Our oldest son had school vacation last week, so we took a short trip to Walensee in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen, and also visited the small country of Liechtenstein. We stayed at a beautiful resort, right on the lake in Unterterzen. The small town nearby had grocery stores with allergy-friendly options, so we didn’t have to worry about finding restaurants.
Whenever we travel now, I always search for hotels or apartments with kitchens to prepare our own meals and snacks. When our oldest son was a toddler, we also did this because it just made everything less stressful—especially when we were managing early and messy mealtimes. Now with our youngest son’s multiple food allergies (milk, eggs and almonds), it’s easier and safer for us to avoid restaurants when traveling.
For Switzerland, I’ve been using Booking.com to try and find accommodations with kitchens, but it’s not always the quickest option. There’s no search feature that I’ve come across with a box to check for “kitchens.” You can search for “aparthotels” or “apartments,” but I’ve noticed it doesn’t always capture all the options. I read the descriptions and hope to find something that fits our needs. Most recently, I came across Resort Walensee, which we highly recommend. It has a great location on a beautiful lake, clean and fully-equipped apartments with kitchens, swimming pool (the boys were overjoyed) and friendly staff, etc.
On our first day there, we drove to the small town of Walenstadt, about 5 minutes away. We had looked online in advance, so we knew it would have a Migros and Coop for food and other supplies. Situated below a beautiful mountain range, we enjoyed exploring this picturesque town (despite a major 5-year old meltdown on the main street).
Delicious Swiss-German Baked Goods
Per usual, I checked out the local bakery in town. This being the German side of Switzerland, I wanted to see how baked goods compared to our options in Suisse-Romande. We picked out four items to take home, including what I think (I don’t speak any German) was a fried pear turnover, a chocolate pinwheel cookie, a sweet sugar-topped bread knot and a soft pretzel. We ate them back at the resort while my food-allergic son was sleeping. So delicious!
Since my little guy missed out on these tasty baked treats, this week I tried to recreate two allergy-friendly versions of the baked goods at home. I grabbed some recipes online and re-worked them with soy or rice milk, veggie-based margarine and flax meal. No, they didn’t taste nearly as good as the real thing. And, I don’t have any recipes to post yet because, while they were edible, I haven’t perfected their ingredients/instructions. My experiments don’t always turn out, but at least I know they’re safe for my food-allergic son.
Accommodations with Kitchens
Have you traveled in Switzerland with food allergies? Where did you end up staying? Did you have a kitchen or kitchenette? You may have noticed I created a new page for “Accommodations,” as I would like to develop a directory of allergy-friendly hotels, resorts, apartments, etc. for folks traveling in Switzerland with food allergies.
I want to make sure people with food allergies still have access to travel. However (as we’re finding out), renting a place with a kitchen isn’t necessarily a cheaper option, but it can be a safer option. And, we save money, since eating out can be costly—especially here in Switzerland.
So, if you have any suggestions for allergy-friendly Swiss accommodations—particularly those with kitchens, kitchenettes or hotels with allergy-friendly restaurants—please leave a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Hope you are having a great weekend! It’s starting to feel like spring here in our corner of Switzerland, though I hear we’re expecting some snow next week?