Switzerland has become one of the world’s top romantic destinations. With the gorgeous Swiss alps, ski-retreats, and all the coziness of a warm fire that Switzerland’s cold winters afford, it’s no wonder lovers from all over the world are flocking to this beautiful country.
And to the beautiful city of Basel. So what is Basel doing for Valentine’s Day?
The city is full of romantic restaurants, all celebrating with their own unique Valentine’s menus (you can see a list of our favourites here!). The famed hotel and restaurant Les Trois Rois overlooking the Rhein is offering a special Valentine’s Day meal in their Brasserie, complete with five-course menu and surprise aperitif. (CHF 135 per person. For reservations, call +41 61 260 50 02. Also special this year is the observance of an age-old Basler tradition: this Valentine’s Day, the Thursday before Fasnacht, the three kings at the hotel’s entrance will be dressed as “Waggis,” heralding the Fasnacht season!)
And of course, no one can deny the simple romance of a traditional fondue dinner. Here is a fun list of “Fon-dos” and “Fon-Don’ts” from world-renowned fromagers Emmi of Switzerland: globenewswire.com/news-release/2012/02/06/467244/244904/en/Valentine-s-Day-Etiquette-Fondue-and-Fon-don-t-Tips-From-Emmi-of-Switzerland.html.
Variety is the spice of life! Be creative and serve a wide variety of dippables. Crusty bread, fresh fruit and veggies, boiled shrimp, marshmallows and cookies are all wonderful in fondue. Just be sure everything is prepared ahead in bite-size pieces.
Mix it up! Fondue is the perfect appetizer, main course or dessert. If you want to start with chocolate and end with cheese, it’s up to you!
Swiss Kiss! It is tradition when eating fondue, to kiss the person to your right if you drop your bread in the cheese. (It’s ok to do it on purpose…)
Don’t forget to stir. As the night keeps moving, be sure to keep your fondue moving. Stir it up to so your cheese or chocolate fondue remains smooth.
Don’t double dip. Every fork- or skewer-full should contain a new, unbitten morsel. (If a piece falls in the fondue, see fon-do tip #3 above!)
Don’t hide any surprises. While fondue offers a lot of interactive eating enjoyment, it is not a good place to stash an engagement ring or other surprise gifts for your sweetie.
Maybe surprise gifts are better left for the cake…how about a decadent chocolate cake or cupcakes layered with Toblerone chocolate icing? If you feel like being adventurous, you can try out a recipe for Toblerone frosting here!
One of the unique and often challenging things about Basel is that for many it is not a permanent home — it is a stopping place for travellers, for the workers and adventurers and gypsies among us. Many expats in Basel are on temporary work assignments, or are away from loved ones and friends during the holidays. What do you do if you can’t be with that special someone on Valentine’s Day?
The good news is that in today’s high-tech world, it’s almost impossible to be disconnected. If you have apps like FaceTime on your mobile phone, your sweetheart will love seeing the Rhein River and Markplatz, and all the sights and sounds around Basel. You could make it a memorable Valentine’s Day with a virtual tour of the city, or a romantic Skype dinner at home. Technology now lets us be more creative than ever before.
How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? We’d love to hear about it!