Gstaad Experience

Gstaad is one of Switzerland’s most iconic luxury ski resorts and definitely my favorite winter destination. Last weekend, I indulged in a very special experience and enjoyed winter and nature in and around Gstaad from close up.

It started at the Gstaad Palace with a beautiful and very romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through the beautiful village of Gstaad up to the unspoiled snowy countryside. I leaned back and felt the calming rhythm of the horses. I loved the tranquillity of nature from the carriage.

However unfortunately, at one point we had stop as it would have been to steep for the horses and we were driven in a jeep up the snowy roads to a rural and charming chalet. Inside a delightfully cheesy experience awaited us. It’s a Swiss tradition to spend some cosy and convivial hours together on the steaming caquelon, eating a rustic and authentic cheese fondue.

Something that should be on your bucket list if you are not living in Switzerland. Important to know… don’t drink anything but these three beverages: Sip only white wine (or in my case champagne), kirsch, or a tisane of herbal tea with your fondue meal. Water might cause stomach pain in combination with the cheese.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs – my favorite champagne nicely chilled in the snow.

The chalet is so charming, don’t be afraid of the outhouse, it is quite an experience.

If you had too much cheese, you can walk back to the hotel, it takes around 2.5 hours to the Palace. Otherwise, you will be driven back with the jeep to your starting point.

It is a truly unique and special experience that you can book via EXPERIENCE event agency.
E-mail: info @experience.ch, Phone: +41 33 748 86 66.

I will be doing it again next weekend … just saying.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Big Move

The past four weeks have been extremely intense for me. I would say it was probably the most intense time of my life so far. I moved out of the house I had lived in for 16 years and I didn’t do anything else for one month than packing boxes. Everybody in my friendship circle knows that I love doing everything by myself, especially when it comes to my beloved closet. So I wrapped every single piece in acid-free silk paper which is the least harmful for clothing.

During the past months, I had a severe moth and fur beetle problem in my old home which was built in 1896. Those insects hide very well in the old wood floors and moldings – it is almost impossible to fight them. The terminator treated the rooms, I had planted ichneumon wasps for over 10 weeks. Yet, they didn’t go away. Therefore, I had to check every item in order not to pack them.

During this one month, I had the moving company (I can absolutely recommend Hobi Transporte) come every week for two days to load parts. My new house is unfortunately not ready yet. The construction and refurbishment take much longer than expected.

My fiancé lives out of Switzerland which doesn’t make it any easier. However, I managed to get everything done and I am very proud of myself, even that I have to be now in an interim solution next door. Packing means venturing on a trip down memory lane. You find so many things that you might have forgotten about. I indulged in this ride, it made me cry sometimes or laugh. However, it was intense, yet very satisfying.

I am overly excited over the beginning of this new phase in my life. I am looking forward to the new home that we create by ourselves and that will be even more beautiful than my previous one. Every room will be dedicated to a designer.

I have never shown my home in all those years I have had my blog. Now that I moved out, I thought it is time for you to explore parts of it… The closet is missing. This I still keep for myself… one day, I will reveal it as well. Promised!

To new and beautiful ventures, quoting Paulo Coehlo: «If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography

Cartier Winter House

During the festive season, the Maison Cartier unveils an innovative pop-up store in Zurich: The «Cartier Winter House». Located on Rennweg 22, a few steps from their boutique, Cartier Winter House is a 150 m2 space spread over three floors, much like a «Chocolaterie». A warm and welcoming venue set to open its doors today this year. From Tuesday to Saturday up to 24th December, visitors will be able to discover chocolate creations with unique flavours.

On the ground floor: Workshops and tastings, a hot chocolate bar and customisable chocolate bars, to enjoy in the boutique or to take away!

Then venture upstairs to the first floor of this pop-up boutique to discover the brand’s iconic creations or the exclusive services on offer. Bespoke engraving, touch and try and a cord bar. A perfect opportunity for visitors to find the ideal presents for their loved ones or to just enjoy themselves, whilst sipping on a hot chocolate in a special gourmet tea room.

Finally, the third floor of this venue will be dedicated to more private events, such as digital conversations with friends of the Maison, digital presentations on the Haute Joaillerie collection, and also chocolate-themed dinners skilfully orchestrated by a reknown Swiss chef.

Cartier has held the city of Zurich close to its heart since the opening of its first boutique in 1978, as Laurence Bourgeois, Managing Director of Cartier Switzerland attests, «Zurich is an avant-garde city in terms of architecture, art and design. Cartier naturally found its place there.» The Maison also opened its new boutique at Bahnhofstrasse in 2018.

Practical information:
From 5th to 24th December (open on Sunday 6th and Sunday 20th December)
Hours: 10 am to 7 pm – Tuesday to Friday
Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm
Thursday Dec 24th from 10 am to 5 pm
Address: Cartier Winter House, Rennweg 22, 8001 Zurich

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and Drawings: © Cartier

The Woodward in Geneva

As a proud ambassador for the Oetker Collection, I am more than happy to announce that spring 2021 will see the addition of The Woodward, a new hotel in the heart of Geneva, to its exclusive portfolio of masterpiece hotels. It will be the tenth hotel in the outstanding collection.

A historic transformation creates Geneva’s first all-suite hotel designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, with restaurants by Michelin-Starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and vegetable driven Le Jardinier by Alain Verzeroli as well as a 1,200 sq metre Spa by Maison Guerlain.

Rooted in classic French techniques, Chef Verzeroli, who has maintained for 11 consecutive years seven stars in the Michelin guide for Joël Robuchon’s three restaurants in Tokyo, is renowned for creating innovative dishes where vegetables play a starring role, many of which are vegan, and dairy and gluten-free.

Owned by Bastion Holdings, the hotel sits directly on the shores of Lake Geneva, offering panoramic views of Mont Blanc. Originally built in 1901 by French architect François Durel, in a post-Haussmann style, the hotel is located on Quai Wilson. Bastion Holdings and Bastion Management are part of The Bastion Collection group which owns 15 unique restaurant & food concepts globally and the masterpiece water-front hotel in Geneva – The Woodward.

Each of the 26-suites have been carefully curated to possess their own distinct character and individual design details with signature flourishes including marble fireplaces and bookcases. 21 of the suites have a full lake view. The jewels in the crown are the Presidential Suite, designed in elegant ivory tones and offering panoramic lake views from every room with a private dining room and loggia, and the Royal Suite, reached by private lift and designed to resemble a chic Parisian apartment.

The Woodward will offer two bars and a tea-room, as well as a private digestif lounge, which takes the buildings history as a bank into the modern-day through the transformation of a former vault. In keeping with Oetker Collection’s commitment to wellbeing, a 21-metre indoor swimming pool invites guests to indulge and relax. It will be the longest swimming pool in Geneva. There will be a state-of-the-art gym, two saunas, two steam-rooms, two Swedish baths and a jacuzzi. Guests will be able to enjoy exclusive treatments by Guerlain across six wellness suites, including one for couples and a corner dedicated to men.

I am so excited for this beautiful addition to Geneva!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of The Oetker Collection

The Best Fondue Experience in Zurich

Last year, I truly enjoyed the KRUG Chalet at The Dolder Grand and went there many times to indulge in the best fondue ever. It’s back this year slightly smaller due to the pandemic situation but not less yummy. Inside the so-called KRUG Carnotzet Pop-up coziness meets exclusivity. Carnotzet is a French-Swiss word meaning a small room beside the wine cellar where one samples wines.

There you can enjoy «DAS Fondue», the most extraordinary fondue creation by star chef Heiko Nieder, Chef Fine Dining at the Dolder Grand, and the well-known Swiss Maître Fromager Rolf Beeler, with a noble champagne accompaniment from Maison KRUG. As a perfect complement, five carefully selected exclusivities from the KRUG «Single Ingredient Program» create a surprising, challenging and contrasting gourmand experience.

Every year,  Maison KRUG challenges its ambassadors, top chefs from all over the world, to create dishes from just one ingredient. The most popular ingredients from different years and various occasions were integrated into this year’s menu under the motto «World of Craft Style».

To finish off the experience, guests are served a selection of three meat specialties: Morcon de Chorizo, Pata Negra and salami with truffle. In addition to common bread and potatoes, green olives, anchovies and quail eggs pickled in peperoncini macinati will be served. Each guest also enjoys half a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée as well as mineral water and coffee or tea. The breathtaking view of Zurich and the Alps is free.

The KRUG Carnotzet Pop-up will be open until the end of February 2021 (with the option of an extension). This year, it is kept particularly intimate, as the Carnotzet can only accommodate up to four people.

Price for two people: CHF 450.-. To book, click here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of The Dolder Grand
DISCLOSURE: This post is NOT sponsored, I just love it!

Jo Malone Presents a Rip-Roaring Christmas


Jo Malone London presents a rip-roaring Christmas. It is time to enter the season of extravagance. Fizz flows frequently, and fragrant gifts fill every space. By the glow of candlelight, Bright Young Things kick up their heels, carrying the revelry long into the night. Discover indulgent presents for him and for her. From coveted Colognes to Bath & Body delights and luxurious gifts for the home.

I have a special surprise for my Swiss readers or everybody from abroad visiting Zurich. From today until November 30, 2020, you can pick up a small gift at the Jo Malone counter at Jelmoli Zurich when you present this post, my Instagram post or a screen shot of my story (1 x per person, while stocks last). No purchase needed.

Although if you buy something, when you visit the counter and show the post, photo or screenshot, you will receive an additional special gift with a purchase of CHF 100 or more (1 x per person, while stocks last). I hope that you will enjoy my little treat for you!

Here are some of my personal favorites:

ADVENT CALENDAR, CHF 490. – *
A magnificent countdown to Christmas, filled with 24 fragrant treats including
signature scents, travel-size Bath & Body treats and miniature Candles.

SCENTED BODY POWDER, CHF 86. – *
A pearlescent powder to scent your skin, infused with English Pear & Freesia. Perfect for party season, it’s encased in a sleek mirrored compact and presented in a pouch with a kabuki brush for touch-ups on-the-go.

COLOGNE COLLECTION, CHF 110. – *
Spoil them with five fragrant miniatures: Dewy Wild Bluebell. Mellow English Pear & Freesia. Spirited Wood Sage & Sea Salt. Happy Honeysuckle & Davana. Daring Pomegranate Noir.

MIDNIGHT MUSK & AMBER COLOGNE 100ML, CHF 142 . – *
A charismatic Bright Young Thing and my favorite. Revelling in the season of extravagance, sensual midnight musk dances with the glowing warmth of amber. This alluring scent leads the decadent celebrations through till dawn with its entrancing spirit.

CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT, CHF 35.-*
Dress the tree with a decorative ornament, filled with a duo of treats:
a Wild Bluebell Cologne (9ml) and an English Pear & Freesia Body Crème (15ml).

CHRISTMAS CRACKER, CHF 42 . – *
Pull to reveal a fragrant trio of treats: a Peony & Blush Suede Cologne (9ml), Wood Sage & Sea Salt Body & Hand Wash (15ml) and a Wild Bluebell Body Crème (15ml).

The collection is available now. Don’t forget to pick up your gift at the Jo Malone Counter at Jelmoli.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Jo Malone London and David Biedert Photography
*Suggested Retail Price
@jomalonelondon, #SeasonOfScent

A Swiss Vision of Beauty

La Prairie, the luxury skincare house, has comissioned award-winning Swiss artist Douglas Mandry to produce a series of images of Swiss landscapes that highlight the beauty of Swiss nature and its inherent fragility.

«Capturing Swiss nature is a testimony of its sublime essence. Looking at a landscape, I start to simplify shapes. Once I have captured this piece of nature, I transform it. This is the starting point of my creations: merging my experience of nature with my cultural background

For the collaboration with La Prairie, Douglas Mandry traveled throughout Switzerland to capture the wild environment and impressive landscapes of his homeland.
«After hours of walking, sometimes I just happen to be at a place which strikes me. Capturing this nature is for me a testimony of its sublime essence. Afterwards, I try to re-appropriate this untouched and unspoiled environment and make it my own. So the whole process is about merging my experience of nature with my cultural background,” explained Mandry.

Experimenting with both traditional photographic techniques and pioneering new processes, Mandry uses the medium as a raw material, stretches it, reworks it to go beyond the qualities of the original photograph. By manipulating his photographs in this way and combining them with non-photographic elements, he creates a new typology of objects that rests somewhere between two- and three-dimensionality.

With this new venture, La Prairie proudly continues to collaborate with Swiss artists. Douglas Mandry’s inspiring tribute to Swiss nature speaks to La Prairie’s own tireless pursuit of timeless beauty. A pursuit that has become a purpose, for the luxury house who supports initiatives promoting culture and science through the prism of Switzerland as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.

Left: The three unique works that will be auctioned off. Right: Mandry at work.

To that end, three unique works, the striking result of La Prairie’s collaboration with Douglas Mandry will be auctioned online on Artnet Auctions from November 4-18, 2020.
The proceeds of the sales will be donated as part of the brand’s ongoing support for ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) through its ETH Foundation. Their pioneering work in the field of climate studies, glaciology and environmental conservation is shared with La Prairie’s overarching commitment to protecting and preserving its land of origin.

Please enjoy this little interview with Douglas Mandry:

Tell us more about yourself an as artist. What is your background?
I was born in Switzerland and work in Zurich today as an artist and photographer, where my studio is based. I graduated in 2013 from Lausanne’s ECAL University for Design and Art with a specialisation in photography.

What are your main sources of inspiration?
I do read a lot. I am inspired basically by any possible thing. I try to cultivate a background in image paintings, philosophy, and a bit of technology too. My work is a response to society, to different aspects of the society I have grown up in and I live in. My own experience of life has become a tool for inspiration.

Please share some insight about your creative process. What is the idea behind «breaking/manipulating» reality?
The way we experience reality is so complex and has many layers to it. As a photographer, if you think of representing reality, you think of constructing a certain reality through photography. When I was studying and doing my own photographs, I realised that I was more interested in constructing my photographs than actually taking them. The whole process before I take the picture is, for me, as — if not more — interesting than taking the picture or enjoying the result. Photography has so many aspects to it: between the moment you create or you have an idea of creating an image, until the way you or someone else experiences it, it’s actually a lot of steps. It is a succession of steps and each one is equally important to create a result.

What is your definition of Swissness?
To me, Swissness has two sides to it. On one hand, a high respect for tradition, knowhow and craftsmanship. And on the other hand, an advanced interest for progress in technological precision and development. Two sides which work really well in one concept.

How was your collaboration with La Prairie? What does the brand evoke to you?
La Prairie evokes to me many Swiss qualities, such as a close connection to nature but also a certain very precise know-how and elevated craftsmanship. This is what I consider the essence of Switzerland to be.

Do you think that art and beauty are related? How?
I believe beauty is everywhere. Art can be used to question beauty or to establish beauty standards across time and different cultures. They are more than related, they flow with each other.

Tell us about your future projects.
I am currently developing a project focusing more specifically on the topic of Swiss glaciers, working both with archive photographs and experimental image-making tools.

Thank you, Douglas!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © La Prairie

For All Senses

On Monday evening, I was invited to a unique sensory experience by two famous Maisons, Christian Dior and Moët & Chandon. Both have united to create a new temporary concept, dedicated to the perfect olfactory pleasure at the ONYX Bar of Senses at Park Hyatt Zurich. Imagine, perfume that you can drink. Combining the savoir-faire of the perfumers and the cellar masters, cocktail lovers can enjoy an exclusive and individually prepared selection created by Hercules Tsibis, Bar Manager and Master Mixologist at the ONYX Bar.

Practicing social distancing: Hercules Tsibis with me

He developed six signature cocktails inspired by six exclusive fragrances of Maison Christian Dior, that harmonize perfectly with the aromas of the Moët & Chandon champagne Impérial Brut and Rosé. With the creative freedom of both houses, Hercules and his team created also six «essences», which enable a more intense version of the cocktails based on the principle of culinary reduction. Mixed with Moët & Chandon champagne, these «essences» offer a journey of taste.

Named after six beautiful scents by Maison Christian Dior that were chosen for their olfactory diversity, you can enjoy «La Colle Noire», «Rouge Trafalgar», «Bois d’Argent», «Gris Dior», «Spice Blend» and «Rose Kabuki». The menu offers two separate variations for each signature cocktail: a cocktail and an «essence».

«Essences» with miniature fragrances

Cocktail, accompanied by amuse-bouche and miniature of the fragrance CHF 28.50
«Essence», accompanied by an amuse bouche and miniature of the fragrance CHF 19.50

With beautiful Christa Rigozzi at the event last Monday.

Let yourself be enchanted by this experience, which consists of the play of colors, a bouquet of aromas and the extraordinary variety of perfumes. For this sensual sensory journey, head chef Tarik Lange created an amuse bouche that perfectly complements and completes your selection.

Filming the live talk between…

… Kiki Mäder, Tarik Lange and Stephen Ansell, GM Park Hyatt Hotel Zurich (from left to right).

You can enjoy it only for a limited amount of time, starting today until November 28, 2020 at the ONYX Bar of Senses at Park Hyatt Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

My favorite cocktail: Rose Kabuki

Photos: © David Biedert Photography

It’s More Than a Ribbon

Since its launch in 1992, the Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign has united and inspired people globally to create a breast cancer-free world. Founded by the late Evelyn H. Lauder with the launch of the iconic Pink Ribbon, the campaign is the American beauty conglomerate’s largest corporate social impact program. It has raised more than $89 million to support global research, education and medical services, with more than $73 million funding 293 medical research grants through the Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF).

«It really is something that can never be done by any one person; it has to be done by a group.» – Evelyn H. Lauder, Founder The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
In Memoriam 12 August 1936 – 13 November 2011

 Around the world, people are experiencing challenging times living amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This is true for all of those impacted by the disease, especially the breast cancer community, which now faces increased risk and vulnerability. But these days have also brought a renewed sense of unity, hope and inclusivity, as we all join together in the mission #TimeToEndBreastCancer.

#TimeToEndBreastCancer on Instagram

The 2020 Breast Cancer Campaign has launched a new social media call-to-action to rally supporters and raise funds for BCRF: Show your Pink Ribbon and share what it means to you. For every public, in-feed Instagram or Facebook post during the month of October featuring both hashtags #TimeToEndBreastCancer and #ELCdonates together, The Estée Lauder Companies will donate $25 to BCRF up to $100,000.

For all my Swiss readers who would like to support the 2020 Breast Cancer Campaign, pay a visit to the Charity Pop-Up Store at Zurich’s Main Station from October 8-10, 2020, where you can profit from 50% off several products from brands belonging to The Estée Lauder Companies, such as Clinique, La Mer, Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown etc… All proceeds will be donated to «Look Good Feel Better». Throughout the whole month of October, you can also buy those Pink Ribbon limited edition products:

ESTÉE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex with Pink Ribbon Bracelet – CHF 149.00
ESTÉE LAUDER Pink Perfection Lip Kit – CHF 65.00
CLINIQUE Moisture Surge 72-hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator – CHF 42.00 (50ml)
LA MER Crème de la Mer – CHF 100.00 (15ml)
(50% of the sale price of each product will be donated to «Look Good Feel Better»).

AVEDA Hand Relief ™ Moisturizing Crème with Cherry Almond Aroma – CHF 40.50 (150ml)
(The Estée Lauder Companies will donate CHF 5.00 for each sold product to «Look Good Feel Better»).

It’s more than a ribbon. It unites us.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of The Estée Lauder Companies and © Sandra Bauknecht
DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored. I received some of the products as samples.

Back to Training at Studio PILATESwiss

Many of you have been asking me lately how I stay fit and in shape. First of all, part of it is eating a healthy diet, so I make sure I am consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. I eat everything in moderation and listen very carefully to my body. However, I also indulge in my guilty pleasures, which means for me a piece of cake or a glass of bubbly.

The other part of staying fit is exercising on a regular base. As I used to dance ballet professionally many years ago, my body still has memory how to maintain a good posture. My so-called powerhouse is engaged subconsciously, which burns calories. In case that you are not familiar with this term. Created by Joseph Pilates, the powerhouse is the center of the body and comprised of a group of muscles; abdominals (upper an lower), lower back, buttocks and the hip. It is the core of pilates. For him, the extremities, such as arms, legs and shoulders, is a muscular network that extends from this powerhouse.

What distinguishes pilates from most other exercise modalities is strength in movement is achieved through interconnectivity versus isolation, thereby the body is strengthened with more control and stability. Learning how to breathe correctly while exercising, also helps to calm your mind. Breath is a very important part of pilates. My avid readers already know that I love pilates.  I work out at least twice a week at PILATESwiss – premium, ecologically responsible studios for pilates and yoga. After my summer travels, I am so happy to be back to train.

In 2004 the first studio opened right on Lake Zurich, in Seefeld, which was doubled the size in 2011. This May, in the «vineyard of Zurich», sunny Höngg, a new studio opened its doors and I was curious to explore the new space that also offers wall classes with patented and locally produced PILATESwiss Boards.

The owner of PILATESwiss, Canadian-born Karolina Schmid, who is in my opinion definitely the best in business, designed the wall boards to further underscore her personal commitment to providing her clients with innovation and quality. I love to train with her and I can also recommend the whole PILATESwiss team of 25 quality-conscious trainers who are constantly perfecting their teaching skills.

In fact, PILATESwiss is the only company in German speaking Europe to achieve both PILATES Method Alliance accreditation (PSI) for its teacher training program and at same time YOGA alliance (YA) accreditation for its teacher training program. Globally, there is no higher independent, non-fiduciary test of quality available.

Today, personal training in environmentally «clean» spaces is something truly amazing. Besides their line of low carbon footprint machines that are made in Switzerland, PILATESwiss uses toxin-free or vegan cleaning products, and trains on ecologically conscious surfaces and textiles.

My outfit is by CASALL, a brand that is exclusively available at PILATESwiss. The tights consists of 78% recycled Polyamide and 22% Lycra. This sustainable fabric is made of 100% regenerated Polyamide fiber from post-consumer materials like old fishnets and others. It is super stretchy with a high Lycra®XtraLife percentage making it extra durable and flexible.

The crossback tank is made of 100% Tencel® fabric that is very soft and fluid. This fabric comes with natural antibacterial features and has good moisture absorption properties. Made of cellulosa fibres from sustainable tree farms, it is biodegradable. A conscious choice!

Shop my look: Iconic sports bra in black, Ease cross back tank in focus beige, and Better high waist tights in belonging beige, all by CASALL.

PILATESwiss
Studio Seefeld, Seefeldstrasse 225, 8008 Zürich
Studio Höngg, Ackersteinstrasse 207, 8049 Zürich
E-mail:
Phone: +41 78 891 03 17

See you there!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and Courtesy of Karolina Schmid
The photos were taken at Studio Höngg.