• Engelberg
  • Engelberg – Food & Drink Edit.

    Tiina Kivelä Engelberg

    Long time no stories. Sorry for that, it’s been a bit too much lately. But now, since my very nice sunny free days last weeks resulted in many nice hikes and – unfortunately – injured ankle, I have time to get on to the first top tips for Engelberg.

    And because I mainly hike (and run and ski and bike) to eat ( a lot and well), I thought it would be good to start with the best end points for nice tours in the sunny side of the Engelberg valley. Also known as the Brünni and Fürenalp side, with the south faces and sunny terraces, with great mountain views and trails for many kind of activities.

    As an extra, I’ll also tell where you get the best coffee in town. Good deal, right?

    Brunni – The Sunny Side of Engelberg

    First of all, there’s Brunnihütte at 1860m, SAC mountain hut & restaurant, which can be reached by foot, bike, skis in winter. For the not so fresh legged ones its also reachable by Brunnibahn and one additional lift from the Engelberg town. Up near the hütte, you also find easy category Via Ferrata and good hiking and other activities for the whole family. And from Brunnihütte itself you may get a bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer or just cake and coffee.

    Also note it’s accessible by lift (normal ticket CHF29 one way, CHF44 return) so especially on sunny days the place and especially terrace may get crowded (for which I have a better restaurant tips below).

    Tiina Kivelä Engelberg

    Tiina Kivelä Engelberg

    Below Brunnihütte and a bit above the village there’s Flühmatt restaurant, my current favourite one. Accessible by foot, bike or skis in winter it offers great food and drinks and excellent terrace with great views to Titlis & co.

    Flühmatt is also fairly close to the Ristis station of Brunnibahn, yet I do recommend earning the food and drinks by hiking, biking or skiing.  From here, you may find the best Älplermagronen of the Engelberg area (haven’t tested them all but well I have tested many all over Switzerland and this was definitely the best one of one of the most iconic Swiss foods you can get) enjoyed alone as a single portion or as a shared bowl for the number of the party.

    Flühmatt Engelberg Tiina Kivelä

     

    Fürenalp – Difficult Via Ferrata & Amazing Panorama

    Moving from Brünni further on the valley to Fürenalp (1850m), yet staying in the sunny side, you can hike up past Alpenrösli and Stäfeli (offering also restaurants and cheese) in the Surenpass direction, or take the difficult category Via Ferrata all the way to the Fürenalp bahn top station and restaurant with the same name.

    From here, you may also get the Älplermagroni but also Chässchnitte aka Käseschnitte aka lots of cheese on a bread with ham and wine and egg. And of cours many kind of drinks, coffee and cake and Kaiserschmarrn, the traditional fluffy pancake dessert of the alpine region (the Kaiser- name comes from the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph 1).

    Even though also accessible directly by cable car, I really recommend first doing the hike, via ferrata or bike, and only then the food stop (to gather enough appetite for these heavy yet yummy specialities). After the well deserved break, you may then save the knees and very well fed belly taking the Fürenalpbahn down to the valley floor (payment in the valley station, CHF14 one way, CHF19,50 return, ski/hiking season pass is valid in here) or stay the night in the mountain hut.

    Engelberg Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä Engelberg

    Tiina Kivelä Engelberg

    Apéro ! The Best Swiss Food Related Tradition

    The Italian Apero is known almost everywhere, but very few know that Switzerland has the similar aperitivo tradition, which I have taken to like a lot. In apéro, there’s traditionally local finger food like bread, cheese and various meats, pickled cucumbers, wine or other apéro drinks and good company gathering for the afterwork, pre dinner or just to have some snacks together. And while the traditional time is after office hours before dinner, around 5-7pm, you may also get quite similar for lunch or afternoon snack, with the names like Regionale Trockenfleischspezialitäten mit Bergkäse.

    Normally swiss apéro is best when shared, but after injuring my ankle I have also taken it as my solo event, on side of keeping my foot up and enjoying the good weather in my balcony. Unfortunately ,I have no pic of the excellent ones you find in the Swiss restaurants (in Engelberg try the one from Zum Schweizerhaus restaurant a bit outside the village centre) so you have to deal with this one from my “don’t know how long I stay in this place so no point decorating this” balcony.

    The wine and almost local mozzarella from the nearby Entlebuch biosphere were excellent though.

    Swiss Apéro

    But First & Last & In Between – Coffee

    Engelberg’s in Switzerland, but it’s also one of the most Swedish places on earth. And while Verbier is the higher class Stureplan Swedish place in Switzerland (pardon my raw characterisations), Engelberg is the hipster cousin.

    With cute Swedish boutique hotels, real skandinavian ski bums (more than one Finnish too) and Swedish owned excellent coffee roastery with cool graphics aka Roastery Engelberg.

    You may get the coffee (drinks) or beans or coffee makers (no nespresso here) from their own shop in Dorfstrasse, or spot the coffee served in local hotels and restaurants and  too homes. The latter only if you’ve been invited or have your own here though.

    Comes with climbing and skiing and other outdoors chat, like every good mountain coffee stand. Oh and Nitro Cold Brew. The best trendy thing happening to coffee right now (my own honest opinion).

    Tiina Kivelä Engelberg

    Tiina Kivelä Engelberg

     

    Ps. Don’t Forget The Local Bakeries

    You may have your own favourite trail snack but yet I would recommend you always check in every village your (hike/bike/run/ski/whatever) tour starts, passes or ends the local bakery (or bakeries) in addition to the restaurants and coffee stands.

    For the best bread and croissants (mandelgipfeli for me in zentralschweiz). This way everyone wins – you get a delicious local snack and the local bakery gets enough business to thrive, hopefully year round. Which kinda goes to any local product and service there is, in your hometown or favourite resort and activity destination.

    The local the better.


    Where: Engelberg (map) : Brunnihütte / Flühmatt / Fürenalp / Roastery Engelberg / Bäckerei Stöckli for the bakery 

  • BLOG
  • Origin Of My Superpowers

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Arctic Warriors

    In our series of if I would be a foodie blogger. Includes a recipe and guest starring Minttu.

    First of all, I just realised in Switzerland I eat way more veggies than in Finland. That because they are most of the times local – or almost local – and so good quality. (Poor short cold summers of Lapland).  And because meat is so expensive in here. Which it also should be, of course. For the climate, sustainable production and business.

    Though not even that has turned me into fully vegan. And even though tempting – again the climate – I guess it will take time for me to get fully vegan. Though not for the meat – the least for that really. Mainly because the Swiss cheese. I mean, what would life be without apéro-plättli and raclette… And käseschnitte!  (Ask and I may write more of those some day). Luckily though, the cows in Switzerland seem more than happy with their life and duties.

    Secondly, in our rare food section. Raw, soaked oats and Finnish berry powders. <3 Oh why only recently I got this greatness. Healthy and handy.

    (At this point I have to tell you that especially in Switzerland  I am kinda strange Finn abroad because I don’t miss many Finnish/Lapland things. Like, I don’t travel here from Finland with bags full of Finnish bread and candies and whatever many other fellow Finns seem to do. Simply, because I am lazy and have too much stuff anyway. And because Swiss food is generally more than good for me.

    Nevertheless, in addition to the fish and flatbread baked by my dad (aka the original hipster) I do miss the berries a lot. Because they taste good and are super healthy.  The original superfood from Lapland. And while one gets some berry jams from here too – even cloudberry jam from Ikea – and while fresh berries are kinda impossible to transport to Switzerland to be enjoyed later (especially with our tiny tiny freezer)  I am super happy for the recent commercialised invention of berry powders. 100% berries, light to fly with, and easy to storage and be consumed regularly until the jar is finished and new order has to be made – thank god one can nowadays buy them online too.)

    Lately, I have been the most excited of that shock dark pink of Arctic Warrior’s Puolu lingonberry powder. Which goes well mixed with frozen bananas and coconut milk – for banana-coconut-lingonberry nice cream –  and for the above mentioned raw soaked oats porridge.

    (For mine, I normally mix together a small handful of big oat flakes, a bit of chia seeds, spoonful of lingonberry powder, just enough unsweetened almond or coconut milk, and one ripe banana. Then I let it stay in the fridge over the night in the very hipster jar and eat it in the morning – raw or occasionally topped with almonds/nuts, more berry powder and coconut flakes.)

    And to get it all balanced, see the last pic for todays most interesting find and our guess star Minttu.

    Was today sorting my skiing and mountaineering stuff aka my favourite toys and next to my harness – which I have  used way too little lately – I found a bottle of Minttu. The notorious Finnish drink which goes well as a shot or extremely well with hot chocolate (or at least to the ones who like boozy mint chocolate) and which for some reason – didn’t remember it first – I had in there.

    Though then, I remembered la graving and the concept of survival shot. (For the nerves, that is. )

    Seemingly though I have not needed it, because the bottle’s still unopened. Which only means that the harness and crampons and me need more outings. The bit scary kinda ones, for which one needs all kind of shots in the emergency kit (btw, above mentioned Arctic Warriors also makes my favourite natural energy shots – these honey ones) in addition to the crampons and glacier specs.

    Time to eat tomorrows porridge looking maps and project sheets….

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Arctic Warriors

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Swiss Veggies

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Minttu


    Where: Basecamp aka home. 

  • BLOG
  • Schneeeeeee

     

    That’s how adult I sound when there’s snowwwwwwww.

    Awww.

    In other words, today I woke up in a winter wonderland and despite an early (and stubborn) winter cold made a little walk (I’ve gotten very good at these grandma style walks lately), took the pics and froze the fingers. Which were then melted with #kerkkälatte aka the #matchalatte aka the hipster drink.

    It’s made of milk (btw finally found good barista style oat+soja drink from Germany – and the next step is to find similar in Switzerland – help people if you know!) and spruce sprout powder (mine is from Arctic Warriors, directly from Rovaniemi – thanks for sponsoring guys!). Add some honey for sweetness, whisk and voilá, the hipster drink is made.

    Tastes like grass (aka super healthy), so now I really feel like a happy swiss cow here.

    Who also has a Christmas tree. And candles. And lots to study. And a cold to heal. So no skiing here yet. Unfortunately. But hopefully soon.

    And before that, some snow. And Swiss countryside. And my hygge.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

     

    Where:  St. Gallen