We had driven from Cervinia in Italy all the way to Zermatt in Switzerland, a stunning journey that took us through some amazing Alpine scenery including the Grand Saint Bernard pass at 1918 metres from Italy to Switzerland. The journey would take us about 3:45 hours and we would end up only 8 miles from where we started on the other side of the Matterhorn… The things we do for Skiing! But Cheeky and I love a road trip, especially when it involves driving round the Alps. For the last segment of our journey we ditched our car in Tasch and took the train into Zermatt. At the station, we were met by our chauffeur and his cute electric bus which whipped us up the high street to the very front of the Unique Hotel Post. The Hotel looks pretty funky from the front, with a well lit rustic wooden entrance set back from the road and the connecting Unique Hotel Post Bar. We made our way through to the reception, which once again was funky and modern whilst still retaining Alpine charm.
Once checked in we were shown to our suite on the top floor. Because of the position of our room, we had an outstanding view of the Matterhorn sitting guard over Zermatt. Our room comprised of two floors, with the bed up in the loft whist the downstairs housed the bathroom, storage, balcony and a fireplace with comfy seats; from these seats one could sit warming oneself in front of the fire whilst feeding the soul with the spectacular views. The room had the classic mix of rustic materials assembled in a modern style that works so well in these Alpine style abodes, hopefully a style that will be with us for some time to come as it seems to work so well. Whilst exploring the room we discovered that they had a pillow menu and could provide humidifiers for this dry environment at 1608 metres to help prevent those nosebleeds and dry throats. Attention to detail is the flavour of the day here and certainly helps one feel looked after. Once settled in it was time for a pre dinner stroll and then back to the onsite restaurant ‘The Factory’.
We entered ‘The Factory’ and discovered a fantastic space. Old rustic wood clad the walls and fabulous giant beams with carved inscriptions crissed crossed above our heads. The original building dates back to when it was a Valaisan chalet from 1772, but in 2007 it received a complete overhaul and a new lease of life. During this rebuild much of the original materials were salvaged and the restaurant is where much many of these ancient timbers and stone were utilised. The overall atmosphere is cosy yet spacious and contemporary mixed with tradition; ‘The Factory’ really does feel like the heart of the Hotel.
The menu at ‘The Factory’ is vast with a large selection of traditional dishes using local ingredients. There seems to be something for everyone here, including a fabulous Pizza menu where one can build one’s own pizza with various toppings and even a gluten free base, all cooked to perfection in their wood fire oven! However, on this occasion we could not resist some of the dishes on the rest of the menu. I had to take part in devouring the Venison Carpaccio with beetroot, walnuts and pomegranate seeds; a fantastic starter with beautiful textures and balance of flavours. Cheeky opted for the classic beef carpaccio with rocket salad and parmesan, simplicity at its best.
Cheeky has a skill for sniffing out venison on the menu from a 100 paces, and sure enough there it was Deer rack, white pepper and cranberry sauce served with her other favourite, Gratin potatoes and fresh vegetables. I too was enitced by the venison, however the hunter gatherer caveman in me sniffed out something altogether more primal that my body would thank me for, Fillet of beef with Bone marrow and ceps crust with red wine sauce. Alright, alright, cavemen may not have had red wine, but I am sure they would have drunk it by the gallon if they could have. Both dishes were just perfect, I can still remember the flavours and the tenderness of the meat whilst I sit and write this. We helped our digestive systems by washing these fantastic dishes down with a 2014 Rhoneblut, a Pinot Noir from the Salgesch Valais just fifteen miles away as the crow flies. A fine wine with real character and weight once again demonstrating that the Swiss really do produce some of the best wines, especially from along the Canton of Valais. Once we had satiated our primal hunger, we took part is trying a platter of cheese from the same region alongside the wine; it seems that winemaking and cheese making go hand in hand in this area. Dessert was an artistically presented Parfait of ice cream and berries with a sugar lattice, perfect to cleanse the palate and bring diner to a close.
The Hotel has several other restaurants and bars open at various times of the season. The Brown Cow bar at the front of the hotel is the perfect hang out for Apres Ski style drinking where one can find many of the locals propping up the bar. Whilst the Papa Caesar lounge bar upstairs is a little more chilled with comfy sofas to sink into. The Spa is small yet well put together, with a Finnish sauna, vapour bath and large jacuzzi where one can unwind whilst watching the world go by though the large windows. The Unique post house is, well unique! Like some kind of tardis it appears to be larger on the inside than it appears on the outside and with so many choices of bar, restaurant and room types I am not sure how they cram it all in. One feels that they really care here, they have thought about everything that a guest would want and made it available; the devil is in the detail, and he has certainly been hard at work here I am glad to report.
The Unique Hotel Post