Fondue Village at Ocean House
So, you wanted to ski the Swiss Alps, but apres-ski is really more your thing? Or you don’t have the time to jet out and back? Fondue Village at Open House has all the romance, with only a fraction of the travel.
The idea is positively charming – antique ski gondolas (the enclosed ski lift cars that get you up to the top of the slopes) converted to cozy private dining venues for up to six people each, that surround a fire pit amongst a patch of pines on Ocean House’s North Lawn. Truth be known, the gondolas saw service in Vermont, but they’ve been redone to feel luxuriously Swiss, painted Veuve Clicquot yellow with Alpine pillows and chandeliers (and Austrian glassware and china.) You can even borrow a Columbia Grand Trek down jacket, which works perfectly when you stray from your gondola to the Adirondack chairs around the fire. The three-course meal is Swiss-inspired and exquisite (we are talking a five-star kitchen here), and you get a private server to make things even more perfect.
You can book either lunch (noon on Thursdays through Saturdays), or dinner (Wednesdays, seatings at 5 and 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday at either 6 or 8:30 pm). As you’d expect, it’s a bit pricey -- $400 for up to 4 people, or $600 for up to six (the gondolas come in two sizes), which doesn’t include the 20% gratuity and tax. Adding three courses of Veuve Clicquot Champagne pushes the price up a bit ($560 and $840), but if you’re going to splurge, splurge. Perfect to impress a date, or for a really special little party, if you have the occasion.
Fondue Village is open through March.