„Pillow Talk“ Blog


Namaste – more mindful, more alive

In addition to working from home and home schooling, we have been doing home yoga for weeks; even when confined within our own four walls, we yearn for mobility, lightness and self-care. Indeed, in these difficult times of social distancing, the need for a change of scene is becoming ever more pressing.  

Pillow & Pepper yoga retreat at the 7132 Hotel in Vals

White Christmas on ice, another year and a new website

Everything around you, things are glittering and sparkling – and the Dolder open-air ice rink above The Dolder Grand in Zurich is no exception. An intense, eventful year is drawing to a close. We personally visited more than 400 hotels and restaurants across Europe, testing and evaluating them independently. About the 320 finest places, the ones that left lasting impressions on us, we wrote detailed profiles, and we’re sharing them with you on pillowandpepper.com.  

Left to right: Joanna, Daniel and Ekaterina at the Dolder open-air ice rink in Zurich

Viva Barcelona!

Barcelona is such a vibrant city that the best way to discover its essence is by taking an active approach, staying as busy as the Barcelonians themselves who never seem to sit still. So, take a deep breath, and explore the amazing architecture of Antoni Gaudí and the modern Catalan cuisine that have created such a stir in the world with their playful ways to defy convention.  

Suite El Palauet Living, Barcelona

An alternative to New Year’s resolutions: finding back to yourself at the Yoga Retreat in Gstaad

Tired of wining, dining and partying? Feel like losing a few pounds or simply having more time for yourself in the year that just started? And honestly, are you still living up to your New Year’s resolutions today, 13th of January? The problems with New Year’s resolutions is that they are too often conceived against the background of self-optimisation. But, as meditation teacher Sally Kempton once said: “You are perfect as you are, with the need of a little improvement.” That’s closer to the mark, is it not? Whatever motivates our actions should be rooted in our hearts. What is the inner force driving us? What is the desire deep down inside of us, waiting to be brought to life?  

Pillow & Pepper Yoga Retreat at The Alpina Gstaad

Christmas tree, mistletoe, new year and new plans

Christmas is not a date, it is a feeling. A familiar blend of decorated spruce and candles, opulent festive dinners and lovingly wrapped presents. But most of all, Christmas is about the people we spend it with. After all, time together is the most precious thing you can give to your loved ones – not just during the Christmas holidays but year-round and especially when on vacation. Shared adventures are a bonding experience and create lasting memories.  

Left to right: Joanna, Daniel and Ekaterina taking their afternoon tea at The Dolder Grand.

Baroque Cream Puff – Christmas Season in Salzburg

The scent of mulled wine, gingerbread and roasted chestnuts fills the air. Bells are ringing, lanterns lighting up. On Residenzplatz, coachmen are nibbling on hot chestnuts. And so are we! You have until 26 December to visit the Christkindlmarkt. Salzburg’s historic Christkindlmarkt is one of the oldest Christmas Markets in the world. The special atmosphere, the splendid decoration in the inner courtyard, paired with the brass players in the evening combine into an indescribable experience.  

Christkindlmarkt – Salzburg’s unique Christmas fair © Tourismus Salzburg, G.Breitegger

Toujours Provence

No one would dispute the beauty of the Provence with its atmospheric landscapes: the perfectly flat Camargue, the green Luberon with its lavender fields and ochre-coloured villages, and the Alpilles with its bizarrely formed limestone rocks. These fiercely romantic landscapes will make you daydream, and so will the stylishly restored estates, sheepstables and manor houses converted into authentic hotels. Favourite destinations of nature lovers, art aficionados, gourmets and the haute-volée of Paris. We personally tested the loveliest places in the Provence for you!  

La Bastide de Marie near Ménerbes

Venice – always a treat

The canals, gondolas, opulent palazzi and, of course, the fine food – there are so many reasons for visiting “Serenissima” more than once. With its morbid beauty, the lagoon city is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. In addition to the city’s sights, a number of events will draw people to Venice – above all the Art Biennale, but also the Architecture Biennale, which will take place between 25 May and 26 November of this year – and serve as perfect excuse for paying the city in the lagoon a visit.  

Dock at the Aman in Venice

Taking a break from your day-to-day reality and finding yourself

High time to close the book on wining, dining and wintertime frolics. With springtime approaching, we crave lightness and renewal, activity and wellbeing. The Pillow & Pepper Mountain Yoga Retreat at The Alpina Gstaad will give you the perfect opportunity to leave your day-to-day cares behind, to breathe freely, and to get your energy back. You will be very active, eat fine and healthy food, laugh a lot, and in the process refresh your body, soul and spirit. Take some time out to take proper care of yourself for a change!  

Pillow & Pepper Yoga Retreat at The Alpina Gstaad

Pillow Talk from Florence ahead of the Holidays

Opulent palazzi, churches built of colourful marble, Michelangelo’s David, and of course the fine food – there are so many reasons to keep coming back to Florence. In fact, this city of art and culture is said to be one of the most exciting destinations in Europe, e.g. for an unforgettable weekend. Tomorrow’s holiday “Festa dell’Immacolata Concezione” (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) marks the official start of the Christmas season in Italy. Christmas trees are traditionally put up on 08 December. From that day on, you will find lights and scents everywhere you go. It would be hard to find a better view of the historic town centre than from the neat B&B Foresteria Florentine River House. Here, Florence presents itself from its most beautiful side – enchanting and heart-warming at once.

Christmas tree, Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence © Marzio Vignoli
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