Ski season is well and truly here in Europe’s ski destinations so now is the perfect time to jet off for a few days on the slopes. If, like us, you look for places that offer more than just great skiing then the little town of St Moritz in Switzerland has a lot going for it including a new restaurant from London’s own Jason Atherton – we went for the weekend to check it out.
How to get there
We’re not going to lie, St Moritz isn’t the easiest ski town to get to, but it’s totally worth the effort when you get there. The first part is easy, just hop on one of the many flights to Zurich, but from there it’s three trains and a three hour journey to reach St Moritz. Although the idea of taking three trains in the UK would be an inconceivable mess, Swiss efficiency means the trains run like clockwork and the journey, winding through the Alps is beautiful.
Where to stay
Badrutt’s Palace is one of the oldest hotel’s in St Moritz and is still one of its grandest most luxurious places to stay. It was a favourite of Alfred Hitchcock back in the day and he supposedly had the idea for The Birds while staying here. Built in 1896, it reminded us of Wes Anderson’s fictional Grand Budapest Hotel with its castle-like tower and triangular roof. Inside it’s no less grand, with high ceilings, huge church-like windows, an incredible art collection and antique furniture. The rooms themselves are equally luxurious with many featuring private balconies overlooking the lake and mountains. Our absolute favourite feature had to be the all-included mini bar – a beer in a hot bath a the end of the day is quite a treat.
Facilities and service are excellent too, as you’d expect from a five star property. Best of all is the pool and spa which is enclosed by huge floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the lake and mountains just beyond. There’s also a small heated outdoor pool, hot enough that you can still be out there with snow flakes falling on your face. The spa is completed by steam and sauna rooms and a dedicated wellness and massage centre.
For the skiers, the hotel has its own ski school and hire shop in the basement. You can hire everything you need (apart from goggles and gloves) and the hotel can even supply you with ski passes and drop you at the funicular station so you can hit the slopes in style.
Where to Eat
Ski resorts have never been renowned for their food but St Moritz’s dining scene now offers a lot more than fondue, largely thanks to several new modern dining options within Badrutt’s Palace. We headed straight for dinner at King’s Social Hose, the latest restaurant from one of our favourite chefs, Jason Atherton. Atherton’s trademark style is present and correct here, with sharing dishes and a good mix of local and British flavours – alongside fondue with truffled morels, there’s a traditional pork pie carved from a huge slab at the table, and a knockout whole roasted turbot. After dinner, the restaurant pivots into a nightclub complete with raised DJ booth and mirror ball.
Elsewhere we’d recommend a trip to Patrizia Stuben located just over the road, a traditional Swiss restaurant located in one of the oldest buildings in St Moritz. The cosy old wooden farmhouse building is the setting for romantic dinners and classic cooking including mushroom ravioli and local roast veal.
Find out more at badruttspalace.com/en