When it comes to reaching anywhere off the beaten track (i.e a destination not entirely manageable with a local taxi straight out the airport), somewhere remotely remote and high up/buried deep on a mountain there is bound to be a fair amount of schlepping involved. By this I mean that for most of the journey you will most likely drag your overstuffed wheelie on uneven terrain while juggling local currency + a pocket-full of relevant/irrelevant ticket stubs + some really dodgy foreign language skills. You will most definitely quiver as you look out for your stop, half certain that you missed it some time ago and because there is suddenly a lake outside the window when your destination is a ski-resort.
Lest we forget, the Swiss efficiency knows no schlep. This is no ordinary night on the Overground from Haggerston to Hackney Central. And for this to work you’d have started with a Swiss flight, whereon the doors close bang-on-the-dot and touchdown like butter on warm toast (perhaps not always but our flight out of Heathrow was what all flights should be). The glass-ceiling Golden Pass train from Montreux glides by quaint villages and perhaps the most sensational scenery in Europe. The phenomenally glassy Lake Geneva is but a teaser to the view that unveils at 900 meters above sea level. And hey, wasn’t the mountain to our right when we departed?
On arrival into Gstaad, a vintage Bentley collects us to go the last 100m down to Le Grand Bellevue, our final stop. The driver tells us the car was formerly owned by Roger Moore. See, the schlep never happens.
Coat – Woolrich. Cashmere sweater – The White Company. Bag – Celine. Jeans – 7 for All Mankind. Hat – H&Ma
Le Grand Bellevue is warm – almost homey if not for the resident five-star service. If the canary-yellow façade wasn’t hint enough, plush velvet and fabric sofas give it away immediately on arrival. We are handed a brass pineapple at check-in. Attached, a key (!) that opens the door to our room under the cone tower of the East Wing. We abandon our bags and head down to recharge with the afternoon tea by a crackling fire, available at the lounge daily. After a plate of scones and a few chapters of airport-bought Grisham later, we drift back to the room – drunk on the aroma of burnt wood and a hint of peppermint or lavender wafting from the lift coming from the spa floor. Rest tonight, tomorrow we’re going skiing.
More in Part two, coming soon!
Park & Cube was a guest of Le Grand Bellevue, all views and opinions are my own. The season ends March 31, and re-opens for summer June 24th so make sure to book before then to catch the ski-season!