If you ever find yourself lucky enough to be going to Zermatt, please take me with you! Zermatt in Switzerland is one of the most picturesque ski resorts in Europe the World, and I was lucky enough to spend a (much too short) week there for my 30th Birthday earlier last month.
We'd never been to the Alps and were so excited to be up high in the clean, crisp, country air. We had researched going to Zermatt for years and years, and finally, this February it was our time to go. It is a wee bit difficult to get to (from door to door it was a taxi, train, plane, two trains and another taxi, all up 8 hours from London) but totally worth the beautiful hassle that it was.
The train trips up the mountains were outrageously beautiful and we had more than enough space for Madeleine to play and cause a raucous. We arrived and got ourselves set up, poured a drink, chilled with snow (of course) and found ourselves settling in very quickly to life in Switzerland.
When going through my photos to choose some for this post it was too hard to only select 10 or so, so I'm going to ask for a free pass for an indulgent second post of our time in Zermatt?? I know I'm not a travel blog, and I promise I won't pretend to be, but when you find something this beautiful, it would be selfish not to share right?! This way I can focus on the review of SonnMatten without overloading you with a thousand photos of the Matterhorn!!
We were staying in a sweet little chalet on the Northern end of Zermatt, in the little village of Winklematten. It isn't in the touristy town centre and is closer to the slopes. Win win. But quite possibly the biggest win was that we were just 2 minutes walk from SonnMatten, the gorgeous Swiss restaurant/bar/hotel that we had a very surprising evening meal at.
We snow-boot-walked up for what we were expecting to be a quick and casual bite to eat, but ended up having the most ridiculously delicious and enjoyable 4 course feast. When we saw the menu we just assumed we would choose one of the options, but instead, SonnMatten does a set 4 course dinner, and that is all.
There were blankets and sheepskins outside if you were brave enough to huddle around the heaters, but we (thankfully) had a baby to consider, so went inside. But not before having a giggle at the pet hospitality on our way!
As you arrive, you are served a complimentary meat and bread plate, and this night was a house-cured smokey bacon and a crusty white loaf. I didn't have the bread but the bacon was yummy, and for a hungry little toddler this was perfect (the period between ordering and waiting for a meal to arrive is a significant portion of a one year old's life, it can be very testing!!).
The menu all sounded great, and whilst 59CHF (60USD) was a little more than we were expecting to each spend for dinner, at the end of the meal we would have gladly paid it again!!
: Cream of mushroom soup or mixed salad, we got one of each
: Pasta in a light zucchini sauce with fresh basil (which, when I looked sad, the waitress said "shall I do yours gluten free mam?", yes, that shall do nicely thank you!)
: Fillet of beef in a rosemary sauce, with sweet potato mash and roasted vegetables
: Panna Cotta with marinated forrest berries
We got settled into our OWN DINING ROOM, which just so happened to be the wine room too. Coincidence?
And had a glass of bubbles!
Oh and do you remember the plate of bread and bacon? Well apparently that little grating on top is not parmesan cheese, but is in fact grated fresh horseradish!! I was taking a photo of Madeleine without paying attention until THIS face appeared...oops!
Horseradish crisis over, with a slightly less-trusting Maddie, our appetisers arrived. We shared both and they both were absolutely divine. I wish the waitress could tell me in English what the salad dressing was, because I would love to be able to replicate this one. And I don't say that about too many salads!!
It was the first time we'd had cream of mushroom soup, and we both really enjoyed it. Although it was quite rich, so we were a little bit pleased to be sharing such a huge portion!
In preparation for our entrees, this fun piece of machinery was placed between us. We had WAY too much parmesan, it was just too much fun freshly grind/grating it ourselves! Had it of been a regular stand grater we would have been far more civilised!
This was my portion of gluten free pasta ( did I mention that we rolled ourselves back home we were so full?!). It was so fresh and simple, but the flavour was phenomenal. I've made plenty of zucchini pasta in my day, but the simple addition of basil (and butter I'd say) took a humble pasta to a new level! And Maddie LOVED it!!!
Aye aye aye, half way.
So then our main arrived. We were expecting a tiny piece of beef, but alas, we were proven wrong again! We hadn't had any meat for days, so were kind of excited and devoured every last morsel. It's not the best photo (only had my phone on me) but it gives you an idea of what absolute little piggies we were!!!
After loosening our belts a little, we thankfully had a little breather before our dessert arrived. I've never made a Panna Cotta before so was excited to be reminded of its glory. Of all the many options that could have been on offer, to have a gluten-free and chocolate-free dessert served filled me with an enormous amount of joy!
These were at least a regular sized portion, and whilst I said I would only have half of mine, I lied, I had the whole thing. And I may or may not have put a finger in to scoop some off the side. You decide!
And so to leave you with the perfect summary of our meal at SonnMatten...