All posts filed under: featured

Casagiu shop Coppet

The discreet and evolving charm of the medieval Bourg of 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.

La Lumière du Temps: photophores that bring soulful elegance to all occasions, whether special or everyday

To meet Serena Dignola-Russignan, founder and talented artisan behind La Lumière du Temps, you soon understand where the warmth and playfulness emanating from her elegant, handmade “photophores” (wax candle holders) come from. Inviting me into the kitchen of her home in Eysins, just above Nyon, Lugano-born Serena insists on preparing me a cup of coffee. Not the instant kind, of course, but the real kind that bubbles away in a stove-top espresso maker until it announces its readiness with — a musical rendition of the Italian national anthem. A first for me and admittedly, the most original introduction to an interview that I’ve ever had, but it speaks of the way in which its maker approaches her life and her métier … with joy and enthusiasm.


Meet Céline Dreveton: Artisan, Entrepreneur and Creative Force behind the UNIcréa arts & crafts fair

From 3-6 November, 100 talented artisans from across Europe will gather at the magical Château de la Sarraz above Lausanne for the 22nd ed. of the UNIcréa Salon for Art, Fashion & Decor. This ‘must do’ biannual event attracted more than 6,000 arts and crafts lovers to its Spring edition at the Château de Morges last May, many of whom were returning clientele eager to enjoy four-days of original creations, fashion shows, children’s workshops, and a uniquely welcoming and upbeat atmosphere that celebrates artisanal craftsmanship at its best. The success of UNIcréa stems from one woman’s determined efforts starting eleven years ago to shine a flattering spotlight on artisans and their creations, which she felt were being underserved at the typical arts and crafts fairs of the day. With a business degree and ten years experience as an interior designer and a travelling artisan, French-born Céline Dreveton, 38, had the training and personal experience to bring together the necessary elements for success.


Food Trucks — Geneva’s all-year-round moveable feast

When I first moved to Switzerland almost 30 years ago, eating in the streets — other than a Bratwurst at festival time or an ice cream in summer — was not the done thing. Takeouts for the lunchtime crowd offered uninspiring sandwiches usually comprised of two huge slabs of bread with a thin slice each of meat and cheese atop chunks of butter and a thin wash of mustard. Foodstuffs considered exotic, such as Mexican, Thai, Chinese and even everyday North American fare could only be found at specialty shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants and possibly on Globus’s gourmet shelves for an astronomical price. Grab a takeout & head for the park How times have changed. Many “foreign” ingredients are now widely available, locally produced and much more affordable. And as far as takeout options go, things have never looked quite so good. That’s because in addition to the proliferation of good-quality sandwich, salad and sushi shops, in September 2014 the City of Geneva allocated six outdoor spots in the city center to food trucks. As of last March that number jumped to ten trucks offering a tempting array of cuisines — from Thai to BBQ, from New York deli to fresh salads and wraps, …

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 …

yoga shop geneva

The Yoga Shop Geneva: where body, mind & soul meet in perfect harmony

It’s always a delight to find that something you desire, but which seems out of reach, turns out to be available right on your doorstep. Last summer when visiting my hometown, Montreal, my sister Pamela introduced me to the Canadian yoga, fitness and relaxation clothing brand Lolë; it was love at first sight of their beautifully tailored garments in a wide range of styles and colors in easy-to-care-for materials. Great for wearing in a yoga class, but also for everyday and evening wear. So once back here I was really pleased to discover Lolë on my doorstep courtesy of a delightful boutique located near Plainpalais called the Yoga Shop. Everything you could ask for It’s fully stocked with everything you might want and need to practice yoga, from high-quality clothing for women (including, yippee!, Lolë) and men (and delightful yogi t-shirts, hats and bodysuits for tots) to bolsters, mats, blocks, straps ‘n belts, blankets, posters, books, cards, DVDs and some very hip jewellery as well as beautiful mala prayer beads made of wood, seeds or crystal. The shop itself is a bright, colorful and …

coffee shops

Cappuccino gets star treatment at Geneva’s Boréal coffee shops

Of life’s simple pleasures, surely a beautifully made cappuccino ranks high on the list. But it’s surprising how many coffee shops get it all wrong: bitter coffee, lifeless froth, no heart put either into or onto the precious brew. So I was completely won over after trying a cappuccino at the boréal espresso lab (that’s a coffee bar to you and me) in the plaza facing Gare Cornavin in Geneva. In fact, I was heading over to a nearby Starbucks outlet when I thought, try something new. I haven’t looked back. Update: Discover boréal’s new coffee bar and outdoor terrace at the newly refurbished Chantepoulet Square near Cornavin Station. Boréal shares the space with Elsalad, which offers tasty salads and wraps. The bar is open from Spring to Autumn in good weather. And in the Eaux-Vives 2000 shopping mall a comfy new Boréal coffee shop opened in October 2015. Turns out that boréal has been putting smiles on coffee lovers’ faces ever since its first outlet, an airy brick-walled space with an outdoor sidewalk terrace at the back, opened …