Hotel Caprice - Ihr Garni-Hotel in Grindelwald

Written by Alistair Scott

Max and Greti Mennig have created one of the most popular huts in Zermatt and from the most unlikely origins. Zum See is a converted farm building.

Where cows and sheep once wintered and watered, now weary skiers graze. Lying just off the sometimes icy red run from Furi to Zermatt village a wary eye is needed to spot the sign post. A generally easy ski and equally easy walk from the village, it makes an atmospheric meeting place for ski widows and widowers who like to walk up an appetite for lunch. The hut is small, warm and cosy, with the kitchen opening onto the restaurant. Here Max can be seen cooking fresh food in a traditional way.

The menu makes the best of the valley produce, with local cheeses, dried meats, rösti and, although a mountain away from Italy, delicious pasta. The wine list is varied, as is the tempting list of sundowners that set many a skier on his wobbly way back to the village.

No matter how crowded, Gretti always finds space for one more. Misanthropists beware. For everybody else it is a great place to meet friends or make new ones. There is seating outside the hut with rugs and cushions provided. But do not look to improve your tan early in the season. The hut being low in the valley, the sun goes into hiding mid-afternoon.