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Devotion to quality underpins Boréal Coffee’s success in Geneva & Zurich

In the eight years since Boréal Coffee opened its first outlet the business has seen many changes, but one thing remains the same: an underlying commitment to serve the best espresso-based coffee drinks in Geneva…and now in Zurich, too. In the Spring of 2013, I met Julian Caron-Lys, co-founder and partner with Fabien Decroux of the most popular independent coffee shop in Geneva — Boréal Coffee. In the interview and blog post that followed: Cappucino gets star treatment at Geneva’s Boréal Coffee Shops, Julian explained how the quality of their coffee beans was at the root of their success. Directly sourced from small cooperatives in Latin America, Africa and Asia to ensure their provenance and quality, the coffee beans were freshly roasted using artisanal methods at Boréal’s own micro-roasting atelier in Carouge. Prepared with skill and no small measure of flair by Boréal’s own trained baristas, the resulting espresso-based coffee drinks (including my favorite cappuccino) were simply the tastiest in town.

EHL culinary arts program

Rubbing shoulders with excellence at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne as it prepares to launch a new Master Class in Culinary Arts in February 2017

Recently, I was priveleged to be invited together with a group of fellow bloggers to participate in a series of enjoyable and informative workshops at the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) recognized as the world’s foremost educational institution for hospitality and hotel management. Since 1893, the EHL has pioneered managerial training for careers in the hospitality industry and its current stable of three university-level study programs is set to expand to four with the addition in February 2017 of its new Master Class in Culinary Arts. The Master Class transforms passion for culinary arts and a business mindset into a successful career. The goal of this new six-month certificate program, designed for young professionals with a post-secondary education, is to provide the perfect balance of industry and technical knowledge, practical experience, managerial skills, and an EHL alumni network that will form the foundation for a successful career in the food and beverage industry.

geraldine-rohrer-on-creative-living-geneva

Géraldine Rohrer – a gifted young jeweller makes her formal debut at Galerie Annick Zufferey in Carouge

  Even before Géraldine Rohrer graduated this year with a Bachelor’s degree in Design Jewellery & Accessories from Geneva University of Art & Design (HEAD) she’d already had pieces on show at Galerie Annick Zufferey in Carouge. “I wouldn’t be able to do that with every student,” Annick Zufferey tells me, “but I knew I could rely on Géraldine. She’s hardworking, intelligent and sensitive, and she has passion and patience so even though she’s working intensely, it’s almost not like work for her.” Since late September, Géraldine has been exposing some of her latest collection at the Galerie under the title “Des plumes dans la tête”. The exhibition continues until this Saturday, 15 October and is a wonderful opportunity to see the very unique pieces handcrafted by this talented, up-and-coming young jeweller. (If you cannot make it to the exhibition, a few pieces will still be on hand afterwards.) I asked Géraldine to tell me a little about herself, her training, and what she draws her inspiration from. Here’s what she had to say: “During my training as an …

Passage-des-Lions-geneva

Geneva Redux: answering the call of green in the city’s public spaces

Although Summer is officially almost over, there’s no end in sight to hot, sunny days. In fact, Geneva’s been sweltering in a heat wave. With a little luck the ‘sit-outside’ season will continue well into September. So there’s still lots of time to enjoy Geneva’s public spaces that over the past five years have been revamped and revitalized to inject more green into the urban landscape. These green oases now provide a welcome alternative to busy restaurants and their sometimes cramped terraces for eating and drinking and for just whiling away precious minutes out-of-doors. Meanwhile, a large-scale commercial development launched in 2009 has resulted in a neglected passageway in central Geneva being given a new lease on life. The Passage des Lions now offers, even in the chilly winter months, the opportunity to sit outdoors, albeit under the shelter of a beautifully refurbished glass and metal canopy. 

Mafalda brings the authentic flavours of Sicilian home cooking to Geneva

When Mafalda Tavola Calda opened its welcoming doors at 7 rue des Etuves, between Manor and Bel Air on the city’s West Bank, a refreshing breeze of Mediterranean warmth and hospitality as well as the delicious scents of Southern Italian specialities epitomizing the best of Sicilian home cooking blew through Geneva. From its conical-shaped arancini to its deep and delicious coffee from Bannafranca, a city in the Sicilian province of Enna, as well as everything in between — handmade pizza, grilled vegetables, cured meats, delicate biscuits, scented pastries and creamy ricotta-based cheesecake, everything about Mafalda is authentically Sicilian, which is why its a favorite haunt of in-the-know Italian customers and a growing number of Swiss (and expat) ones, too. Fast food in service terms only Although Mafalda labels itself a ‘fast food’ restaurant (arancini are a favourite takeout item in Calabria) that description speaks more of the courteous haste with which food is served as opposed to its obvious quality and the care with which it is prepared. Mafalda has been a labor of love as well as no small amount of moxie from the very beginning when its proprietor, Fabrizio …

shopping street Geneva

Geneva’s coolest crossroads for decor, food & fashion is yours to enjoy at Rues Jean-Violette & Prévost Martin

  A locale that’s unique in many ways Those of us who enjoy shopping in Geneva are well acquainted with the charming and spoiled-for-choice areas of the Rue du Marché, the Old Town, and the lovely enclave of Carouge. Yet there’s another budding hotspot that also offers — if perhaps in less concentrated abundance, but just as much heart and creativity —  equally enticing shops, restaurant-cafés, and a smartly renovated boutique hotel, all of which makes it well worth your time exploring. Let me introduce you to the corner of rue Jean-Violette at rue Prévost-Martin, easily accessible by foot from downtown Geneva or via Tram 12 or 18, stop Pont-d’Arve. One good thing leads to another I first fell in love with this unassuming corner of Geneva last year in May when I went in search of the high-quality Canadian-made yoga and sportswear brand Lolë. I found it at a delightful boutique called the Yoga Shop, which I’ve just blogged about. Located smack on rue Jean-Violette, the Yoga Shop enticed me to explore more of this, to me anyway, largely unknown area that I’d only ever passed through while on …

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 …