Given that St Moritz is one of the oldest and most established winter resorts, it is hardly surprising that they have had time to refine the art of creating a spectacular Christmas Market.
Despite it being freezing, especially for those manning the stands, there is a real air of happiness and festivity – definitely the most evocative Christmas Market I have been to in years. The location helps of course, you really do get a sense up here that you are about to bump into Santa and the stands all sell delicious wares from spiced wine, chocolates, and glossy marsipan shapes to candles and cashmere scarves.
Crunching through the snow in search of Christmas gifts made me think about what this place must have been like in 1864, right back in the days when Johannes Badrutt made a wager with four British summer guests who did not believe it would be particularly pleasant at this time of the year. Too cold, too snowy, too far from home… that sort of thing.
Old Badrutt knew what he was doing when he suggested they return in winter and it they did not enjoy it he would refund them the cost of their journey from London and back. He promised that if they found St Moritz to their liking in Winter they would be his guests for as long as they liked. I believe they are still here!!
Can’t quite see JW Marriott making this type of marketing deal, but it worked and of course Mr Badrutt was absolutely right – this place is pure Heaven at any time of the year but it was put on earth for Winter – this really is the time of year it shines.
So as I walk past all the beautiful illuminations, sipping hot spiced wine and munching on a delicious slice of nut cake, I make a silent prayer of thanks to Johannes for setting in motion what has become a wonderful destination for the Winter festivities!!