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Practical, rational and positive: My personal COVID diary to handle this virus

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A personal story of a passioned foodie experiencing the lost of taste and smell during COVID including a diary on how to handle this unknown journey

Welcome to my personal experience of Covid! In this little – very personal guide – I would like to share what exactly happened from the moment I felt the first symptoms to the day of recovery. The blog post includes suggestions and helpful procedures to make this isolation time more suitable for mind, body & soul. All you read is based on a personal experience and excludes any medical validation. My aim is to share how I experienced all of this and maybe be a little light in the whole covid chaos.

How everything began – Day 1 of my first symptoms

All started with a dry cough and a little sore throat. At this stage I did not really relate my symptoms to covid yet. This is also a reason why I was still meeting some few friends for a walk or a coffee. The second day it continued a bit with the sore throat, I felt more tired and I did also sweat during the night. This is when I started to stop seeing people and I kind of thought, well, it could be covid is coming.

When taste and smell are gone

The third day was the day I decided to go for a covid test since I experienced the disappearing of my taste and smell and somehow my body felt very tired and powerless. From the day I knew I am going to make the test I did not see any people and I isolated myself at home. I was lucky to have a friend that brought me some food and groceries I needed! As an Italian, and as my parents thought me, a basic food stock as tomato sauce, pasta, rice, cheese, nuts or frozen veggies can’t miss at home.

Where to go for the COVID  test in Zurich

I checked online where the best/fastest available place was to get tested. Since some as Triemli Spital showed availability only in 2-3 days I decided to do it at Universitätsspital/Reisezentrum.
As of  now covid tests can also be made in pharmacies. The 4 pharmacies in Zurich that offer the service are

According to information from Pharmasuisse, the rapid tests react to viral antigens and delivers a result within 15 minutes. This requires a smear of the posterior nasal wall. Advantages of the rapid test compared to the PCR test currently in use are not only the speed but also the price and independence from expensive laboratory equipment. Costs for test are covered by the government, if you have symptoms or were in contact with an infected person. If this is not the case, you have to take care of the costs yourself, but you can send in your invoice to the health insurance!

What happens after the covid test is made ?

So, I was sitting at home waiting the test result, but honestly I knew covid virus hit me, because the missing smell and taste was something so unknown to me the way it was. Can’t explain the feeling, but it’s not coming because you feel a blocked nose, it’s just no taste and smell. The result arrived after 24 hours and I was curious about what would happen next. On the one hand with my body on the other hand on the administrative part.
I got an sms some hours later telling me, that someone from the contact tracing would call me. I was sitting there and waiting but nobody ever called. What I received was an email, where I got instruction on how to behave, what means, stay home, inform all people I met 48 hours before the first symptom appeared. Further a questionnaire to fill in all symptoms I returned immediately.

What I really missed in all this very impersonal information was a call of someone telling you where to address if there is an emergency or uncertainty with the symptom that arise

Day 3 to day 6 are a real rollercoaster

My symptoms seem to be consistent the next days with the no taste and no smell. I have no fever and still feel my muscles and brain tired and slow. Nevertheless, I try to do some yoga exercises to understand how my body reacts on fatigue. I experience that it’s good for my mind to be a little active. Meditation helps me to stay calm and accept the fact, that I have no idea, which symptoms will appear the next days.

Day 6-8 put me somehow in difficulty and fear since I experience the first time a strong pressure and heat in my chest. It feels like there is a radiator that burns in my chest. This is the day I decide to call the AERZTEFON (Tel. 0800 33 66 55) . I do not really go regular to see a doctor since I am quite in good shape so I try the number I got from the pharmacy.

The doctor at the phone is very friendly and calms me, she takes my coordinates and explains to me, that everything seems to be in the “norm” and that I shall observe the pressure and breathing quality. She says bye and assures me, that I can call anytime and they will send a doctor, if I do feel I need one. So I hang up and go to bed and try to relax with a good Netflix serie!

Power food to eat during your covid self-care

Day 7 the smell is still not there but somehow I keep myself busy by cooking some easy dishes as veggie soups, since I know my body needs vitamins and honestly it keeps me busy and positive to work in the kitchen!
During the whole day I drink a lot! Absolutely recommend the turmeric tea from the brand Sonnentor made of the ingredients that support the immune system! (turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, fennel, liquorice, black pepper, vanilla pod and cloves).
When it comes to the right food when at home with covid I made a little research online and found out that food rich of potassium sources could be considered a basic nutrition education strategy for self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more on this study here

The use of culinary herbs like oregano, sage and cinnamon as well as increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is encouraged to improve antioxidant levels in the body

Another food suggestion you shouldn’t miss: Eat raw garlic! Its regular consumption can help treat and mange lung disorders including cancer! Garlic contains a phytoutrient called allicin. This is what helps in attacking against microbes causing infection.
My symptoms seem to be consistent with the no taste and smell, still no fever but the pressure and twinge in my chest are continuing. My sleep is deep and I wake up quite “normal” in this first week.

Recommended online food shopping to try when locked at home

I was very happy to find the online delivery shop Mahler & Co. for organic food. They were super fast (2 days of delivery) and have a wide selection of quality biological food including organic wines. This is where I placed my order of a red biodynamic Ripasso! Because you need to be ready, when the taste starts to come back, right? No, I did not consume alcohol while being sick 🙂

This annoying smell of burn  is still here after day 9

It seems as a lot of symptoms are gone, the only thing that irritates me is the smell of burnt in my nose! While after day 9 the taste is nearly all back there is a little thing that keeps annoying me. I smell burnt in my nose! I read online, that the taste of burn is normal and that it is a sign that the senses are recovering from the virus. Well, at least it makes it easier to get along with that topic, and I know, patience will help also here!

Is all this coming soon to an end after 10 days?

Day 10 and I feel like all is nearly gone, wow, it’s an amazing experience, my body seems semi-normal, I still do not have 100% my power back but all other symptoms seem to be gone. I realize when I do my yoga exercises, that the strength in my body is coming back, also the taste is back and no smell of burnt around! I notice only some little pressure in the chest but it doesn’t alarm me. Nevertheless, since I want to understand if it is ok to have this procedure of symptoms I decide to call again the Areztefon. The doctor assures me, that mostly they experience this kind of light second symptom wave after 10 days in a lot of patients. This calms me and I switch of my Netflix again to enjoy my evening!

Day 11 to Day 14 – YEY I have my power back – when can I go out?

The feeling of being healed is finally here! According to a lot of information on the web and guidance of the BAG after 10 days the body is healed. Now it’s important to be 48 hours symptom free and the time to be able to leave the house is here.

Some people may think, but it’s too early to leave the house, you don’t know if you will still have symptoms and transmit the virus to someone. The thing is, once you have the virus in your body and you go through the whole illness you feel when your body is healed. And leaving the house after being symptom free for 48 hours doesn’t mean you go to the next party or in spaces full of people. The use of common sense is a rule for plenty other topics in life, no? It’s a delicate issue and since there is a lot of information I understand people being confused and especially scared. So don’t worry about what others say, go your own way!

If you can’t handle the unknown an option could be to make a second test and have it officially on a paper, that the virus is gone. But here you find several opinions and theories, too. The doctors I asked where in the opinion that doing a PCR test can result still positive since part of the virus remain in the blood for 2-3 month. Another advise I got in a pharmacy was to do an antibody blood test after 1-2 month to see, if the virus is still in the blood. Here I found several services online offering this test, but I did not try them personally.

For all the ones that want to know more about the available tests, read this official BAG information

Empfehlungen_zur_Diagnose_von_COVID-19 (5)

or this very useful article from Harvard Medical School.

Ways of keeping yourself positive and busy during the time at home – working, cooking, painting & zoom

Being an experienced remote worker staying at home for me never meant boredom. Luckily there is always something to do and I admit, it was a good distraction to be able to work! Of course the brain worked slow but hey, it’s okey! I have a wonderful team around me that supported me also in this!

An activity that always keeps me busy is cooking! Believe me, the first days were weird with the non smell and taste issue, but I ignored that fact and continued my cooking journey. I baked some bread and made some fresh spreads and the usual simple dishes as oven veggies, soups, pasta or risotto rice. I found a beautiful blog called The First Mess that I immediately fell in love with. Absolutely recommend it!

Paint it nice!

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”
– Vincent Van Gogh

Did you know, that painting is a secret passion of mine ?
It’s amazing how my creativity flows once I have the brush and paint under my fingers. I had this idea to use food for my painting since a while so this was the time to do it and it was really a lot of fun! A spicy, colorful and drunk painting for the kitchen of my friend was born!

Meditate and keep your mind calm!

A lot of people say they try to meditate, which is a good start. What I experience is that you need to practice it frequently to get to that status of mind, where everything around you is switched off and you really connect to your deep soul.
Try this meditation and let me know, what you think about! I love it, 15 minutes every day will clean your thoughts and keep you down to earth while others freak out 😉

Let your friends & family be part of your time at home

Being stuck at home means no social contact and we all know, that we need this kind of quality contacts in our life. When I had the need to be in contact with my friends or family I just told them that I need some virtual attention! I personally think that it is very important to communicate your needs, since sometimes people are just too busy with their own life and they don’t do it per purpose but they forget to call or send you a little text.

What else to say, stay healthy, follow your common  sense and hit me up if you have any questions!
If you’re in the mood to travel virtually get a read in my travel section!

Sending you love and good vibes! Marina

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Accomodation

Giardino Mountain Hotel St. Moritz

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My personal highlight: Staying in the Engadine in luxury and informal surrounding offering the best comfort you need for body & soul

Here is where you find a tranquil & intimate winter escape only a five-minute stroll away from St. Moritz. Welcome to Champfèr close to nature and far away from everyday life. Giardino Mountain is a modern luxury hotel with a homely touch. The architecture is traditional from Engadine, the sgraffitos (typical wall painting from Engadine) on the walls made by the local artist Steivan Könz combined with wood elements add a particular romantic touch! It has undergone an extensive transformation, preserving the local Engadine charm and fusing it with clean interior design.

Why to choose 5 Star Hotel Giardino Mountain for your trip

Staying at Giardino Mountain feels like visiting a friends chalet with a luxury touch and excellent service. The interior design is modern, colorful and arty. The view from the balcony over the Engadine Mountain is giving you the needed portion of tranquility every time you slide the curtain!

Walking through the corridors you notice vibrant fuchsia and lime velvets that brings to mind a huge bouquet of wild flowers cascading down a snowy mountain. I absolutely love the wall of roses on the way to the fine dining restaurant Ecco by Chef Rolf Fliegauf.

Accommodation

The rooms are decorated with warm colors and delicate fabrics and provide soul-nourishing spaces, including a restful state-of-the-art wellness spa. I really loved the earthy tones that give to the 78 rooms and suites a feeling of warmth and pure coziness.
The size of the rooms starts from 18-square-meter Double Room Small to 60-square-meter Mountain Suite, each of the 78 rooms offers mountain views and either a king-size bed or twin beds. All rooms offer a shower or a bathtub—apart from the 32-square-meter Small Suite South, the 50-square-meter Suite, and the 60-square-meter Mountain Suite, which offer both—while some also boast a lounge or balcony.
The Mountain Suite also plays host to a wonderful fireplace to enjoy the best post-piste relaxation moment. Check their actual rates here.

Wellness & SPA, Gym or Yoga

Discover the brand “dipiù” – a declaration of love of Ticino’s nature and its efficacy at Giardino Mountain. Choose the program of ayurveda or beauty you need out of their offer here. For all yoga lovers: go for the weekly yoga sessions! They help to relax and let go! The sauna world offers  various dry and steam saunas. Use the indoor pool for some swimming and don’t miss their modern gym equipment from Technogym for your training practice.

Are you into a short getaways in St. Moritz: choose the day pass to the dipiù Spa at the Hotel Giardino Mountain, there’s no need to be a hotel guest to enjoy a short relaxing break. Whether it’s summer or winter, spend a restorative day of wellness in the pool and sauna area of Switzerland’s largest dipiù Spa.
One treatment, such as a massage, is included. Including 60 min. treatment – CHF 220 p.p., Including 90 min. treatment – CHF 260 p.p.

Restaurants

The hotel features 4 restaurants. Restaurant Hide & Seek and the Stüva provide culinary delights throughout the year. Ecco Restaurant is probably the best 2 star Michelin rated restaurant in the Engadine run by Chef Rolf Fliegauf. They prepare amazing dishes with regional products combined with flair and imagination. I had the opportunity to experience the Menu prepared with the Guest Chef Renu Homsombat from Bangkok during the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. Go for a romantic Fondue & Champagne in their new pop-up restaurant RSRV (pronounced “reservé”) on the hotel terrace. It’s a transparent dome, for an outdoor feeling with an indoor temperature! Get more here! Prices are from CHF 85 (with the Engadine fondue), CHF 96 (with the truffle fondue) to CHF 116 (with the champagne fondue).
The pop-up restaurant will be open from 20 December 2019 to 8 March 2020.

Note: From May 29 to November 1, 2020, when many Alpine hotels close down, Giardino Mountain transforms into a casual bed-and-breakfast, offering its normal five-star ambience, but without its restaurant and spa—perfect for those who seek a high-style luxury setting in the Alps during summer.

A warm thank you goes to all of the Giardino Mountain Staff and Woehrle Pirola AG that made this press trip possible

www.giardinohotels.ch/

Address: Hotel Giardino Mountain – Via alla Maistra 3 – 7512 Champfèr-St. Moritz – Schweiz

In the mood to discover more lovefoodish travel stories? Get them here!

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A culinary weekend on a boat: Excellence Gourmet Festival 2019

My personal highlight: My soul feels home on the water, a Gourmet Festival on a boat is THE a foodies happy place!

Welcome to Excellence Gourmet Festival.
A 2-day gourmet trip between Basel and Strasbourg that takes place every autumn. This year from October 18 to November 24, 2019. Booking takes place through the travel agency Mittelthurgau, click here right away, if you like to book a slot. Cost start at 285 CHF to 500 CHF per person (price vary depending on the guest gook). The transfer, overnight on the boat, food and breakfast are included in the price.

What to expect on the gourmet trip?

Excellent top cuisine, 48 Michelin stars and 560 Gault Millau points, a dedicated crew, live music and a breathtaking sunset on the Rhine river. Sounds like pure relaxation for soul and palate, doesn’t it? The concept of the Excellence Gourmet Festival, taking place this year for the 7th time offers an amazing choice of well renewed top Chefs. 39 endowed creative cooks from Switzerland and the world surprise foodies of all ages. Everything is prepared fresh and ad hoc on the boat. The evening program is moderated by different Swiss celebrities as for example Sven Epiney or Christa Rigozzi during my attendance. Their interaction with the Chefs was excellent, they reveal a lot of insights of the Chefs with their interactive dialog between every course. The atmosphere is very relaxed. While dining you don’t even notice how smooth the ship moves to on the river!

A 2-day gourmet trip with sightseeing, culinary and complete relax on the river

The journey starts with the transfer to Strasbourg by a comfy bus. In Strasbourg you get time to stroll through the city either by yourself or with an organized guide. In the early afternoon there is a transfer to get on board of one of the Gourmet boats. In my case it was the Excellence Princess. After the check-in in my Junior Suite with spectacular view over the Rhine river a welcome aperitive with sweets, salty snacks and live music everyone is set to start the gourmet experience. The perfect chance to get to know other foodies on board and discover every cozy corner of the Excellence Princess!
My favorite spot: one of the sofas in the glass covered skylounge. Here is where I slurp happy and full of excitement my aperol spritz!

The Culiniray program – Chef Flynn McGarry from New York (Restaurant Gem)

The dining highlight of my day: Flynn McGarry from the Restaurant gem in New York. Media describe him as the a prodigy of cuisine. Listening to the interview I immediately understood, that he followed very early his idea and passion of cooking. And guess having a family around that understands someones passion is something unique you can ever wish. But still, yes, it’s very impressive that he started at the age of 10 and now with 20 it kind of seems that lot’s of his dreams are already fulfilled! Flynn gives me the impression of a very humble, creative and somehow mature personality with his young age! Obviously he discovered very early what he wants to do in his life and it is motivating, feeling the light and ambitious vibes he has. The interview held by Sven Epiney during the evening revealed a lot of funny insights, too.

The menu comes with a wine pairing. My favorite drop: the Carmelo Rodero Reserva, 2014, Bodegas Rodero, Ribera del Duero/Spain.

The menu at a glance

Starter: Scallop Chips with raw scallops and preserved citrus  – layers of Kohlrabi and pear

1 course: Lightly cooked beet “ceviche” with salted plums and smoked chili

2 course: Grilled cabbage with oyster and grilled kale emulsion

3 course: Layers of squash and rutabaga with gruyere and black pepper

4 course: Celery root schnitzel with truffels and rye

5 course: Smoked and roasted duck breast with radicchio and duck xo sauce, salad on the side stew of druck and grilled cicorino rosso to share

Dessert: Quince granita with sage semifreddo

The combination of flavors, ingredients, spices and herbs used made that mainly focussed plant based menu very surprising but in the same time simple and comforting. The celery root schnitzel with the super crispy layer was fabulous yummy.

My  favorite dish: the pumpkin in a creamy, tasty gruyere sauce, perfectly balanced, a dish that I will try to cook at home! The dessert was a sage semifreddo and a quince granita, very mediterranean and a true delight to end the event in glory!

Accommodation on the maritime lady

The Excellence Princess gives you all comfort you can think of. I would describe it as a modern and elegant Swiss Grand Hotel on water! Find several options where to spend your free time. Choose between the glass covered skylounge, outside on the terrace or the elegant bar in the middle deck. In the mood of sauna or fitness? That’s available, too!

On the boat are 93 cabins with shower/bathroom, air conditioning, Sat-/TV, minibar, hair dryer, french balcony, spacious windows. Find three different categories of cabins: In the upper and middle deck: 16 m2 and a Junior Suite with 20 m2, both with a frz. balcony, double bed or single beds. Under deck: Cabin with 13 m2 single or double bed.
The life on board feels safe due to the very robust construction properties of the boat.

A very warm thank you to all of the staff on board that made my stay memorable and to the agency Pantarhei that invited me to this glamorous mini-holiday on the water.

In the mood of some more travel and food stories? Find inspiration here.

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Travel

The Hide Hotel Flims

My personal highlight: L O V E at first sight – architecture meats a modern alpine lifestyle

Welcome to Flims and to The Hide Hotel, a destination in Graubünden that will touch your heart! The hotel is located in the midst of nature, adjacent to the valley cablecar station, only a few metres away from the slopes, bus station and malls in the recently created apartment area “Stenna“.

The alpine pearl has been designed by the renowned Gothenburg-based and multi-award winning designer team from Stylt Trampoli.
All material and fabric chosen match perfectly together, this makes the ambience contemporary in unison with the natural surrounding of the beautiful alpine way of life. This can be experienced from the lobby to the rooms, in the SPA area and in their restaurants.

The cozy sofa around the fire place in the lobby lounge is the perfect spot where to sip an aperol spritz!

Accommodation

Find 42 double rooms and 5 suites located on the top floor of the Stenna building. Experience  a penthouse lifestyle! All rooms are spacious and functional. The Furniture is timeless and very warm. The terraces are super large and invite to relax! Choose from a double room or Junior Suite. Find more about special packages and rates here.

Forgot to pack your backpack? No problem, use the practical backpacker you’ll find in the room!

SPA & Relax

Take your SPA bag and find out where to relax best! Finnish Panorama Sauna with direct mountain view, a steam-room, saunarium, rain showers, relaxation room, as well as a private SPA area for two people spread on over 1000 m2.

For the sporty ones, enjoy their state-of-the-art Fitness room!

Restaurant & Drinks

The Deli offers cuisine from Lebanon, Israel and the Arabic region combined with regional specialities. The relaxed atmosphere is expressed through a warm alpine interior style. Perfect for lunch or dinner. I love the open kitchen that allows to look over the shoulders of the Chefs.

My personal highlight: Roasted chicken breast in a Tagine perfectly aromatized and tender, mixed with fried eggplant squares and mozzarella, because oriental meets local!

The Hide Dinner is the restaurant of the renewed Chef Adraian Tschanz you should absolutely try.

Choose out of vegetarian or vegan dishes made with regional ingredients. The menu includes traditional plates combined with a cuisine Adrian Tschanz experiences all around the world.

Once the accommodation has been chose, it’s time to discover all activities around Flims as hiking, climbing, biking or skiing! Explore the most beautiful Alpine Lake with unique turquoise waters called Caumasee. I put together some suggestions for you in this blog post here.

The Hide Hotel – Address: Via Nova 80, Flims 7017, Switzerland – www.thehidehotelflims.com/

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Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

My personal highlight: Relaxing in the oasis of wellness & health famous for its 36.5 degrees Celsius water – Flying my senses high with an exceptional fine dining experience at IGNIV

Bad Ragaz is a cozy small village in the canton of St. Gallen. It is the home of a famous natural spring. It’s a popular spa and health resort destination in Europe. Beside the wellbeing factor you find wonderful art & sculptures all over the Resort and the tiny village. This place is home of The Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture, called Bad RagARTz. An event of international fame visited from artists all over Europe.

Discovered accidentally in 1240, the salubrious effects of Pfäfers’ mineral springs were recognised early on. The famous natural scientist, physician and philosopher Paracelsus, who is regarded as the first spa physician of Bad Pfäfers, worked there in 1535 and wrote an entire book on the therapeutic effects of the water with a temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius. 

Spoil your soul in the Thermal Water World

Experience a holistic wellness program that suits to all that want to maintain health or improve it, need relax or simply love to enjoy a swim. In the “Thermal Spa” you will find an extensive water world with the Helenabad (35°C) or Sportbad (29°C) pools. The Tamina Therme is the cherry on the top. It’s a public wellbeing oasis and haven of relaxation! Get more on the spa offer here. Enjoy their Garden Pool with an outdoor bar from May to September.

Your perfect stay at Grand Hotel Quellenhof

Get to know the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Located about three hours by car from Munich and one hour’s drive from Zurich you will find an excellent variety of hospitality. There are 4 different Grand Hotels. Three five stars: The Grand Hotel Quellenhof (as of 1000 CHF), the SPA Suites (suites as of 890 CHF), the GRAND HOTEL HOF RAGAZ (rooms as of 450 CHF) and the Palais Hotel (Relais & Chateaux Bad Ragaz) (Rooms as of 450 CHF). Further There is a Medical Center & Clinic Bad Ragaz, Thermal Spa’s and an Events & Conference center. From classic, opulent, traditional to purist design. Find an option for every taste.
For your culinary experience: choose out of seven restaurants, four bars, a bistro, a café and sushi takeaway for a variety of delights! Don’t miss the exhibition that brings you closer the complete history around the Grand Resort especially created in occasion of the 150 years of anniversary!
More on the culinary experiences in the blog post below!

The resort is also very popular among golfers. It is the only resort in Switzerland to have two golf courses of its own. One is suitable for beginners, the other for professionals.

The Grandhotel Quellenhof – My design eye-catchers

Last July, after only five months of construction and an investment of CHF 45 million, the completely renovated Grand Hotel Quellenhof once again opened its doors. The famous Swiss interior designer Claudio Carbone redesigned the Grand Hotel Quellenhof with a concept focussed around both the hotel’s history and its thermal water.
The 16 metre high chandelier is one of the highlights. 2500 impressive blue and white spheres made of mouth blown glass shines in the stairway.
The design and size of the wine counter around the entrance of the Restaurant Verve by Sven captured my attention, too. Not to mention the fabulous modern and elegant interior of the restaurant Verve by Sven made with natural materials paired with warm colours, creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere!

Accommodation at Grand Hotel Quellenhof

Choose between different sized rooms as the Junior suite with 50 m2 with an elegant and seductive atmosphere! The materials and colors used for the interiors transmit the art of tradition meeting modernity with the special luxury touch. Explore the minibar with delicious soft drinks or and delicate red wine. What captured my attention was the bathroom! An image of the astonishing “Tamina Schlucht” overlooking the bath tube, an exceptional craftsmanship result lasered on a natural black stone. The parquet is made of Swiss natural wood and a dream to walk on. The view from the room overlooks the beautiful alps and is just the perfect setup for a peaceful treat.

A warm thank you to Grand Hotel Quellenhof for giving me the opportunity to be the first guest sleeping in the new suite!

Beside the Junior suites you find Junior suites Deluxe, (both 50 m2), Corner Junior suites (60 m2), Suites (80 m2), Grand Suites (100 m2), Royal suites (200 m2,  spacious lounge, living room, fireplace) and the legendary King Suite (270 – 600 m2 for luxury at the highest level).
Get more on the rooms here.

Gourmet Highlights at Grandresort Bad Ragaz

Choose out from local Swiss food to Asian specialities all the way to a modern fine-dining sharing experience and French haute cuisine. At Grand Resort Bad Ragaz you experience indulgence and style. Culinary art and atmosphere. The restaurants and Bars to choose out are:

  • VERVE BY SVEN (Health & Lifestyle Cuisine & refined mixed drinks and cocktails)
  • MEMORIES (Natural, local & fresh, delicate and puristic Cuisine)
  • IGNIV BY ANDREAS CAMINADA (1 Michelin Star, Sharing Fine Dining Experience)
  • OLIVES D´OR (sophisticated Mediterranean cuisine)
  • NAMUN (A masterpiece of Asian cuisine. With 13 GaultMillau points)
  • ZOLLSTUBE (Traditional & Charming, typical Swiss Cuisine & Swiss Beers)
  • SCHLOSS WARTENSTEIN (Fresh seasonal & regional Cuisine with the majestic view)
  • GLADYS (Club House Classics,
  • Snacks, Sushi & Salads at Golf Bistro, Café Therme or Sushi Take away Koiso
  • Bars, Get your drink at one of the 4 Bars at The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz: Verve by Sven Bar, Hof Bar, Salon Davidoff, Golden Wave Bar at the Casino Bad Ragaz

Absolutely to recommend: Get breakfast & lunch at “Verve by Sven”
The breakfast of my choice: Verve
Enjoy the healthy thermal drink water (36.5 °), a green smoothie.
Chia lone seed pudding, Granola with bee pollen, berries, a poached bio egg on a home made sour dough bread, tomato jam, Swiss tofu cream with lovage cress.

For lunch you can choose of daily menus that are prepared with healthy, ad fresh and seasonal ingredients. Absolutely to recommend: their cocktail with or without alcohol!

Fine Dining experience at IGNIV by Andreas Caminada & Breakfast/Lunch at Verve by Sven

Fine Dining Experience at IGNIV by Andreas Caminada

IGNIV by Andreas Caminada is the place where your valuable time gets enriched by enjoyment and culinary temptations. This 1 Michelin star restaurant surprises and seduces you with a fine dining sharing experience prepared by Chef de cuisine Silvio Germann & his staff. Every course comes in small plates and is perfectly combined with a wine chosen from Chef de Service and Sommelier Francesco Benvenuto. I love the fact that most of the wines are local and let evolve every bite of the carefully prepared dishes to a high level of taste.
The ambience at IGNIV is stylish, modern with the special touch of a traditional ancient living room. The candy shop captured my attention immediately! These hand made sweets are THE must take home after the dining experience!

Try the Fine Dining sharing experience at IGNIV

The name IGNIV derives from the Rhaeto-Romanic word “nest“. Materials such as brass elements and wood as well as the arrangement of the tables give the guest the feeling of being in a nest. Every course served as for example the egg royal (served in an egg shell) makes you experience this element of the nest.

We had a 3 course sharing experience with 5 surprise components! The Sharing experience comes with a variety of very delicate prepared veggies, most of them grown local or regional. Same for the fish and meat. The dining concept is a true pleasure to share with friends, family or with your love!

The amuse bouches
Lettuce, dill – macaron, sour cream, cucumber – cabbage turnip, withe fish – egg royal

Champagne Résonance Marie Courtin

The starters
Char, radish, butter milk – Beef tartar with potato chips – lettuce, parmesan and herbs – foie gras, chocolate – mackerel Sahsimi on a table BBQ, celery – IGNIV salad –
The surprise starter: the chicken Nuggets with BBQ choco sauce

Wine: Sauvignon Blanc Opoka 2014 – Marjan Simcic

The mains
Zander filet – Beef êntrecote from Grison, celery, onions – Veal cheeks, gremolata, young carrots, bramata – Cauliflower, Grüscher Trüffel

Wine: 2017 Chardonnay Martha und Daniel Gantenbein (Fläsch) – 2010 Pinot noir “H”, Christian Hermann (Fläsch)

The Desserts
Egg royal with strawberry & basil – Cocos ice cream, Verveine – Millefeuille with cherry & pistachio, chocolate & sea ​​buckthorn – Quark Soufflé – almond apricots sphere

The costs of the menu per person: CHF 148 for the 3 course, additional you can choose 3 surprise sharing components for additional CHF 40 or 5 surprise sharing components for additional CHF 60.

My personal highlights

The dinner at IGNIV was without doubt my absolutely memorable highlight. Each course was prepared with care and love. On the one hand, this is visible by admiring the presentation of the plates, including the artistic crockery and even more as a taste experience on the palate.
The way the all the staff welcomed me at the Grand Resort from the check in to check out is warm and attentive. Thank you Grand Resort Bad Ragaz especially Mrs. Astrid Hüni for having me.

In the mood of other accommodation suggestions? Visit my travel guide!

www.resortragaz.ch

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STORIESZurich Blogging

5 reason why you should consider visiting the Emmental Cheese Region in Switzerland

My personal highlight: Making my own cheese up in the Bernese Emmental – Feeling the origins of this Original Swiss Cheese directly under my fingers

The whole world knows it, one of Switzerland’s heritages is the Cheese. I love to share with you the story of the Swiss Original Emmental Cheese. Let’s get into the history of this delicacy with the famous holes.

The name of the cheese comes from the valley of the Emme located in the canton of Berne. Hundreds of years ago the farmers stayed at the alp from summer to winter. To survive during their stays they needed food! Soon they found out, that with the remaining milk of the healthy cows cheese can be created to still the hunger.

What makes the Emmental region unique

The region of Emmental is famous for its wide green juicy fields and happy cows. They graze peacefully, following their instinct to eat so much that their udders explode. Around 120 farmers belong to a corporation that delivers fresh high quality milk to produce the Original Emmental Cheese. The farmers feed the animals with healthy power food as soy or barley for example but also grass and hay (not silage). The cows live in a healthy and clean surrounding. These farmers know, that the care for their animals is essential to get quality milk for the Emmental Cheese.

How to recognize the one and only original Emmentaler Cheese AOP

It comes with a diameter of 80 to 100 cm, weighs 75 to 120 KG  and follows a maturation of at least 4 month in a selected cheese cellar. He contains little amount of salt and a unique nutty-mild aroma. The holes are probably the most typical feature of the Emmentaler AOP. They are cherry to nut sized and arise during the ripening process. The temperature and the humidity play an important role on the maturation process.

Did you buy a piece of Emmental? Want to know where your Emmentaler AOP was made? It’s easy and unique to track that. On every piece of Emmentaler AOP, you will find a cheese number on the bark, that is the number of the cheese dairy in which your Emmentaler AOP was made. Find out where your Emmentaler AOP comes from. Get more here.

Why does the AOP Emmentaler Cheese have these typical holes?

The bacteria begin to ferment and get trapped in the milk. They give give off carbon dioxide, and the carbon dioxide forms bubbles in the cheese. The Emmentaler AOP exists in various degrees of maturity. There are mild and more aromatic ones. The aromatic “reserve” one is matured for at least 8 months, the extremely aromatic “Höhlengereift” (cave-aged) are matured for at least 12 month.

What means AOP

The Emmental is AOP certified. AOP means: Protected term of origin. This official quality mark is reserved for traditional products with deep-rooted regional origins. Once protected designations have been registered by the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture, they may only be used for products that meet the specified requirements regarding origin, production and quality. Independent certification centers check that these standards are adhered to. For the AOP cheese the use of any additives is prohibited, as is the use of genetically modified ingredients.

Where to experience best how this Swiss Original Cheese is made from scratch – The Emmentaler Schaukäserei

Find four cheese dairies from different eras at the Emmentaler cheese factory The Küherstock (1741), the Chäshütte (1900), the old village dairy (1954) and the show dairy (1989). We start our tour at the old Küherstock, where Karin introduced us to the authentic way of creating the cheese called Mutschli.
I am fascinated about the ancient huge pot where the milk is fired on the wood and cheese processed to the shape of a round loaf. We have the privilege to help her in the production steps of the cheese making.

It’s a unique sensation to have fresh produced soft cheese under the fingers.

As of 1989 the fabrication takes place in modern production facilities. This is where our tour continues. Here we have the honor to put the original label on a huge original Emmental Loaf. Beside that we learn about the importance of hygiene and security tracking of every single instrument used for the production of the cheese.

Are you planning a trip with friends & family to Emmental?

Absolutely consider to stop at the showdairy from April to October: 09.00 – 18.30 and from November to March: 09.00  – 17.00. Get all of the information here.

On our trip we had the chance to visit one of the 120 farmers that deliver the milk to the cheese factory. It’s the farm of Roland Ryser he manages in third generation with his family. The house is from 1766. A typical construction from the region of Emmental. The garden transmits much care and love in every detail. I can feel why cows here are happy, they get professional care and are fed with high quality food. Brand ambassador and “SchwingerkönigMatthias Sempach introduced us to the food concept chosen for their animals. I was curious enough to even try one of their feed sort!

In the Emmental the large residential houses with stables attached are traditionally built in wood. The enormous hipped roofs are very typical. They reach down low on both sides of the building.

Where is the Emmental stored until it gets his unique Original taste?

Every Emmentaler AOP loaf ripens naturally for at least 120 days to develop its mildly nutty flavor and the typical holes. This happens first at the cheese dairies and then in a larger cheese cellar such as the one from Gourmino AG we visited. Here the “affinage” takes place.

Affinage: The art of aging your cheese gracefully

You cannot imagine the intensity and variety of odors that come together in such a cellar. Here is where I tasted the first piece of a 3 years old Emmental Cheese ever in my life. An intense aromatic Emmental never tried before. Unique.

The last step on our Blogger Trip was the visit of the an historical mill. Caci’s Mühle is a construction from the year 1969, today renovated to a true pearl for events. The house is managed by a wonderful family that puts plenty of care and creativity you notice at first sight. The house is open to public and can be rented for special events. Here we had the honor to cut the a piece of a aged Emmental Cheese and enjoy a true Emmentaler brunch Caci style!

A special thank you for this unforgettable tour goes to Mimmo Caci. He shared with us all of his knowledge and passion of the Emmentaler Cheese story and Luana Monopoli. And of course to the wonderful staff of Compresso that organized our days to be magic & unique.

In the mood to get inspired by more  blog stories & Swiss specialities? Get more here.

 

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