All posts filed under: Christmas

Christmas bauble

Tis the season to make merry at Swiss Christmas Markets 2015

I can’t imagine anything that puts me more in the mood for seasonal merrymaking than a good, old fashioned Christmas market filled with handmade arts and crafts and delectable seasonal biscuits, cakes and chocolate confections. What with myriad neighbourhood markets and larger affairs in cities including Montreux and Basel, opportunities to shop, mingle and make merry with a glass or two of steaming mulled wine (or spicy chai tea) are coming at me faster than I can write up a Christmas list and check it twice. Château de Coppet Christmas Market I’m lucky to have the Market at the Château de Coppet just down the street from me. I stopped in yesterday for its first day and as usual, there’s an excellent selection of artisans and small businesses offering their high-quality wares. The food market housed in the caves, where jazz concerts are held throughout the year, features homemade honey, cakes, pannetone, spices, gourmet nuts, and of course, excellent chocolate confections from Phillipe Pascoet and Coppet-based chocolatier Guillaume Bichet. Meanwhile, children are entertained with baking and crafts courses in the caves’ kitchens (unless they prefer to enjoy the nearby …

woman sitting

Isabelle Jeangros knits the world warm, bright and beautiful

Among the many talented artisans that I’ve encountered selling their lovingly made creations at Christmas markets in December, the work of Isabelle Jeangros, created for her own brand Creation Maille, is to me a standout. From adorable woolen children’s bonnets to ladies’ chic cotton shoulder shrugs made for cool Spring or Summer evenings, her clothes and accessories reveal a hand trained for perfect stitching, a talented eye for detail, and a natural affinity for combining color, texture and design to achieve a feminine and flattering finish. Isabelle’s knitted scarves, shrugs, hats, wrist warmers, and accessories including delicate flowers perfect for adorning a coat, sweater or hat are made almost entirely of natural fibres: wool, alpaca, cotton and occasionally linen, so they are as appealing to the touch as they are to the eye. A talented eye for pattern, color and texture To execute her designs, Isabelle uses three knitting machines, the first a versatile Passap Electronic 6000 (with motor) that holds pride of place in her workroom; the second a mechanical knitting machine dating from 1945; and the …

vintage poster art

Winter fun for everyone in vintage posters of Swiss alpine sports

Whenever I visit the the Eaux Vives suburb of Geneva, where I lived some eleven years ago, I always take in the display windows of Galerie Un Deux Trois, the only dealers in Switzerland and — after 37 years in business — the oldest in Europe, to trade in the collection, restoration and sale of vintage poster art. There are over 15,000 posters in the collection of owner and renowned vintage-poster expert Jean-Daniel Clerc, some of which date back to the late 1880s and include gems by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha. The Galerie has just launched a selling exhibition displaying 25 of its wonderful collection of 260 vintage posters. These are dedicated to winter sports and their associated pastimes, products, and industries (rail and air travel, for example), all of which grew in popularity as the middle classes became more affluent, joining their wealthier counterparts on the slopes. Vintage posters as historical documents The posters chronicle the development of wintertime sports, sports facilities, and the advent of luxury hotels and world-famous resorts over a hundred years. They also mirror changing artistic …

Geneva decks its halls for Christmas with inspired works of visual poetry

When it comes to decking its halls for Christmas, Geneva commissions artistic installations that never fail to distinguish the city as one that celebrates this special time of year in an original and often inspired way. Again this year, the city has decorated its squares, streets, and bridges with the same magical installations that so captivated its citizens in 2014, but with a few changes. The physallis lamps previously found at Place Longemalle are now nestled amongst the majestic trees in the Jardin Anglais where they’ll no doubt cast a very mysterious spell over the surroundings. There’s also a new, eye-popping installation in Place Cornavin above the small wooden chalets that make up that area’s modest outdoor Christmas market (there are other noteworthy Christmas markets elsewhere in the city, particularly the lovely outdoor market in Carouge). To find out more about the illuminations and to see a video of the Geneva Lux Christmas Festival of Lights, please read my last year’s blog post and follow the links below: Geneva Lux Festival of Lights For 2014, the “Geneva Lux” Festival of Lights, as this annual event …

Prepare to be delighted by Geneva Boutique “La 5e”

Recently as I crisscrossed my way from Cornavin to Plainpalais I cut down a little street off my usual beaten path and as a result discovered one of the most enchanting shops I’ve come across in Geneva. At Boutique “La 5e” (La Cinquième) proprietress Estelle Ganguillet has assiduously collected antique and decorative items with a keen and knowing eye for beauty, heritage, quality and, in her selection of children’s toys, no small measure of whimsy. Estelle opened “La 5e” some thirty years ago and aside of a two-year hiatus during recent buiding renovations the shop has remained a favorite haunt for in-the-know shoppers ever since. Her instinct for sussing out the beautiful antiques — furniture, porcelain, fine china, glass, jewellery, and delightful nic nacs — at flea markets, garage sales and antique shops has been passed on to her daughters Alice and Marie, who also collect items on the store’s behalf and manage it on Estelle’s days off. A penchant for good taste and a sense of calm has also enriched the store’s decor, one half of which resembles an 18th-century boudoir complete with chandeliers, rich carpeting and soft furnishings as well as wonderful carved boiserie (woodwork) panels …