Paradise by Lake Lucerne!

          Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

     All food photos are of real food with no photoshop

The resourceful and audacious Travelling Gourmet goes to the country of watches, chocolates and big mountains in…

MARVELLOUS Relais & Chateaux’s Park Weggis which is an M67 hand grenade’s toss from majestic Lake Lucerne. Travelling by a powerful Audi from Kuessnacht am Rigi train station…in just 11 minutes I was at this luxurious hotel in the “Riviera of Switzerland” which has modern touches plus picturesque old world charm. Known as the “Sparkling Resort”, one look and I knew I was going to be very happy to stay here.

The helpful and mild mannered Vice General Manager, Rolf Tinner kindly took time to bring me to where I was to stay. It was on the second floor of  a building very aptly called called the Schlossli. The suffix “-li” in Swiss-German usually refers to something small and cute, for eg. Luxembergerli, which the French call macarons. My Mark Twain II Suite was simply impressive, opulent and huge! Two spotlessly clean bedrooms, a comfortable living room with Chaise-Lounge and big bathroom with an equally large free-standing bathtub designed by famous Philippe Starck no less. You can shower under the Hans-Grohe Rain Shower before soaking in the lovely tub with a glass of Champagne…In the pantry you have your own Nespresso machine for when you want a really nice cup of coffee. The plush chaise-lounge in the living room is perfect for watching TV or relaxing. A high-tech remote control operated all the lights.

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Undoubtedly, one of the most seductive aspects of this lovely suite was the 3 balconies which looked out over the Park Weggis’ private beach and esplanade…and the vast and incredibly stunning Lake Luzern. The balconies face south and are perfect for an early morning Cappuccino while you watch Mother Nature’s colour and light show as the sun rises ever so slowly over the large lake like a glowing red orange sphere…Astonishingly beautiful!

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Three lovely luxurious Mark Twain suites are located in the Schlössli wing, with separate bedroom and living areas and three balconies or terraces, a Hans-Grohe rain-shower and a gigantic bathtub that is perfect for soaking in.

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“Why is the suite called ‘Mark Twain’?” I asked Rolf. He replied, “…it is because Mark Twain the famous author visited this area in the 1800s..” I discovered from my research later that the famous author and globe-trotter who write  “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, visited this region of Switzerland in 1878. Mark Twain wrote a travelogue much like what I am writing now about his experiences. Reliable sources indicate that Mark Twain was one of the VIP guests to have stayed near the hotel hence the name of the suite. In July 1897, Twain stayed in Weggis with his family at a little guest house called Schlossli for 10 weeks. Previous to that he also visited Lucerne and Weggis in 1878 and climbed Mount Rigi. It took him 3 days to scale the 1,800 feet high Mount Rigi.

Exercise keeps you fit and strong!

To keep fit and strong, one must exercise daily! Every morning of my stay, I awoke to the alarm from my trusty titanium Breitling chronometer. Very good news for fitness buffs, there is a dedicated Gymnasium and a Spa with an outdoor heated pool. The Gym is some distance from the main entrance, and when you walk there for your workout you will be delighted to see an exquisite prize winning Bonsai Garden! You feel an sense of Zen-like peace and harmony with nature just by looking and strolling around the large immaculately manicured and designed Japanese garden.

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A sense of ZEN…

There are also special and very exclusive Spa Villas with their own Steam Sauna, Jacuzzi and cold Plunge Pool. I loved to go to the Gym very early every morning, and also swam in the pool which have lights that change colour…In the winter a layer of mist floats mysteriously over the heated water which makes it very surreal to swim…but most enjoyable nonetheless!

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Nothing like a good work out AT THE at the crack of dawn before breakfast!

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Sparks Restaurant

A wonderful place for very good food both for breakfast and for dinner. The grand and old school ambience sets the stage for fine dining. Breakfast with cereal, fruit juices, Salmon and Salami and freshly baked breads, like my favourite Roggenbrot (Rye Bread). The Salmon Omelette a la minute is garnished with exotic Starfruit from Asia no less! I was impressed! I adore breakfast with a Champagne Rossini Cocktail! My beloved mother always says, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” She is right.

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The very tasteful and risque life-sized nude paintings of nude ladies amused me as I took in the elegant ambience of the restaurant! In the 21st Century, one must not be a prude, n’est pas! A thing of beauty is a joy forever…

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I must say that the nudes are very well drawn…and add that certain “je ne sais quoi” to the cool ambience of the restaurant 🙂

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Din-Din is yummie!

Later that day…Before I went for dinner, I had pre-dinner drinks at the cosy and intimate Lalique Bar which is named after the celebrated perfume, crystal and jewellery maker.

I had a most delightful Mai Tai made with Rum, Cointreau, Amaretto di Saronno, Limetten (lime juice), Orangen (orange juice) and Ananassaft (pineapple juice). You can also have Siberian Caviar and Blinis with, of course, Champagne! Perriet Jouet and Bollinger go down a treat with caviar! The extravagant Chandelier is by Lalique of course, what else!

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Dinner in Park Grill is jolly nice too!

For a slice of California in Switzerland, try the dinner in Park Grill which is famous for its steaks. The Wine List is impressive too with a big selection of winsome wines from California, the Sunshine State of the USA. Wooden floors, a “Mercury” Chandelier” and Robbe & Berking steelware plus a marvellous view of Lake Lucerne set the stage for a memorable meal. My hors d’oeuvre was a refreshing Salad of Mixed Boutique Greens with Lemon Dressing. Spinach leaves, crisp Radish, Tomato and Green Frisee made for a healthy start. A Sauvignon Blanc in the New Zealand style was Keever Napa 2013 with its marked gooseberry notes and aromatic nose.

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I simply adored my great big 23mm thick JUICY Steak with a “big” wine…a Syrah form the Sonoma Valley of California!

Zangy (Z-esty and T-angy) Key Lime Pie which makes your mouth water no end and is not too sweet was my most pleasing dessert

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I conclude with the words of the celebrated author and satirist, Mark Twain, who said: “I believe this place (Weggis) is the loveliest in the world, and the scenery is beyond comparison beautiful…”

Need I say more…Life is like good ice cream, enjoy it before it melts! 🙂

Park Weggis *****

Relais and Chateaux

Hertensteinstrasse 34

6353 Weggis/Lucerne

Switzerland

Tel: +41 41 392 05 05

{The Park Weggis Hotel, a member of Relais and Chateaux, is awarded The Travelling Gourmet’s BEST Lake Resort Hotel in Switzerland!!!! *****}

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About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cusines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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