I say Gruyères, you may say cheese. Gruyères is more than just a delicious cheese. It’s a very beautiful, medieval town up on the hill. You can get to Gruyères by train or car. The town itself is pretty small and up in the mountaintop (not that high though). You need to walk a bit to get to Gruyères because no car is allowed inside the town. From the Gruyères train station, you need to walk about 15-20 minutes to get to Gruyères. A day is more than enough to explore Gruyères. You can also visit the castle, which I didn’t because I don’t feel like paying that day.
After taking dozens of pictures and walk around just to get the feeling of the place (that what I usually do when I’m in a new place), I decided to have an aperitif and a pre-meal in HR GIGER Bar. HR GIGER Bar is located just across the HR GIGER Museum. HR GIGER is a surrealist painter and sculptor from Switzerland. I would say that his artworks are weird and different, in a good way. I didn’t go to the HR GIGER Museum, but I think that the theme of HR GIGER Bar is reflecting the HR GIGER Museum as the interior is very singular. If you’re bored of the normal bar and need something distinct, HR GIGER Bar is the answer. They pay attention to every detail about the furniture.
But does the food are as good as the place? YES! I ordered a cocktail, Apérol Spritz with Prosecco and it has this bitter taste but the nice kind of bitter. I would say it’s like a cocktail Fanta minus the sweetness and replace it with a slight of bitterness. The cocktail cost me CHF 10.-. Oh and they serve it in a generous amount! You could also enjoy a good Macchiato for CHF 8.- and have good chat inside the eerie HR GIGER Bar.
For the pre-meal, I ate Pizza Margarita (CHF 8.-). Very delicious pizza or I was too hungry and just devour it.
You cannot officially say that you’ve been to Gruyères unless you eat the cheese fondue in there. Chalet de Gruyères is the most popular place to eat cheese fondue, and I assure you that you will have the best cheese fondue in you entire life (or maybe is it just my opinion?). The building is very Swiss (well duh, obviously, it’s in Switzerland) and feels very warm. The Chalet and the Terrace is the same restaurant if you prefer an outdoor atmosphere, or you want to smoke, I recommend you to take a sit in the Terrasse du Chalet. It took quite a long time for just to get the menu. You can never expect a fast service in Europe. However, it was a very nice meal.
Make sure you order cheese fondue in here. I ordered the Fondue AOP Château de Gruyères for about CHF 29.50.- and you will get a one portion pot of cheese fondue. You can always share it with your friend, especially when you order other dishes too. The waiter will give a basket of bread, potatoes, pickles and onions to be dipped in the cheese fondue.
Since I came here with a friend and she happens to be craving for a barbeque, she ordered Grillade du Chalet (CHF 36.-). It is a plate of different meats, chicken and sausages where you will grill it your own. The idea of barbeque and cheese fondue is like a very harmonious symphony of sizzles and munches.
For the closing, Coupe Gruyères (CHF 16.50) seems perfect at first when I see it on the menu. It has the whipped cream, the ice cream and the berries. What makes it not perfect is the amount of Cognac à l’Orange in that dessert. It’s too much! Dessert is supposed to be sweet and dreamy, not full of cognac. I did found the way not to feel the alcohol on my every bite. I dipped it into the double cream that they serve together.
I would say that Gruyères is one of the must-visit places in Switzerland. If you have the time you can visit the cheese factory just across the train station.