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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Fondue Fun at Swissotel The Howard

I heard whispers about the Swiss Cheese Fondue Night. Swissôtel The Howard, a smart London hotel, transforms itself every Tuesday and Saturday into a magical Swiss Chalet for Fondue and other tasty après-ski goodies.

I have never had fondue before, but as a keen cheese lover was keen to try it. The idea is rather genius and unlike any other. The pop up restaurant was created last year and has returned after huge success. This year its popularity has grown further making it increasingly difficult to book, although I hear they are adding some extra days to accommodate more. I booked for early evening (before a show) to ensure we got a table. The restaurant was empty and despite being a little spooky, it meant we could fully appreciate the authentic Swiss Chalet décor – wooden surrounds, warm lighting, and red checked tablecloths. They have definitely done their research!

The package meal costs £29, rather overpriced I decided later but the demand is there.

The meal includes:

- Swiss Cheese Fondue (Gruyère, Vacherin Mont D’Or and Epoisse)
- Crusty Sourdough Bread
- A selection of Sliced Cured Meats with Pickles
- Mixed Leaf Salad
- Dessert (Apple Strudel with Custard or Sweet sugar cake)

-A glass of Schnapps

The starter of salad and meat was fresh and light before the rich main. The pot of cheese came next, bubbling away. I was really desperate to like it, the idea of hot gooey cheese thrills me, but unfortunately the sharp aftertaste (likely to be from the large amount of white wine added to the mix) ruined it. Although dunking bread into your own mini cauldron is lots of fun and made us giggle. The desserts were rather mediocre by my pudding standards, and I left most of mine. I was disappointed with the meal, and paid my £29 begrudgingly (I could have bought a nice piece of clothing instead.)

A very different night out, but I rate the ambience much higher than the food!

Swiss Cheese Fondue Nights: Every Tuesday and Saturday night till the end of April 2011
12 Temple Place Restaurant, Swissôtel The Howard, 12 Temple Place, London WC2R 2PR.
Booking/reservation tel: +44 207 836 3555

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