Month: November 2014

Discover Geneva’s outdoor markets with help from a handy online guide

Outdoor markets have existed in the city for hundreds of years and many of the market gardeners (maraîchers) who ply their trade are but the latest generation in their family to do so. Likewise, over the years shopping habits have been passed down within families, so faces are familiar and greetings are often on a first name basis with warm handshakes attached. New faces are welcomed warmly and equally efficiently, with a brisk touch for all during peak hours (though there’s always time to share cooking advice). While supermarkets do their best to compete, nothing compares to the familial and familiar ambience of an outdoor market. To this add a lovely locale in one of the city’s leafy, cobblestoned town squares, in the shadow of a quaint church or nestled by a medieval fountain. The result is as much a rich social and historically-tinged experience as a satisfying culinary one. Most of all its about encouraging community, where people of all ages mingle, chat and sample. It’s not all about food, though. Geneva hosts some excellent flea markets offering antique books, porcelain, …

Prepare to be delighted by Geneva Boutique “La 5e”

Recently as I crisscrossed my way from Cornavin to Plainpalais I cut down a little street off my usual beaten path and as a result discovered one of the most enchanting shops I’ve come across in Geneva. At Boutique “La 5e” (La Cinquième) proprietress Estelle Ganguillet has assiduously collected antique and decorative items with a keen and knowing eye for beauty, heritage, quality and, in her selection of children’s toys, no small measure of whimsy. Estelle opened “La 5e” some thirty years ago and aside of a two-year hiatus during recent buiding renovations the shop has remained a favorite haunt for in-the-know shoppers ever since. Her instinct for sussing out the beautiful antiques — furniture, porcelain, fine china, glass, jewellery, and delightful nic nacs — at flea markets, garage sales and antique shops has been passed on to her daughters Alice and Marie, who also collect items on the store’s behalf and manage it on Estelle’s days off. A penchant for good taste and a sense of calm has also enriched the store’s decor, one half of which resembles an 18th-century boudoir complete with chandeliers, rich carpeting and soft furnishings as well as wonderful carved boiserie (woodwork) panels …