded egg and American cheese.

Or brunch/ lunch menu: Small: Wellfleet oysters, with hot sauce & pickled celery or lobster roll, with watermelon radish & grilled scallions and Large: mustard rub pulled pork, shrimp po boy.

 Soft Shell Crab Sandwich

Situated across from Gramercy Park in one of the most idyllic locations in the heart of New York City, Gramercy Terrace overlooks Lexington Avenue and Gramercy Park. This is the new must – try breakfast, lunch and brunch go to restaurant – where the elite of New York’s fashionista, artistic and socialite set will flock to see and be seen.