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Baby in Gstaad

Sat, 09. Feb. 2019

Taking a 1-year-old to the glamorous village of Gstaad is a very different proposition to that of years gone by.

Arriving in Gstaad
We arrive nanny in toe after a delayed flight from Farnborough to the new Gstaad Airport, where – after circling because of the fog and short runway – we land.

The chalet is just as I left it the year before at seven months pregnant, when I brought minimal stuff for the baby: travel cot and a few baby grows his now leggy frame is too big for and numerous redundant dummies, which I am grateful I never used.

After settling baby Charlie into the flimsy looking cot, I fall into bed only to be woken at 7am by an alarm clock that doesn’t stop. By 7.15 we are all awake and full of giggles and the world is marvellous again.

Since Charlie arrived, that first breathtaking moment when I heard him scream and hadn’t yet seen him, my heart expanded with love and that’s kept on growing. So has my desire for him to have the best of everything that I can find.

The best for Charlie
At the Rialto all is calm and the starters are delicious. The only place Charlie is happy is on my lap when suddenly I sense a warm wet feeling creeping down my skirt. Baby Charlie is wet and delighted in his own achievement. This should teach me to bring a spare outfit.

Sporting a mink Lora Piana cardigan, Charlie’s little pink legs kick delightedly and I leg it as fast as I can through the snow to Lorenz Bach’s baby section, a little distracted by traditional lederhosen for 2 year olds. I finally opt for Ralph Lauren chinos and run back again to save the baby prawn’s chubby legs from the cold-eyed stare of some of the more conservative of Gstaad’s residents.

Eating a pizza with one hand and juggling a baby with the other I realise that offers to hold him are insincere. He bangs the pepper pot rapturously till it opens with a cloud of pepper that slowly settles over the rest of my pizza. Having a baby makes you thin; you never get to finish a meal.

Returning while everyone shops because its nap time, I consider how having a baby saves money and then ponder on the previous night’s online shopping spree at 3am for baby clothes. But when it’s for a baby it doesn’t count, does it?! Babies don’t save money no matter how I try to sell that one.

Club life
Going to the Eagle Club, a private members club on top of the Wasserngrat, some people opt to leave their enfant terrible in the entrance way but mine is too young. With Charlie ensconced on a baby seat we wade through champagne and foie gras while the little one munches heartily on gnocchi with fromage de Rougemont, a local speciality from my adopted village in Switzerland.

The president’s daughter happens to be leaning over when baby Charlie decides now is the opportune time to let his gnocchi fly free and pushes it over her now heaving cashmere bosom. Obviously you can’t shout at a baby, especially one who looks as angelic as baby Charlie. She is sweet about it and I am mortified. Having a baby makes you popular…or not. Eventually we all quietly leave and my text of apology goes answered.

Isobel Hyde

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