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Liechtenstein Christmas Feast

Vaduz, December 2, 2014

Christmas magic amidst the Princely vineyard

Maître Rôtisseur Ivo Berger and his wife Tanja were delighted to stage their first Christmas Feast for the Bailliage at Torkel, their acclaimed restaurant nestled amidst the Prince of Liechtenstein’s vineyard in Vaduz.

The members and guests were drawn into the vivid dream world of a Christmas bazaar in the very entrance to the restaurant. Beautifully-decorated Christmas trees sparkled everywhere. Deer and golden angels peeked out between stacks of wood. Warm stoves and soft sheepskins conjured up a cosy Alpine atmosphere.

Bailli Délégué Daniel Jäggi warmly welcomed everyone whilst mulled wine was served and Ulrich Gassner played Christmas carols on his barrel organ.

The tables in the dining room were positioned around the huge, 700-year-old oak winepress (‘Torkel’ in German hence the name of the restaurant), under which were placed large, oriental-looking Nativity figurines reminding us of the Christmas story.

Lights were dimmed, candles glowed and the fragrance of figs, nuts and pine needles filled the air creating a special festive spirit. New members Michele Kempf and Gaston Jehle had put a beautifully-wrapped jar of homemade plum and cinnamon jam at every place setting – much to the wonder and pleasure of all.

After a glass of rosé Champagne and mouth-watering amuse-bouches, sommelier Tobias Oswald presented fine wines to go with the menu.

Above right: Maître Rôtisseur Ivo Berger - photo (c) Restaurant Torkel

What a splendid start it was with a variation of duck liver (pan fried, terrine and ice cream) served with fig chutney. The classic fish dish was a pan-fried fillet of cod with chive essence, served with curd cheese, beetroot and eel roulade and quail eggs.

For the main course Chef Berger really spoilt us with a perfect roast saddle of veal served with black Beluga lentils and a marvellous selection of side dishes. A variation of delicious Christmas desserts rounded off the feast.

As the evening drew to a close it appeared that even the weather gods had been enchanted by the magic of the night and sent us a flurry of snowflakes as a greeting.

Doris Vollkommer