In February I really need to try to be a little healthier with my eating choices. By the end of January, I always feel like this. Often because Christmas food shows up in mid-December, then there’s New Year’s, then my Anniversary, then my birthday and by the start of February, I feel like I made up entirely of cake, chocolate and wine. Which, now I put it that way, doesn’t sound all that bad.
Anyway, recently when I was celebrating my birthday we booked a table at Le Chalet Beaumartin, a little fondue place on Great Western Road in Glasgow. I must have walked past it a thousand times, which you could easily do, as it’s quite small and unassuming. When someone told me a few months go that they were going out for fondue, my response had been, “I didn’t know there was a fondue place in Glasgow” and they’d been kind enough to point me in the right direction.
The restaurant really is teeny tiny. When we arrived at 8 pm, two other couples were already there and I think there might have been space for two more before people started getting in each others way (Edit: Their website says they have space for 20. Maybe, but it would be cosy). The inside is decorated with old-fashioned ski equipment and it all has a very Swiss-Chalet feel to it. It’s warm, it’s inviting, and there’s a very strong smell of cheese as soon as you walk in the door.
The menu is simple. You can have raclette or fondue, or one of a couple of platters. There’s a couple of tartins and salads to choose from and you can decide you want extra bread, potatoes or vegetables with your melty cheese goodness. Oh, and they offer BYOB – corkage is £5 for a bottle of wine or £1 for beer or cider. We brought a bottle of white to go with our cheese fondue which we ordered with bread and potatoes.
Why oh why oh why has this style of eating gone out of fashion? For some inexplicable reason it has been relegated alongside so much of the traditional 70s dinner party favourites and, while most of those abominations deserve to be there, I think fondue has been hard done by. I mean sure, it’s hardly health food, but neither are pizza, burgers or doughnuts and you can’t walk down a street in Glasgow without finding somewhere selling a gourmet version of at least one of those.
Anyway, perhaps that’s a rant for another day. The good news is that Le Chalet Beaumartin does it very well and I wish we’d discovered it sooner. I could have happily stayed their soaking melted cheese into bread forever. Oh, and the price is very reasonable – fondue with bread comes in at £9.50 per person – even with extra potatoes and the corkage, that meant our meal was only about £30. Not bad for date night.
We’ll be back. I can’t help feeling that this might even be somewhere I suggest dropping into on chilly nights when we don’t really have a plan for dinner but we were thinking of a drink or two in the West End. Since it’s small, it’s probably better to book, but I love the idea of chancing my luck and stepping from a busy Glasgow street to find myself in the Swiss Alps, dipping bread into cheese. What’s not to love?