After visiting Maison Cailler it was time to head to the hill town of Gruyères where we were to have dinner. Located in the Canton of Fribourg, in the foothills of Mont Moléson, the town is perched atop an 82metre hill. It was quite interesting to see snow on the nearby mountains even though it was the end of summer. The country side around the town was stunning, so green and lush.
It is a fascinating old town with many of the buildings being beautifully maintained in their original style. Cobble stone streets make for an interesting walk and not a walk I would want to attempt in high heels.
The largest building in the town is Chateau de Gruyères (castle) built between 1270 and 1282 and now home to a museum covering 800 years of architecture, art history and culture of the region.
Chateau St Germain, the second castle within the town, was acquired by the artist H.R. Giger and now houses the H.R. Giger Museum and the Giger Café/Bar. Sadly time did not allow for a visit to either museum, which gives us a reason for a return trip to do so.
Gruyères is of course the area where that fabulous cheese of the same name comes from. Given that we were in Gruyères, it was only natural that dinner would be fondue. Our restaurant was Café – Restaurant des Remparts which, like many buildings in the town, is built in to the external wall of the town.
The outer walls of the town are situated on the edges of the hill and thus give amazing views out over the surrounding countryside. We were fortunate that the clouds parted and we were able to enjoy the view with a little sun before it set.
The interior of the restaurant is very traditional Swiss style. Lots of wood, red and white, lace and very homely touches. The ladies who served us were dressed fairly traditionally as well.
An entrée of salad and platters of cold meats with pickled onions and cornichons was presented first, shortly followed by fondue of vacherin and Gruyère cheese.
While we usually have 2 or 3 fondues a year at home, it was a revelation to have it in Switzerland. Steamed chat potatoes are served along with bread cubes. The fondue itself was thick, cheesy and creamy and totally delicious. I think I will be searching for Vacherin cheese next winter to replace the Emmentaler I normally use in our fondue.
All that cheesy goodness was followed by a dessert of wonderful fresh berries, topped with luscious, thick Gruyères cream. The cream was served at the table by the waitress who came around with a wooden bowl that the cream had been set in and the scooped out with a paddle shaped spoon. I asked for just a little and was served around 1/3 of a cup. Very naughty but sooo good!!
Walking outside after dinner it was lovely to see the town lit up in the twilight.
Day 3 was a very long day and we returned to the hotel around 1030. It was however a very fascinating and fantastic day full of interesting things to see, learn and enjoy.