One of the most visited landmarks in Switzerland, Château de Chillon is located near Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. Throughout the year, it has opportunities during the year to learn about and sample medieval cuisine. My family and I recently visited this famous castle on a cool and foggy Saturday for the Christmas festivities as part of Féerie Médiévale. Here’s a summary from our visit and information about how you can take advantage of food-focused activities at the castle.
A Hearty Medieval Meal
While Château de Chillon doesn’t usually have a restaurant onsite, it catered a medieval-style feast for visitors to its annual Christmas festivities. This year’s event runs every weekend in December until the 20th.
For lunch, we had steaming bowls of vegetable soup served with pain paysan and meat pies made with flaky puff pastry. My husband opted for a large slice of terrine made with sanglier (wild boar).
I had a plate full of sliced ham, roasted on a spit. They garnished this dish with a delicious onion relish and a side of lentils. We all enjoyed our food in the large dining room of the castle next to a massive fireplace.
For dessert, we found a table full of generous portions of apple tart and pain d’épices (gingerbread). My favorite was the creamy tarte au vin cuit, with hints of apple, pear and caramel.
Winemaking at Château de Chillon
A centuries-old history of winemaking at the castle has been recently revived. In 2011, the Fondation du Château de Chillon started producing wine under the Clos de Chillon label. The grapes are grown nearby in the historic Lavaux region, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will find the barrels of wine stored in the castle’s cellar. This space is the former prison cell of François Bonivard, which inspired Lord Byron’s famous poem, The Prisoner of Chillon.
Currently, the Château de Chillon is producing a red wine (a blend of Gamaret, Garanoir and Merlot) and a white wine (Chasselas). You can find these wines for sale at the castle’s gift shop. Profits from the sale of this wine will support conservation and restoration work at this historic site.
Culinary Events at Chillon Castle
If you missed this year’s Féerie Médiévale, Château de Chillon has other opportunities to experience medieval cuisine at other culinary events held throughout the year. You can also participate in a wine-tasting after attending a guided tour.
Château de Chillon, Avenue de Chillon 21, CH 1820 Veytaux, Switzerland, +41 (0)21 966 89 10, email@example.com
Updated: December 29, 2022