The Palace & The Castle

We woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed after our party-pooper-early-night.

While the rest of the house lay groaning in their beds, complaining of hangovers and headaches, we quietly crept away.

Blew kisses, left notes and promised a belter of a night out back in London town.

Our friends were due to make their way back to Blighty, but we hadn’t gotten quite enough mountain air just yet.

We checked in to the hotel just before breakfast and admired our gorgeous new digs.

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The front desk upgraded us to a junior suite, so we tried our best to remain totally nonchalant and cool about the whole thing as they showed us around.

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As soon as they left we did our excited crab dance and leapt around the room!

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Every ounce of cool, gone in a second!

We celebrated in true British fashion.

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With tea, of course!

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Breakfast was a hearty affair, thanks to a buffet in the dining room downstairs.

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We chewed, sipped and people watched from a table near the window.

The Palace is one of the last few family run 5* hotels. As such the whole place feels like an extension of home. People pad around anything from slippers to towering Louboutins.

There’s every kind of hotel character imaginable; couples (young and old, and a few that are young AND old, if you catch my drift!), families with delicious children, sporty types, spa types, those ageing gracefully, and a few ageing disgracefully.

The largely Italian staff chat and flirt with guests as though they’re old friends, and to be fair some of them are. Most of the waiters have been there for at least 15 years. They remember every guest by name and recall every like and dislike, down to which tea they prefer.

Sitting in the breakfast room is a little like watching a very complicated ballet or chess game.

Now, this was a particularly buzzy day because the whole place was aflutter for the polo game.

We’d planned on going along too, but having seen the miserable weather decided on a different adventure instead.

We begrudgingly left the sundresses we’d brought along for the polo on the beds, wrapped up in cloaks and hats… and set off for the train station.

Here we climbed aboard a beautiful old school locomotive and set off into the countryside!

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We’d read that you can jump on something called The Golden Pass, which whisks you through the countryside and gives you one hell of a view!

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We jumped off when we hit Lake Geneva.

A little place called Montreux.

Took ourselves for a walk and discovered Chateau de Chillon.

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A castle that is its own little island.

Once upon a time it was made up of lots of smaller buildings, that were eventually joined to become the castle you see today. The older parts still haven’t been properly dated but the earliest written records mention the castle in 1005.

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It became famous largely thanks to Lord Byron’s poem, The Prisoner of Chillon, about the the imprisonment of monk François Bonivard, from 1532 to 1536.

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Inside, somewhat surprisingly, we found a Hugo Bonamin exhibit.

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The chateau was littered with enormous works like this portrait of Salvador Dalí.

But I have to confess, I was a little more taken with the view…

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Yet again, my longing for a Hogwarts invitation was rekindled.

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We scuttled through passageways and rooftops.

Unlike most of the monuments and castles you visit, here they seem to let you have the run of the place. There’s no-one waiting to tell you off or big signs saying you can’t enter.

You just explore! Which is lovely.

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Seeing as we’d been left to run wild and there was absolutely no-one around to tut… we had ice cream for lunch!

Almond and caramel for PW, banana split for me.

We ate them happily by the lake, cross legged on our chairs we chatted incessantly (fuelled by the sugar) and shrieked with laughter.

Two big children, set loose together!

Having walked the length of Montreux we discovered that there wasn’t all that much more to discover.

So, we hot footed it onto another train home.

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Sitting in our old fashioned carriage, we sipped tea and nibbled on Swiss chocolates. We whizzed past castles, houses, mountains, valleys, forests, lakes, waterfalls and meadows of tinkling cows.

We waved to old ladies and blew kisses to hikers.

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Now and then we’d dive into a mountainside and find ourselves in a long, dark tunnel.

The lights would spark into life and fill the carriage with a warm, fiery glow.

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Eventually we pulled back into Gstaad, and the two scallywags made their way back to The Palace.

Cold and satisfied with our day of Swiss snooping, we slipped into robes and made a beeline for the spa.

After soak in the jacuzzi, an oily rub down and too many cups of mint tea to count, we climbed the stairs and got ready for supper.

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Keen not to waste them altogether, we pulled on the outfits we’d planned on wearing to the polo.

Including these ODLR beauties, that I *spotted* a couple of weeks ago!

C’mon, it wouldn’t be me without a dad joke or two!

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I wore white lace.

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And the smouldering Miss Watson wore blood red.

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I’ll get her to give me posing lessons one of these days!

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