If Heidi’s grandfather had run a hotel, it would have looked like this. Perched on a mountain, the Hostellerie de Caux is 1,165 m, or more than 20 hair-pin bends, up the steep road from Montreux. Those in the know, however, take the small, blue cogwheel train to the Rochers de Naye. The stop at Caux is just a three-minute walk from the inn. Although popular for weekend lunches in the 1930s, the standards had fallen, as had its reputation, in recent years. Then Jean-Pierre Fath arid his Austrian wife decided to escape from Montreux. Formerly a manager of one of the city’s large hotels, he left the books and now cooks (fillet of sea trout with chives or lamb with fines herbes) to satisfy the hearty appetites of guests who ski in winter and march along the mountain tracks in summer.
Every bedroom has spectacular mountain views, which make up for the rather basic furnishings, although there are comfortable double beds. Bathrooms are small but perfectly adequate. After all, who wants to spend time upstairs when downstairs there is a roaring fire and a bar with a panorama of Lac Leman, the sunset and birds swooping below.