We started the day with a trip to Uetliberg, Zurich’s impressive mountain that overlooks the city centre and reaches a staggering 2850ft above sea-level. One of the most poignant parts for me, was the 15 minute train ride which gently chugs its way through pine forests and small Swiss villages. A relaxing way to start the day, that’s for sure. A note to travellers with children or golden oldies – there is still quite a steep climb once you reach the end of the line BUT it is most certainly worth it for the breathtaking views. For the adrenaline junkies, there is also a viewing platform on top of the hill made up of six levels which you can climb – if you’re feeling brave. (I made it to level two and was perfectly happy with that!)
Splashing the cash? The Uto Klum hotel**** sits proudly at the very top of Uteliberg where it’s residents soak up the scenery day in, day out. For a tidy sum, you can dine in the hotel’s window clad restaurant with outdoor seating area for lunch or dinner. However, if like us, you just fancy a quick bite to eat, a Bratwurst stand is on hand to satisfy hungry tummies!
Next on the list was to visit The National Museum Zurich, or Landesmuseum Zurich. Based directly opposite the main train station, it is centrally located and easy to recognise – by the sheer size of it! We were lucky to navigate throughout the entire museum in under three hours, but you could easily spend all day within its walls. Essentially the mueseum condenses and collates the origins of Switzerland and it’s culture, how it’s population has steadily grown to become one of the wealthiest (if not THE wealthiest) country within the European continent together and looks at the future for the country. The exhibits are vast and even if you aren’t partial to a bit of culture, there are plenty of traditional outfits, paintings, tv reels, interactive boards and even a slide to keep you entertained!
We headed to Zurich’s Old Town for a well deserved sit down and bite to eat. Louis and Tina, a traditional French brasserie, situated on the main pedestrianised street. Think small independent Cafe Rouge and you get a good idea of what L&T has to offer. The service was very quick and we were impressed by both of the dishes we ordered. The boy chose the ‘Tina Burger’ and I went for the ‘Moules Marinere’. Unlike most moules marinere, the mussels weren’t swimming in a thin greasy broth but more of a creamy garlic sauce – absolutely delicious. They also happened to be the biggest mussels I have ever seen! I’d needn’t really go into detail about the Tina Burger, the picture below says it all. Both dishes were served with traditional thin and crispy french fries together with some bread to share. If we were heading back, we would certainly check out the Louis and Tina cocktail bar and deli next door.
For any real foodie, dinner is always highly anticipated but on day two, we had something very special in store. Whilst mooching through the cobbled backstreets, the boy and I found one of Zurich’s hidden gems; Hotel Kindli and Restaurant. The menu was simple yet clearly well thought out as the majority of the dishes easily whet our appetite. As we unable to book a table, we decided to eat late – I would certainly advise you prebook if you intend to eat around 7/8pm as the restaurant was very busy when we arrived at 9.45pm.
Kindli’s decor is a combination of dark mahogney with ornate carvings and colonial pillars subtly lit with small wall lamps. The contrast of the crisp white tablecloths and the dark wood gives off an air of a gentleman’s smoking room – ultimately very grand indeed. On arrival, it was immediately apparent that we were the youngest diners that evening (or indeed.. ever!). After being ushered to our table, a small stool was propped up next to my seat…. later I found out this was for my handbag. The service was impeccable, we were made to feel at ease and at home. Our waiter was charming and was very attentive – our glasses were never left half full for very long.
I finally decided on the lobster risotto whilst the boy went for traditional Zurich style veal dish that this canton of Switzerland is famous for. My lobster risotto was ample in size (rather unexpected for a restaurant of this calibre) and packed full of flavours – every mouthful was better than the last. The boy chose well, as our waiter was telling us, every restaurant in Zurich serves this traditional veal dish but every chef has his own recipe. The meat was so tender and melted in your mouth. We were very impressed that it was even slightly rare in the middle. Accompanied by a local bottle of Riesling, we couldn’t have asked for a better evening. Of course, the sting to the wallet was severe but worth every penny. This was by far my favourite meal of the holiday and would certainly recommend to anyone who fancies a splurge on evening out in Zurich.