The Hacienda Colomé (by Swiss entrepreneur Donald M. Hess) is not only worth a visit for its wines, but for the special place. The next small village is about 45 minutes away by car. From Salta you can do the zigzagging roads by going over the top of a pass (Cuesta del Obispo) and “Parque Nacional de los Cardones” about 5 to 6 hours, depending on road conditions (partially dirt roads). This means that one does not go there spontaneously for a winetasting. For a long time we had the idea to include the Bodega Colomé on our next trip to Argentina because we know friends that stayed there. Since the hotel has only 9 rooms, this was the first thing we booked for our trip and planned everything else including flights only afterwards. It was really worth it. It is a place with a certain magic. You can relax, get some peace and quiet, do walks and besides; taste the best wines of the region. We spent New Year’s Eve at the bodega and had a really wonderful evening with people from France, Brazil, Switzerland and Argentina. Bodega Colomé grows their own fruits, vegetables and herbs in their garden and cooks only regional and seasonal meals. The staff conjured up a delicious multi-course menu for the guests that evening, including wine pairing. At 12 o’clock we all toasted to the new year on the terrace under the roof of stars and there was – still on top – a huge dessert buffet. Those who make it to Colomé should stay at least two or three days, as the James Tyrell Art Museum is also very worth seeing.
Bogotà – What helps against altitude sickness? Bogotà city is on 2’640 m above sea level and higher than many resorts in the Swiss alps. My special tip is Aguardiente, Colombian’s most popular drink. It is an anise-flavoured liqueur that works like medicine for the stomach.
We met some friends for dinner at the restaurant “Andrés carne de res DC” which was already recommended to us by several locals and tourists.
We chose the “DC” city branch, as the original place, even bigger one, is about 1 hour by car away.
The food is really good, although you might think the place was built just for the tourists. Every evening, various birthday people and beauty queens are elected with special decorated sashes, who often do not even know about their “luck”. After dinner the place turns into a crazy party place.
Zermatt – This restaurant is probably the one I have eaten most when in Zermatt. Also it is really one of my favourites in the World.
Why? First class view with the Matterhorn, best tuna carpaccio, best sweetbread with salad or pasta and biggest and best “Cremeschnitte” (see pic) in the world.
tuna carpaccio and salat
sweetbread with pasta
where the goats live?
house made pasta
Book your table in advance! You reach the little restaurant either directly from the slopes or after a short hike up the hill from Zermatt (about 40 minutes). It is great in Summer and Winter time but check opening times.
The view is just great from up there and the food tastes equally.
I had probably the best lunch in a month…or half a year? The beef fillet “Rossini” includes everything I really like: the beef was absolutely tender and juicy, topped with a piece of goose liver and sprinkled with black truffle. I ordered the tagliatelle with saffron to accompany and it was a feast. My husband took the veal chop with red pepper and risotto and was happy with it too. Actually we were quite full, but the dessert was just too tempting (see pic below).
The food was great as expected. Some dishes were familiar but some small surprises tickled and picked on our tongues….I want to leave the surprise a surprise for the ones who still plan to go so you have to find out yourselves.
Hochybrig – I love skiing. Last week we drove up to Hochybrig which is a winter sport area very near where we live. The slopes are decent and the weather became just great around lunch time.
I really recommend the food (juicy Iberico and beef as well as Raclette from the charcoal grill) and atmosphere in this rural restaurant next to the chair lift “Hesisbol“. The wine list is also “quite selected”.
But – if you are a strict non smoker, you should not go inside for lunch as it is one of the few restaurants in Switzerland where smoking is still allowed…
Chiavenna – We spent a weekend in the mountains in Italy near the Swiss border. We learned from these stunning hay lofts from a friend. He had bought the land from the local farmers who historically used them as shelter for their goats when they brought the herds up from the valley to a higher altitude in summer. The new owner of the hay lofts rebuilt the tables into to these spectacular lofts.
You should not be afraid of heights and narrow winding streets as the journey to reach the haylofts is quite an adventure. From Switzerland you take the route over Splugen pass….in itself a wonderful and breathtaking area.
You can choose from three different hay lofts, some with a romantic view into the forest or and others overseeing the valley. All of the lofts feature panoramic windows which is unique for this type of rustico buildings which usually come with very small windows.
There is even a spa house, which again comes with panorama window and phenomenal view. Jacuzzi and sauna are heated with wood which means that you need to let the staff know a few hours in advance if you’re planning to take a hot bath….but the unique architecture of the calidarium built all from local natural material makes this a absolutely unforgettable experience.
Each hay loft features its own kitchen so that you can cook your own meals or you can ask for catering service. There is obviously no central heating but the fire places do an awesome job in making you feel cosy and warm. If you are looking for some peace, pure nature and relaxation this place could not be more perfect.