Switzerland’s “Loveliest Coffee & Tea Houses”

coffee and tea shops

THE SWISS number among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, a beverage they consume in local espresso bars and cafés ranging from the traditional to the modern.

Many of these popular establishments have distinctive architecture and a unique history that make them a rich contribution to Switzerland’s heritage.

Patrimoine Suisse, the Swiss Heritage Society founded in 1905 to preserve important Swiss landmarks and promote good architectural design, publishes a series of booklets entitled “The Loveliest…” and this issue shines a light on the “Loveliest Coffee and Tea Houses” in the country.

Café Vordergasse in Schaffhausen

It tantalisingly serves up photographs of 74 architectural gems found in every region of the land, from Lower Engadine to Lugano, from Basel Land to Geneva.

The selection is complemented by snatches of instructive text on the theme of coffee.

The photographs invite us into a world of coffee/tea drinking and conversation (or peaceful solitude). They also remind us that these establishments, many with historical significance, deserve to be appreciated and treated with care.

Museumscafé in Winterthour
Museumscafé in Winterthour

The 96-page, pocket-sized brochure, available with French and German text, can be purchased online for CHF16 (for the general public) or CHF8 (for members of Patrimoine Suisse). Other booklets in the “Loveliest” collection can also be ordered online right here.

Some of these gems are so inviting I’d be happy to discover each and every one of them because indulging in two of my favourite things — coffee and architecture — together in one place would just be my proverbial cup of tea (or coffee).

Please Note: This review covers the 1st edition of Switzerland’s Loveliest Coffee and Tea Houses which has been replaced by a 2nd revised edition that you can read about here.

Main photo caption: Cafébar Salü in Lucerne.

All photos, copyright Patrimoine Suisse.

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