BOOK | Blue Window | Culinary Adventures in the Alps and Carpathians — Switzerland I France I Italy I | Switzerland IIII France II Italy IIII

Café Romand


Vaud Farm Shop


Vaud Farm Shop

Lausanne to Palézieux (train) 15-22 minutes



Palézieux to Chexbres (train) 21 minutes

Domaine Bovy

Domaine Bovy

Chexbres to Vevey 10 minutes

Tradition Taste Terroir

The 30 kilometre stretch of vineyards alongside Lake Geneva are not only a bountiful gift of nature they are also testament to centuries of backbreaking human toil. For generations, winemakers have terraced these steep hillsides, building stone walls to protect their vines. The winemaking tradition in Lavaux dates back to the 12th century when Cistercian and Benedictine monks controlled the land. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the region encompasses 14 municipalities and six certified winemaking sites – Lutry, Villette, Saint-Saphorin, Epesses & Calamin, Dezaley and Chardonne. The wine is complemented by the strong people place produce element of the region, with a range of products that reflect the extent of the terroir. [snip]

RECIPE — Dinkelbrot mit Mehrsaat spelt bread

RECIPE — Flutes au Fromage cheese sticks

RECIPE — La Pôchouse Suisse fish soup

RECIPE — Moelleux au Chocolat chocolate cakes

RECIPE — Pâté Vaudois Vaud pork pies

RECIPE — Taillé aux Greubons savoury pastries

Charlie Chaplin’s Shoes Are Made of Chocolate


Street Market


Vevey to Montreux (train) 7 minutes



Montreux to Saanen 65-83 minutes

RECIPE — Alt-Art Zwiebelsauce old-style onion sauce

RECIPE — Berner Rösti pan-fried potatoes

RECIPE — Birnenbrot pear bread

RECIPE — Birnenweggen pear wedges

RECIPE — Bratwürst mit Zwiebelsauce sausage and onion sauce

RECIPE — Butterzöpfe / Sonntag Brot Sunday bread

RECIPE — Gerstensuppe barley soup

RECIPE — Hühnerfleisch und Kastanien Suppe chicken, chestnut and bacon soup

RECIPE — Kalbsgeschnetzeltes veal in mushroom sauce

RECIPE — Käsesuppe cheese soup

RECIPE — Pilzsuppe mushroom soup

RECIPE — Rösti Ursprünglich pan-fried potatoes

RECIPE — Spiezer Frischkäsemousse latticed strudel with cheese mousse

RECIPE — Urdinkel Vollkornbrot mit Bruhstuck spelt bread with grain mash

RECIPE — Weggli breakfast bread rolls

RECIPE — Mutschli breakfast bread rolls

RECIPE — Zürcher Rösti pan-fried potatoes

The Cheese Grotto


Bernerhof Gstaad
Cheese Shop

Gstaad to Sanenmöser (train) 12 minutes

Early Beck


Les Hauts De Gstaad

Golf Hotel

Saanenmöser to Zweisimmen (train) 25 minutes

Café Life



Zweisimmen to Spiez (train) 41-46 minutes



Seegarten Marina
Swiss Bread

Spiez to Interlaken West (boat) 83 minutes

Thunnersee Schiff Restaurant


Interlaken West to Spiez (train) 16-17 minutes



Niesen Weathercam
Restaurant Niesen
Berner Oberland Webcams

Spiez to Mülenen (train) 7 minutes

Pear Bread Secrets


Adelboden to Frutigen (bus) 30 minutes

Lötschberger Express


Schüpbach Sausages

It is early morning. Hans Schüpbach is busy making the last of his summer sausages. ’We are closing at the end of the week,’ he says, turning from the shop counter display of cured and fresh meats and sausages into the back of his metzgerei (butcher’s shop). His sentiments remain unspoken. The icy grip of winter is on us.

Sausages – air-dried, cooked, smoked and raw – dominate Swiss food culture more than you would image. They are everywhere. They provide the backdrop to the seasons, at barbecues, festivals and markets, where they are eaten cold with cheese or hot with bread and sometimes hot with cheese wrapped in bacon.

The training centre for the Swiss meat industry in Spiez, the town where we changed trains after Gstaad, list 76 varieties, grouping them into three categories — scalded meat, cooked meat and raw meat.

Schüpbach specialises in cervelas, a smoked cooked sausage made with assorted butcher’s meat , and in dauerwurst, a cured sausage made with pork, beef, red wine, black pepper and coriander. His cervelas contains beef, bacon and water, with the emphasis on the beef. [snip]


Kandersteg to Goppenstein (train) 39 minutes

Lötschberg Mountain Tunnel

The soft rain hangs in the alpine air like an afterthought. It is almost invisible, a portent perhaps. We are stopped at Goppenstein, waiting? A long car-train sits alongside, droplets of rain falling onto the tracks.
The mountains are shrouded in mist. There is nothing to see, and a feeling of oppression is hard to shake. We want to get out of here. [snip]

Goppenstein to Evian Les Bains (train, boat) 3 hours

White and Wispy


RECIPE — Fondue Savoyard Savoy fondue

RECIPE — La Tourte a l’Abondance Abondance pie

RECIPE — Le Berthoud cheese bakes

RECIPE — Le Sérac Tranche fried cheese slices with olive oil and shallots

RECIPE — Les Crozets de Savoie aromatic pasta squares

RECIPE — Tartiflette cheese and potato pie

Water of the Alps


Evian to Annemass (train) 38 minutes



Annemasse to Annecy (train) 57 minutes

Terroir des Alpes

We are in Annecy because we want to visit the Terroir des Alpes shop and talk to them about the short chain – producer to consumer in one link. Here they sell the produce from their farm – a range of homemade regional specialties. They also sell the products from local food artisans. Among these are the fantastic diots – smoked pork sausages and the amazing pormoniers – pork sausages made with chard, leek and herbs. [snip]

Terroirs des Alpes

Hotel Trésoms

Annecy is a cute little place — a small town with a big attitude, and best of all a sensibility toward sustainability. In the grounds of the Hotel Trésoms they have numerous hives housing almost a million bees. Sponsored by local businesses, the hives provide a window into the world of biodiversity. People take part in hive life and enjoy the fruits of the bees’ labour. The wider consequence of this biodiversity is a rich culinary tradition based on wild herbs and wild plants, to produce alpine milk that makes some of the best mountain cheeses in the world. [snip]

Hotel Trésoms

Annecy to Chambéry (train) 37-56 minutes


Re-Rendezvous with Rousseau

{story of Rousseau’s walk from Chambéry to Turin via the pass below Mont Cenis}

Chambéry to Albertville (train) 45-46 minutes

Beaufort Cheese, Crozets and Croziflette


Albertville to Bourg-Saint-Maurice (train) 62 minutes

Mont Cenis Pass


Bourg-Saint-Maurice to Susa (train / foot) 339-396 minutes / 29 hours

Stretching the Dough (Breadsticks Story)


Susa to Turin (train) 66 minutes

Chocolate and Coffee
Coffee Festival


Turin to Geneva via Milan (train) 321-350 minutes

RECIPE — Bavareisa chocolate coffee cream drink | Bicerin coffee and chocolate drink

RECIPE — Croziflette buckwheat pasta squares and cheese pie

RECIPE — Matafan / Matafaim savoury / sweet pancake

RECIPE — Mousse al Cioccolato chocolate mousse

RECIPE — Tartufi di Cioccolato chocolate truffles

RECIPE — Tuiles Dentelles crispy lace biscuits




Back to the Front


Geneva to Chamonix via Arve River Valley

Chamonix to Aosta via Mont Blanc Tunnel

Mont Blanc via Skyway

Chamonix to Fully via Trient Valley

Fully to Brig via Rhône Valley

Brig to Stresa via Simplon Tunnel

Stresa to Göschenen via Rhône and Reuss valleys

Göschenen to Andermatt via Schöllenen path and Devil’s Bridge

Andermatt to Andeer via Ursen and Vorderrhein valleys

Thusis to Andeer to Thusis via Viamala (Splügen) path

Thusis to Li Curt via Bernina Pass

Li Curt to Chur via Landwasser Viaduct

Chur to Santis mountain

Unterwasser to Vaduz via Frümsen and Buchs

Liechtenstein and Rhine River

Feldkirch to Innsbrück via Inn Valley

Innsbrück to Wörgli

Wörgli to Munich

Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Zugspitze mountain

Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Mittenwald

Mittenwald to Landeck-Zams via Innsbruck

Landeck-Zams to Martina

Martina to Mals / Malles

Mals / Malles to Merano / Meran via the Adige Valley

Merano / Meran to Bolzano / Bozen via Adige Valley

Bolzano / Bozen to Trento

Trento to Lienz in Osttirol via Drava Valley

Spittal-Millstätter See to Villach via Drava Valley

Villach to Udine and Carnia via Tagliamento Valley

Carnia to Jesenice via Sava Valley

Bled Jezero to Radovljica via Sava Valley

Radovljica to Kranjska Gora via Sava Valley

Kranjska Gora to Schladming via Drava and Salzach valleys

Schladming to Kitzbühel

Kitzbühel to Salzburg via Salzach Valley

Salzburg to Munich

Munich to Kempten

Kempten to Obersdorf

Obersdorf to St. Margrethen

St. Margrethen to Lausanne via St. Gallen, Zürich and Bern

Lausanne to Chexbres and Vevey via the Lavaux and Lake Geneva

Vevey to Montreux

Montreux to Saanan

Saanan to Sanenmöser via Gstaad

Saanenmöser to Zweisimmen via Simme Valley

Zweisimmen to Spiez via Simme Valley

Spiez to Interlaken via Lake Thun

Spiez to Frutigen and Adelboden via Kander and Entschlige valleys

Adelboden to Kandersteg via Entschlige and Kander valleys

Kandersteg to Evian Les Bains via Mountain Lötschberg Tunnel, Rhône Valley and Lake Geneva

Evian Les Bains to Annemasse

Annemasse to Annecy

Annecy to Chambéry

Chambéry to Albertville via Isère Valley

Albertville to Bourg-Saint-Maurice via Isère Valley

Bourg-Saint-Maurice to Susa via Mont Cenis and Frejus Tunnel between Modane and Bardonecchia

Susa to Turin

Turin to Milan

Milan to Venice

Venice to Trieste

Trieste to Ljublijana

Ljublijana to Postojnska-Jama

Postojnska-Jama to Vienna

Vienna to Kraków

Kraków to Katowice

Katowice to Košice

Košice to Cluj-Napoca

Cluj-Napoca to Piatra Neamț

Piatra Neamț to Bucharest

Bucharest to Sofia

Sofia to Istanbul