For the B.R.A. section Romandie East, Deborah Schmidhalter assembled 13 residents of Valais, Vaud and Britain for a fondue in Sion on 17 March 2015. In the Scex* quarter of the town, the Hotel du Rhône has a restaurant specialized in very reasonably priced meat fondues, including Baccus, bourgignonne, Chinese and fish.
From our table we had a view of the floodlit castle Valère above us, on top of a 100m vertical cliff, and of the wide channel of the river Sionne, which here disappears under the road. The bourgignonne fondue can include kangaroo, beef, turkey and horse. In true British tradition, no-one opted to include horse.
We each briefly cooked these rolls of very thinly sliced meat in bowls of bouillon soup, boiling on burners in the middle of the table.
Accompanying this was a self-service choice of 21 kinds of sauces and other extras.
Our conversations flowed like the river Sionne, which babbles through the foundations beneath the restaurant. We ate until we could eat no more, and then continued chatting for another hour or two, rounding off a very pleasant evening.
*In the Valais, “Scex” (also written “Sex”) means “cliff”, and is the name of many lofty peaks, like the Sex Rouge. In Sion, it refers to the towering, vertical cliff from which the historic castle of Valère dominates the town.