Raclette and a yodelling boy band.

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Last night the highlight of the Bagnarde calendar returned – namely the Raclette festival. OK, we could suggest the cow fighting is the highlight of the year, but that’s ages away so right now in Verbier it’s all about the cheese.

The whole thing is to celebrate the cows coming down off the mountain. A pretty big thing if you have invested a lot of time and money in raising and farming cows – a very traditional job round here. But even though we haven’t done that, we still help everybody celebrate through the medium of cheese. (If you’re desperate to read more, this should cover it all).

And speaking of cheese, there was more than just the melted stuff on display last night – the musical accompaniment could definitely be accused of being a wee bit cheesy too. They seemed to believe they were the Swiss equivalent of Take That, although I can’t imagine Gary Barlow adding a cowbell solo into any of his tunes. The chap playing the alpine horn in the style of a didgeridoo¬†was also an interesting addition.

But despite all the songs sounding the same and the singer / yodeller / bloke in the bright orange braces getting desperately carried away and trying to whip the crowd up by grinning, it was yet another epic evening.

There were plenty of dairies and a new system of tables to order the cheese – which disturbed Ian and others. But it was great. I mean how can you get it wrong when you combine a million tons of raclette, a million gallons of white wine, and a million very excited Valaisanne? OK the frantic yodeller from last year was good (click here because the videos are brilliant), but it doesn’t really matter who’s on stage if you’ve got the key ingredients. And a table. Make sure you get there early and get a table.

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