RAIN, RAIN go away, come again when I am back in England. Not the brightest start to the morning.

DSC_4777Grey, overcast skies, a steady drizzle. However, it will take more than this to dampen my spirits as I head to the medieval town of Murten.

DSC_4754They keep a Willkommen/Bienvenue here, as the town straddles the German and French speaking parts of Switzerland, between Berne and Lausanne.

DSC_4781This is a delightful town full of history and clearly well preserved. I walk around part of the easily accessible town ramparts crowned by striking towers, and cast my eyes over rooftops and out across the lake.

DSC_4790I wander along the narrow arcades and pop into the Aebersold bakery, famous for its Nidelkuchen, a unique cream tart. Three generations have been refining its taste, quality and simplicity, and I can personally vouch for the pastry’s extraordinary lightness, yet wholesome taste.

DSC_4811I move on to The Vully, one of the smallest wine regions of Switzerland, where I meet up with Marylene Bovard-Chevet, who opened the Chateau de Praz winery on the banks of Lac de Morat with her husband Louis. They currently produce around 100,000 bottles a year, six white and two red, and have no trouble selling it throughout Switzerland.

DSC_4821After lunch at the Bel-Air restaurant in Vully, where I have a superb main course of fresh perch caught from the lake, I move on to Estavayer-le-Lac, another of the region’s imposing medieval towns. In pure Gothic style, I wander through the arcades of Chenaux Castle and inside the 14th century Collegiate Church of St-Laurent.

DSC_4829I spend a pleasant early evening at Chateau de la Corbiere outside the town. The chateau has gone through various stages of life, from a girl’s school, boarding house for monks, boy’s school and private residence, before being purchased by Philippe and Anne Lise Glardon in 2011.

DSC_4832The couple spent the next two years renovating the property into a stunning hotel/restaurant, with wonderful views of the lake. Some enchanted evening, indeed.

– Michael Cowton

©Essential Journeys/Michael Cowton