COCOONING WEEKEND AT THE PALAFITTE
Hotel Palafitte, I feel like these post-restaurant-opening visits are becoming something of a tradition.
It was two years ago, just after the opening of Le Pointu that I was at the Palafitte last; and just a few weeks ago, shortly after the opening of the Loxton, I was back again but this time on a grey and rainy weekend.
It probably comes as no surprise to you that I’m anything but a naturally calm person – like so many of us, my mind is constantly on overdrive and it really takes a lot for me to settle my thoughts and just be in the moment. That said, the Palafitte is the epitome of calm and there’s no other way to be when you’re there, so when Clive and I were invited to test out their newly launched cocooning package a couple of weekends ago, we jumped at the opportunity.
We were treated to quite the spread with cosy socks and a hot water bottle set out for us on the bed and a gouté (afternoon snack) brought into the room just as we were settling in.
Checking into a lake-side hotel on a cold autumn’s day doesn’t sound like the best idea on paper but I think this is actually my ideal time of year for a visit to the Palafitte. There’s something so special about being wrapped up warm, sipping on a cup of tea and eating freshly-baked cookies when the rain is pouring down and you have this incredible view of grey and hazy nothingness over the Lac de Neuchâtel.
Clive and I quickly got in our comfies and settled down to watch a couple episodes of Sherlock before treating ourselves to a bottle of regional rosé and then heading to dinner.
I didn’t have the fondest memories of the food at the hotel’s restaurant when I was last there but had been told that they had hired a new chef since and was curious to give it a go.
Slightly reluctant to leave our little cocoon on stilts, we walked over from our lake-side pavilion to La Table de Palafitte. We had a beetroot salad starter each which was light and beautifully served and then had the fish (Seabream fillet cooked with Jerusalem artichokes and mushrooms) and the meat (Poulard breast from Gruyère with mushrooms and vin jaune) to share. They kindly brought the fish out first on two plates, followed by the meat. It was all very well cooked and the flavours were well balanced. A huge improvement on my last visit.
I also keep thinking about how much I liked the combination of Jerusalem artichokes and mushrooms and think it would work really well in a soup – next on my list of seasonal soups to make!
We wrapped up the meal with a dessert and a cheese plate to share (I say to share but I ate all the cheese really), and headed back to our pavilion.
It’s the kind of hotel where you don’t really want to leave your room – all you want to do is snuggle up and watch the few boats go by.
Before heading to bed, we made sure to order an in-room breakfast on the iPad which felt like such a treat.
We slept with the blinds open and woke up naturally as the sun came up.
If you’re in a lake pavilion (instead of a shore pavilion), the bed in the room looks directly out onto the lake and no one is overlooking you which feels quite special. It made me think of the view in Life as a House where the house they are building looks over the cliffs onto the sea with nothing but water in sight. I love that film!
An occasional boat or person in a kayak putting you to shame as they are out in the cold exercising on a Saturday morning goes by, but otherwise, you feel completely isolated from anyone else there.
An egg and soldier breakfast followed by a huge bubble bath in a room overlooking the lake is certainly not a bad way to start the day.
After lounging around all morning, we sneakily fed some of our leftover bread to the seagulls before leaving and very reluctantly checked out of our gorgeous little room.
I keep telling Clive that I want to bring him back on a warmer weekend next summer so he can see it on a clear day, too. As much charm as the haze and the clouds added, they unfortunately meant that we didn’t get to see the sunset or sunrise which I remember being quite spectacular.
The seasonal cocooning package comes with an optional spa experience added onto it but it didn’t look like our sort of thing so we opted out and drove over to my Mum’s on the way back for Sunday lunch.
It was the perfect weekend and I can’t thank the Palafitte Hotel enough for the kind invitation and for treating us so well. We will be back next summer to make the most of that private ladder that dips directly into the lake!
And thank you for stopping by for a read. I hope you are all well and staying warm and cozy in your own homes. If you need a pre-Christmas get away, I cannot recommend the Hôtel Palafitte enough. Clive says that of all the hotels we’ve been to together, this was probably one of his favourites :)
Big bisous xS