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Zurich, Switzerland

Sonne Hotel, Lakeside, Zurich

"I never know why they come in such large denominations' he says curiously. The chap behind the foreign exchange counter comments as he hands over a small bundle of 100 Swiss Franc notes. (He's obviously never been to Zurich). Switzerland, the land of the highest consumer spending rates in the world, well they do after all pay a generous minimum wage (18 Euro) and they are proud of their low unemployment stats, but that needs to come from somewhere right? No reprise for the eager traveller either, just as well it is an incredibly beautiful part of the world.

 View from The Sonne Hotel Kusnacht, Lake Zurich

Zurich is a short plane flight from London, less that 2hrs from Heathrow actually, and there are some cheaper flights available if you ferret around a bit online. My main modus operandi this time, while in Zurich was to taste some of the best pies in the planet, from New Zealand pie company Pie Tribe. Before going any further I have to disclose that the founder of Pie Tribe happens to be my brother, Andy Parry. Ok ok, of course I'm going to be freekin biased but honestly, they are rather delicious. Everything from the softness/texture of the steak meat, to the flavouring of the sauce, and the cooking of the pastry, has all been executed with unbending Swiss quality. They're a definite must try when visiting.

Pie Tribe, incredible pies, succulent meat
Pie Tribe founder Andy Parry, Fresh NZ styled pies, Zurich
Besides pie eating, we had time to enjoy the weather with plenty of that at the Sonne hotel on lake Zurich, arguably one of the most romantic places in Zurich. I like how accessible Zurich is, it is small enough to drive in and park, and has an excellent train service from the airport and of course getting in and out of the city. For the first meal we checked out an Ex-pat pub called the Fork n Bottle who did a very good fish n chips, one that would rival most traditional brit pubs here in the UK. We spent the next day out and about in Zurich's old town with a visit to the world famous macaron fixture, Sprungli.

Popular ex-Pat eats from Fork n Bottle, Zurich
Confectionery shop, Macarons galore at Sprungli, Zurich
The selection of macaron was mind boggling but I managed to settle on a select few of which my favourites were the salted caramel and raspberry. That evening we headed into the old town again to get some bratwurst and fondue from a great little restaurant, Swiss Chuchi. Overall, I've found the service from the Swiss brilliant, especially at the Sonne Hotel and when eating out - they go that little extra mile, and are more personable. Speaking of Sonne Hotel, one of the small caveats to it being a fantastic Hotel is that their bar is a smoking bar. Goodness knows why.

Fondue, Bratwurst from Swiss Chuchi restaurant, Zurich
We also had a delightful meal at the Sonne's main restaurant with a beautiful backdrop of Lake Zurich. There is ample room outside for dining lakeside at the beer garden, which serves bar type food for everyone, (you don't have to be a Hotel patron). They also have another less formal eatery that serves traditional swiss food. In the main restaurant they served incredible seafood starters, generous portions of subtle smoked salmon with an avocado mousse and scallops with white asparagus. The mains, although very plain in presentation were delicious. Veal with mushrooms with a potato rosti and a steak tartare to die for.

Salmon Starter, Backdrop - Sonne Hotel, Kusnacht, Zurich
Dessert, Scallop with White Asparagus, Veal & Mushroom with Rosti, Sonne Hotel
Something I notice in Zurich is that the quality of house wine served was quite good, more so their Prosecco was actually palatable (I am not a fan of the Prosecco they serve here in the UK). We also managed a day trip to Lucern, there are also plenty of options and outdoor things to do especially in summer you can swim in the lake - it is super clean and many great places to eat for sure, but for me my highlight was the pies and I will be waiting eagerly for my delivery to the UK.

To find out more about Pie Tribe here:


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