G R A N D H O T E L PA R K · 2 9 W I S P I L E N S T R A S S E · C H 3 7 8 0 · T H E A L P I N A G S TA A D · 2 3 A L P I N A S T R A S S E · C H 3 7 8 0 ·
TEL: +41 33 744 97 00 TEL: +41 33 744 74 80
W W W. G R A F F D I A M O N D S . C O M
December 30, 2014 - Issue 8 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT
The Saanenland's Dairy Delights
Gstaad Mountain Railways Update
THE THREE HÔTELIERS
Ecclestone, Elsener & Stella
von l l
w w w. u r s v o n u n g e r . c o m
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
Photo: Thaut Images - Fotolia.com
New Year, New Gstaad?
It’s that time again – time to put the past behind us and focus on the future, they say. Here in Gstaad, 2015 promises to be a year to remember. If we could gaze into a crystal ball – or should I say snow globe? – for a peek at Gstaad’s prospects in the days and weeks and months to come, what might we see: A definitive decision on Les Arts Gstaad? Real estate prices skyrocket or plummet? Better parking or worse traffic? More guests or fewer locals? Of course, the future is truly hard to predict, which is why GSTAADLIFE would like to focus on the present. But prognostications aside, there are some things we can count on (unfortunately snow is not one of them!).
Party Like It’s 2015 In this premier issue of the new year, we’ll look at the myriad ways Gstaad is ringing out the old and ringing in the new. We’ll celebrate the best of the season’s festivities with a spotlight on Carol Asscher’s extraordinary Christmas party – a one-ofa-kind way to usher in the season of lights. Asscher shows us how to have a good time – and that’s one resolution I‘m happy to keep in 2015. For skiing we need snow, and for snow we need cooler temperatures … but what do we need to keep Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad, the mountain railways company which runs many of the region’s ski installations, afloat? We wrap up the year with
an update on the financial situation and future plans of the beleaguered, yet hopeful, BDG.
Silver & Gold & New All Over It‘s places like the Hotel Olden – whose roots as an inn go back to1690 – that make Gstaad the most dependable of unique destinations, drawing people from all over the world time and time again. This Saanenland landmark is back after a sixmonth refurbishment designed to modernise the facility – without compromising its Old-World charm. With a focus on art and comfort, the new (old) Hotel Olden is better than ever – which is just what you and I say we will be once we actually put those New Year’s resolutions in place. If you’re banking on more camaraderie among colleagues this year, you‘ll love GSTAADLIFE’s profile on the three-man dream team at Hotel Olden. Long-time staff Franco Stella, Ermes Elsener, and racing phenom and owner Bernie Ecclestone expound on the complementary personalities and work styles that help this unlikely trio stand out among Gstaad’s hospitality industry insiders. Good Reads & Good Eats There’s nothing like curling up in front of the fire with a good book and some old-fashioned Swiss
goodness on a cold January night to keep the Wolf Moon at bay early in the new year. So check out our stories on 1) Januaria Piromallo’s fascinating novel (inspired by true events) and 2) the art of fondue and raclette (inspired by years of Swiss culinary tradition). The Classic Metaphor for a New Year In what may be the most apropos story in this New Year’s edition – symbolically if not literally – we show you Peak Walk, the only suspension bridge in the world to connect two mountain peaks. Now open at Glacier 3000, the spectacular view from the second-highest suspension bridge on earth reminds us that this time of year marks the transition from one year to the next, one version of ourselves to the next, one dream to the next. An inspired place to make your resolutions for the new year. Only time will tell what the year will have in store, but regardless, I’m pleased to be spending another year with you in this special place called Gstaad. Happy New Year – and many happy returns to the Saanenland!
Best regards, Alexis Munier Editor in Chief
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
After Madonna's purchase of a chalet last year, will Lady Gaga be the newest pop star to go ga-ga over Gstaad? DANO â€˘ www.dano-cartoon.com Cartoons for Newspapers, Parties, Events
3 Letter from the Editor by Alexis Munier 4 Cartoon by DANO 18 Events Calendar
6 Peak Walk by Tissot Breaks Records 6 Private Ski Instructors
7 Uncertainty in BDG’s Future
9 Do You Fondue?
10 The Three Hôteliers – Interview with Hotel Olden's team
Photo: Januaria Piromallo
12 Hotel Olden Reopens After Hefty Renovation 12 Le Caveau de Bacchus Celebrates 10th Anniversary
15 The Making of a Bestseller – Januaria Piromallo 17 A Christmas Carol
Cover Photo: © e621.ch www.e621.ch
Twitter: @GSTAADLIFE // Facebook: Gstaad Life // Youtube: GstaadLife GstaadLIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse 6, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, email@example.com, www.gstaadlife.com, www.gstaadlife.ch // Management Board: Frank Müller // Publisher: Frank Müller, firstname.lastname@example.org // Editor in Chief: Alexis Munier // Contributors: Januaria Piromallo // Layout: Epu Shaha // Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider, email@example.com, Phone: 033 744 46 64 // Subscriptions: Flurina Mutzner, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 033 748 88 74
CONTENT // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
New Bridge Breaks Records Peak Walk by Tissot
The world’s only suspension bridge to connect two mountain peaks is now open at Glacier 3000.
located in Obwalden. From the View Point all the highest surrounding peaks are visible – the Matterhorn, Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, and even Mont Blanc.
The Peak Walk by Tissot joins the station’s View Point peak with Scex Rouge (2971 m). Offering extraordinary views on the Alps, the 80 cm-wide bridge spans 107 m and can withstand winds of up to 200km/hr.
The bridge is expected to double the number of annual visitors to 50,000. While the bridge had a cost of CHF 1.8 m, this increase should mean better viability of the Glacier 3000 area.
It is the second-highest suspension bridge in the world after Titlis Cliff Walk, which is
Glacier 3000 is owned by Gstaad real estate mogul Marcel Bach and two well-
known investors in the Saanenland, JeanClaude Mimran (co-owner of The Alpina Gstaad) and Bernie Ecclestone (owner of the Hotel Olden). The team took over in 2005 with the aim of investing to improve the value and quality of services of the ski area. The bridge holds up to 300 visitors, yet crowds will be limited to 150 for comfort purposes. Entrance is free with purchase of a Glacier 3000 day card or lift ticket.
Private Ski Instructors Election of New President
After presiding over the Private Ski Instructors Gstaad-Saanenland association for four years, Nicole Haldi has handed over the reins to Christoph Hauswirth, who was unanimously elected new president. BY GSTAADLIFE
During the four years of Nicole Haldi’s term, the Private Ski Instructors Gsta-
ad-Saanenland underwent a series of changes. Founded in 1971, it had to adapt its charter and issued instructions to its members in order to meet guests’ current demands.
Saanenland has an outdoor activity for all levels and desires. In many cases, guests and their instructor are in touch throughout the year and both sides profit from a relationship that grows closer over the years.
While private ski instructors focus on winter sports, they also provide tours and services during summer. Be it a pleasurable hike or a demanding mountain ascent, the
Anxiously awaiting this year’s snowfall, the region’s private ski instructors are looking forward to sharing the pleasures of winter sports with their guests.
LOCAL NEWS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
Uncertainty in BDG’s Future
At a meeting in late autumn, public approval seemed likely as the City Council and Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad (BDG) team presented the latest updates to a crowd of 800 people. City Council President Aldo Kropf and Roland Zegg of the consulting firm Grischconsulta announced good news at the informational session. “The winter of BDG 2014/2015 is secured,” stated Aldo Kropf. But after the winter season, the attack plan for rendering operations economically viable is still unclear. At the assembly in late November, the proposed plan to secure a permanent solution for BDG was not approved and the voters officially sent the measure back to the City Council. Now, the Council will have to create yet another plan for restructuring and rehabilitation. Transitional Plan in Place Now A transitional plan with loan consideration was accepted, and will remain in place through the winter 2015/16. The public expressed concern over several areas of the transitional plan. Namely, the CHF 12.9 m credit necessary for continued renovation was deemed unusually elevated. The temporary solution also raises taxes from 1.3 to 1.4 points, which is not popular among voters. Stating the importance of keeping the installations running this winter, Christian Hoefliger, President of the Hotel Association Gstaad-Saanen made clear that the Hotel Association "does not always agree with the work of BDG.” Yet, it didn't stop the association from agreeing with the transitional plan and loan application, to make certain operations continued without suspension of any lifts or cable cars. Calming stakeholders and bringing a bit of peace to the inflamed discussions was stressed by Emanuel Raaflaub, Municipal Council and BDG Chairman. He refuted the allegations that funds of uncommon largesse were earmarked for operations rather than investments. That said, criticism was harsh for Dr Roland Zegg, who remains on the
Board of Directors, and whose company, Grischconsulta, remains the primary consultancy for BDG’s rehabilitation project. A citizen had demanded to know how much Grischconsulta was paid for their work, yet after three requests the information still had not been made public. Ernst B. Frautschi of the Spitzhorn association criticised BDG in the discussion, claiming that concerns voiced by the project’s former consulting firm, Trimea AG were not being heard.
“For nine months we have made several attempts to show that without painful, self-supported, internal measures, BDG is in danger of bankruptcy,” Frautschi quoted from Trimea’s resignation letter, dated September 2013. He added, “It is now important to accelerate the rehabilitation process, instead of artificially prolonging it.” Projects for both sectors of BDG had been discussed for the strategic plan, and although the final decision remains up in the air, here are summaries of some of the most likely renovations to be made. East Sector Projects Expansion in Zweisimmen is a crucial point, as 36% of all guests were day visitors (the day passes are the most expensive on offer). This could be achieved by expanding parking facilities and tightening management, they believe. Ernst Hodel, City Council President of Zweisimmen was in agreement with the BDG’s strategic proposal in this regard, which does ask the town to make certain concessions.
imperative to maintain the viability of local ski schools, which could bring possible future guests to the area. Replacement of the Berghaus Saanerslochgrat by an authentic mountain restaurant is also on the list of five key projects BDG hoped to develop in the next five years. In total, these projects would amount to a cost of CHF 64 m. Yet one project would bring in a significant operational savings – the closure of the Gstaad-Eggli gondola and the Wispile. West Sector Projects Investments in the West sector (Gstaad to Rougemont) were organised into four projects. Highlights included guaranteed artificial snow cover on the front slope of Eggli-Chalberhöni. This would ensure that the connection between Eggli and La Videmanette remains attractive. In Saanen (Rübeldorf) a winter sports centre would be built, which means the ski school for nordic and alpine training and racing, events, and night skiing would be concentrated in one location. As such, the ski school would be moved from Wispile to Saanen. An additional investment of CHF 5 to 7 m would be necessary if a new restaurant were to be built on the future path at the Eggli, and since La Videmanette is not a core area of BDG, any surplus or shortfall would be settled directly with the community of Rougemont.
An eight-person gondola could replace the Lengebrand shuttle, and the slopes at Chaltebrunnetal-Parwengsattel-Lengebrand and guarantee artificial snow cover.
BDG management had been confident the total financing of CHF 81 m would be reached in the next five years from repositioning capital, donations, help from SECO (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs), banks, and by the cantons of Bern and Vaud. But now, with another rejection by the voters, an alternative plan with a new budget will have to be developed and approved by the City Council, before it goes yet again to the voters.
But at the heart of this plan is the replacement of the Saanerslochgratbahn, including the base terminal and central station. Although the central station is expensive to operate, the BDG says it is
It looks like this year, snow isn’t the only thing that’s late in coming, as voters will continue to wait patiently for another strategic plan approved by the City Council sometime in 2015.
GSTAAD LIVING // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
Beyond The E... follow us follow us
www.thealpinagstaad.ch Alpinastrasse 23
3780 Gstaad, Switzerland
GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
T. + 41 33 888 98 88
F. + 41 33 888 98 89
Photo: Photocase – boing
Do You Fondue?
Cheese Specialties in the Saanenland Switzerland is one of the world’s leading cheese producers, with nearly 500 varieties available. It comes as no surprise that Swiss national cuisine is based around this delicious dairy product. Two main dishes featuring cheese in melted form top the country’s ‘to eat’ list – fondue and raclette. BY ALEXIS MUNIER
Here in the Saanenland, cows head to the hills, literally, to take advantage of sweet alpine herbs, grasses, and flowers in the summertime. Often produced using ancient methods in a giant copper kettle, Alpkäse is a firm, strong cheese which takes on an intensely earthy flavor. When aged for several years, the cheese is known as Hobelkäse. In the Berner Oberland, Höbelkäse is crumbly and sharp – it’s always served in thinly shaved slices or larger crumbles. Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands After a day on the slopes, hungry skiers can be found gathered around a swirling pot of Switzerland’s famous fondue. Whether a mix of Gruyère and Vacherin
(known as moitié-moitié) or the less pungent mix of several hard cheeses, fondue is a countrywide staple. While locals do tend to eat it only in winter, tourists partake all-year round. But when freezing temperatures set in, this blend of melted cheese, white wine, kirsch, corn starch and garlic is one of the best ways to warm up. Just Scraping By If you like fondue but it doesn't like you, try a portion of raclette instead. Originally hailing from France’s Haute-Savoie region, the dish consists of a half wheel of cheese heated then scraped piping hot onto boiled potatoes. Each region has its preferred accompaniments; here in Gstaad you’ll most likely find it eaten with pickled cucumbers, onions, and a selection of dried meats. Supposedly the vinegar-soaked vegetables cut through the grease, helping you digest this calorie bomb. As opposed to fondue, order raclette and at least you’ll be sure to get your daily vegetable intake.
Swiss Cheese Awards Once again, the Gstaad region has been honoured for its wealth of excellent dairy products. At the ninth annual Swiss Cheese Awards in Rapperswil, entries were evaluated by a large panel of more than 100 judges from the dairy and catering industries, as well as media representatives and consumers. No fewer than four local offerings from Schonried Molkerei and Gstaad Molkerei were selected for distinction amongst over 800 products in 28 categories. Bruno Buchs cleaned up in the soft cheeses, with his “Délice de Schönried” placing second. But Buchs’ luck didn’t end there–his 100% goat cheese took seventh place in the very same category. In the semi-hard category, Erhard Kohli’s herb-encrusted Gstaader Alpkäse garnered a respectable seventh place, with his plain version just making the cut at nineteenth place.
TRADITIONS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
The Three Hôteliers
Bernie Ecclestone, Franco Stella & Ermes Elsener INTERVIEW BY ALEXIS MUNIER
History is rife with great couples whose different personalities only serve to complement each other perfectly: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Laurel and Hardy, and even Batman and Robin. Add a third person to the mix and the plot thickens – famous threesomes are few and far-between. Yet here in Gstaad, a trio of teammates are giving the Three Musketeers some healthy competition. At the Hotel Olden, owner Bernie Ecclestone, General Manager Ermes Elsener, and Maître d’hôtel Franco Stella work in perfect symbiosis. Each member of this winning team has his place and responsibilities, yet allows the others to remain masters of their own domain. Mr Ecclestone and his wife Fabiana are personally involved at many levels of the Olden’s operations. Stella, who has been a familiar
face here since 1974, manages the restaurant, bar, and cave. Last but not least, the 38-year old younger generation Elsener oversees all aspects of the hotel’s operations.
off here in 1974 and took over as Maître d’hôtel just a year later when the position became available. Between changes of ownership I spent a few years at the Grand Hotel Park, but just couldn't stay away from the Olden.
GSTAADLIFE toured the Hotel Olden’s recently renovated rooms and sat for a perfectly foamed cappuccino with two of these partners, Mr Stella and Mr Elsener, in the warm, wood-panelled breakfast room. This is what they had to say on their unusual relationship, and why the Olden remains a rare gem.
EE: I’ve been here nearly a decade and loved the personal and intimate atmosphere at the Olden from the beginning. I worked in several prestigious establishment before coming here, but this is a very unique environment – glamorous and chic, yet casual and informal at the same time.
GL: Mr Stella, you’ve been here as long as most people can remember. What about you, Mr Elsener?
GL: Mr Ecclestone appears to be the opposite, a man of whom it’s difficult to catch a glimpse?
FS: I arrived in Gstaad after working in Geneva, and it was love at first sight. I started
FS: Mr Ecclestone is a very discreet man, so even if he’s at the hotel you might not
PROFILE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
GL: What’s your favourite aspect of working in the hospitality industry? Although we’ve expanded and modernised, it’s really the only hotel here that makes you feel like you’re a guest in someone’s home. Franco Stella
notice him! He comes and goes, but it’s always a happy occasion to have Mr Ecclestone here amongst us.
FS: One of my favourite things is welcoming the new generation of guests. It’s amazing to watch the same families evolve over decades…seeing children grow up and one day bring in children of their own, that makes me smile. EE: I grew up with parents who worked in the industry as well so for me it was a natural decision to follow in their footsteps.
GL: With so many luxury establishments in the Saanenland, what makes the Olden special?
GL: Your restaurant also goes above and beyond in terms of personalising the dining experience?
FS: This is not a hotel; it’s a home! This building dates back to 1899. Although we’ve expanded and modernised, it’s really the only hotel here that makes you feel like you’re a guest in someone’s home.
FS: Personalised service means we stop at nothing to keep diners happy. Our restaurant serves more à la carte meals per day than any other restaurant in Gstaad, up to 430.
EE: Franco’s right. The cosy feeling here, the warmth and magic, that’s something you don't find in many hotels. We have only a dozen rooms, which are often booked by the same families every year. So the holidays are a homecoming of sorts–our guests from around the world all catch up here between Christmas and New Year’s.
GL: Is Gstaad home to you now?
FS: I may be Italian, but I’ve lived and worked in Switzerland for half a century. My roots are in Stresa, but yes, Gstaad is my home.
GL: How did the Olden bar earn the reputation of being the liveliest spot in town? FS: The Olden was closely associated with the former owner, Edi Donizetti. Donizetti is a local legend–she was born in this building when it was a private residence and lived here until she sold the hotel in the late 1980's. Her hospitality was incredible – she would sing and dance with celebrity musician guests until the wee hours of the morning – the stuff of Gstaad lore. EE: What we have, that some other establishments have lost, is the wide mix of customers. Everyone is welcome here at the Olden. So it’s one of the rare last bars where young meets old, glamour meets grunge, and it isn’t unlikely to see a farmer and a billionaires chatting over a tall drink.
Made-to-Order Classics EE: The dining experience is not the only thing the hotel personalises: Mr Ecclestone bought the hotel with a partner in 1997, but last year they decided to part ways. Just this year it became his real pet project. He spent eight months personally selecting the artwork for each room, from shops here along the Promenade to London and even further beyond.
GL: How easy is it to meet the needs of such demanding guests?
EE: After a start at the Palace and years abroad, choosing the Saanenland was easy, an ideal place to raise a family – my wife and two children love it here. You have a bit of everything in Gstaad: sophistication and farms, celebrities and locals, the outdoors, fresh air and unspoiled nature.
guest ratio makes it possible – for only a dozen rooms we have 66 employees. When return guests call the Olden, they say, “Franco is that you?” Which goes to show the close connection formed between our guests and staff.
FS: Our clientele has very high standards, and we take great pleasure in meeting their expectations. That said, some guests are more particular than others. We have a loyal customer who couldn't have his preferred table, and he didn’t come back for seven years! I strongly feel the service makes or breaks a restaurant experience. Here we have both hospitality and excellent food–a staff of 22 in the kitchen, and another dozen on the dining room floor. EE: It’s not always easy to meet the needs of our challenging guests. But our high staff to
The Hotel Olden is famous for its classic Italian and Continental cuisine that is freshly preapred for each guest. Scue scue Pasta: In Neapolitan dialect this means “made to order”. This beloved pasta dish is prepared individually, with the sauce cooked just before serving. Milanese: The secret to this hearty plate is never precooking it. To keep the breading delicately puffed, the meat must be turned and flipped nonstop in hot oil. The house specialty, the Olden can serve up more than 60 plates of this dish during one lunch. Alfredo: This drink contains Broker's Gin, Fentimans tonic and the secret ingredient of our barman Alfredo. Bull Shot: This deliciously savoury cocktail is made with Absolut Vodka and homemade bouillon, seasoned with pepper, salt and a topped with celery stalks.
PROFILE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
The Reinvention of Hotel Olden The "Art-full" Updating of a Classic
After several months of closure, the Hotel Olden has finally reopened for business – and it was worth the wait. BY GSTAADLIFE
Owner and collector Bernie Ecclestone has renovated the charming chalet-style structure with an eye to art. The hotelier has hand-selected each beautifully detailed piece that graces the newly appointed building. An eclectic mix of artwork from all over the world decorates the hotel – from sculptures and paintings to cartoons and drawings. Its walls are exceptionally well-ornamented; a series of vintage sketches enlivens the breakfast room and Impressionist prints enrich many rooms.
The 12 Suites of Olden The Olden is a suite – only hotel, with 12 rooms featuring both living and sleeping areas. No two rooms are alike – from the elegant hand-carved wooden bed in the penthouse suite to the modern frosted glass coffee table in another. All of the suites share similar amenities: newly tiled showers, roomy bathtubs, and televisions that slide up and down, hidden away when not in use, inside items of furniture and specially designed cabinets. The Fresh Sound of La Cave La Cave restaurant and bar in the building’s cellar also has a fresh face. Cosy seating has been added and music will be a major draw here. Dalise playing international tunes already on the winter line-up.
The Best Plans … A residence with four apartments and two chalets and private spa were originally planned as part of the enhancements here at the hotel as well; currently those expansion plans are on hold. Poles signifying the possible height of the project are still standing on the hotel’s rear property. Here’s hoping that the Hotel Olden makeover continues in due course. In with the New Coming attractions aside, the newly refurbished Hotel Olden and environs are proof enough that you can improve a classic without losing what made it a classic to begin with. At Hotel Olden, everything old is new again – just in time for the new year. www.hotelolden.com
Le Caveau de Bacchus Turns Ten
Decade Since Fine Wine and Spirits Shop Serves Promenade This month marks the 10th anniversary of Le Caveau de Bacchus one of Gstaad’s best addresses for wines, spirits, and more. BY GSTAADLIFE
The shop is the brainchild of long-time Lauenen resident Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard. In addition to his love for watches and jewellery, Scheufele adores sharing his passion for
fine wines with his friends and neighbours in the Saanenland. Open year-round, Le Caveau de Bacchus boasts more than 10,000 bottles including Spanish, Italian, Swiss and new world wines. It’s speciality however, is wines like Bordeaux which inspire a cult following. “Our wines run the gamut from modestly priced bottles of local Swiss pinot noir to
BUSINESS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
vintage Chateau Margaux,” says Mr Claudio De Giorgi, Manager. De Giorgi was voted “Best Sommelier in Switzerland” in 1993 and has been running the Gstaad shop since its opening. Also of interest is the availability of wines in ‘grand format’ as they’re known. At Bacchus you’ll find an important choice of double magnums (3 litres), imperials (6 litres), and even the whopping Nabuchodonosor (15 litres).
SCINTILLATING DIAMONDS IN THE FORM OF SNOWFLAKES Since his very first exploration to Australia as a young jeweller, Laurence Graff has embarked on many extraordinary voyages introducing his fabulous jewels to the wider world. Taking him from South East Asia to Singapore, the Middle East to the Caribbean, Mr Graff’s travels earned him a reputation as the “King of Diamonds”. And yet, it was a land closer to home that captivated his imagination. The quintessential charm of the traditional Swiss mountain village of Gstaad spoke to Mr Graff from his first trip here decades ago.
The picturesque mountains, rolling hills and looking-glass lakes of this, his home away from home, have inspired the Snowflake collection.
within a minimal surround so the luminosity of each individual stone can scintillate like icy white powder brought to life by the crisp sunlight on the Swiss peaks.
“The way the light reflects here reminds me of the sparkle of a diamond,“ Mr Graff observes.
Delightful, delicate pendants and drop earrings, bearing the diamond snowflake motif and complemented by luscious rubies, sapphires or emeralds are all hand-crafted in Graff’s London workshop.
The Snowflake collection draws on this image, using the finest white diamonds to depict the silhouette of individual snowflakes. Within the collection, brilliant round cut diamonds are handset
FEMININE TASSELS WITH A DYNAMIC DESIGN These distinctly feminine and dynamic tassel jewels unveiled by Graff showcase the very best of its atelier’s mastery. Beaded jewellery is said to be the oldest form of decoration; the intricate adornment of a tassel pendant worn as a talisman, a sacred offering or a symbol of status, and remains a prevailing style of choice within unique jewellery today.
necklace with accompanying earrings exemplifies the attention to detail required in the process of colour matching gems. The design of each unique tassel necklace is influenced by a central gemstone. In this enchanting collection, for example, a 10.03 carat cushion cut Colombian emerald, a 5.89 carat briolette diamond or 21.72 carat oval ruby cabochon form the pinnacle of the necklace, from which perfectly matched gems seamlessly flow within the tassel.
Diamond Company Extraordinaire Graff is involved in every stage of the jewellery making process - from the sourcing of each rough stone, right through to the cutting, polishing and final setting of each exquisite jewel.
Graff’s Senior Gemmologists spend many months selecting the jewels to incorporate into each tassel. For example a tantalising ruby and diamond
Through meticulous attention to detail an exceptional three-dimensional tassel is formed. Graff’s expertise ensures the central element, from which the finest diamonds, blazing rubies, or hypnotic emeralds cascade, creates a sculptural and tactile tassel of captivating jewels.
Throughout its rich history, Graff is said to have handled more diamonds of notable rarity and beauty than any other jeweller. Today, after more than five decades at the pinnacle of the luxury jewellery industry Graff continues to push the boundaries of ever-greater innovation and excellence. For further information, please visit www.graffdiamonds.com.
These pieces are designed to allow the beauty and brilliance of each jewel to radiate. This renowned nominal setting encourages an extremely fluid design. Celebrating this technique, the tassel creates an alluring and sensual movement.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
Après-Ski in La Cave
Every evening starting at 5.30 pm until January 11 Enjoy live music with Dalise and Band l We take care of light snacks
Welcome back to the ice-bar
Open every day at 3 pm from December 26 until it melts away Enjoy a glass of champagne or mulled wine on the pulsating promenade
New Year’s Eve Menu Hors-d’œuvre « Olden » Crème « Parmentier » aux salpicons de poireaux et foie gras à la truﬀe blanche d’Alba Blanc de turbot fourré en croûte de pâte feuilletée Filet mignon de veau cuite entier, sauce aux morilles. Brie de Meaux truﬀé Fantaisie des douceurs du Maître Pâtissier Mignardises « Porte-Bonheur »
Hotel Olden, Promenade 35, CH-3780 Gstaad l Tel. 033 748 49 50 l www.hotelolden.com l email@example.com
NS N NERGY SOLRUETNIO TTERAD VATIO E O B E R E N A E E R E C TH OT EVERY FAG ON THE COSTTOOF P LA N FOR SAVIN G IN D R O C C A GOES
www.werrenag.ch Phone: 033 748 84 00
GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
18.6.2010 15:22:39 Uhr
Photo: Alessandro Belgiojoso
The Making of a Bestseller
Januaria Piromallo Sheds Light on a Sad Chapter of WWII Her full name is Donna Marchesa Piromallo Capece Piscicelli di Montebello dei duchi di Capracotta. But Januaria Piromallo is more than just a pretty aristocratic face. BY ALEXIS MUNIER
The journalist, blogger, and author has been writing for the largest Italian magazines for the past twenty years, She’s also served as an anchorman on Italian television, taught for the Masters in Journalism program at the University of Naples, and writes for www.ilfattoquotidiano.it (the Italian equivalent of The Huffington Post). Ms Piromallo is also a regular contributor to GSTAADLIFE. But her latest triumph is Il Sacrificio di Éva Izsák, The Sacrifice of Éva Izsák, already in its second printing. Inspired by true events, The Sacrifice of Éva Izsák reveals the real-life story–and tragic death–of Éva Izsák, a young Hungarian Jewish girl who fought with the Resistance during World War II. In Piromallo’s story, which is based on fact, Eva falls under the spell of famous Jewish intellectual and philosopher Imre Lakatos and is forced to
choose between committing suicide and letting another person perish. GSTAADLIFE spoke with Ms Piromallo at the launch of the book in Milan, and at her home here in the Saanenland. GSTAADLIFE: What prompted you to write this story? PIROMALLO: One would think that everything has already been said and written about the period of Nazi terror. But there is one untold story which has been hidden for almost seventy years. GL: How did you find out about this forgotten part of history? JP: I was married to Albrecht von Meister, who is descended from an old Prussian family. We spent the last 18 summers with our two children in the old family castle in Plausdorf, Germany. The von Meisters were victims of Hitler – the Nazis confiscated the family’s chemical company, Hoechst, the flagship of the German chemical industry in the 1920's. It was here, amongst old family books and photographs, that I found a manuscript which chilled me to the bone.
GL: Why was this story kept secret? JP: This story has never been divulged before. The Jewish community I was in touch with made it clear that the whole story should be forgotten. I respected this wish for many years. But now that all of the witnesses are gone, I felt that I was no longer bound to keep the story a secret. And I kept my promise to Imre Toth, colleague of Lakatos, who confirmed every detail of this tremendous story. His dying wish was that I tell the world the truth. They might not believe it, he said, but I should try. So I wrote The Sacrifice of Éva Izsák as justice, to begin to right the wrongs of this terrible act of manipulation and coersion which cost poor Ms Izsak her life. The book is available online and at Cadonau, Gstaad. The Grand Hotel Park will open its "cocktail littéraire" with a presentation and booksigning by Ms Piromallo.
LIFESTYLE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
coiffeur & more Le Beau Séjour – Château-d’Oex Gstaad Valley Delivery Christmas 2015 work in progress
An opportunity to live comfortably in the heart of the village without nuisances and close to all the conveniences IIdeally located in the centre of Château-d’Oex, close to all conveniences (railway station, post office, bank, commercial center, hospital), this new residence, comprising appartments ranging from 2.5 to 6.5 rooms, offers the opportunity to make a good investment and to enjoy a peaceful and happy existence in the heart of the local community life. Balconies and terrasses for each appartment – 2 lifts in the building – underground parking space. Common garden located on the garage – cellars. Restaurant, Spa and indoor pool in the building (those facilities are not comprised within the coproperty charges). Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information. Our office is opened 6/7 days. CF Immobilier Compagnie Foncière SA Rue du Village 40 – 1659 Rougemont Tel. +41 26 925 10 00 – firstname.lastname@example.org www.cfimmobilier.ch
GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
years of experience
visit hair_room_gstaad and experience our 63 years of cutting edge, hairstyling and coloring skills
hair_room_gstaad mo–sa 9.00–19.00h 033 744 98 88 hairroomgstaad.ch
A Christmas Carol
Ms Asscher Entertains at Her Yearly Holiday Do The “Queen of Diamonds” Carol Asscher (of the famous Asscher cut) has proved yet again she’s the reigning royalty of social functions.
table laid with huge, glittering Christmas cakes. Her favourite colour, pink, was used throughout the designs and silver was the colour of artist Anish Kapoor’s “Xmas Tree Bling Bling”’s installations.
BY JANUARIA PIROMALLO
Invited to her annual party were friends and parents of students at the world-famous boarding school, who partook in two days of festivities. First there was the “Concert de Nöel” in Rosey’s new Carnal Hall, a multimillion-dollar, first-rate concert venue. Next was a rock concert in the “Black Box” featuring many talented students. The next day, Ms Asscher had a beautiful
The gourmet buffet held treats such as “cappucini” perfumed with white truffle, ri-
One of the honoured guests was Elisabetta Illy, co-author of A Journey into the Mysteries and Delights of Coffee, a beautifully designed little gem of a read.
Photo: Januaria Piromallo
The French diamond heiress spends half the year in her Gstaad chalet, and the other half in her pied dans l'eau manor between Coppet and Versoix. The manor, Villa Nicolas, is named for her son who is a top student at Institut Le Rosey.
sotto, and sashimi. For dessert, pannettone was served alongside choices of Illy coffee and mocaccino.
Carol Asscher is all smiles in front of her traditional Christmas dessert buffet.
Caroline Freymond is delighted to invite you at MENUS PLAISIRS to the exhibition of works by Erica Bannwart / snow paintings Jérôme Blanc / wood sculptures Florent Bouteiller Hodebourg de Verbois / jewelry Philippe Cramer / design Samuel Mazy / porcelain florist craft Stefan Sigel / photographs
The finest sable furs and cashmere collection made in Italy. New Location: Promenade 6A at Marina Anouilh Showroom (ex Grima) – Gstaad l T +41 (0)33 744 34 07 Amina Ru bi nacci
LIFESTYLE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 2014
Events Calendar Tuesday, December 30, 2014 through Thursday, January 28, 2015 Tues, Dec. 30 – Jan. 5
Wed, Jan. 14
38th Ludi Cup
Gstaad’s Xmas market located at the ice-skating rink
Slalom race on the Wispile
Fri, Dec. 26 – Sun, Jan. 4
New Year Music Festival in Gstaad Array of concerts featuring world- reknown cellists and up-and-coming musicians. Fri, Dec. 26 – Sun, Jan. 4
Fri, Jan. 16 - Sun, Jan. 18
BOCA Curling Tournament
Zu verkaufen Saanen-Gstaad
6 to 9:30 pm Sat, Jan. 17
Delia Mayer Jazz Concert
Daily projections in the open air, Chalet Naegeli, Free entry
Grand Prix Migros Schönried
Hell und sonnig 2 grosse Balkone 48 m2 Wunderbare Aussicht 2 Keller – Garage, Ski-Room, Waschküche MOB – Skibus – Saanen-Gstaad
Kids 8 to 16 Ski race, 10 am Saanen
Wed, Jan. 21 - Sat, Jan. 24
Wispile Kids Ski race
At the Heimatwerk
Up to age 15
Tues, Dec. 30
Winter Driving Training Snow and Ice course on Saanen’s airfield Tues, Dec. 30
Zither Concert with Werner Frey 5:15 pm at the Roman Catholic Church Zweisimmen
Skicross Kids Competition CHilden under 16 years of age
Fri, Jan. 23
Preis nach Absprache Tel. 026 923 78 80 079 395 47 51
A Capella Choral Concert Château-d'Oex
International Hot-Air Balloon Week 37th annual festival in Pays-d'Enhaut Sat, Jan. 24
Vreneli BigAirBag Contest Fun for all at the Saanewald Lodge
ART ON PAPER – EXPOSITION
Ambulance 144, Police 117, Fire 118 Medical Emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental Emergency 033 729 26 26 Police Station 033 356 84 31 Car Accident 033 744 88 80 Zweisimmen Hospital 033 729 26 26 Château-d’Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Veterinarian 033 748 08 58/ 033 744 06 61 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/useful- numbers.html
2 – 4 January 2015 Salle Expo, Gstaad Palace 11 am – 1 pm, 6 pm – 11 pm Cocktail Reception 2 January, 5 pm
Clubs Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Christiane Griessen (079 / 432 73 93) Secretary: Rot. Markus Iseli (033 / 748 92 08)
Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12 pm for lunch or at 7 pm for dinner. Meetings in Ermitage, Wellness & Spa-Hotel, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Sigi Feller, president, 033 748 85 73, email@example.com gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch
Buch- und Kunstantiquariat Trittligasse 19 CH–8001 Zürich, www.augustlaube.ch +41 44 256 88 99
GSTAAD_LIFE_2015.indd EVENTS //1
English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels
GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 8 // DECEMBER 30, 201417.12.14
**** * GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, email@example.com **** * GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, firstname.lastname@example.org **** * LE GRAND BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, email@example.com **** * THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, firstname.lastname@example.org ***** ERMITAGE, WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL +41 (0)33 748 04 30, email@example.com *** * BOUTIQUE HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, firstname.lastname@example.org *** * GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, email@example.com
Les Chorbusiers, 7:30 pm Sat, Jan. 24 - Feb. 1
St Peter’s Anglican Church
ca. 140 m2
8:30 pm, Zweisimmen Jazz Club Sun, Jan. 18
Fri, jan. 2
Welt & Gstaad Film Showing
Tues, Dec. 30 - Tues, Jan. 6
For further details please visit: www.gstaad.ch
**** HOTEL LE GRAND CHALET +41 (0)33 748 76 76, firstname.lastname@example.org **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL +41 (0)33 748 43 43, email@example.com **** HOTEL BERNERHOF +41 (0)33 748 88 44, firstname.lastname@example.org **** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA +41 (0)33 744 51 21, email@example.com **** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, firstname.lastname@example.org **** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, email@example.com **** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, firstname.lastname@example.org **** STEIGENBERGER ALPENHOTEL AND SPA +41 (0)33 748 64 64, email@example.com ** * HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, firstname.lastname@example.org ** * HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, email@example.com *** HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, firstname.lastname@example.org *** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, email@example.com *** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, firstname.lastname@example.org *** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, email@example.com *** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, firstname.lastname@example.org *** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, email@example.com ** * HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94, firstname.lastname@example.org ** * HOTEL SPITZHORN +41 (0)33 748 41 41, email@example.com *** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42, firstname.lastname@example.org *** SAANEWALD LODGE +41 (0)33 744 69 69, email@example.com *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA +41 (0)33 748 44 22, firstname.lastname@example.org HOTEL RESTAURANT BÄREN +41 (0)33 755 10 33, email@example.com
Soroptimist International President: Franziska Brändli, Tel. 079 636 13 33 Program: Gabi Thoenen, Tel. 033 748 11 11
HOTEL GELTENHORN +41 (0)33 765 35 91, firstname.lastname@example.org HOTEL VIKTORIA +41 (0)33 755 10 34, email@example.com HOTEL WILDHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 12, firstname.lastname@example.org
JA N UA RY 30 st - FE BR UARY 7 t h
Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio de Prague|Ondrej Lenárd|Emmanuel Ceysson|Inva Mula|Agne Keblyte|Orchestre de Chambre Philharmonique de Pologne|Wojciech Rajski|Elisabeth Leonskaja|Alexander Boldachev|Arcadi Volodos Giulia Ott|Geneva Camerata|David Greilsammer|Jennifer Larmore|Ramón Ortega Quero|Carlos del Ser|Coline Jaget Dora Schwarzberg|Giuliano Mazzoccante|Nora Romanoff|Romain Garioud|Agnès Clément|Wiener Klaviertrio|Regula Mühlemann|Stojan Krkuleski|Remy van Kesteren|Classica Francese|Anaïs Gaudemard|Sinfonia Varsovia|Michel Tabachnik|Ivo Pogorelich|Sarah Verrue|Orchestre de Chambre de Vienne|Stefan Vladar|Daniel Lozakovitj|Composer in residence: Ivan Fedele
«The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad»