Month: April 2015

Traveller’s tip: When in Lugano, Switzerland, remember to look up!

I have been longing to get back to Lugano in the southeast, Italian-speaking part of Switzerland since I last visited it about 23 years ago with my sister Virginia, who was visiting us at our home in Basel in northwest Switzerland for Christmas. It was only a 4-hour train journey each way, which was part of the fun. Lots of time to shoot the breeze, enjoy coffee and croissants, and watch the scenery and architecture change from German to French to Italian (always a revelation in such a small country). Oh those pesky Alps! Ironically, even though we’re now located further south, just outside Geneva, the train journey is six hours each way due to a little thing called the Alps getting in the way. (Flying is faster but you have to go via Zurich, and I just can’t be bothered with all the airport stress. Apparently, direct Geneva – Lugano flights start very soon.) Anyway, we like train travel…it’s a good way to relax, listen to music, or finally get to that book or …

coffee shops

Cappuccino gets star treatment at Geneva’s Boréal coffee shops

Of life’s simple pleasures, surely a beautifully made cappuccino ranks high on the list. But it’s surprising how many coffee shops get it all wrong: bitter coffee, lifeless froth, no heart put either into or onto the precious brew. So I was completely won over after trying a cappuccino at the boréal espresso lab (that’s a coffee bar to you and me) in the plaza facing Gare Cornavin in Geneva. In fact, I was heading over to a nearby Starbucks outlet when I thought, try something new. I haven’t looked back. Update: Discover boréal’s new coffee bar and outdoor terrace at the newly refurbished Chantepoulet Square near Cornavin Station. Boréal shares the space with Elsalad, which offers tasty salads and wraps. The bar is open from Spring to Autumn in good weather. And in the Eaux-Vives 2000 shopping mall a comfy new Boréal coffee shop opened in October 2015. Turns out that boréal has been putting smiles on coffee lovers’ faces ever since its first outlet, an airy brick-walled space with an outdoor sidewalk terrace at the back, opened …