We do a loop of the National through the woods to the Patrullarve chair. It’s the resort’s steepest piste, and it’s always beautifully groomed and quiet. There’s time for a circuit of the scenic red Tufteren before we head to the self-service restaurant at Sunnegga for midday’ we eat early, then we can ski while others are eating.
Self-service, did I say? Certainly. Zermatt may have some of the best mountain restaurants in the Alps, but most days we thrive on unfussy mountain fare with sensible prices and optional drinks. There’s a self-service on every sector of the mountain; the Riffelhaus 1853 is my favourite, for the substantial salad bar (fill a bowl for about CHF9/6).
Depending on evening plans and weather, a couple of days a week we opt for a lunch restaurant with service. My favourites are Aroleid at Furi, for its perfectly executed Swiss staples at sensible prices; small cosy Ried, on the lower part of Sunnegga, whose barley soup is a winner; and the Gandegg hut, perched on a ridge above Trockener Steg.
There is a family friendly restaurant just above Zermatt called Olympia. The food and service is excellent and it is great as just a restaurant or an apres-ski bar. Also at Riffelberg above Zermatt there is the Riffelberg Hotel, with a restaurant, good quality food and there is also the Riffelberg Restaraunt with a veranda and buffet.