Gianni Agnelli. Elizabeth Taylor. Claudia Schiffer. John Lennon. Sofia Loren. Gunter Sachs. Audrey Hepburn. What do these names all have in common? They’re all achingly glamorous figures, of course — and all steeped in intrigue, luxury and that golden, inaccessible lifestyle that Slim Aarons would have no doubt captured to perfection — but one more particular thing they all have in common is that they all regularly frequented the world-famous ski destination that is: St. Moritz.
If you’re looking to celebrate winter (and why wouldn’t you? Glittering snow; roaring fires; mulled wine; the upcoming Christmas festivities), St. Moritz is, undeniably, one of the very best places with which to ring in the icy, frosty season. Snugly nestled in Switzerland’s breathtaking Engadin Valley, St. Moritz is an alpine destination of the most luxurious, glamorous variety. No surprises, then, that it’s long attracted iconic figures from the worlds of fashion, art and cinema; and no surprises, either, that it continues to present an enduring, overtly tempting allure to anyone who loves to ski (and to anyone who loves to indulge, too: its opulence, decadence and celebratory nature knows no bounds).
Credit: Michael Chlebek
Credit: AF Archive/Alamy Stock Photo
We know, though, that it’s no longer as simple as spontaneously booking a plane ticket, hopping on board and finding yourself in those glittering, snow-dusted mountains in the merest blink of an eye. The pandemic has put paid to such spontaneity for now; and while we live in hope that we’ll all be able to roam free around the globe once again, there’s a chance that not everyone who longs to will be able to make it to St. Moritz this winter.
So if that’s you, it’s time to bring St. Moritz to your London pad; and in doing so, immerse yourself in the golden, jet-set era for which the destination is so famous. How to achieve this? By revisiting a very particular book: aptly-titled St. Moritz Chic.
Credit: Badrutts Palace Hotel Archive
If you can’t lose yourself on the St. Moritz slopes this winter, lose yourself in the pages of St. Moritz Chic instead. Published by Assouline in 2020, you may well already be aware of it: but if your coffee table isn’t groaning under its luxuriously heavy weight, we’d recommend clearing some space and allowing this suave, elegant book to take centre stage.
Once you’ve done that, make yourself a winter drink of choice (an Alpine liqueur, perhaps; or possibly a single malt scotch) and get stuck in. Author Dora Lardelli will effortlessly soak your London living room in glamour, through transporting you to the favourite St. Moritz haunts of Chanel and Hitchcock, to name just two; and she’ll give you a privileged insight into the world-renowned parties at Badrutt’s Palace, which saw royals flocking through those famous doors (together with many a night of luxurious frivolity).
Credit: Galopin/Alamy Banque D’Images
Credit: Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert
St. Moritz has played host to myriad world-famous events, too; and Lardelli will take you through them, event by event, until you’ll have long forgotten the dearth that Covid has placed on your own social calendar over the past eighteen months. Take the annual Snow Polo World Cup, for example, or the Winter Olympics; then hop on over to the British Classic Car Festival and the summery Jazz Festival.
Credit: Henry Schulz
Books are written to be read; photographs are taken to capture a single moment in time. But when it comes to St. Moritz Chic, reading the words and gazing at the photographs becomes a multi-sensory experience.
You’ll positively taste the coffee and confectionary at Hanselmann; you’ll feel the frosty nip in the air that comes with St. Moritz’s crystalline lakes (and you’ll almost be able to taste the champagne that the world’s elite used to sip with regularity and vigour, as they gazed out over the lakes’ frozen surfaces); and looking at those sheepskin benches at El Paradiso will conjure up all the adrenaline, excitement and exhilaration that comes with the very best ski trips.
Credit: AKG Images/Imagno
St. Moritz is one of the most famously elegant destinations in the world for a reason. So whether you’ll get there this year or not, ring in the (alpine) season with St. Moritz Chic. It’ll banish any lingering travel woes; and it’ll immerse you in the cosy, sparkling warmth that the most luxurious, glittering ski destinations exude as a matter of course. Place this book at the centre of your coffee table this winter: and let the ski slopes come to you.
St. Moritz Chic
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