THE Living Room, the new bar and morning-to-night restaurant unveiled on January 13th at the Ritz-Carlton Hôtel de la Paix on Geneva’s lakefront, differs from any living room that I’ve ever inhabited except that it strives to create in its patrons the same casual feeling that some might have in the comfort of their own living room.
Albeit someone whose living room was the setting for negotiations to end an international dispute and which boasts decorative features dating back almost 150 years.
Toasting success, with food and drink
For it was in the Alabama Salon — today’s Living Room — that an international arbitration tribunal gathered in January 1872 to end a diplomatic dispute between the United States and Great Britain that arose out of the U.S. Civil War. Participants celebrated the successful result, the Alabama Claims, with a meal on the same spot.
The original fireplace and oak-and-walnut parquet flooring, hidden for years under carpeting and painstakingly restored to its original beauty, harmoniously blend with the modern furnishings and muted color scheme that are enlivened by soft gold fixtures and bold paintings that lend a welcome infusion of brilliant color.
The long, bright space with its large picture windows on two sides overlooking Lake Geneva features dedicated areas that flow into one another; one for breakfast, lunch and dinner; another for cocktails and tapas and also, afternoon tea.
The bistro-style tables and streamlined modern chairs, some in a soft powder-blue, reflect the Hôtel’s bid to transform itself into Geneva’s only luxury boutique hotel offering world-class dining and drinking in a correspondingly cozy and intimate setting that also reflects the elegance and panache of a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
International cuisine using locally sourced ingredients
I was invited to sample some of the items from the fusion menu created by head chef Alessio Corda based on his experiences in the kitchens of Ritz-Carlton hotels in Europe, Qatar and Japan, where he adopted a Japanese philosophy to food preparation that’s apparent in his harmony of colors and delicate flavors.
While his inspiration is international, Chef Corda uses the highest-quality ingredients sourced seasonally from local farmers and fishermen in order to spotlight the abundance and variety of Swiss produce.
Some highlights from the launch of the Living Room:
From the array of homemade breakfast bread to the delicious samples of lunch, tapas and dinner specialties complete with a delectable array of sweets, the food was fresh, refined and bursting with flavour, while the signature cocktails, some made with homemade liquors, were dangerously good.
If you’re looking for a regular or a once-in-a-while alternative to your usual restaurant-bar then the Living Room is well worth trying for its flavorful international cuisine and excellent cocktails enjoyed in a cozy, contemporary and relaxing setting. ♠
Ritz-Carlton Hôtel de la Paix
Quai du Mont-Blanc 11
Geneva, 1201 Switzerland