Travel: Soaking up the Culture in Crans Montana, Switzerland

Switzerland might not strike you as a place steeped in sophistication. It’s more known for it’s snowy landscape, delicious food, après ski and spa breaks! But the sunniest slopes in the Alps at Crans Montana are not only perfect for boarding, skiing, trekking and golf; The newly founded Arts Centre in Lens, ‘Pierre Arnaud Foundation’ is a beautiful tranquil building to escape from the holiday crowd and immerse yourself in some international culture.

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When you have soaked up the art, it is also a beautiful place to check out the landscaped roof-top garden, enjoy a drink on the terrace looking out on to Lake Louché, or sample the cuisine at the award winning Indigo restaurant. The bookshop is definitely worth a visit too-take home a gift for someone that is not chocolate or watch related!

The current exhibition entitled Realism: A Symphony of Opposites is an extensive collection of artworks built around ideas that contradict and complement the subject of what is real. With idealism, protest, naturalism, protest reaction, modernity and melancholy as broad introductory themes, the collection provokes debate and clichés around idyllic situations, which are portrayed in a variety of controversial art forms. Looking beyond the stereotypes of the traditional, the show has been dissected in many forms and no longer becomes a blanket, straightforward memory. Documentary paintings rub shoulders with the naïve and idealistic to highlight contradictory subject matter which have inspired the creators on every day life.

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Definitely provoking debate, this is one exhibition to get you thinking and is worth a second look. Taking time out to explore the rest of the town, you can see how real life is different everywhere you go. With numerous high fashion boutiques for designer goodie, bars, restaurants and spas, this is certainly not your normal high street. If you are looking for a treat, I would recommend the five-star, Hotel Crans Montana(above), with Hammam, spa, gym, pool and massage treats available daily- booking essential, but worth it for views of the Rhone Valley.

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If you are craving even more adventure, head on up via ski, ski-lift or chauffeur driven snow truck to the brand new Le Chetzeron Hotel which is the highest hotel in the resort at 6,920ft and is situated in front of the impressive Mont-Blanc. With 16 bedrooms, this boutique hotel is built on a former ski-station and is a real adventurers treat!

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Crans Montana is not just a treat for winter, (the ski season runs from December to Easter and is perfect for beginners and inters), but the summer brings music concerts, golf courses and plenty of trekking in the snow capped mountains.

Roll on April when the much-anticipated Caprices dance music festival takes over the slopes, it would be a shame not to make the trek over for that.

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For more info visit www.festicket.com/festival/caprices-festival-2015

Sara Darling, is Fashion and Content Editor of 55Factory, a freelance stylist and fashion, lifestyle and travel writer. Having worked with a cross section of celebrities including Ana Matronic, Alexandra Burke, Eliza Doolittle, Craig Roberts and Will Poulter as well as for Channel 5’s CBB and E! Entertainment, she also regularly shoots fashion both here and abroad. . Her commercial clients include Reebok, Gossard, Godiva and Foot Locker and an array of videos ranging from The Arctic Monkeys, The Freemasons, VV Brown and Vanquish. No stranger to the media, Sara was featured in a 'Women in Fashion' TV documentary on Sky and participated in Twiggy's reality show "Frock Swap" show on BBC2, gaining the top title "Top of the Frocks"; She has also been filmed for a “A day in the Life” for cable TV. With her written work featured in Fault, Drafted, Beige and MSN Style, you can follow her on twitter @fashion_darling

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