HOT SPOT: St Moritz, Switzerland

Fine food and snowy fun come together at the St Moritz Gourmet Festival

Why’s it hot? The St Moritz Gourmet Festival is a gathering of international super-chefs who visit this famous Alpine resort to lead five days of feasting, partying and foodie mayhem amid the Swiss mountains. Now in its 20th year, this well-heeled extravaganza runs until 1 February with an anniversary line-up of nine culinary wizards that boast a whopping 20 Michelin stars between them.

Forget the skiing – the St Moritz Gourmet Festival is all about enjoying fine food

What’s it got? Treats galore including a buffet of chocolate cakes, confectionery and pastries that stretches for over thirty feet… You’ll find that at the five-star Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, along with guest chef Massimo Botura whose three-Michelin star restaurant in Modena, Italy,(osteriafrancescana.it) is No. 5 in the world rankings. Another top name attending is Markus Glocker from Gordon Ramsay at The London, New York, (gordonramsay.com), along with leading chefs from France, Portugal and Hong Kong. It’s not all grand banquets, though − head to the Gourmet Festival Village on 31 January and you’ll find lots of stalls selling yummy drinks and dishes prepared by rising star chefs from the resort’s top hotels.

Luxury in the snow: St Moritz is where it all began…

Wow factor: St Moritz is widely acknowledged to be the birthplace of Alpine winter sports and tourism and sits amid the magnificent mountains of the Upper Engadin valley. The story goes that one summer in 1864 hotelier Johannes Badrutt made a wager with some English tourists that if they returned in winter he’d give them a great time − or their money back. Today the 157-room hotel that bears his name (badruttspalace.com) is still family-run but now has a Nobu restaurant, a grand ‘Palace Wellness’, a luxury shopping arcade and six acres of private grounds. Until 23 February double rooms cost from £643 with breakfast and ski pass included, with a minimum stay of seven nights. Or just pop in for a drink…

It’s not so bad at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel…

Need to know: See stmoritz-gourmetfestival.ch for the full festival programme. There’s lots more fun to come in February including the Bob and Skeleton World Championships (daily until 3 February, olympia-bobrun.ch), ‘White Turf’ horse racing over a frozen lake on Sundays (3, 10, 17 February, whiteturf.ch), and the Cresta Run Grand National (16 February). For a comprehensive guide to the resort check out engadin.stmoritz.ch.

Book now: Swiss (swiss.com) has direct flights to Zurich from London, Birmingham and Manchester, from £119 return including 23kg luggage plus skis and boots. Transfers to St Moritz take around 3 hours 45 minutes by train (from £105 return, swisstravelsystem.co.uk). For packages see elegantresorts.co.uk, and for more information visit myswitzerland.com.

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