So anyways, I had to fly to Melbourne for work last week. While I adore Melbourne – it’s my absolute hands-down favourite city in Australia – this was completely last minute, so last minute I was booking flights the day before I needed to leave. Again, this wouldn’t normally be a problem, but we’re due to fly out for our big trip in a few weeks and I have a lot to do before we go. But, as they say, heigh ho.

Because I was there purely for work, I didn’t get out to any of the foodie places I normally love getting out to, but did sneak in a cheeky wine bar visit in Hardware Lane.

The purpose of my visit had me running around town all Friday, but I still managed to stop to snap this pic of the Welsh church up in La Trobe Street…

…and for a bowl of spicy noodles.

Most importantly, I took the opportunity to visit with my friend, Fiona, and was introduced to the Raclette party.

Now, before you go thinking things you shouldn’t – this is, after all, a G-rated blog – the Raclette party is sort of like the fondue party, but you grill your cheese and scrape it over bread and other bits rather than dip your bread and other bits into the cheese. A fine but important difference.

Now, before I go any further, raclette is a semi-soft Swiss cheese made of cow’s milk that melts well. As for the dish, the word “raclette” is from the French verb racler, meaning to scrape and refers to the way in which the melted cheese is scraped from the half-wheel once it’s been heated.

The dish itself dates back to the Middle Ages, when Swiss shepherds and mountaineers in the region of the Cantons of Valais would consume roasted cheese wheels cut in half and softened by the fire. Many centuries later this rustic dish has become so popular it’s now known as one of Switzerland’s most famous national dishes.

While I’ve seen raclette around – mostly in bars in Melbourne during winter – it’s always been done on one of those commercial heating thingies holding half a cheese wheel. To have it at home? That was completely new – but something that makes absolute sense: the prep is minimal, the guests do all the cooking, the clean-up is easy, and it’s fun.

What you need

You will, of course, need a tabletop Raclette grill. Consisting of two warming levels, the top is for grilling and warming your accompaniments, while the individual paddles hold the cheese that you grill on the bottom shelf.

And the cheese? Naturally, you need the sliced raclette, but if you can’t get the real thing, you might want to try a combo of any of the below:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Comté
  • Emmentaler
  • Gouda
  • Gruyère

When it comes to accompaniments, you can go as crazy as you want. Boiled potatoes and bread are traditional, as is charcuterie, but you can try other veg, meats, or even seafood. On our table we also had a salad to cut through the richness, and plenty of mustards and other condiments.

Linking up with Donna from Retirement Reflections and her co-host Deb The Widow Badass Blog in their #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

12 thoughts

  1. Well I’ve never heard of a raclette party Jo, but I could definitely be down for anything that involves melted cheese on top of other delicious food! And BTW I loved the procrastination quote on the sign – it gave me a smile.

  2. That procrastination sign made me smile too! I have had a Raclette dinner, with friends in France a few years ago, a fun thing to do and you can serve yourself as much or less, as you want! Thanks for the background info too, very interesting!

  3. I love these types of meals – they are a fun way to spend an evening with friends, in my opinion. Although my cousin likes to tease me and say – “Oh great, you invite me to dinner and I HAVE TO COOK MY OWN FOOD???? What kind of hostess are you anyways?” 😉 To which I reply “Shut up, sit down, and start cooking, you ungrateful complainer you!” 😂


  4. I haven’t heard of racketeering so find this really interesting to read. I’m sure to never be invited to a racketeering party as I don’t like cheese. Weird I know! Melbourne definitely is a beautiful city. I agree with you.

  5. Oh, when you mentioned raclette the other day I thought it was some type of dish… like a rack of lamb. It looks like fun and I recall fondue dinners of the 1990s. I think I actually got my bro and SIL a good fondue maker / set for a wedding present back in 1991!

  6. Now I want to be invited to a Raclette Party. I wonder if WBA can be convinced to host one….once her renovations are done of course. I promise her that I will not complain about cooking my own food! 😀

  7. Now I have learned something new too. I really liked Melbourne when I visited 3 times when blogging conferences were a thing (and I could claim some travel/expenses) because it was so easy to get around. Streets = in patterns. I am counting down on your behalf for UK…excited!!

    Thank you so much for joining in the first week of Wednesday’s Words & Pics Link Up!

    I am glad to have reconnected a lovely blogging community here and look forward to more sharing as we move forward.

    See you next week, on Wednesday 14 September 2022 if you have a post to link up!

    Warmest wishes and appreciation from


  8. Raclette was all the rage in Europe when I was a teen! But I was never part of anything back then so I’ve never done it, or tasted it.

  9. Great photos as usual! I haven’t been to Melbourne for 20 odd years – I’m sure it’s change loads. I love the look of the raclette party. When we go to Chamonix many of the restaurants offer the half wheel of cheese over a flame. It’s rather smelly, so my kids refuse to go in those restaurants. I can now torment them at home if I buy one of these grills 😂

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