Immediately after the Amazon Fashion Week SS17 came to an end here in New Delhi, I was invited by the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland for a familiarization trip and left for a ‘Luxury Voyage’ with them to experience not only the Institute and how it works but also interact with their students and experience true luxury with their industry partners. It was an exciting 4 days in Switzerland & Milan and I did and saw quite a few things that I had never done or seen before! Initially when they had invited me and I realized that I would have to leave the very next day after fashion week, I almost said no fearing that it would get a bit too exhausting for me. And don’t get me wrong, it was quite an exhausting trip, but I am so glad I decided to go for it because of the sheer experiences I had, places I went to and people that I got to meet.
I have way too many photographs from the trip and it took long hours to sort through them and huge constraint on my part to narrow down to the ones you’ll see here. They are still more than what I usually share in 1 blog post but this was after the maximum elimination possible from my side. Hope you enjoy the glimpses of my experience and trip. We were a total of 9 bloggers from all corners of the world and it was a very exciting time!
Checked into Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva, freshened up a bit and soaked in some great views of the lake and city from my room.
We then headed to Caviar House & Prunier for lunch. We did a session of caviar tasting and were also introduced to a new method of having caviar – with vodka shots! Put some caviar at the back of your palm, sprinkle some freshly ground pepper on it, lick/eat the entire bite and follow up with a shot of vodka! Cheers! We tried 5 different types of caviar and were also made to try Balik Smoked Salmon – a recipe that has been revived from oblivion 30 years ago and is considered to the most luxurious and expensive of smoked salmons. I had never even heard of it before this!
From there we walked down to the Patek Phillipe Salon and the Patek Phillipe Musuem. The salon is a marvelous place where clients are welcomed, orders are taken and some parties are also hosted. The museum is a fantastic wonderland and I can imagine watch aficionados losing their minds here. I am not even that crazy about watches but I too was so mesmerised by the history that was displayed at this museum. Usually visitors are not even allowed to carry their bags and cellphones inside but we were graciously allowed to take photographs inside the museum!
Afterwards we checked into the Lausanne Palace & Spa. Where chocolates were waiting for us in our rooms and we had an amazing Swiss wine tasting session right inside their wine cellar.
The next day we headed to Montreux Palace which was another highlight of the trip for me because this hotel is so closely connected to the yearly Montreux Jazz Festival.The views of the lake were just fantastic from my room.
We then finally got to visit the Glion Institute of Higher Education (their Glion Campus) where we explored the campus grounds, had lunch at “La Table des Alpes” which is run by the students themselves – everything right from waiting on tables, taking orders, cooking the food, preparing the menu and yes even cleaning the utensils is done by the sudents so that they go out into the industry with complete knowledge of how things work. Brilliant!
After lunch, we became students for a bit ourselves where we had a masterchef experience. We were broken into teams, given a kitchen full of groceries and asked to prepare a meal in 45 minutes total! It was crazy. I was with Mariana and Diana both Italians so we obviously went for a classic carbonara (I couldn’t really spot any Indian spices in the kitchen anyway). The girls taught me how to create a perfect carbonara sauce and we made spaghetti! So fun!
Post our master class we visited the chalet of Claude Nobs, the founder of Montreux Jazz Festival. He passed away in 2013 and his chalet is just the most wonderful pace you can visit in all of Switzerland. This was by far the best part of my entire experience. The chalet is on a hill with views you can never get bored of. The Chalet itself was open to all guests and artists of the festival to come and relax in, interact, socialize, create music in and do whatever their imagination could come up with 😉 Also, there are no doors inside the chalet except for the washrooms – Claude wanted it be an open and free space. It was a surreal experience to sit, eat and drink wine where Prince has done the same, where the Deep Purple song ‘Smoke on the Water’ was literally born! Here is it’s history (picked up from wiki: The lyrics of the song tell a true story: on 4 December 1971 Deep Purple were in Montreux, Switzerland, where they had set up camp to record an album using a mobile recording studio at the entertainment complex that was part of the Montreux Casino (referred to as “the gambling house” in the song lyric). On the eve of the recording session, a Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention concert was held in the casino’s theatre. At the beginning of Don Preston’s synthesizer solo on “King Kong”, the place suddenly caught fire when somebody in the audience fired a flare gun toward the rattan covered ceiling, as mentioned in the “some stupid with a flare gun” line. The “smoke on the water” that became the title of the song (credited to bass guitarist Roger Glover, who related how the title occurred to him when he suddenly woke from a dream a few days later) referred to the smoke from the fire spreading over Lake Geneva from the burning casino as the members of Deep Purple watched the fire from their hotel. “It was probably the biggest fire I’d ever seen up to that point and probably ever seen in my life” said Glover, “It was a huge building. I remember there was very little panic getting out, because it didn’t seem like much of a fire at first. But, when it caught, it went up like a fireworks display”. The “Funky Claude” running in and out is referring to Claude Nobs, the director of the Montreux Jazz Festival who helped some of the audience escape the fire.) Cool right!
We actually followed this chalet experience with drinks, dinner and live music at ‘Funky Claude’s’ Bar in the hotel!
In Milan, we checked into Mandarin Oriental and headed for dinner at 10 Corso Como.
Some fun interiors at the hotel.
10 Corso Como
And with this our Glion Luxury voyage was officially over. But since I was in Milan I decided to extend my stay for another 4 days and take some rest after all the crazy running around right from fashion week till now. More on that later.
Hope you enjoyed the pics and the tidbits of experience that I have shared here.
Until next time!
Coat + Floral Top: H&M