24 Hours at Le Clos des Sens, Annecy
When you live, study and work in Lausanne, you have actually plenty of options to escape for the weekend. While you could just fly to every weekend destination in Europe thanks to Geneva Airport, you also have plenty of amazing places to reach by car and train. With Lyon being my most favourite place to sweet escape, this time I decided to stay in France tough take another highway from Geneva. The little town of Annecy was to be visited. Even tough I tend to know all the luxury hotels that are situated around a radius of 3 hours, the little luxury property Le Clos des Sens seemed to be disappeared on my radar and therefore I was so excited when I found out that Annecy has got an actual five-star property. Situated in the old part of Annecy, this property boasts killer views of the centre, the lake and the Haute-Savoie.
I entered the new building and was welcomed by a friendly front desk staff and an amazing lounge with fire place overlooking Annecy and the hotel's lovely infinity pool. I could have had a dip immediately but the weather was not to my advantage and I ended up with a tour to the actual hotel building where my room was located. The lady opened the cool door and I was immediately standing in the entree that offered a spacious wardrobe, access to a separate toilet and the entrance to the bathroom with walk-in shower. It's all about the little details that make Le Clos Des Sens so extra special: orange toilet paper behind a glass wall, stone-styled shower, wooden surfaces all over the room and the best of all: a private in-room jacuzzi next to one of the chicest fire places I have ever had in a hotel room. My heart however belonged to the gorgeous Bowers&Wilkins iPhone Docking Station that showed clearly: this is rather a high end hotel than any countryside "luxe wannabe". A little balcony seemed to fit my mother's expectations and twin beds were also perfect for the occasion.
Being it a mother's day gift for the most wonderful mother one can have, the main purpose was the two-michelin starred restaurant. Le Clos des Sens is one of the only restaurants in the world that serves a no-meal menu, consisting of fish and vegetables only. Another amazing feature is the fact that all products they use come from local farmers and producers. You will only find fishes that swim in the three nearby lakes, including Lac d'Annecy of course as well as Lac Leman with Evian, Geneva and Lausanne. Around 8pm we made our way down the stairs to a restaurant that exactely fits my taste: super elegant chairs, delightful atmosphere, low lightning, perfect arrangements of the tables so that it does not feel cramped and welcoming staff and owners. All the details inside the restaurants are extremely well planned, there is a huge marble desk between the restaurant and the kitchen, all trees are integrated into the terrace and seats offer a built-in plate that can be swiped outwards to put handbags on it. I was impressed already. The first staff members arrived and tough all if them were truly outstanding, I have to mention the two ladies (Camille and the other women, I apologize for not knowing her name on this point) which went beyond the expected and took the time to explain the dishes slowly and again so I could also take notes and remeber them well. Thanks a lot at this point for all the patience.
Let's start with the amazing dinner. As an amuse bouche we were served a refreshing Jasmin & rosemary infused water - the perfect start into an amazing evening! Soon after I was welcomed by the head somelier and got a glass of Grapefruit influenced sparkling wine with less alcohol. The first course was an asparagus puree, local fish as well as herbs & salads from the garden. The following dish was slightly strange for my mother who would never order a fish in a restaurant in the mountains being afraid of bones: crispy skin of the fish with coreander. Interestingly it tasted more like crisps than fish. After that we had a qunell of Gardon which was also perfectly on point and nicely presented. My favorite dish was the following one: crabfish done in different ways - crabfish cracker with bisque, crabfish tartare, crabfish tail with bisque, pie with crabfish head and last but not least a shell of crabfish. Not being a fan of fish soups, I have to admit the one at Le Clos de Sens was very different. It was a fish soup of Putarg (marinated with ferra eggs), pochard fish with lenses al dente and fried. The total contrary to fish arrived soon afterwards: An asparagus from Travers with a brunoise, tops of asparagus in a sauce of rocket salad and lemon - this dish was really really outstanding and would deserve three michelin stars! One of the first main courses was a ferra fish from lake Annecy with japanese citrus and condiments below the fish. I am not a big friend of endives, so the next course was not one of my personal favorites, tough amazingly done: endives with walnut from Chamonix und onion with chicken soup. The main dish of the evening finally arrives and consisted of a Boyard perch fish and snail on top with red wine juice and red onion - you really don't need any meat when you can have such an amazing fish dish! As part of the sweet dishes, we received the first strawberries from France with olive and strawberry sauce as well as an ice of baked bread. A truly wonderful dish were the jam, sorbet and foam of the needle of the pine tree. Super interesting! Before we got tempura of acazia along with a sorbet of roquefort cheese in the first hours, we were treated with a cream and seed of chicorée in a shell of meringue.
Being in a French michelin starred restaurant I had of course some cheese before we received some Madeleines with absinth. The entire evening was on par and the wine pairing over the top. All the selected wines matched more than perfectly to all these regional influenced dishes.
Waking up was like a rebirth. The views are truly adorable and breakfast is served in the dining room on the first floor. Super private and seclued, one staff member arrives with a trolley that makes up your breakfast. All produts are selected exclusively for you and the selection is of highest quality as one would expect from such a property. The dried ham was as good as the home-made caramel creme and yoghurt from the alps. There was nothing missing for neither me nor my mother. We were impressed on all levels. If you compare value for money, Le Clos de Sens is a real gem and being reachable from Lausanne in an hour and from Geneve in 30 minutes, this is your ideal getaway for the weekend!