All posts filed under: Travel

Switzerland’s Loveliest Cafés and Tea Rooms, Swiss Heritage 2nd edition

  If coffee or tea and architecture are amongst your passions, then search out the best spots in the country to enjoy them using as your guide the revised, 2nd edition of the Swiss Heritage booklet “The most beautiful cafés and tea rooms in Switzerland”. While the country cannot boast a coffee culture as rich as that of Vienna, Budapest or Buenos Aires, there’s still a surprising number and variety of spots where you can indulge yourself. This booklet introduces you to 50 of the best locales nation-wide.

Montreal’s McCord Museum: preserving the First Peoples’ cultural heritage for future generations

This is a special year for Canada and for my hometown Montreal as they both mark another benchmark year in their respective histories. In recognition, I want to include a piece about a cultural gem that is well worth adding to your bucket list of must-see museums should you ever be fortunate enough to visit. Here, Montreal-born writer Andrea Grimaud gives us her impressions as to why the McCord Museum is so worth your while to experience. Throughout the year, Montreal’s McCord Museum mounts stunning temporary exhibitions dedicated to illuminating for citizens and out-of-towners alike the history, people and communities of this vibrant, multicultural city, which this year celebrates its 375th birthday just as Canada marks its 150th.

Swiss Heritage adds “Switzerland’s Loveliest Islands” to its collection of handy touring booklets

Think of Switzerland and what comes to mind are mountains, pastures and lakes, but islands? Not really. Yet Swiss Heritage’s latest addition to its “Switzerland’s Loveliest” brochure collection introduces 33 islands — both big and small, natural and man-made — that dot the country’s lakes and waterways and traverse national borders.

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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.

Parting shots of winter in the charming village of Zermatt

I loved Zermatt the first time I saw it during a one-day stopover almost 30 years ago. I continued to love it every year for ten years when my husband and I celebrated his birthday with a ski-week vacation every mid-January. We saw its fortunes rise and fall and rise again and with it the opening and closing and opening again of shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and luxury villas. The last few years, as foreign money rolled in, it was hard to view an unobstructed skyline free of construction cranes. It was worrying, but somehow through it all, the village maintained its charm and authenticity even as free green spaces were eaten up, prices climbed, and the slopes became more crowded (especially with the new ski lifts). So what would we find — or not, I wondered, after a five year absence devoted to the needs of a house and garden and two adorable cats that were unable to handle our absence for more than a few hours at a time. Good to be back — and reassured Happily, we found that many …

hiking through Swiss vineyards

Walking Switzerland’s breathtaking Lavaux terraced vineyards. + Discover Swiss Heritage’s “Loveliest Walks”.

The terraced vineyards of the Lavaux region, stretching from Lausanne to Montreux, offer breathtaking views over land and lake that can be enjoyed on foot with relative ease. First terraced by monks in the 11th century, the region received UNESCO World Heritage-site status in 2007 and doubtless is one of the country’s most beautiful to explore. Together with my friends in the Internation Women’s Club of Nyon (IWCN) I walked the very popular portion through the vineyards that stretch from St. Saphorin to Cully. The journey took approximately two-and-a-half-hours at a leisurely pace and offered only a  few steep but shortlived inclines. Meandering paths cut through charming medieval villages and took us through vineyards where day-workers picked grapes and wine was available to sample and purchase. Easy to reach by public transport The Lavaux walks are easily reached by train: we boarded in Nyon, changed trains in Lausanne and uncamped at St. Saphorin, a one-hour journey in total. We descended to lake level shortly before Cully and walked along the beach towards the village, where we headed for …

hotels in switzerland

Not your average B&Bs: Switzerland’s Loveliest Hotels at your fingertips

Just in time for the holidays a handy pocket guide has been published by the Swiss Heritage Society as part of its popular series of “Switzerland’s Loveliest…” booklets. This time the country’s most beautiful hotels are getting the star treatment. I love this collection of handy-to-carry A6-format paperbacks because they make it easy to discover off-the-beaten-track cafés, holiday homes, museums, swimming locales–and now hotels–of architectural significance, as well as parks, gardens and walking trails of outstanding beauty. The purchase of these booklets also supports the Society’s efforts to preserve the country’s important architectural landmarks. That’s something close to my heart. Out-of-the-ordinary hotels that are off-the-beaten path In actual fact, Switzerland’s Loveliest Hotels is now in its 4th edition and this latest update adds 27 new hotel discoveries and 13 B&Bs to the original list of 51 hotels featured in earlier issues. In making their selection, the Society chose hotels that take a “global cultural approach” that encompasses a distinct architectural style that reflects the region in which the establishment is found, a “convincing” management concept and a warm welcome. The layout and furnishings of the rooms are also given careful consideration. The Society isn’t looking to follow the trend …