Do you usually visit Bumthang in the summer? When the meadows are green, forests are more lush and weather warmer? But I want you to consider planning a weekend getaway to Bumthang in winter.
There’s something about the cold that brings out the best that bumthang has to offer. Whether it’s the warmth from the winter sun as you sip hot tea under the empty apple trees, the warmth of bukhari-lit kitchen hearths as grandmothers make buckwheat noodles – winter brings out a different side to Bumthang that often gets overshadowed by the colors of the other seasons.
I made a short trip recently and it made me appreciate the season’s beauty in this part of my country.
Swiss Guest House
About 10 minutes away from Chamkhar town, you’ll find yourself driving along a small road that takes you into a family property of apple trees, old wooden fences and a spot with a spectacular view of Jakar Dzong. Welcome to the Swiss Guest House.
The story of the Swiss Guest House goes way back to the 70s when a Swiss cheesemaker came to the Himalayan kingdom to teach the art of making cheese. Fritz Maurer married a Bhutanese and had 6 children and continued to live in the country he thought he would be staying only for a little while. Today, his daughter Sonam takes care of the Swiss Guest House.
The Bumtap-speaking Swiss played a key role in revolutionizing the dairy farms at that time. The two factories set up by Fritz Maurer produces (now called) Bumthang cheese (gouda and emmentel cheese) served at every breakfast table at hotels in Bumthang. The family also produces local wild strawberry jam and red panda beer.
Delicious Food at the Swiss Guest House
The further you travel away from the capital in Bhutan, the less choices you have in terms of an ala carte menu. But the food at the Swiss Guest House proves that wrong.
Imagine this. A tall glass or red panda beer with homemade sausages, roasted local vegetables and potato mash followed by an apple crumble dessert with homemade whipped cream. Yes you can enjoy something like this in Bumthang.
Whether you’re staying at the guest house or at any other accommodation in Bumthang, one thing’s for sure, you have to try the food here at the SGH. From cheese raclette, fondue to yummy apple desserts made with fresh cream, you’ll be surprised at the food here.
The Swiss Guest House has a familiar ambience of a country farmhouse that you often read about in English literature. You need to come here to experience it.
For more information go to the Swiss Guest House