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The discreet and evolving charm of the medieval Bourg of Coppet

Casagiu shop Coppet
Casagiu shop Coppet

Casagiu Deco & Design has brought a fresh, modern shopping alternative to Coppet.

Many medieval villages dot the landscape of Vaud Canton, but of those that lie in populous areas and withstand heavy traffic, possibly none have preserved their charm and architectural integrity more successfully than the Bourg of Coppet.

Located about halfway between the cities of Geneva and Nyon, Coppet’s main street, the “Grand-Rue”, runs parallel to the Lac Leman shoreline and in summer, day-trippers disembark from paddlesteamers at the town’s quay to visit the Château de Coppet, located a five minute walk uphill along a village sidestreet.

 

 

Visiting the bourg itself may be something of an afterthought even though a host of cozy, unpretentious cafés, restaurants and shops line the High Street, which can be walked from one end to the other without stopping in about three minutes.

Now, however, an impressive renovations project on the north end of the “Grand-Rue” to accomodate the future arrival of an upscale hotel, and the recent addition of a new gastro-restaurant/deli, an elegant tea salon, and a hip boutique selling contemporary furnishings are set transform Coppet village into a sought-after destination in its own right rather than just an afterthought.

Harmonious mix of new and old

hotel-du-lac-coppet

The old Rotisserie-Hôtel du Lac has been renovated to eventually house new luxury apartments.

Whereas in other medieval villages time has brought the destruction of ancient buildings that gradually deteriorated beyond feasible repair or commercial tenants who decorated their shopfronts in ways that clashed with their surroundings, Coppet has pretty much avoided these traps.

A case in point is the comprehensive renovation project on the north end of the Grand-Rue, which has seen the old Hôtel-Rôtisserie du Lac, where James Bond author Ian Fleming found inspiration for Goldfinger, gutted and its exterior beautifully renovated for the purposes of installing up-market apartments.

restaurant in coppet

Le Comptoir des Delices: attractively tucked into the corner of a listed building on the Grand-Rue.

Directly facing the restored Hôtel du Lac is another renovation success story. An imposing listed building that served as a barn in times long gone by has been given a new lease on life. Tucked in at street level, a new gastro-restaurant/fine delicatessen Le Comptoir des Délices (20 Grand-Rue) brings a fresh and inviting look to the corner lot as well as an appreciative lunch-time crowd who enjoy its excellent cuisine (Tip: book ahead!).

restaurant in coppet

The cozy, welcoming interior of Le Comptoir des Delices.

Filling the gap on the Grand-Rue

In 2011, a very talented young couple — Guillaume and Elodie Bichet — opened a top-end chocolaterie-pâtisserie-boulangerie at 38 Grand-Rue in Coppet. They shared with me their commitment to quality and service, which I wrote about in a blog post from 2014 entitled: Guillaume Bichet in Coppet: Chocolates and pastries made with a delicate, contemporary touch.

tea house and patisserie in coppet

The new Salon de Thé adds a touch of sophistication to the high street.

Only a month ago they opened a beautiful new space at 42 Grand-Rue — Guillaume Bichet Salon de Thé — that serves fine teas, coffee, wine, a lunch menu, and the same delectable pastries found at their nearby pastry shop. The tea salon brings a touch of relaxed sophistication to the village that it didn’t have before.

 

salon-du-the-guillaume-bichet-coppet

A tarte tatin and vanilla cream pastry hits the spot very well at afternoon tea time.

The elegant, calming decor mixes traditional and modern elements in the same welcoming way that the Grand-Rue itself does and can be credited to the designer/owner of the next-door furnishings boutique Casagiu Deco & Design.

A new diversity of choice

boutique in Coppet, Vaud

Furnishings with a playful, contemporary look at Casagiu Deco & Design. Photos: Casagiu.

Casagiu’s owner, Laetitia, named the boutique by combining the first initials of her three daughters’ names: CA-rla, SA-rah, and GIU-lia. At Casagiu Deco & Design (44 Grand-Rue) she has brought a breath of fresh air to the former gift shop through her carefully selected choice of modern furnishings and decorative items that stress comfort, beauty and function with a touch of whimsy as well.

The village offers other highlights for visitors including the chic womenswear boutique Antipodes at 44 Grand-Rue; the Ditzoff Art Gallery at 52 Grand-Rue; the florists and plant shops Arcade Vertige at 63 Grand-Rue and Fantasia Fleurs at 8 Rue des Murs, and the small, interesting Musee de Coppet, housed in a 16th-century building at 30 Grand-Rue.

With a solid, well-preserved foundation to build on and a welcome influx of new businesses bringing fresh energy and enthusiasm, Coppet village is more than ever a destination worth visiting for its own sake.♣

 

Photos by Creative Living Geneva unless otherwise specified.

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Martin says

    Coppet is just a jewel, and so close to Geneva. It is really worth a visit, and in summer, to get there by a steamboat just adds the extra touch… Try out, you won’t regret it

    Like

  2. Andrea says

    I can just see myself browsing through the shops and stopping for a lovely coffee or tea at one of those lovely places. The architecture is so beautiful and has so much charm!

    Like

  3. Virginia says

    What a truly lovely and inviting area this is. The shops and cafes are so charming and welcoming. It’s so nice to see that the village has put so much effort into keeping it, as Martin has said, a jewel!

    Like

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