This was a true highlight of our Christmas Holidays in Switzerland! This was a Christmas Eve I will never forget!
The evening began at Nico’s Restaurant, Hotel Alfa Soleil with a four course set menu prepared for the special evening. Guests waited in the charming lobby of the hotel as final preparations for the Christmas Eve Dinner were sorted.
Large doors opened by impeccable servers who welcomed us in to the dining room beautifully decorated for Christmas. The tables were ornately, yet simply decorated. The centre point was the Christmas Tree, that looked transported from an 1890’s European village.
The first course was a Millefeuille Black Label – Filled puff pastry layers with creamy salsify, truffles and smoked Scottish salmon in a wreath of marinated winter leaves.
Second course was a Consumme Double Royal – Essence of Oberland premium beef with “Magical Stars”. The Magical Stars were made of egg whites.
Third course was The Christmas Roast – Duo of piglet from Römerswil and its aromatic spiced herb juice, quintette of gratinated potatoes and glazed market vegetable.
Fourth course was a Pina Colada Boat – pineapple with our iced coconut snowball – the snowball was homemade vanilla ice cream.
To drink we had carbonated pure water from the Alps in the area.
The food was amazing!! Truly unforgettable!! The service, perfect. The host was all heart as we paused for a break after the The Christmas Roast to have a young boy light the candles on the Christmas Tree. Shortly after that Father Christmas was welcomed into the restaurant. Father Christmas read The Story of Christmas from Luke 2: 1-20 in Swiss German followed by a helper who read a version in English. Father Christmas then opened his red sack and handed out gifts guests were asked to provide earlier in the day!! As we enjoyed opening our gifts Father Christmas went to each table and passed out decorated bags of homemade cookies to all the guests!
What was special about this Christmas Eve Dinner was the intimacy of it. There was just a few of us travelers and the rest of the guests appeared to be family and friends who lived in the area.
After dessert, Michael and I departed quietly to go to the 10:00pm Catholic Church service down the road.
We walked quickly in the chill of the late evening, along the gingerbread houses alit with lights, to the solitary stone church in the middle of a field. We were a bit late arriving, the mass had already started, taking seats in the last row of pews. The mass was spoken entirely in Swiss-German. We didn’t understand a word of it, but were able to follow the predictable rhythm of a Catholic mass. I enjoyed singing Silent Night in English as the rest of the small congregation sang in their own language! After mass, on our way out we fulfilled a longtime standing request from my mother to have our marriage blessed by the priest.
Another truly magical day in Switzerland!