Gstaad Palace The Journal - issue 2018-19

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ISSUE 8, 2018/19 — CHF 12, EUR 12

Cover: Bird ballet in the dancing snow in Gstaad — the Hefti family owns the only ostrich farm in the Bernese Oberland. IMPRESSUM «THE JOURNAL» Issue 8, 2018/19 — PUBLISHER Gstaad Palace, — CONCEPT & EDITING Andrea Scherz, Reto Wilhelm (rw) — ASSISTANT Doris Zaugg, Barbara Kernen — GUEST CONTRIBUTIONS Elie Vannier, Taki Theodoracopulos, Anina Rether (rea), Luzia Schoeck (ls), Charlotte Diwan (cd) — DESIGN & LAYOUT Sonja Studer — PHOTOGRAPHY Yannick Andrea; Gstaad Palace archive: pages 61, 82, 86–87,

90, 91; Kostas Maros: pages 1, 4–17; Piaget: pages 52–53; Glacier 3000 press office: pages 58–59; Rolls-Royce press service: pages 79–81; Dominic Büttner/Orell Füssli Verlag: page 92; Roger Pfund archive: page 94; Anzeiger von Saanen: page 96; Royal Mansour archive: pages 99–101; Illustrations Charles Blunier: pages 102–104; ArtGenève press service: pages 106 — ENDNOTE ILLUSTRATION Oliver Preston — TRANSLATION AND PROOFREADING Astrid Freuler — PRINTING Kromer Print, printed on Planojet, white, offset, FSC© — PRINT RUN 7500 copies NOMINAL PRICE CHF 12, EUR 12



This magazine is made possible through the valued support of our partners. Together, we bring the beautiful aspects of our region to the fore. Collectively we establish true values. Facts, people, images, all of them real and authentic ― our stories most definitely hold water. Andrea Scherz

Impressions of the Zurich Opera House from “Hidden”, an art project by Kostas Maros and Catherine Iselin: Stage house above the stage, sculpture studio, workshop and costume collection. Page 4

HIDDEN An art project by Kostas Maros and Catherine Iselin 4 EHL LAUSANNE Like father, like son, like grandson 20 LOBBY BAR Dream couple ― rum and cigar 27 OUTDOORS Concierge Stefano scales the ice 28 SPA Fitboxing with Massimiliano 36 POWERED BY PALACE Greener whites at Laundry Gstaad 39 ANIMALS Bird ballet in the swirling snow 44 STAR I The tennis legend with the bow legs: Roy Emerson 48 CRAFT A band fit for the bell ― made by Gaston Rosat 54 FOOD SPECIAL Bollywood on a plate with chef Ravi 62 STAR II Pink Panther@Palace: Interview with Catherine Schell 82 IN CONVERSATION Rendezvous with former Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann 86 TIP Sledge runs for families across the Saanenland 88 TAKI TALK Memories of a progressophobe 90 AT THE STUDIO Art without borders: Roger Pfund 92 STORIES Father Christmas pays a visit 96 LES NOUVELLES DE GSTAAD In-house, local news, shopping, suggestions 102



ear friends of the Palace,

What was that? We Swiss are cave dwellers? Apparently, we’ve been living under a rock, off the charts. At least that’s what I read in a newspaper a little while ago. Well, to be honest, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. According to the article in question, Switzerland is engaged in a rearguard action, is hunkering down and has lost all its spirit and dynamic. Of course, it’s true that we Swiss are conservative at times, even a little backward in certain respects. But the slower pace in this corner of the earth also has its advantages. And so I praise this Switzerland – a country with a diverse and multicultural DNA, a country which symbolises neutrality and security. A Switzerland that stands for stability and hospitality. Our country certainly doesn’t need to hide in a corner on the global stage. In his interview with the JOURNAL, former Minister for Economic Affairs Johann Schneider-Ammann is correspondingly optimistic regarding Switzerland's opportunities for innovation on its path towards a “digital Switzerland”. While we’re on the subject of hiding: This Journal will reveal a few secrets to you. Discover a different side of Switzerland, dig a little deeper, take a look behind the scenes, in places you have never been before. For our food lovers, we have conjured forth chef de cuisine Ravi’s most closely guarded recipes. After all, you could say that the Saanenland is Bollywood’s second home ― many of its famous films were shot in our mountains because they look so much like the ones in Kashmir. A more beautiful backdrop would be hard to find. Hollywood also recognised this back in the 1970’s, when “The Return of the Pink Panther” came to Gstaad, to us in the Palace. The fact that the film’s world premiere took place in Gstaad ― with Liz Taylor, Richard Burton and co. in the first row ― and the fact that our hotel also featured in Blake Edward’s 1975 film, does fill me with pride. Read our interview with Catherine Schell, former mega star, who still has fond memories of the film shoots that took place in and around the Gstaad Palace’s revolving door. That door to the Palace is also open to you, of course. Pop by, anytime!

A bunker in the house: Andrea Scherz in front of the steelreinforced door to the Palace Fromagerie, once used by the Union Bank of Switzerland to store gold during World War II.

See you in Gstaad, in good old Switzerland, Your Andrea Scherz



Zurich Opera House Costume collection



Fondation Beyeler, Basel Exhibition planning model



Swiss parliament building, Bern Conference room 325



Cavern behind research station Jungfraujoch, Bern



Illusionist and rarity seeker’s personal collection, Zurich



CERN, European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Geneva



Burgdorf regional prison Safety cell


In their art project HIDDEN, Catherine Iselin and Kostas Maros explore the fascination inherent to hidden places. Together, the art historian and photographer travelled across Switzerland, visiting places that are inaccessible to most. Their search for the extraordinary ordinary, the curiously weird and the diversely unique resulted in more than a hundred photographs. Their observations uncover the fascination of these places.

Hidden. Verborgene Orte in der Schweiz, Catherine Iselin (editor), Kostas Maros, May 2018, Merian Verlag Basel, ISBN 978-3-85616-870-4






f it didn’t already have its own crown, it would definitely need to be given one: The “Auberge de la Couronne” in Lessoc is a real find. Situated not far from Gruyère, this gem was discovered by our Vice Director Vittorio di Carlo. As a Sicilian, he is partial to fine food and loves to cook himself some “Pasta con pesce fresco”. But what he likes most is to eat out. As he frequently travels to Lausanne and Geneva for work, the “Couronne” is ideally placed for him. It was largely down to coincidence that the two hosts, Valérie and Patrice Seauve from Nice, ended up in Lessoc. They saw an advert in the internet, made a wintry visit to the Fribourg region ― et voilà! The inn is charmingly decorated, with beautiful, bistro-style walnut tables. In the midst of it all sits the tiled stove that dates back to 1807. Everything at the “Couronne” is home-made – and everything is an absolute marvel. To start, there’s boar ham, smoked in-house, pancetta and terrine of boar, plus “Rillettes de Cabri”, a spread made from goat’s meat... In fact, the “Planchette de charcuterie maison” will leave you feeling rather satiated already. But then comes a superb “Pavé du boeuf” ― delicate beef entrecôte, served on a hot slate, with Frites maison. Patrice, a trained butcher charcutier, insists that we try the “Tartare à l’italienne”, which he minces into minute cubes by hand. Or you could treat yourself to a truly classic dish ― a splendid Fondue moitié-moitié with home-made bread. And by the time you tuck into dessert, there’s no mistaking where the two hosts learnt their trade: The divine “Crème brulée à la lavande” brings the scent of Provence to the table. No visit to Lessoc is complete without a postprandial stroll to the village fountain. Adorned with a distinctive bulbous roof made of copper, the fountain has an interesting history. According to legend, a mare was led to the fountain one night. It was full moon, and as she drank, she swallowed the moon. To avoid this happening again, the village council had a roof constructed over the fountain, thereby ― LA-COURONNE-LESSOC.CH preventing the appearance of the seductive reflection. (rw)




A WORLD of its OWN Alexandre and Andrea Scherz pay a visit to the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne EHL ― the world’s leading school for hospitality management. The two gentlemen are treated to the kind of welcome usually reserved for VIPs at the Gstaad Palace. Today, the roles are reversed for once.



large welcoming party of around 80 men and women in white, with chef’s hats and aprons, has lined up, plus a few officials in black, all of them sporting a tie or neckerchief. At the head of them is Patrick Ogheard, Associate Dean of Practical Arts, and formerly a top chef at Paul Bocuse. Andrea Scherz is visibly touched. Having studied here from August 1989 to January 1993, he has returned to the fold for a day. “It must be at least ten years since I last visited here. We were always like one big family; the EHL forged us into a close-knit community. There was a lot of sweat and hard graft, and that is exactly what binds us together to this day,” Andrea Scherz reflects. Even now, his network is still based on the contacts he made while studying at the EHL. This is doubtlessly one of the secrets of success of this internationally leading hotel management school. The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne was founded in 1893, exactly 125 years ago, and counts among its alumni more than 25,000 top hoteliers and managers, spread across every continent. That is also what now motivates Alexandre Scherz to enter these sacred halls and walk in the footsteps of


his forefathers. He has just recently finished his college education, which earned him an international baccalaureate. Both his father and grandfather, Ernst Andrea Scherz, studied at EHL. Now, at 18, Alexandre is determined to come and study at this elite training centre ― provided all goes well with his application, of course. Following an extensive assessment, only around 200 out of the approximately 2000 applicants are admitted to the EHL each year. So there are still a fair few hurdles to be cleared... Alex is immediately thrown in at the deep end. In the bar of the “Berceau des Sens” ― a restaurant run by EHL students and open to the public ― he meets with Stéphane Bouchet-Dulas. Stéphane asks Alexandre to cut strips of zest from a lemon. Next he is tasked with mixing a classic drink in a shaker, with all the stile and showmanship that this entails. It isn’t something he’s ever done before, but he masters his first dry Martini with bravado ― shaken, not stirred! Stop 2: Kitchen duties. Alex changes attire ― instead of the suit he is now wearing an apron and hat. A large carving knife completes the look. Caesar Salad is on the menu, which requires some neat slicing of chicken fillets. All the students attending, most of them beginners, have to present the finished dish this evening, in


just over an hour’s time. Ehrhard Busch, chef de partie, shows them the ropes. Once more, Alex demonstrates talent. “He’s certainly more skilled than I was at his age,” his father Andrea admits. He remembers only too well some of his own antics in these kitchens ... There was this senior teacher, Monsieur Philippe Méville, who asked him to cook a vegetable soup. Proudly, Andrea Scherz showed him the result. Méville grabbed the pot and told Andrea to follow him. Then he marched straight out to the large bin that held the waste destined for the pig trough, where he disposed of the soup. Back to square one.

focused, but there’s also a lot of laughter when something goes wrong. Alexandre masters this challenge too, the cork slides elegantly out of the bottle’s neck, the white wine tastes good. Andrea and Alexandre Scherz end their tour by enjoying a little drink themselves, in the EHL’s cosy and stylish wine cellar. The room was sponsored by Vins Vaudois. The association is an important partner of the EHL, like so many others across the globe ― hotels, airlines, banks, casinos and anywhere where hosting and hospitality expertise is in demand. “I was determined to do my service internship on Hawaii,” Andrea Scherz recounts. “It was actually just a joke among

Can Alexandre Scherz picture himself as a hotel director, continuing the Scherz-Palace story into the 4th generation? ― Of course, he says, and adds that given the choice, he’d happily send his father to attend school and take charge of the hotel instead ... In the meantime, we’ve arrived at the bakery. Head pâtissier Julien Boutonnet ― who, like many of the teachers here, has won the “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” award ― is teaching the students how to decorate madeleines. Alexandre is invited to join in. With a steady hand, he guides the piping bag like a pro; the teacher is satisfied. Although sweet dishes aren’t normally Alexandre’s metier. “When I cook at home, it’s usually pasta, that’s about all I have mastered so far.” Now for the final round of their little tour: Alexandre visits the service course. The lesson today is on how to correctly open wine bottles and how to serve the wine. A myriad of questions arise. Once the cork has been drawn, does one sniff it or not? And where do you put the cork after the guest has inspected it? In your pocket, on a little plate? The process is repeated over and over, details are fine-tuned. There’s so much that can go wrong ― and the more one thinks about it, the shakier the hand gets. Fortunately, teacher Thomas Boucourt knows exactly how to convey the enjoyable aspects of serving in a restaurant. Everyone is very


colleagues. But I didn’t give up, wrote letters to everyone, including Mr Aebi, who was general manager at the Halekulani on Honolulu at the time.” The dream became reality when Andrea won 1000 francs in prize money for the best project work among all of the students in his year. Later, with his pockets well lined, Andrea Scherz travelled far and wide, and eventually returned to the Palace in Gstaad one day in May 1996. Which leads us to the million-dollar question of whether Alexandre Scherz can picture himself as a hotel director, continuing the Scherz-Palace story into the 4th generation. He’s quick to answer: “Absolutely ― given the choice, I’d happily send my father to attend the school instead of me. And in the meantime I’d take charge of the business. So much more goes on in the hotel than in any class.” There’s a little way to go yet, but Alexandre has already posted his application for an interview at the EHL. PS. Alexandre has since passed the EHL entrance exam ― EHL.EDU with flying colours. (rw)




he dialogue could be straight from a slapstick scene... The barman, Francesco Biagini, is asked: “How many rums do you have?” “Ninety rooms, sir,” he replies. 90? Really? Eventually, it’s established that there are 11 types of rum in the bar of the Palace, where 90 rooms are available for hire. Also available are 25 different kinds of cigar, which brings us to the topic at hand. Not every rum suits every cigar, despite the fact that they make for a perfect twosome. So, let’s start with the rum: There are two types ― industrial rum, made from molasses, and the agriculturally produced “rhum agricole”, which is distilled from freshly pressed sugar cane syrup. The latter only accounts for around three percent of total production worldwide. In Cuba, industrial rum, also referred to as traditional rum, is widely preferred and typically has a pale or golden brown colour. Among the Cuban rums, Francesco recommends the “Matusalem Gran Reserva 15 Años”. Similarly fine distillates come from Guatemala, including the famous “Zacapa Gran Reserva Especial XO”, which is stored in old sherry barrels. An equally worthy representative is the “Bermudez Aniversario 1852” produced in the Dominican Republic ― this, incidentally, is also senior partner Ernst Andrea Scherz’s favourite.

“Rum is experiencing a real comeback. It is gradually replacing cognac and grappa as the no. 1 after-dinner drink,” Francesco tells me. Served in a large brandy glass, it requires time to develop its full aroma. “Fifteen minutes are the absolute minimum. Every rum has its own pace. Room temperature, or better still, body temperature, is definitely desirable.” And speaking of rituals: A fitting cigar is a must, of course. Francesco’s choice falls on three classic smokes: Cohiba Maduro 5, Hoyo de Monterrey and the Davidoff Special “R”. Again, a leisurely approach is required ― touch, pat, brush, smell, listen. The manner in which a cigar should be handled is almost a little erotic, and the same applies to lighting it. All the Palace’s bar professionals will provide this service on request. “But smoking a good cigar is like driving a nice car. If you love beautiful cars, you’d much rather have your hands on the wheel,” Francesco grins. In any case, he’s not missing out, as he has recently founded a smokers’ club with his colleagues Mario and Paolo. (rw) THE THREE DREAM COUPLES: Matusalem Gran Reserva 15 Años + Cohiba Maduro 5 Zacapa Gran Reserva Especial XO + Hoyo de Monterrey Bermudez Aniversario 1852 + Davidoff Special «R»






t’s not the first time concierge Stefano Bertalli has held an ice axe in his hand. The tool was a near constant companion in his supporting role in the 2015 film “Jim & Julie” ― a role Stefano mastered with flying colours. In fact the film even won silver twice at the Corporate Media & TV Awards in Cannes, in the categories “Best Image Film” and “Best Corporate Film”. So, high time for Stefano to learn a little more about handling ice axes ...

He’s ready. With him he has his prop ― the ice axe, freshly sharpened like in the film. The legendary tool that became his trademark in “Jim & Julie” will accompany him today. This time, Stefano is under the guidance of a pro ― Simon Bolton, head of the Alpinzentrum Gstaad. His mission: ice climbing at the Burgfälle waterfalls near Gsteig. In the cold Gstaad winters, even fast-moving water can freeze. The temperatures have to be below zero for at least 14 days, day and night, before the waterfalls can be scaled. “It’s also important that the ice is frozen solid all the way through, not just on the surface. Ice is a special material, with very different properties to rock. That’s why interested visitors should always be accompanied by a mountain guide,” Simon explains. He would never recommend for a layperson to risk an expedition like this on their own. In summer, a hiking route takes people past the natural waterfall that thunders into the valley in successive steps. Now, it is deathly silent. There’s no wind, just the breath of the two men. Plus a few beads of sweat on Stefano’s forehead. The impending ascent is a new experience for him – he’s never climbed on ice before. Our hero tightens the laces on his sturdy mountain boots, then straps on the climbing irons the instructor passes to him. Simon has brought everything required for an adventure like this: helmet, ice screws, climbing harness, safety rope and two ice axes. Stefano smiles: “This is a proper climb, now I’ll have two of these things in my hands... I’m quite glad, to be honest. I still can’t imagine how I’m going to move up this smooth wall of ice.” Born in Italy, Stefano’s leisure encounters with H2O are usually of the liquid variety, specifically in the form of swimming in Lake Como during summer. Luckily Stefano goes boxing in his free time, so he has the necessary strength in his arms and legs.



He’s now roped up, doubly secured, and Simon is giving him some final instructions. “Set each foot down forcefully, unashamedly ram the prongs of your climbing irons into the ice,” he tells Stefano. “And, in turn, anchor each ice axe in the wall, then pull yourself up by it. Remember, the advantage of ice climbing is that you can create your own handholds and footholds by hammering the relevant equipment into the ice,” Simon reminds him. Stefano is dressed in highly insulating Gore-Tex jacket and trousers, with gloves to protect his hands from the cold and a helmet to guard against falling icicles. Mountain guide Simon has thought of everything. But wait a sec, something is still missing. Stefano has brought along his cap and uniform. He’s decided that these distinguishing items have to be included in his mission. And so ― for a laugh ― Stefano puts on the garments he usually wears when he is standing behind the concierge’s desk. The ice is as smooth as a mirror in places. “Relax, be more feisty when you set your foot down, put a bit more clout into it,” Simon calls up to Stefano. Step by step, the intrepid beginner becomes more confident, more forceful. We hear the ice splinter and crack as our hero makes his way up, a clear goal in his sights. For a gag, Simon has anchored a Palace key complete with tassel into the wall of ice. That is what Stefano has to reach by making his way along the previously inserted ice screws. A little over an hour later, Stefano completes the challenge that was set for him. He has reached the key! He’s done it ― and looks suitably done in. “I would never have thought it was possible to sweat so much at ten degrees below zero.” Stefano is proud – the text message with the picture of daddy in the wall of ice has been sent home. “Just wait until you’re trekking through Alaska with me. We’ll be climbing in the purest ice you’ve ever seen ― and its much steeper than here,” Simon drily comments. As an experienced mountain guide, he regularly takes clients on longer tours, including destinations abroad. “Count me in,” says Stefano. Ice axe adventure no. 3 is on its way. (rw) The Alpinzentrum Gstaad offers tailor-made ice climbing tours in Lauenen, Gsteig and on the Col du Pillon. The official daily rate of the Swiss Mountain Guide Association is CHF 645. ― ALPINZENTRUM.CH





hen Linda and Sathya Narayanan told me their business is housed in the cheese dairy opposite the airport, I thought they were having me on. But as I walk into the side room that serves as their base, the delicate scent of lemon soon confirms that it is ice cream rather alp cheese that’s being produced here. And what delicious ice cream it is! I find Sathya, dressed all in white with a fetching cap, busy wielding a super-sized hand blender. He looks up, a big smile on his face. He’s mixing up 30 litres of lemon ice cream, currently still in liquid form. The next step happens very quickly. Linda and her husband pour the mixture into the pasteurising machine. An equally super-sized rubber scraper is used to assist the transfer, then the mechanical agitator swiftly springs into action. The machine is made in Italy of course, the home of ice cream. The recipes for Ruci Swiss Ice Cream are, however, largely influenced by Indian traditions. Sathya ― originally from Chennai and living in Switzerland since 2000 ― draws his inspiration from Kulfi, the Indian dairy-based frozen dessert. Made with condensed milk, it is still his favourite, as it reminds him of home. The brand name, Ruci, is also Indian and can be translated as “delightful taste”. Which, all in all, is no exaggeration for once. While Sathya operates the machine, Linda prepares the white plastic containers into which the ice cream mixture will be filled. Next, the one-litre containers are put straight into the blast freezer, which operates at minus 40 degrees. Today’s output is for their wholesale customers ― mainly hotels and catering establishments. The demand for their ice cream, which is made from alpine milk freshly delivered every morning, is continuously increasing. “Funnily enough, we sell more in winter than in summer. But that’s because for the hotels, winter is the busier season,” Linda explains. One of the things customers like about Ruci ice cream is that it contains less sugar


than other brands. All their ice cream flavours are gluten free, and the sorbets are also vegan, as they don’t contain any egg. The couple are well-known locally. Sathya and Linda’s mobile ice cream stalls are a familiar sight in Gstaad’s pedestrian zone, at the beach volleyball tournament, and most recently at the Olympic pool in the Palace gardens. Earlier this year, they also opened the Ruci Restaurant Bar in Gstaad, serving food-to-go (Indian of course, plus delicious wraps) and ice cream. The best-sellers among the 28 seasonally produced flavours are probably stracciatella and vanilla; but almond, pistachio and especially mango are also very popular. It’s not surprising ― the Alphonso mango purée they use comes straight from India. Now the two ice cream makers are standing in front of a mountain of used utensils. “The cleaning up almost takes longer than the actual production. And it’s about the same amount of work, whether we’ve made a large or a small quantity of ice cream,” Linda comments. Occasionally an assistant comes to help the young entrepreneurs, who are part funded by family and friends. Alexandre Scherz ― son of Andrea Scherz ― also joined them for several weeks, as part of his work experience in summer 2017. Don’t they ever argue, I ask them. “The more time we spend together, the better and more peaceful it is,” Linda replies with a smile. According to Sathya, the most stressful bit is organising the childcare for their two children (3 years and 8 months old). Luckily, Linda’s parents help them out on that front, he adds. And in the evenings there’s bookwork and customer care, which is primarily Sathya’s responsibility, while Linda is more involved in the production side. Before starting up their ice cream business, Sathya, a trained hotelier, worked as an asset manager in the Geneva region. He wanted to do something new, something different. The couple are inspired by their travels and regularly spend time in India. And then there’s their son Ryan, of course. For his doting parents, he is the measure of all things, especially when it comes to developing new flavours: “If Ryan likes it, it will sell.” A real connoisseur then … ― RUCI.CH perhaps because Linda ate so much ice cream when she was pregnant. (rw)


Best-sellers among the 28 seasonally produced flavours are stracciatella and vanilla, while almond, pistachio and mango are also very popular.



This isn’t what I had imagined Fit Box to be like. Cool beats instead of puffing and panting. A bright welcoming room, instead of a boxing dungeon complete with boxing ring. And most importantly: the bulky, grim-looking guy I had pictured turned out to be a wiry, lithe instructor who likes cracking jokes.


DEFINITELY not SHADOW BOXING His name is Massimiliano Cacciato, he is 41 years old and in top shape. A trained Muay Thai boxer, he mainly lives in Bangkok, where he owns three schools. Massimiliano returns to Gstaad twice a year for the summer and winter seasons. A lesson with him lasts 50 minutes, plenty of time to build up a good sweat. “Fit Box is another term for intensive cardio fitness training,” Massimiliano explains. I am joined by Anna, who is currently completing an internship at the Palace and used to do ballet. Also with us is Célian, who works in food & beverage, plays ice hockey and tennis, and swims regularly. All three of us are complete novices. We begin with some classic aerobic exercises to warm up. After ten minutes, we change over to boxing. The focus is on achieving the correct punching and kicking technique. All the movement sequences are taken from kickboxing and Thai boxing. And unlike other boxing instructors, Massimiliano makes free use of his body as a target. This strikes me as quite brave, given that he is dealing with beginners. He tells us to hit the pads on his chest, arms and lumbar region with our hands and feet. We go for it and he deflects every punch and kick. Massimiliano patiently explains how we can improve. “The important thing is that you carry out the exercises as precisely as possible.” The aim, he tells us, is to boost our body’s flexibility and to strengthen our outer and most importantly inner musculature. Striking with feet and knees, with fists and elbows, rotating on our own axis, that is our arsenal of moves. Maintaining body control and stability at the same time is harder than I’d thought. Fit Box has a lot to do with coordination and balance, it turns out. We work at an intense pace, continuously taking turns. There are no breaks other than to drink water. At some point, we get into a kind of flow state. Gradually we relax, follow the instructor’s rhythm and become more bold and systematic in our strikes. “Fit Box isn’t a combat sport, it’s a peaceful affair. If there’s any battle at all, it’s against yourself and your inner blocks,” Massimiliano adds. Above all, Fit Box is an excellent workout. We’ve done it. It was great fun and it’s clear that Fit Box is for everyone ― men, women and youngsters. “Our lessons are also open to guests staying in the chalets and to locals of course. Scheduled lessons take place twice a week and personal coaching is available every day,” Massimiliano informs me. Expect a full-on session and you won’t be disappointed. (rw) Fit Box at the Gstaad Palace ― Group lessons every Monday and Thursday at 7pm ―















GREENER WHITES IN GSTAAD There’s a seemingly boundless mountain of sheets piled up outside. Inside, the bed linen, tablecloths, serviettes and more are restored to their former whiteness. The machines at the Gstaad Laundry run non-stop every day from 8 am to 5 pm during the main season. Around 1.4 million kilos of washing are processed here every year, all in the service of the Saanenland’s hotel industry.



t was a groundbreaking concept formed by the leading hoteliers of Gstaad. Back in the 1960’s, the hotel owners recognised that it made more sense to process their washing communally in a central location, rather than each of them running their own in-house facility. A cooperative was consequently formed, which the respective establishments could join with a one off payment of 300 francs per bed. Today the cooperative counts 26 members.

The Laundry Gstaad, as the ‘Hotel-Zentralwäscherei’ is now officially called, is much more than just a laundry. “It’s a showpiece, unique across Switzerland,” operations manager Eric Oswald tells me. “The plant is entirely powered by propane, using a high-speed steam generator and heat recovery. The same goes for the water: not a single drop or degree of warmth is now wasted,” explains Oswald, who developed the process together with Hansjörg Sumi. And the entire plant can be controlled via mobile phone, another aspect that is unique in Switzerland. As everyone knows, washing involves heat ― quite substantial amounts of heat, considering that the linen is vigorously kneaded and


worked in 13 chambers holding 36 kilos each. One cycle takes 13 times 3 minutes. This includes the prewash and main wash, followed by conditioning. Everything is automated, with the linen mechanically passing from chamber to chamber. On a high-season day, up to 85,000 articles are processed. Around 30 percent of the items are made of towelling. The rest is a mixture of other materials, with a good third of it being table linen. Bed linen makes up the largest share, but is quicker to process. Only one customer’s washing is in the drums at any one time ― so Palace and Alpina remain separate entities even here. The washing process at the Gstaad Laundry is completely chlorine-free. Only oxygen bleaching is used. Sodium hydroxide is taboo. “Overall, this does add a little to the cost, but we owe it to the environment and to our guests too,” Eric Oswald comments. The electricity is also environmentally sustainable, sourced from hydro power and CO2 certified. Among all the machinery, it is the super-sized presses that generate the greatest amount of heat. This is drawn off via gigantic flues and then re-used to heat the rooms and provide warm water. The duvet covers race through the string of


“Actual manual work is now only required for the table runners and serviettes. The staff carefully watch out for any remaining spots or stains ― lipstick, red wine, sauces and such.” presses, humans are primarily there to supervise and check ― for example whether the edges are neatly aligned. If there are any severe or misplaced creases, it’s a case of back to the beginning. “Of course it can happen that an item ends up in shreds. Linen does have its lifespan. For bed linen, we calculate around 250 to 300 washing cycles,” Eric Oswald explains. In practical terms, this means that the linen nears the end of its usability after three years. A couple of decades ago, most of the hotels leased their linen from the laundry cooperative, now the trend has been reversed ― only around a third of the linen is currently leased, the rest is owned by the hotels. Actual manual work is now only required for the table runners and serviettes. The staff carefully watch out for any remaining spots or stains ― lipstick, red wine, sauces and such. And of course they’re also on the look-

out for holes. For the serviettes, the establishments have a choice: open or folded. Around half of the hotels have them delivered ready folded. The orders generally arrive by email the evening before. Alongside the standard service ― receipt in the morning, delivery the following day ― there’s also an express and super-express service, with receipt up until 11am followed by delivery by 5pm the same day. Most of the laundry staff ― who hail from Portugal, Switzerland and former eastern bloc countries ― have worked there for many years and intend to stay. “On average, we have just one person out of 50 employees leave per year,” Eric Oswald is pleased to confirm. They’ve certainly got their hands full, the next mountain has just arrived, this time from Saanenmöser. And they’re off already, taking care of other people’s dirty ― LAUNDRYGSTAAD.CH washing… (rw)



Especially in autumn, when the first snow falls, the ostriches run about like crazy. These curious animals from South-Africa also love being outside in the rain.



s here’s an icy chill in the air. The wind cuts straight to the bones and it feels like minus ten. Winter has wrapped Gstaad in a white blanket. The snowflakes are dancing in the air, light as feathers, as they fall from the sky. There’s so much fresh snow on the hills that the nearby chairlift up the Wasserngrat had to be closed. Across the field, Christian Hefti’s new barn stands resolute amid the white flurries. And strange things are afoot there. Is this some kind of outlandish mirage? We are 10,000 kilometres or more from South Africa... yet the outlines of what appear to be giant birds are emerging from the driving snow. Ostriches? Really? Here in the mountains, at 1200 metres above sea? But it’s true. And even though they originate from the savannah, they are sure-footed and unperturbed as they stride across the snow-covered ground to inspect their human visitors. Ostriches have poor eyesight, but a strong sense of smell and excellent hearing. They whirl about in the wind in front of us, apparently delighting in the cold air. Every so often, they shake their dense brown and black plumage, which is designed to keep them warm during the freezing nights they commonly experience in their arid homeland. Time and again, they stretch their long necks into the snowy sky. “Especially in autumn, when the first snow falls, they run about like


crazy,” their owner Christian Hefti informs us. “And they also like being outside in the rain.” After a few minutes they disappear back into their shed. But not before their keeper and protector Christian Hefti has given each individual one of them a great big bear hug. They are clearly quite attached to him and he has grown fond of them, although these animals are anything but pets ― they’re known to scare off lions with a powerful kick of their clawed feet. Christian Hefti began breeding ostriches ten years ago, when he brought two breeding groups ― each made

husbandry. The ostriches here mainly eat aftergrass, a special mixture of grains and vitamins, as well as pellets with added proteins. In summer they also love eating the fresh mountain grass and forage beet.

“Ostrich meat is delicate, low in fat and very healthy,” Christa Hefti tells us. “It’s also high in protein and very low in cholesterol.” And then there are the ostrich eggs: they’re enormous. And very nutritious. A single egg weighs between 1.4 and 1.8 kilos. “You can easily bake 50 meringues with the white of just one egg,” says Christa, who has developed quite a flair for making good use of the ostrich pro“It takes about 14 to 16 months until they’re ready for slaughter, ducts. For example, two different and each animal provides about 27 to 30 kilos of meat.” types of egg pasta, one with spelt Christian Hefti and one with wheat flour. And no visitor should leave without acquiup of four females and one male ― to the Saanenland. ring some ostrich egg liqueur, which is available in vaHe and his wife Christa had been thinking about it for riations containing Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Vodka some time, after reading a newspaper article about a or Kirsch. Like quail’s eggs, ostrich eggs are ideal for breeder in canton Zurich. Hefti, a farmer and excava- food allergy sufferers, who can consume them without tor driver, was sceptical at first. “But standard bread- concern. Much of the meat is sold fresh, though the and-butter jobs alone don’t pay enough to live off. Hefti family also produce dried meat. All deliveries Even the direct marketing of our meat and cheese are made following a telephone or online order, and didn’t quite deliver the extra earnings we’d hoped for. they also sell their delicatessen products at weekly So we had to come up with something else.” markets. Even the hides are used. They are tanned in Steffisburg and then supplied to a retired craftswoLengthy and painstaking research was required before man in canton Aargau, who turns them into beautiful the ostriches could “land” in Gstaad. Hefti had to ob- bags. And somewhere on Switzerland’s roads there is tain a wildlife permit, attend keeper training, allocate a Harley-Davidson with an ostrich hide seat. a special pasture with plenty of space for the birds and erect an extra-high 1.8 metre fence. And then there’s If you’d like to get to know the birds a little better, the barn, beautifully converted and step-free, where you’ve come to just the right place. The Hefti family the young birds can grow and develop ― apparently have recently converted the attic of the large barn into they are very sensitive animals, especially in the first three guest rooms. Farm holidays are all the rage now, three months of their lives. More than 100 chicks have especially if it’s an ostrich farm. And there’s no risk of been born here, although the ostriches don’t lay any the birds not being around, as these giants famously eggs during winter. The Hefti family owns the only can’t fly. Just like their owner, incidentally ― appaostrich farm in the Bernese Oberland and, together with rently Christian Hefti avoids air travel like the plague. 15 other breeders, is actively involved in the Swiss Consequently he’s never been to Africa, where his benational association that promotes species-appropriate loved birds hail from. (rw) ― MOUNTAINSTRAUSS.CH





here’s no mistaking the match winner with the bow legs and unique sense of humour: Roy Emerson, the original tennis ace and inventor of the “Gstaad Palace Tennis Weeks”. Together with Ernst Andrea Scherz, Roy came up with the brilliant idea for the tennis camp format, and in 1973 the first tennis weeks took place on the clay courts of the Oberbort. The camps are legendary, especially the evening entertainment, when Roy belts out “Waltzing Matilda”, Australia’s unofficial national hymn. “It’s not rare for our troupe to be holding up closing time at the GreenGo disco,” he comments. “True to the motto ‘Last on the dance floor, first on the courts.’” Roy Emerson’s love for Gstaad continues unabated. He always spends at least seven weeks at the Palace, this year it’s eleven. The mountain air is good for him, he says ― and it was certainly always good for his tennis too. Five times he won the Gstaad Open, which is now held in the Gstaad tennis arena named after him. “What could be nicer than to serve with a glorious view of the mountains. And then there’s the Montreux Oberland Bernois railway sounding its whistle out of the blue ― you have to be prepared for that during any smash or volley,” Roy gleefully reflects. The Gstaad Open was always a fix point for aces from all over the world, because it was the first after Wimbledon ― and of course also a great place to linger a while. Emerson, now 82, was born in Kingaroy on the east coast of Australia and first took up tennis as a child. He played on home-made courts, constructed from the remains of ants’ nests. A hundred cows grazed on father Emerson’s farm ― but his only son Roy decided against a farming existence in the outback, in favour of tennis. If Roy hadn’t become a tennis player, it would have been




athletics, he says, in particular long jump, high jump and hurdling. He never bothered with any of the typical Australian sports such as rugby, cricket or football. Throughout his international amateur career, Emerson largely worked alone ― except for the support of his wife Joy. They met on the courts of course and have been together for 60 years, during some of which she was his manager. She’s watched all of his matches, but never gave him any advice. “Tennis is a game where concentration is paramount – and for that you need to be fully and entirely self-reliant,” he explains. “That was all you had during our time. There were no trainers, physiotherapists, or psychologists...”. Emerson conquered the world and now lives in Newport Beach in California. I ask him if he speaks any German. “As if!” he replies. “I’m just glad if I can string together a correct English sentence.” Have I mentioned he likes to crack a joke or two? And what does he, the modest all-time star, make of today’s tennis champions? “I like both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. They are excellent ambassadors for our sport.” But he does have reservations regarding the way the game is played today: “Not much finesse, lots of power!” Tennis Camps with Roy Emerson at the Gstaad Palace:

1936 1959 1973 12 40 75% 60 28 2x N°1 0 10 000 6

Roy Stanley Emerson is born in Queensland on 3rd November Emerson plays at the Gstaad Open and discovers the Palace sees the first round of what would become 45 years of Roy Emerson Tennis Weeks at the Gstaad Palace

whole years ― the amount of time Roy Emerson has lived in Palace Suite 111 since he first visited in 1959 years of continuous tennis camp attendance ― achieved by a faithful Dutch tennis fanatic and Palace regular of guests are “repeat offenders”

years of love: Roy & Joy celebrate their diamond wedding in Gstaad times winning the sought-after Slam title ― 16 of them in the Double

Wimbledon Singles winner, 3 x Wimbledon Doubles winner in the world ― for two whole years

wins in the Mixed USD Emerson’s first prize money in 1968

wooden Slazenger rackets ― Roy’s racket consumption per year





he Gstaad Palace fosters the art of things spectacular, and yet also maintains elegance and simplicity. It is a place in perfect harmony with the Piaget culture, which looks to the sunny side of life. This rare balance makes the Palace a perfect destination for the international elite, who delight in the pleasures of this very special place. Based on their shared values, the Gstaad Palace and the watchmaker and jeweller Maison Piaget have cultivated a strong connection for decades. The Piaget Society ― a group of exceptional people brought together by their love of beautiful things ― has gathered at the Palace for many unforgettable events over the years. Artists, actors and musicians, the guests of Yves G. Piaget form an extensive family that congregates at the Gstaad Palace to celebrate in style. Gstaad reflects the very roots of Piaget, a resolute dynasty, characterised by the sense of community typical

52 52

of mountain regions, where nature is ever-present. It is this nature that provides Piaget with the inspiration for its radiant, light suffused creations ― the bracelets engraved with leaf or bark motifs, the precious ornamental stones from the depths of the earth. A brief anecdote for illustration: One winter’s day, Yves G. Piaget received a phone call. Elizabeth Taylor was waiting for him at her chalet in Gstaad. He presented his collection of exceptional pieces to the actress, who selected a cuff watch with large gold rings ― the design featured a branch motif and a dial in moss-coloured tones. This essence of the Maison’s style is portrayed with equal success in Piaget watches, particularly in the ultra-thin range. The residents of Gstaad have a habit of saying “Come up and slow down”. Piaget knows that here, nestled in this unique alpine world, time exudes sheer excellence, joy and beauty in its purest form. (PD)

BLUE EMOTION Cuff bracelet in white gold, set with a beautiful and rare tanzanite in an emerald cut (approx. 24.36 carat) and diamonds. Feather inlay work, unique piece, limited edition.




A band fit for the


Everyone knows about the bells. Countless formations of bell-ringers, locally called “Trychler”, carry the sound of the beautiful cowbells across the country and beyond. But many overlook the impressive leather bands by which the large grazing bells are carried. We pay a visit to Gaston Rosat’s workshop in Château-d’Oex, where this traditional art still thrives.


Gaston Rosat is a 69 year old farmer with 12 head of cattle. He is also one of a dwindling number of people who can call themselves a master in the art of making the beautiful leather bands that accompany a traditional Swiss cowbell. In his workshop on the ground floor of his farmhouse, he shows us how these bands are made using leather, thread, felt and glue. Gaston Rosat produces around 20 to 25 new bands each year, on top of which he also repairs and restores old pieces. He learnt the craft from his father, who pursued the art before him. “When I started making the bands, I never kept any of them back. I sold everything. As I got older, it occurred to me that I should keep hold of some sample pieces ― also for my sons.” So Gaston Rosat decided to make room for a little museum in the rear of his workshop, where he displays some superb specimens, including a band that dates back to 1739 ...


STEP 1: THE RIGHT CUT It’s not so easy to find good leather these days. Most local tanneries have shut down. Gaston Rosat only uses top quality Swiss leather, purchased in 1.5 by 1.5 metre pieces, ideally 40 to 50 millimetres strong. First he cuts the band to the right length, between 1 and 1.1 metres. The dyed leather is always doubled up, so a band is used for each side. Traditionally, customers from canton Berne always wanted a black background, while the farmers from the Gruyère region generally preferred white. This is because their cows were mainly black and the prestigious bands were thus more prominently displayed. Today, 98 percent of the bands produced by Rosat are black.

STEP 2: THE DELICATE HOLES This requires a good eye and a steady hand. Using a punch, Rosat drives tiny holes into the tough leather. Only rarely does he misplace the tool and has to correct the location of the hole. Rosat initially draws the design out by hand on paper. The art of making leather bands only came into being around 1700. Before then, the cows wore wood around their necks.

STEP 3: A FITTING DESIGN The designs Rosat creates on the bands vary. He never makes two identical pieces, as a matter of honour. The patterns are traditional and often symbolic, such as the sun as a symbol of life. Tulips, roses, arabesques and stars frequently feature, and in the middle is the “Carré de Coeur”, the centrepiece. Gentian and Edelweiss are the most time-consuming among the flowers. Traditionally, hand-spun wool thread was used for the stitching, but nowadays it is hard to get hold of, so nylon thread is used instead.

STEP 4: THE BEAUTIFUL TRIM Every band needs a carefully crafted border trim. Rosat adorns the edging with a decorative leather band, usually tan coloured or red, into which he has punched a series of holes. Then he secures the trim to the band with needle and thread. Most of the orders come from Trychler groups, though cattle shows, weddings and special anniversaries also generate some requests.

STEP 5: THE CROWNING FEATURE The pompom is the crown of every band. It is made of felt, as this is much easier to cut. Rosat picks up his engraving scissors to cut eight strips, each 25 to 35 centimetres long. Using a sophisticated rolling technique and glue, he fashions these into an artful flower. Pompoms are mainly seen in the Pays d’Enhaut and Gruyère regions ― either as an individual feature or in a group of three at the top of the band. A simple band costs around 500 Swiss francs, while a very elaborate version, to which Rosat may dedicate a month or more, can cost anything up to 6000 francs. (rw) Gaston Rosat, Route des Granges d'Oex 11, 1660 Château-d'Oex, Tel. +41 26 924 65 43






he glacier glitters, calling us to come for an adventure. Glacier 3000 is more than a winter sports area, it’s a place of superlatives. The highest toboggan run in the world? Tick! The world’s first and only swing bridge between two mountain peaks? Tick! Restaurant designed by a star architect? Tick! It all started in 1959, with plans for a glacier cable car. Today Glacier 3000 offers visitors enjoyment and adventure at the highest level ― quite literally. The first few steps on the swing bridge are still a little hesitant. After all, it’s not every day that you find yourself poised above an abyss at nearly 3000 metres above sea. The 107 metre ”Peak Walk by Tissot” is the only bridge in the world that connects two mountain peaks. Halfway between the pre and main summit of the Scex Rouge it’s time to stop and enjoy the experience. On a clear day, no less than 24 four-thousand-metre peaks ― including Matterhorn and Mont Blanc ― can be seen from the top of this glacier, which runs between Gstaad and Les Diablerets. With such a stunning panoramic view of the Alps to marvel at, the initial jitters are soon forgotten. High time then, to head onto the glacier, where the eternal ice awaits us. Just a chairlift ride away on the ”Ice Express” there are numerous activities on offer that promise fun and exhilaration. The ”Glacier Walk” leads visitors through a shimmering blue, fantastical landscape of snow and ice. At the far end is the Quille du Diable, which provides a spectacular view onto the Val Derborence and the Bernese Alps. For guests of the Gstaad Palace, ‘Lunch by Helicopter’ offers an excursion to the outermost edge of the glacier and the experience of an unforgettable high-altitude flight. If you like your adrenalin in one big rush, Glacier 3000 has plenty to whet your appetite too. The Alpine Coaster ― the highest toboggan run in the world (open May to September) ― and the Snowpark offer a multitude of steep bends, vertical slopes and jumps for some fast-paced action. Over in the Fun Park further snow based activities await, or visitors can experience the magical landscape during a dogsled ride with Huskies. Skiers, cross-country skiers and snowboarders benefit from excellent snow conditions across 28 kilometres of pistes and 10 lifts, open from November through to May. And in summer, 75 kilometres of marked hiking trails promise high peaks and steep descents. But even the most eventful day on the glacier has to draw to a close sometime. The restaurant designed by illustrious architect Mario Botta is the ideal place to catch those last few rays of sunshine, while the Saanenland below gradually disappears in the shadows. Just 40 minutes later and you’re back in Gstaad, back to reality. So near ― yet it feels like an ice age away. (ls)


The Audi e-tron. A power nap is all it needs. Awaken your thirst for adventure: super-fast charging up to 150kW in just 30 minutes. Far-off destinations included. Electric has gone Audi. The Audi e-tron is coming. 100% electric.


Audi e-tron 55, 300kW, 21.0kWh/100km (fuel equivalent: 2.3 l/100km), 0g CO₂/km (average of all newly registered passenger cars: 133g CO₂/km), CO₂ emissions from fuel and/or electricity supply: 29g/km, energy efficiency category: A. All data on power consumption, range and energy efficiency are preliminary values. The values shown here were obtained in accordance with the measuring method 715/2007/EEC in the currently applicable version. These are NEDC consumption figures in accordance with the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. Fuel consumption values and range may deviate from the stated values in practice. The actual values depend on the driving style, road and traffic conditions, environmental influences and vehicle condition. These values should therefore be used for comparison purposes only. CO₂ is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming; the average CO₂ emissions value for all vehicle types (all brands) on sale in 2018 is 133g/km. The actual values vary depending on the optional equipment installed.



t has a certain air of greatness ― Olympic sized greatness in fact. When the Palace outdoor pool was built in 1928, exactly 90 years ago, it was the only pool in the up-and-coming tourist resort Gstaad. Designed by the renowned architect Beda Hefti ― who was also responsible for architecturally significant pools in Fribourg, Interlaken, Basle and Vulpera ― it brings a touch of Côte d’Azur to the Bernese Oberland. No expenses were spared for the grand pool, which was even equipped with its own heating, and it soon became a magnet for guests from around the globe. From day 1 it was also open to the public and thus quickly became popular among the locals too. The regional newspaper welcomed the pool with euphoric praise, stating that “even the most blasé visitor cannot resist the sight of this artfully designed, magical piece of work.” Many a millionaire has done his lengths here, side by side with a farmer from Gsteig or Gstaad who needed a quick cool down. A year later, in 1929, Saanen district council followed suit and commissioned the construction of a public pool. According to the local tourist office’s annual report, the same year also saw all village streets being upgraded with a bitumen surface. It’s not just sport-related high jinks that have taken place at the Palace pool. This vanity hotspot has also been the site of many a lively party. It has even been used as a film set. So it’s hardly surprising that many guests favour this outdoor pool with diving tower over the 80 or so private pools located around the Oberbort ― many of which are hidden away underground below the chalets. After all, the Palace pool is always also a catwalk of sorts... (rw)



* Chef Franz W. Faeh and Chef Ravi Bajaj say Hello India!


नमस्ते INDIA


India comes to Gstaad, Bollywood to the Gstaad Palace. The dishes that chef Ravi has been conjuring up in the restricted space of the Palace kitchen for the past three years could star in a film. Ravi’s recipes have style. His classics come with a certain twist, a trace lighter, a trace more playful. Together with head chef Franz W. Faeh he offers Palace guests a delightfully exciting menu ― a treat for eyes and taste buds alike.




Recipe page 73



Recipe page 72



Recipe on facing page



Another fresh and light temptation for vegetarians: Paneer cooked in a Tandoori oven, served in a deliciously buttery Makhani sauce (Recipe on page 71). Ingredients: 250 g paneer, cut into 2-inch pieces 2 green peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces ¼ cup of Greek yoghurt salt to taste 1 tsp red chilli powder ¼ tsp turmeric powder ½ tsp cumin powder ¼ tsp coriander powder ¼ tsp Kasoori methi (powdered dried fenugreek leaf) ½ tsp garam masala powder ½ tsp dried mango powder (amchur) ½ tsp lemon juice 1 tsp ginger & garlic paste 1 tsp mustard oil (or olive oil) oil ― for basting ½ tsp chaat masala (available ready made from MDH) 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preparation: Make up a marinade with the Greek yoghurt, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, dried mango powder, lemon juice, and ginger & garlic paste. Add the cumin, coriander and fenugreek leaf. Mix well with the paneer, add the mustard oil and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat the oven to 250°C. Skewer the paneer and capsicum pieces alternately on satay sticks and brush with oil. Arrange the sticks on a baking tray, cover with foil and cook for five minutes, basting with more oil half-way through. Rotate the sticks and cook for another five minutes, basting with oil again half-way through. Sprinkle the chaat masala onto the paneer sticks and serve them hot with lemon wedges. Adding the mustard oil brings out the flavour of the paneer, but if you don’t have any you can use olive oil instead.




Recipe page 75



Recipe page 74



Recipe on facing page



Our twist on a vegetarian classic: Aloo ghobi in a buttery Makhani sauce. Ingredients: 3 potatoes (medium) and ½ cauliflower 1 ½ tbsp oil 1 tsp cumin seeds 2 pieces of ginger (2 inches each, cut into thin strips) 3 green chillies (slit) salt to taste ½ tsp turmeric powder 2 tsp coriander powder ½ tsp red chilli powder ½ tsp garam masala powder 2 tsp fresh coriander leaves (chopped) 1 onion (chopped) and 2 ripe tomatoes (chopped) ½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves Ingredients Makhani sauce: ¼ tsp dried fenugreek leaves (crushed) 2 tsp olive oil ½ tsp green cardamom powder ¼ tsp mace powder 1 ½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 tsp garlic (roughly chopped) 1 tsp ginger (in juliennes) 1 tsp green chillies (in juliennes) 2.5 kg plum tomatoes (tinned, with juice) salt, 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp white sugar, 100 g butter and 3 tsp fresh cream to taste Preparation: Peel the potatoes and quarter them. Wash the cauliflower and separate into florets. Trim the stem and cut it into small pieces. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the cumin seeds and onions and fry until golden. Add the ginger, green chillies and sauté. Next add the potato, cauliflower and salt. Add the turmeric powder and stir well. Cover and cook on a low heat. The vegetables should cook in their own steam. Stir from time to time. After 10 minutes, remove the cover and add the coriander, red chilli and garam masala. Finally add the chopped tomatoes, stir, cover again and leave to simmer. Meanwhile gently roast 2 tbsp cumin seeds until the flavour is released. Spread the seeds onto a plate to cool, then grind in a coffee grinder or spice mill and store in an airtight container. When the vegetables are tender, remove from the heat and garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander and some of the roasted cumin powder. Preparation Makhani sauce: Dry roast the dried fenugreek leaves until fragrant. When cooled, crush them to a powder. Heat the oil on a low flame. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the chilli powder, ginger, green chillies and fry for another minute. Next add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes fall apart. Strain the mixture and blend the residue until smooth. Add the butter, salt, honey and sugar, cook on a low flame for about 12 to 15 minutes. Finally pour in the cream and cook for a further 6 to 7 minutes. Set aside to use as required.




Wonderfully tender, with a heavenly taste: These lamb chops with ginger and herbs are an unforgettable delight. Served with cucumber & mint raita to cool it down a little. Ingredients: 15 – 20 cashew nuts 12 lamb chops (trimmed of all fat and beaten lightly) 1 tsp olive oil 1½ tsp ground white pepper salt to taste 300 g Greek yoghurt 2 green chillies 1 tsp ginger & garlic paste 2 tsp mace, nutmeg & cardamom powder ½ tsp dried ginger powder ½ tsp Delhi red chilli powder ¼ tsp garam masala powder half a lemon (juice)

Preparation: Soak the cashew nuts in lukewarm water. When soft, drain them and place them in a blender along with the green chilli. Blend to make a smooth paste. Make sure not to add too much water when blending, as you don’t want the consistency to be too runny. Place the lamb chops in a bowl, add all the spices, cashew & chilli paste, ginger & garlic paste and the salt, then mix well. Now add the oil and Greek yoghurt, mix well, then refrigerate for about 8 hours. To cook, remove the chops from the fridge and allow them to warm to room temperature (about 15 minutes). Line a baking tray with silver foil and arrange the chops on it. Cover the tray with pierced silver foil to achieve an even flow of hot air. Preheat the oven to 220 °C and roast the lamb chops for about 8 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180 °C and roast for another 10 minutes. When cooked, remove the meat from the oven and serve immediately with a coriander & mint dip. Garnish with sliced red onion and lemon wedges.



Potli samosas are everybody's favourite ― the wonderful dumplings are popular around the world. Literally translated, they’re called “money bag samosas”. Music to anybody’s ears! Ingredients filling: 3 big potatoes (boiled, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes) 1 tbsp olive oil ½ cup green peas (boiled) ½ tsp cumin seeds 1 ½ tsp ginger (finely chopped) 1 green chilli (finely chopped) ½ tsp Delhi red chilli powder ¼ tsp dried mango powder ½ tsp garam masala powder ¼ tsp coriander seeds (crushed) ¼ tsp coriander powder ¼ tsp cumin powder salt to taste 2 tsp fresh coriander leaves (chopped) Ingredients samosa dough: 1 cup refined flour ¼ cup fine semolina 3 tsp olive oil salt to taste ¼ tsp onion seeds (optional) oil for deep-frying Preparation: To prepare the dough, sift the flour into a bowl. Add the oil and salt, plus a little cold water and knead into a dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside. To prepare the filling, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, green chillies, all powdered and other spices, as well as the crushed coriander. Fry everything for 1 minute, add the boiled green peas and fry them with the spices. Next add the diced potato and work it with the back of a spoon until crushed but still lumpy. Cook the mixture on a low heat for approx. 5 minutes until the potatoes come away from the side of the pan. Add the chopped coriander and mix well, add a little lemon to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Divide the dough into twelve equal portions and shape it into balls. Roll out each ball into a flat circle. Place a portion of the stuffing onto each circle and fold the edges up to create the shape of a potli bag. Lightly moisten the edges and press them together to seal. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai or wok and deep fry the samosas over a low heat, until they become crisp and golden. Place on absorbent paper to drain. Serve the samosas with dips such as tamarind & date, or coriander & mint.




This is a classic dish and a must for spice lovers… A fiery red lamb curry, usually served with Naan or a flavoured Basmati rice. Ingredients: 2 bay leaves 2 tsp red chilli powder ¼ tsp coriander powder ¼ tsp cumin powder 4 cloves 3 cardamom (whole green) 1 cinnamon stick (small) salt to taste 2 tsp olive oil 10-15 black peppercorns (crushed) 1 cardamom (black) 1 pinch mace powder (optional) 1 pinch nutmeg powder (optional) ¼ tsp garam masala powder 75 g natural yoghurt 100 g garlic & ginger paste 200 g tomatoes (chopped tinned) 500 g onions (chopped) 1 kg leg of lamb (boneless, cut into cubes)

Preparation: Heat up a little cooking oil in a pan. Add the whole spices (cloves, bay leaves, cardamoms, cinnamon stick). Next add the chopped onions and fry them until golden brown, making sure not to burn them. Add the garlic and ginger paste, cook for 15 minutes. Now add the diced mutton and let it cook for 30 minutes. Add the crushed black pepper, red chilli powder and turmeric powder, and last but not least, add salt to taste. When the lamb is cooked through, add the tomatoes and simmer on a low heat for a further 10 minutes, then add the coriander and cumin powder. Add the yoghurt and cook until the lamb is tender and semi dry. To finish, add some finely chopped coriander leaves and the garam masala powder. Garnish with crispy brown onions. Serve hot with either naan bread or flavoured basmati rice (see recipe on following pages).



A fresh and spicy breeze straight from the sea: Peppery pan-fried prawn with an unforgettable taste. Ingredients: 15 prawns 1 onion (finely chopped) 2 ripe plum tomatoes (chopped) 2 green Indian chillies (seeds removed, finely chopped) 4-5 fresh curry leaves (alternatively use dried curry leaves) 1 tsp finely chopped ginger and garlic 1 tsp deghi chilli powder (Kashmiri chilli powder with a mild taste and natural colour) ¼ tsp turmeric powder ¼ tsp cumin powder ¼ tsp coriander powder ¼ tsp black pepper (crushed) ¼ tsp coriander seeds (crushed) ¼ tsp cumin seeds (crushed) ¼ tsp fennel seeds (crushed) a few red chillies (crushed) ½ tsp brown mustard seeds 1 tsp chopped fresh coriander 1 tsp fresh lime juice 2 tsp coconut milk 2 tsp olive oil

Preparation: De-vein the prawns and wash under running water. Pat dry and butterfly the prawns, then marinade them in the turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin, salt and lime juice. Set aside. Next heat some oil in a frying pan, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry, allowing them to crackle. When the mustard seeds float on the oil, add the chopped onions. Fry them until they start to turn golden, then add the chopped garlic and ginger along with the green chillies. Continue to fry for 2-3 minutes, add the tomatoes and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Next add the prawns together with the marinade and any juices on the plate, increase the heat, stir fry everything and add half of the crushed spices. Adjust the seasoning, add the coconut milk and cook until dry. Garnish with the fresh coriander. Serve hot as a starter. If you would like to serve the dish as a main course, double the amount of coconut milk and add a little water, then cook until the sauce becomes semi-liquid. Serve with naan or rice.




Part of any Indian meal: Basmati rice with mustard seeds and curry leaves, and a refreshing mango lassi. Ingredients basmati rice: 1 ½ cup basmati rice (boiled) ¼ tsp mustard seeds 6-7 curry leaves ½ tsp ginger (chopped) salt to taste ¼ tsp fresh coriander (chopped) ½ tsp olive oil Ingredients mango lassi: 1/8 tsp green cardamom powder 250 g mango pulp 2 tsp fresh mango (chopped) 800 g low-fat natural yoghurt 100 ml whole or semi-skimmed milk 75 g ice cubes runny honey, optional ½ tsp pistachio nuts (chopped)

Preparation basmati rice: Heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry until they crackle. Add the chopped ginger and fry for 1 minute. Toss in the rice and add the salt. Finish off with chopped coriander. Preparation mango lassi: Put all the ingredients in a blender (except for the chopped mango, pistachio and cardamom powder). Blend well, then pour into a glass. Garnish with the chopped mango, cardamom powder, pistachio and a sprig of mint. Serve chilled.


अच्छी भूख*

* Enjoy your meal!



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Be it a state visit or gala premiere ― for exclusive moments with glamour, status and style, only a Rolls-Royce will do. Now the renowned British brand has launched its first official all-terrain limousine. The Cullinan, named after the world’s biggest diamond ever found, lives up to its name. It is an off-road jewel of the highest order.




olls-Royce cars are popular in Gstaad. One might be tempted to say that they belong to the Saanenland like horses to Ascot ― crowd pullers with lots of horsepower. The Palace has its 1952 Phantom of course, which meets guests from all around the world at Gstaad station. A familiar sight outside the Palace entrance, this historic showpiece now sits bumper to bumper with a brand new Rolls-Royce SUV. An allterrain vehicle made by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars ― luxury or necessity? Looking back over time, these apparent opposites have often gone hand in hand. Right from the beginning, the vehicles produced by the high-end car maker Rolls-Royce mainly proved their reliability on difficult terrain: in the 1907 Scottish Reliability Trials for example, or the 1913 Alpine Trials, and of course as British army vehicles. Even the legendary Lawrence of Arabia sung their praise when he said that “a Rolls-Royce in the desert is worth more than a handful of rubies.” These days it isn’t a ruby, but the Cullinan diamond among the SUVs with which the pioneers like to conquer the post-modern world ― from the red carpet in Cannes and the red dunes in Dubai, through to the hairpin bends on the Grimsel Pass. For the first time in history, Rolls-Royce have an allwheel drive among their cars. The Cullinan features the same V12 engine with 6.75 l displacement as the Phantom. Thanks to the 571 PS and 850 Nm torque, all-wheel steering, 8-speed automatic transmission as well as the self-levelling air suspension, even the most adventurous off-road expeditions are transformed into the famed Rolls-Royce “magic carpet ride”. And that floating feeling has never been so easy to adjust in any SUV. Just a touch on the “OFF ROAD” button is all it takes and the car autonomously selects the most suitable drive mode for the respective terrain. Be it in the wilds of the Arabian Desert or among the ragged rock faces and rushing rivers of the Scottish highlands ― with 540 millimeters, the Cullinan has the greatest fording depth of any luxury SUV. The new “Architecture of Luxury” platform ensures that conditions inside the vehicle are pleasant, even in winter, when road

conditions are very poor. As with the latest Phantom, the Cullinan uses a newly developed aluminium spaceframe chassis. The only difference is that it is higher and therefore shorter in the all-terrain limousine. The advanced on-board technology includes touch screen infotainment systems, WLAN hotspot and Head-Up display, ensuring safe driving even in a snowstorm on the Col du Pillon. Cameras with night vision, sensors and GPS continuously scan and analyze the roadway and check whether one of the 22 inch tyres is losing traction. As the Cullinan automatically implements the necessary adjustments, the driver can lean back and enjoy the journey. On the outside, the 2.6 ton powerhouse defies the elements with sheer strength, speed (top speed is 250 km/h) and agility. Conversely, the vehicle’s interior is all about luxury and pure comfort. Clad in fine leather and wood, the passenger space features electrically adjustable, raised lounge seats and a built-in drinks cabinet complete with champagne flutes ― off-road driving has never been so indulgent. Alternatively, and somewhat surprisingly, the Cullinan’s rear seats can also be folded down, a first for any Rolls-Royce. A partition between the passenger space and the boot, as well as seats with inbuilt heating and ventilation ensure a pleasant temperature and peaceful journey, even when the tailgate is open. But the car’s most exquisite additional feature is hidden in the large boot. Entitled the “Viewing Suite”, it consists of two foldout leather chairs complete with cocktail table. So the best seats are always at hand ― be it at the “Polo” at Gstaad Airport or a camel race in the Sahara. Luxury, lifestyle, performance: the Cullinan meets the mobile elite’s longing for unlimited adventure and comfort like no other Rolls-Royce has ever done before. The panoramic glass roof is not the only upwardly open feature, there is also an unlimited number of individualised additional options available for the Cullinan. The estimated entry level price is around 375’000 CHF (tax included) ― pretty fair for the world’s biggest diamond. (ls)




BIG CINEMA, RELOADED It was 1975 and the Palace and all of Gstaad were abuzz. Key scenes for the box office hit “The Return of the Pink Panther” were being filmed in the Bernese Oberland. And to top it all, the world premiere was held at the hotel. The film’s director Blake Edwards turned up with the crème de la crème ― Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer and Catherine Schell in the main roles. 43 years later, the famous actress returns to the Palace for the first time. An opportunity for a joyful interview, with ten either/or questions addressed to Catherine Schell, aka Lady Litton.


Ms Schell, looking back, which is your favourite, Pink Panther or James Bond? Pink Panther ― it still makes me laugh out loud even now. Diamonds or rubies? Rubies. I love colour. Diamonds were just for my on-screen husband, Lord Litton. If you remember, it was for him that I had to steal them, to bring a little spice back into his life... France or England? Definitely France. Not just because I love being there and eating French food, but also because England – in particular London, where many of my friends live – is simply too expensive. Theatre or film? I was born for the movies. I’ve worked in theatres on and off throughout my career, but the stage sucks you dry and doesn’t do your nerves any favours. Especially as I’ve increasingly suffered from stage fright. Dreadful. Comedy or tragedy? Both. I’ve worked in all genres throughout my career. I’ve played tragic characters as well as utterly comical ones, although I’ve never played a baddie. Which means I’ve never had blood on my hands... The roles that suited me most were the ones with a certain aristocratic touch. Pink or blue? Blue, definitely. Pink doesn’t suit me. It suits the Panther though. He’d look incredibly sad in blue, don’t you think? Star Trek or Star Wars? Oh dear, that’s a tough one to answer ― both were good. I love science fiction, provided it’s well done, by which I mean intelligent. Star Trek was, in a way, the beginning of everything good. But Star Wars is probably a more mature work, all in all. Gstaad or Mürren? Well, you’re not making this easy. To be honest, pretty much the only thing I saw of


Gstaad in 1975 was the Gstaad Palace ― which is exceptional, and wonderfully glamorous. The view from the garden looks like a film set, simply stunning. I liked it in Mürren too. It was such a cute little village, and we Bond girls felt very happy there. Panthers or pussy cats? Definitely cats. I have three of them at home on my farm. Chocolate or cheese? That’s easy. Cheese during the day, but not too much. And chocolate in the evening. That’s a must. Palace 1975 or Palace 2018? Palace forever, I would say. But if I’m honest, I prefer 2018. Why? Because the suite I’m currently staying in is considerably bigger than the single room I had during the filming in 1975. I suspect the production company had to be careful with the funds... (she laughs).

Catherine Schell was born in Budapest in 1944. Her father was the diplomat Baron Paul von Schell Bauschlott. In 1949 ― after the communists seized power – the family fled to Austria, before going into exile in the US. The Schell family returned to Europe in 1958 and moved to Munich, where Catherine started out on her acting career. She was married to the English actor William Marlowe for five years and lived in London. In 1982 Catherine Schell married the producer Bill Hays. During the 1990s, the couple moved to the Auvergne, where Catherine Schell ran a B&B for some time and now enjoys her retirement. Schell has acted in over 35 films. She was a Bond girl in the 1969 film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, which was partly shot in Mürren and on the Schilthorn. In “The Return of the Pink Panther” (1975) she was cast in the female lead role of Lady Litton. For two weeks, filming for this took place in the Gstaad Palace. The film’s premiere was also hosted by the Palace ― with a live orchestra directed by Henry Mancini, who had composed the unmistakeable intro music. In addition to the vast number of journalists, the event was attended by many big names of the time, including Liz Taylor and her not-yet-again-husband Richard Burton. (rw)




Switzerland is an innovative country ― regularly occupying top positions in the relevant ratings. But on digitalisation there is still some catching up to do. Economists and politicians are agreed on this. In his conversation with Elie Vannier, the driving force behind the “Rendez-Vous de Gstaad”, former Swiss Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann reveals his plans for the transformation.

As Minister of Economic Affairs, you are actively promoting Switzerland’s transformation process towards digitalisation. Where does Switzerland stand compared to other countries? Are we frontrunners or are we lagging behind? Switzerland is well on its way to becoming one of the leaders in this field. However, we shouldn’t be complacent. The competition is tough, the technological disruption it will cause for many sectors should not be underestimated. And more importantly: the disruption may not only come from our known competitors ― the USA, Europe or Asia ― but


from less well-known newcomers such as India or Brazil. We have to remain vigilant. What challenges do you see ahead for our country and for Europe? Switzerland has suffered a lot from an overvalued Swiss franc. To keep their businesses going, many Swiss companies have shaved their margins and lost investment capacity. Now its time for a revival, we need new investment. I am relieved that the European economy is picking up. It helps our economy too. I think France in particular plays a very important role.

President Macron has launched some promising reforms, especially in the labour market. Brexit, of course, remains one of the main challenges facing all of Europe, not just the UK; not least because any deal between Brussels and London will have an impact on the other countries, and also on us.

of the cantons. There are many pilot-projects under way. The most important thing, however, isn’t for pupils to learn programming, but to acquire the ability to formulate the right concepts, which a programmer can then convert. This means we need young talent with a high level of analytical and conceptual skills.

What is your personal vision for a ”smart digital Switzerlandˮ? Ours should be a land of opportunities. A land that creates jobs for its population, especially the young people.

At the Gstaad Palace, the management often finds itself confronted with an interesting but also irritating phenomenon. Youngsters no longer want to work in the hospitality sector ― too much overtime, too much irregularity in terms of the hours. How can we attract new young talent? My view isn’t quite so strong. Not all young people are looking for an easy life or a quick buck. Many are attracted by interesting challenges. It’s important that we try to change the image of hospitality sector jobs. We have to emphasize what youngsters can expect to gain by choosing a hospitality profession. We also need to look at improving the opportunities for the transfer to and from related sectors, so that young people can gain greater knowledge from working in different places and in different environments. When I was still an entrepreneur, we did just that for our mechanical apprentices.

Estimates suggest that 150,000 jobs may be at risk in Switzerland. How can we help those that might be affected and inspire a sense of optimism? I know there are many who fear that robots will replace them in the workplace. The evidence points in a different direction. Countries that fully embrace innovation and the digital age are creating more new jobs than those that are hesitant. How can we help skilled professionals, especially older ones, get up to speed with digitalisation? Education is key. We need a good standard of basic education ― Switzerland certainly offers that. But we also need far more opportunities for continuing education and onthe-job training. At a time when the baby boomers are retiring and the workforce is shrinking, companies should also be paying attention to this. In your view, what dangers are associated with the digital transformation? Where do you see the limits, legally, but also for society as a whole? We are on a journey full of surprises. We don’t know where digitalisation will lead us. For me, the greatest danger lies in making judgements before we have all the evidence to hand. We all want guarantees ― especially concerning jobs. But I don’t think anyone can offer these. The outcome will be a matter of negotiation between all the players involved. Inevitably, mistakes will be made. Nevertheless, Switzerland is certainly one of the better prepared countries in terms of meeting the challenges ahead. Our consensus-seeking political culture and our grassroots democracy pave the way for finding a solution that is supported by all the stakeholders, and which makes the most of the advantages offered by the new technologies. You are also the country’s education minister. How can we support the transfer of digital skills in our schools? At elementary level, this is the responsibility

Do we actually still need chefs de service, waiters, hosts? Or will we soon be served by robots? Robots may offer some interesting solutions for fast-food restaurants, but I doubt they have a future in high-end gastronomy and hospitality. You love the region around Gstaad ― what draws you here so often? This is one of the best places to unwind and recharge my batteries. I love the mountains and I used to hike and climb a lot when I was younger. I even dreamed of becoming a mountain guide ― or perhaps a carpenter building chalets in the Alps. You are one of the guests of honour at this year’s ”Rendez-Vous de Gstaadˮ, our mini WEF in the Saanenland. What insights did you gain today? What I learnt today is that innovation isn’t necessarily a question of money, but much rather a cultural issue. And this makes it an issue that all entrepreneurs must address. The question is: How can I develop a culture of openness that promotes innovation within my company? That’s the best question any business leader can ask themselves.





The Gygax family is spoilt for choice. No less than four exhilarating sledge runs are available in and around Gstaad. Parents Michael and Eveline are carrying brand new wooden sledges. Winter sports enthusiasts know them as Davos sledges ― although they’re now fabricated across Switzerland and beyond. The youngsters prefer the modern take. “When we go sledging, it’s always with our plastic sledges,” Loris and Fabio declare. “And your helmets,” Eveline adds. Protection is important. Today the four intrepid explorers decide to head out on the Eggli run. It's snowing lightly and the sun is trying to burn through the clouds. The Eggli run is the Saanenland’s signature sledge run, and with six kilometres it is also one of the longer ones. The family enjoy a comfortable ascent ― floating up the mountain by cable cabin. First, they stop off for drinks in the mountain restaurant, and then they’re off. The run starts with a steep descent, allowing riders to pick up speed for the subsequent flatter section. The sledge run stretches along 6 kilometres, from Eggli down to Gstaad Grund, and is for exclusive use with sledges, toboggans and airboards ― a type of inflatable bodyboard for use on snow. With its broad sweeping bends and long straight sections, it has plenty to offer those who like their sledging fast, but is also a delight for those who simply want to enjoy the views. The descent takes about one hour. Those who fancy it, simply walk the couple of hundred metres to the lower terminus and head back up for another round. After all, one might as well make good use of the day pass. The parents are all for it. After a day of outdoor pursuits like this, the kids will be dog tired. A big plate of pasta and off to bed, for a good night’s sleep. Ready for another day, another route. (rw)

THE LONGEST RUN ― The starting point for the Wispile run is easy to reach via gondola lift, even if you have kids, kit and caboodle in tow. From the Wispile mountain lodge, the first stretch of the route runs along the panoramic trail to Chrinetritt, where the fast-paced fun begins. The run takes you all the way down to Gsteig via Satteleggli. 8.0 km, 2 hours

THE LUMINOUS ONE ― Those who are looking for a gentle first step into sledging should choose the sedate route from Sparenmoos ― a beautiful nature reserve above

Zweisimmen ― down to Heimchueweid. This is a particularly family friendly sledge run, and is even lit up. “Repeat offenders” can simply catch the bus back up to Sparenmoos. 3.4 km, 45 mins

THE LAST LEG ― Provided there is sufficient snow, emboldened souls can continue on from Heimchueweid for a final sprint down to Zweisimmen. 2.2 km, 30 mins



Memories of a progressophobe It is said that, given the chance to live at any time in human history, only an utter idiot would choose a time other than the present. On average, humans are healthier, wealthier, nicer, happier, live for longer, are freer and better educated. Alas, I am a progressophobe, a man who hates progress and the modern world. The Gstaad Palace I first moved into was very different to the one we know now. The only thing that remains unchanged is the Prisoner of Zenda-like exterior. Very few of the modern conveniences we now take for granted were available then ― anywhere on earth, that is. So how can I compare the luxury of today with the almost spartan surroundings of sixty years ago? Easy. Everyone knew each other, the tables in the lounge and in the dining rooms had our name on them, and the winter season especially felt like a very long weekend house party. Oh yes, there was another odoracopulos (bor n Au i The gus Tak t 11 , 1 93 6), be st kn ow n


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thing too: the ladies who were regulars during the Palace winter season. Ladies like Dolores Guinness, according to Vogue magazine the most beautiful woman on earth. And the Aga Khan’s fiancé, Sylvia Casablancas, like Dolores sadly no longer with us. She knew how to have fun and, to the Aga’s great annoyance, we all chased her while he was at Harvard. There was Fiona Thyssen of course, one of the great beauties of all time, and Nina Dyer, married to Sadruddin Khan back then. And Mercedes de Bedern and, and … I could go on. The prettiest senior girl at Le Rosey was an American. I flirted with her a lot and wrote an essay on Hemingway for her English studies. She rang me at the Palace and told me I was a phony, she had got an F. So I phoned her teacher ― Hemingway is my specialty after all ― and demanded to know why. “Because she didn’t write it,” his answer came before he hung up. I said she was beautiful, I didn’t say she was smart.




ART WITHOUT BORDERS: ROGER PFUND From art and architecture through to graphics and security design ― the portfolio of multiple award winning graphic designer Roger Pfund is as colourful as it is diverse. The high points of his 50 year career are the 1984 reserve series of the Swiss banknotes and that little red booklet: the Swiss passport.


A courageous Swiss shot: vertical layout for the EURO notes. Roger Pfund’s design wins the competition, but sadly the series never goes to print.


ot many artists can claim that their work is identity-forming, especially not for the entire population of a country. Roger Pfund can ― any Swiss national who has had a new passport issued since 2003 carries Pfund design with them when they travel abroad. Most citizens may be more interested in the stamps they have collected from around the globe over the course of the years, but thanks to the richly detailed composition, many a Swiss citizen could learn a new thing or two about their home country. Each of the 26 Swiss cantons has its own page, showing the crest and a chosen landmark. Another interesting detail: the cantons appear in the same order in which they joined the Swiss Confederation. Bern’s page features the medieval Zytglogge tower, the Ticino chose the castles of Bellinzona, Lucerne the Kapellbrücke and Geneva, where Pfund lives, is represented by the UN headquarters. Compared to other passports, Pfund’s creation is unusually colourful, both inside and out. “Richness of colour has always been a key aspect in my work,” Pfund tells me and smiles as he points at the passport cover. “Of course our passport has traditionally been red for decades. But that’s not all. If you hold it under a UV light, it glows blue and the embossed, previously barely visible crosses shimmer yellow.” Roger Pfund’s graphic design talent became evident in the early years of his career. In 1971, aged just 28, he was invited to take part in the prestigious competition for the sixth issue of the Swiss banknotes ― and promptly won first prize. The fact that the bank eventually chose the designs by Zurich based graphic artists Ernst and Ursula Hiestand, and his version was “only” used for the reserve series, doesn’t trouble him one bit. The reserve series was intended as


a backup, to be used in the event that the regular series had to be replaced due to forgery. But his main legacy is of a different nature. Working together with experts from the worldfamous banknote printer Orell Füssli and the computer scientist Joseph Huber he developed a computer program that heralded a new era in security printing. The work on the six banknotes took 15 years. Computers were still light years away from today’s high-performance machines, but it wasn’t just the programming of the design that took up time. The iconography and the associated research into the subjects and people that were to be printed onto the notes were equally time consuming. But as the inventor of thematic bank note design, Roger Pfund felt it was a unique opportunity to highlight Switzerland’s identity, history and culture on the notes, thereby making them a calling card for the country. The studio of the multi award-winning graphic designer is situated in the basement of a former factory, at the heart of Geneva’s trendy Quartier des Bains. Colourful paintings are neatly stacked along the wall, long shelves hold meticulously labelled boxes with posters, and even inside the cupboards, where he keeps his sketches and blueprints, everything is in fastidious order. On the table in front of him are three black books, each five centimetres thick. They’re catalogues that hold the lifework of this tireless creator between their covers. Over a bottle of white wine and a packet of Gitanes bleu, epicurean Roger Pfund gets chatting. In the course of his 50 year career he has designed cheques, created stage sets, drafted shares and designed billboards for the Geneva Opera House, as well as posters to raise funds for good causes. He has also organised multimedia events and created books, paintings and objects ranging from art through to commercial items. It seems Roger Pfund has a sheer limitless wealth of creativity into which he can dip. Over the years, he has also come up with all kinds of “crazy stuff”, as he calls it. A chess set with aluminium figures of Voltaire and Rousseau, for example, and a foldable designer food warmer, where the heat is transmitted via a copper disc. Painting is the thread that holds together his diverse work. He describes it as the “twin of graphic design”. In recent years, his work has been shown in international museums from Bogota to Wiesbaden. He achieved his biggest coup in 2008, when the Today Art Museum in Beijing staged a comprehensive retrospective across four floors. This was an honour not visited on anyone else before. Even now, at 75, he paints every day ― a leisurely retirement is not ― ROGERPFUND.CH an option for Roger Pfund. (rea)

The book: 500 Years of Printing. Orell Füssli — Tradition and Innovation since 1519 Orell Füssli has been active in printing and publishing since 1519. The world-famous Zurich company, which also prints the Swiss passport and bank notes for countries around the globe, is publishing a richly illustrated book to celebrate the anniversary. 500 Years of Printing. Orell Füssli — Tradition and Innovation since 1519; ISBN 978-3-280-05655-4 The book is also being published in English.





nce upon a time, there was a wise man who lived in Gstaad. He owned a large white palace, where from 1938 to 1968 he did many good things. He was a visionary and his name was Ernst Scherz. He and his wife Silvia cared a great deal about the welfare of the little village community. So it came to be that, more than 60 years ago, he initiated a wonderful tradition. Every year before Christmas, when the fairytale castle came back to life again, he invited guests to meet Father Christmas. Not just any kind of guests, but the Year 1 children from the village primary. He did this for a very particular reason. He wanted Gstaad’s children to experience the Palace as it is — open, hospitable and there for everyone. And so the custom continues, now with the third generation of the Scherz family in charge. At the start of every winter season, Father Christmas greets the Year 1 pupils of the Gstaad Rütti School. There is always much laughter, singing and reciting of poems in the Fromagerie of the Palace, where the spirited children come to meet the wise man with the white beard and red coat. And when Father Christmas spreads out his gifts — nuts and fruits and all manner of delights from the Palace kitchen – it’s not just the children’s eyes that glow. At the Palace, all fairy tales have a happy end. (rw)


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Step through the monumental entrance of the five star hotel “Royal Mansour” and you immediately enter a paradise of peace. It takes time to experience this oriental fairytale of a place in all its beauty ― preferably more than a thousand and one nights.





he Djemaa el Fna is teeming with bustle and activity. Amid the mountains of spices and towers of dried fruit, snake charmers and trained monkeys vie for the visitors’ attention. Mopeds sound their horns and squeeze past, the air is rich with bewitching smells and the heady scent of jasmine. Just a few minutes’ walk from the fascinating humdrum and the hubbub of the haggling traders, embedded in the old city wall, towers Marrakech’s most luxurious oasis of calm ― the “Royal Mansour”.

As you step through the monumental entrance of the five star hotel, you immediately enter a paradise of peace. The burbling of the fountains and the singing of the canaries in the aviaries are the only backdrop of sound. This is no ordinary hotel. Stretching across 35,000 square metres, it is more like an autonomous town, built at the behest of King Mohammed VI. Just looking around the lobby, it is clear that no expenses were spared. Beautiful mosaic floors, ceilings clad in cedar wood, hand painted arches decorated with intricate arabesque patterns, filigree carvings and elaborately designed stucco are testament to the perfect

execution of Moroccan craftsmanship. At the “Royal Mansour”, oriental opulence is celebrated in authentic Arabic style, but never overstated. Equally authentic is the design of the 53 riads within the hotel complex. Guests at the “Royal Mansour” aren’t accommodated in suites, as elsewhere, but in threestorey, individual private villas ― each with their own inner courtyard, garden, pool and personal butler. The larger riads even have their own hammam. Enjoying the evening beside an open fire on the private roof terrace with view of the Atlas mountains, surrounded by the scent of orange flowers and listening to the prayer call from the nearby Koutoubia Mosque, one could be forgiven for never wanting to leave this sanctum again... But then there’s also the award-winning spa that extends over 2500 square metres, the expansive gardens with pool and the culinary delights of Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno to explore. It takes time to experience the oriental fairytale that is the “Royal Mansour” in all its beauty ― preferably more than a thousand and one nights. (ls) Royal Mansour Marrakech ―


LES NOUVELLES de GSTAAD IN-HOUSE PALACE SPRUCE-UP — FEWER ROOMS, MORE ROOM Since summer 2018 our Palace stands proud with 90 rooms. That’s five rooms fewer than before. The last ten remaining single rooms have been combined into five superior double rooms, under the supervision of English-Swiss interior architect Marina Nickels. The conversion strengthens our resort quality, as guest surveys have indicated a strong leaning towards quality of living versus pure functionality, both in summer and winter. With our rooms now averaging 48 square metres, the reduction thus brings a distinct additional value.


SPOT LANDING FOR SAANEN Nice — Gstaad, New York — Gstaad, etc. Many don’t know that Gstaad-Saanen Alpine gems to create a snug environis an international airport. Direct flights ment for a cosy meal — a traditional from all over the world arrive here. and locally inspired feast for eyes and Even the customs formalities are taste buds alike. We feel certain that handled by experts from the local the “Fromagerie” will maintain its cult police force — swiftly and efficiently. status for another 40 years or more! Built during World War II, the former A BED OF ROSES FOR military airport has long been welTHE CIGARS coming guests from around the globe. The outlook for cigar lovers is good — Now Saanen airport shines in new and not just because our smoking splendour, with three hangars, a terlounge affords one of the best views minal building — including an elegant onto the Saanenland. Thanks to the lounge, of course — and a helicopter new humidor in the glazed corner room base. Andrea Scherz continues to play of the Lobby Bar, the valuable cigars an active role in the board of the REVIVAL FOR THE FROMAGERIE now have even more space — ensuring airport association. After all, what The Fromagerie was a revolutionary the prized goods are well stored. would Gstaad and the Palace be withidea and a trendy pub long before And that’s not all. The selection on out its hub to the world! anyone had come up with the concept offer for cigar aficionados has also 4 MILLIONS A YEAR FOR CABLE of themed eateries. Ernst Andrea been significantly expanded. CARS AND LIFTS Scherz, our (un)retired senior boss, The mountain transport company Bergsaw potential in the hotel bunker, bahnen Destination Gstaad is essential which was used to safeguard securities for the survival of Gstaad-Saanenland and gold during World War II. tourism. For this reason, the municipaSo, in 1975/76 he remodelled it into lity has decided to support the company the witty and cheerful food venue with an annual stipend of around four “La Fromagerie”. To this day, the million Swiss francs for the next five “Fromagerie” has remained the most years. This is necessary to push frequented restaurant in the Palace. forward the modernisation of the cable This winter season 2018/19, the cars and lifts, and to install additional bijou shines in new splendour. We have snow canons. hunted out antique furniture, shabbychic lighting and all manner of


HÔTEL DE ROUGEMONT IN NEW HANDS The 4-star boutique hotel with 33 rooms opened in the heart of Rougemont in 2014. At the end of 2017, Andresen Hotels AG sold the company to Royal Orchid Swiss Hotel AG, which is owned by an investor based in Hong Kong. Management of the Hôtel de Rougemont remains in the seasoned hands of Peter Butler. COMING SOON — GONDOLA LIFT TO THE SAANERSLOCHGRAT The cable car up to the Saanerslochgrat served visitors and locals for nearly 40 years. This winter season, the new gondola lift Saanenmöser-Saanersloch is going into operation. Much has happened over the summer, such as moving the upper terminus 70 metres across, and the overall investment came to 20 million Swiss francs. The new gondola lift with its 10-person cabins is significantly faster, more comfortable and rather eye catching with its futuristic design. Made by Swiss manufacturer Garaventa-Doppelmayr, the lift is the first of its kind from the “D-Line” series and features an entirely new type of roof construction. WAKE UP TO MOUNTAIN WAKEBOARDING Situated on the Hornberg, at 1800 metres above sea, the Wake Park at the Speichersee is said to be Europe’s highest wakeboarding facility. The planning and construction took two years and was made possible through a crowd-funding project that raised 150,000 Swiss francs. The new Alpine surf Mecca can be reached from Schönried, either via the Horneggli chair lift or on a mountain bike; alternatively visitors can make use of the free shuttle bus service from Saanenmöser station.

sionals will bring new life into the historic building. As seasoned managers of the “16 Art Bar Restaurant” and the “16 Boucherie Thai & Burger Take-Away” in Saanen, as well as the mountain restaurant “Wasserngrat”, they are well established in the region.

CAPPUCCINO AND MORE Where “Le 3780” was once to be found, the “Grand Café Cappuccino” is now in full swing and is adding some much COMEBACK FOR THE BÄREN IN needed spice to Gstaad’s Promenade GSTEIG — around the clock from breakfast “Cheese, bread, sausage and something through to after dinner cocktails. for the thirst!” That and more, is what The Grand Café is part of the Grupo the homely Bären in Gsteig promises. Cappuccino, which owns premium This treasure of a place dates back restaurants at prestigious locations in th to the 17 century and (fortunately) is Majorca, Ibiza, Madrid, Valencia, now open again. Freshly renovated, Marbella, as well as Jeddah and Beirut. it is now in the excellent hands of Gabi BIGGER AND EVEN MORE and Christian Hefti, who are well BEAUTIFUL known in the village. The Bären offers The alteration was extensive and took delicious food and a glorious rest, in line with its motto ‘simple and snug’. over 6 months, but it was worth the wait. The newly reopened, enlarged A FAMILIAR FACE Hermès boutique at Chalet Central is On 1 November, an old friend took over definitely the object of much gazing the reins at the Hotel Alpenland in and longing in our resort. Lauenen. Michael aka Michi Ming, who SNAPPED UP worked for the Palace for many years in Food & Beverage Purchasing & Con- And the latest Gstaad gossip from those in the know: A new bar is going to be trolling, is now in charge of the 3-star hotel with 20 rooms. Ming knows Gstaad opened — next to the “Chesery” and “Photo Gstaad”. At the time of going to like the back of his hand, having been active in these parts for almost 14 years. press, it wasn’t possible to establish what exactly will be on offer there, but SUN RISES AGAIN we think a closer look at Alte LauenenThe Hotel Solsana above Saanen, which strasse 5 may be well worth it. was a haven for visually impaired and blind guests for decades, is now expe- BYE-BYE HUBLOT, WELCOME BOGHOSSIAN riencing a renaissance. Since NovemSadly, Hublot is leaving Gstaad. In their ber, it has been in the care of Nik and place, the family jeweller Boghossian is Simon Buchs, who have reopened opening a shop in Gstaad — in the Chalet the building as a pop-up hotel under the delightful name “Sun & Soul” — for Central, just opposite the tourist office. all generations and life styles. No doubt Sought and found by Andrea Scherz the two gastro and hospitality profes-


LES NOUVELLES de GSTAAD SUGGESTIONS BOCHTEHUS BEIZLI — REALLY DOWN-TO-EARTH Many know the Reichenbach family, and many have been on romantic rides in their horse-drawn carriage. Now the inventive hosts Julia and Ueli Reichenbach have added a new feather to their bow — and as usual its a very informal affair. The “Bochtehus Beizli” is a down-to-earth little eatery housed in their 300 year old mountain lodge. In the parlour, which features one of the most beautiful and oldest Gothic ceilings of the Saanenland, the couple serve delicious local food: Fondue, soups and cake, as well as Fondue Chinoise and Raclette on request. For many years, the charming chalet served as a stopover for mountain farmers and their cattle on the way up to the alpine pastures. The Reichenbach family, which has owned the building since 1976, uses the wonderful pastures for their horses during summer. ALL LEVELS — FROM CHARMING TO CHALLENGING Hiking is uplifting they say — nowhere more true than here in the beautiful Saaneland. That’s why the Palace team has compiled its own hiking guide, with a range of excursions from easy to difficult. For those preferring a relaxed outing, there’s a river hike along the Lauenenbach, from Gstaad to Lauenen. Or how about a spectacular display of


the most stunning mountain sides en route from Wispile to the Lauenensee. And then there’s the magical path along the Rinderberg, starting in Zweisimmen and ending at a picnic hideaway, built by the Gstaad Palace and helpers from the local school in 2013. The handy guide is available from the concierge. TRAIL RUNNING — GSTAAD GETS YOU MOVING Trail running is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the mountains. Since this summer, the Gstaad region also offers several official way-marked trails, enabling long distance runs away from roads. One of the new trail running routes leads from Gstaad to Eggli and back again, another via Wispile to the Lauenensee. Both trails can also be followed in the opposite direction. Furthermore, the Helsana trails and the AlpnessTrail are also being integrated into the trail running routes in and around Gstaad. A DETOUR TO THE SPARENMOOS The wonderful Sparenmoos nature reserve above Zweisimmen is often forgotten. Now there’s good news for cross-country skiers, winter hikers and sledging fans: The restaurant at Site Alp is also open to visitors during winter. Thanks to the new crosscountry ski track routing it can even be reached on skis. An extended winter hiking trail takes you from Sparenmoos to Site Alp in around 30 minutes,

alternatively its just 15 minutes’ walk to the restaurant from the newly introduced bus stop. A DIFFERENT KIND OF SOUVENIR Thanks to, Gstaad’s visitors can now take home a holiday video instead of traditional souvenirs — a cool and stylish option. The experts at are happy to get in with the action for guests who want to come away with a moving memento of their holidays. No effort is too big — including drones and even helicopter recordings.

Palexpo / 31.01-03.02.2019 /

Grimaldi Forum Monaco / 26-28.04.2019 /





ver the course of eight years of continued development and consolidation orchestrated by director Thomas Hug, artgenève has found a firm place in the Geneva Lake region, establishing itself as a high-end and internationally renowned art fair. In 2019, artgenève will play host to 80 selected, modern and contemporary art galleries, including a number of prestigious newcomers such as Hauser & Wirth, Capitain Petzel, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Almine Rech and Raffaella Cortese. Other distinguished 2019 exhibitors will include Gagosian, Pace, Perrotin, Marlborough, Tornabuoni Art, Michael Werner, Blain|Southern, Continua, Franco Noero, de Jonckheere, Mitterrand, Lelong, 1900–2000, Templon and Victoria Miro. artgenève will also dedicate a large area to curated and non-commercial exhibitions, promoting a rich dialogue between the art market and the institutional domain. The clearly structured Salon d’Art invites international institutions to exhibit alongside galleries. Moscow’s V-A-C Foundation, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, London’s Whitechapel Gallery and the New York based Swiss Institute have all previously exhibited at artgenève. In 2019, they will be joined by institutions such as the Beyeler Foundation from Basel and London’s Serpentine Galleries. The Salon d’Art will also welcome a number of regional institutions, art spaces and private collections, enabling international collectors to discover key players in Switzerland’s cultural landscape. The collaboration between artgenève and the prestigious PAD (Pavilion of Art + Design) ― already established in Paris and London ― proved to be a success in 2018 and will be renewed in 2019. For the second year in a row, the PAD will present around 40 galleries specialising in design collectables, enriching the fair’s offer with a section dedicated to the decorative arts. Based on the same concept as artgenève, artmonte-carlo was launched in 2016, under the patronage of S.A.S Prince Albert II de Monaco. Set against a refined backdrop, the exhibition showcases a collection of works from leading international galleries. artmonte-carlo aims to establish an artistic platform on the Côte d’Azur, in recognition of the requirements of the region’s numerous collectors and art lovers. (cd) ARTGENÈVE / PAD GENÊVE, PALEXPO GENÈVE, JANUARY 31 ― FEBRUARY 3, 2019 ARTMONTE-CARLO / PAD MONACO, GRIMALDI FORUM MONACO, APRIL 26 ― 28, 2019 Top left: Elaine Sturtevant, D’après Martial Raysse ‘PEINTURE A HAUTE-TENSION’, 1969, Courtesy of Jousse Entreprise Top right: Mark Leckey, Inflatable Felix, 2014, Courtesy of the Syz Collection, Photo: Annik Wetter Bottom: Chiharu Shiota, Uncertain Journey, 2016, Installation view, Courtesy the artist and Blain|Southern, Photo: Christian Glaeser



Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto Bordeaux. Designed in collaboration with Berluti. Case and bezel in King Gold. Chronograph movement. Dial and strap made from bordeaux patinated leather with emblematic Scritto motif. Limited edition of 100 pieces.





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