I was so honoured to be invited to the Ricola event last week, and it did not disappoint! What an amazing afternoon, we got treated to a 5 course meal cooked by Anton Mosimann of Mosimann's the private dining club in Belgravia and it was absolutely amazing, he has cooked for royalty so I felt very lucky to be in his presence and to have him cook for us, and what a lovely genuine man he is too. The event was about being more Swiss and I learnt so much!
I arrived at the venue and was greeted by the very friendly Ricola team and some of the other guests and even better was I got handed a lovely glass of champagne, it was past 12 (five past!) . so is totally allowed, we then took our seats for lunch. We started with a quiz to see how Swiss we were and I came in at 'I'm a little bit Swiss' this was so fun and a great way to get us all involved and help me to learn exactly what being more Swiss was all about. You can actually take this quiz yourself on the Ricola website.
The food was then served and what a delight it was. Course One - Marinated Dace with Smoked Trout. Basil, Dill, Coriander and Chervil.
Course Two - Risotto Al Funghi. Chives.
Course Three - Sauteed Fillet of Veal Montagnard with Tomatoes and Cheese. Thyme Rosti. Market Vegetables.
Course Four - Duo of Chocolate Mousse. Mint and Elderflower.
Course Five - Coffee. Petits Fours
Throughout lunch we had some guest speakers to help us understand being more Swiss, and I learnt a lot. Did you know that For the past six years, Switzerland has been ranked one of the happiest countries on the planet, in the World Happiness Report.
Ricola, have been creating herbal sweets in the fresh air of the Alps for over 80 years, so we know a thing or two about how to achieve that balanced Swiss lifestyle. Whether it’s learning another language on your lunch break, perfecting your timekeeping in the mornings or appreciating the great outdoors at the weekend, there are plenty of things we can learn from our friends in Switzerland.
From listening to the speakers I learnt a lot about being Swiss, firstly that they walk everywhere!! Their Moto is if you can walk then do, I’m actually quite good at this and do like to walk where I can, especially in London as I hate the tube. I also learnt how to greet a Swiss person, and it’s with 3 kisses, and you must always go the right cheek first, this is something I didn’t know and would have definitely done it wrong haha! It’s also rude not to say goodbye to every one individually, so leaving takes quite a while! Next up I learnt that the Swiss are always on time, something I could improve on for sure, I’m actually always on time for work but if it’s any social events I am always late, to the point people actually just expect this of me now so I really should try and be more Swiss with time keeping. They never litter, which I also never do, if a Swiss sees you litter they will tell you to pick it up so we really should be more like that over here!! They also make sure they take a lunch break and leave their desk, which we don’t do here we all sit at our desks all day and eat as we go, where as they make a point to leave their desk and get outside in the fresh air and enjoy a lunch break.
So to make sure I live my life more Swiss I’m going to try and walk more when I can, I actually now park my car a little walk from the train station I have to go from to work, so that I have a nice fresh walk to start my day, and end it. I have upped my game when it comes to my time keeping as one thing I do struggle with is being late sometimes, which is an absolute no no, and I have so far improved that and I am thankful to Ricola for this as it has helped me no end!! I do also make an effort to sit with people on my lunch and socialise and try to get outside, in fact there is now a group of us that will always sit outside our offices and eat lunch together which is so enjoyable and makes it a lot easier to get through the afternoon! So overall I have taken on some of the be more swings qualities and it’s really improved my life!! I advise it to all!!
If your unsure of the Ricola back ground -
The Ricola brand was created by confectionery business Richterich & Compagnie in 1930 based on the twin pillars of innovation and quality awareness. The family company now exports its herb specialties to more than 50 countries around the world. As a pioneer in organic herb cultivation, Ricola’s close ties with culture and architecture were established early on in the company’s history. These ties are further reinforced through the two Ricola foundations and its own art collection.
Some fun facts -
A responsible employer for 400 employees around the world
Approximately CHF 300 million in revenue per year
Has been owned and managed by the Richterich family for more than three generations Over 100 Swiss mountain farmers supply Ricola with 1,400 tons of fresh herbs each year
The most popular Ricola product in the world: the original Swiss herb drop
The Ricola Collection comprises contemporary Swiss art and promotes a number of cultural and creative artists.
I had a wonderful afternoon and encourage everyone to BE MORE SWISS :-)