When I visited the exhibition A Chinese Adventure: A Swiss family in pursuit of success in the Celestial Empire this past April, I promised myself that I would return to visit the permanent collection of the Musée Fondation Baur before the summer was out. With little time to spare after having enjoyed the temporary exhibit in the basement, I’d rushed through three floors of display cases catching too short a glimpse of the artwork on view. But it was long enough to appreciate that the beauty — and unexpectedly to me, the humour — to be found in the exquisite Far Eastern treasures displayed merited at the very least one more visit.
For those in the know, the Auberge de Bogis-Bossey is a little hidden treasure, nestled in a pocket of tranquility just off a busy street in the neighborhood after which it’s named. A charming facade and bell tower hint at the pleasures on offer in its gourmet restaurant and its laid back café (the Auberge, as its name suggests, also offers lodgings). In the summer months, lunch or dinner on its patio offers shade and relaxation as patrons enjoy items from an excellent à la carte menu or a menu du jour that’s comparable in price to those of other auberges but a distinct cut above in the quality and variety of ingredients, and in flavor, imagination and presentation.
Some shopowners sell to make a living. Others care about their merchandise but keep the relationship strictly professional. Then there are those who embrace the individuality and provenance of each article as if it were a child, valuing its uniqueness while creating a harmony in the family of merchandise as a whole. “There isn’t one thing here I don’t love. I can only sell what I love.” It’s obvious that Isabelle Giovenni is just such a proprietor as she introduces me to each of the product lines at her boutique Capricieuse, which opened its doors on 11 April in a luminous corner property at the intersection of rue des Eaux-Vives and rue des Vollandes in the Eaux-Vives neighborhood of Geneva.