Walk past the stuffed marmot on the stone terrace, duck into the low-ceilinged bar, and smells of country cooking assault the nostrils at almost any time of day. This inn is unashamedly informal and decidedly quirky. Puppets and violins hang from the ceiling, working firearms adorn the walls of the bar. The sitting-room has a lived-in look no decorator could hope to achieve, with books, binoculars plus Gabriel Favre’s prize cow bell and his wife Irene’s crocheted doilies adorning the authentically-ageing peasant-style furnishings. Fighting cows, called Queens, are unique to this region; your host owns several and has a video to explain it all.
The narrow upstairs corridors and ceilings are lined with a local red pine, some of which has been replaced recently with disconcertingly fresh wood, albeit in the the traditional style. Lace pillows and hand-painted bedboards evoke the mountain world of another century. This inn has acquired a cult status among cultivated folk from Geneva, who enjoy what is a successful blend of kitsch and basic comforts. Recent renovations have introduced magnificent oak flooring in the sitting room and bedrooms, which is a welcome improvement.