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Switzerland in London: Swissotel The Howard

Last year Visit London enjoyed a taste of Switzerland at Swissôtel The Howard. So it seemed the perfect place to feature for Switzerland in our World in London series. Not only is the hotel celebrating its 30th year in London, but it has also just re-launched its wonderful Swiss chalet.

We asked Swissôtel‘s Marketing and Communications Executive, Anna Nuecken, what makes the hotel a little piece of Switzerland in London:

“You find Swiss elements throughout the hotel: Our award-winning Swiss circles [traditional papercut silhouettes] on the main entrance and projected in the lobby represent Switzerland’s diversity and tradition of fine craftsmanship.

Also, the prominent Swiss fashion designer Ida Gut has created an original doorman’s uniform for Swissôtel. She worked in collaboration with the well-known Appenzell-based goldsmith and traditional Alpine craftsman Sebastian Fässler. Fässler produces bell straps, belts and buckles using techniques learned from his father. For the new tailor-made porters’ uniforms, he brought his characteristic style to the silver-ornamented shoe buckles and the silver buttons.

Guests enjoying breakfast at the hotel will profit from the Swiss breakfast corner which includes specialties from Switzerland such as dried beef and Bircher muesli. Our 12 Temple Place Restaurant also serves Swiss dishes, such as veal zurichoise with potato roesti.”

Even the Swiss chalet, temporarily located in the hotel’s Garden Courtyard, has plenty of authentic Swiss touches:

“The Swiss chalet resembles its sisters in the Alps as Swissôtel imported handcrafted and traditional interiors (some up to 250 years old) all the way from Switzerland to ensure the same cosy atmosphere guests would find in an Alpine Chalet. Examples are the antique wooden chair with marquetry from the Swiss town Brienz and the Swiss wooden trunk that dates from 1780.”

In the chalet, guests can gorge themselves on cheese fondue served with bread and charcuterie. But what makes the perfect Swiss fondue?

“The perfect Swiss fondue is “moitié-moitié” which means “half-half”. Half of the fondue cheese is Gruyère and the other half Vacherin cheese from Fribourg. You add some garlic and drops of Kirsch schnapps, stir and heat it up. Very easy and cheesy!”

Swiss Nights in the Swiss chalet every Tuesday and Saturday from 6pm. £29 per person including starter, fondue, dessert and glass of schnapps. Until 11 Mar 2011

Where else can you experience Switzerland in London? Let us know in the comments below.