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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.


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, …

Frankenstein at Bodmer Fdtn Cologny

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” returns to Cologny 200 years after its birth

The weather on Lake Geneva in June 1816 was especially bad — we know what that’s like lately but rather than climate change being the culprit as it is today, a volcanic eruption in faraway Indonesia was to blame for the storms over Europe that Summer. (Well, in fact, the eruption did evoke catastrophic climate change for years after its eruption leading to widespread crop failure and mass hunger on the continent.) Torrential rain was proving tedious for five young visitors to the area — all exiles from scandal and debt in London — and one of them, their host one sodden evening at his rented digs, the Villa Diodati in Cologny, put down a challenge as a means of distraction: “We will each write a ghost story,” he said. Frankenstein: the first science fiction novel The works resulting from that competition would achieve literary acclaim and over time, none more so than that of 19-year-old Mary Godwin, the lover and soon-to-be wife of the renowned poet Percy Bysshe Shelley who was there along with their host, the infamous Lord Byron and the latter’s personal physician John William Polidori. It took some time for Mary …

La Noyère spring market

La Noyère Spring Market: artisanal creativity blossoms in a magical garden setting on 16-17 June 2017

As the setting for a spring market I cannot imagine a more naturally magical one than the gardens of La Noyère, the 18th-century manor house set in the vineyards surrounding the village of Mont-sur-Rolle overlooking Lake Geneva. This is where its owner and founder of the La Noyère Christmas and Spring Markets Anne-Catherine Goetschin will welcome visitors, come rain or come shine — but hopefully shine — on Friday, 16th and Saturday, the 17th of June 2017. (Please note that the original text for this post was written in 2016, but the dates have been updated to reflect this year’s market.) A select group of talented artisans Some 15 European artisans of the highest calibre will be on hand to offer creations that will include: refined white ceramics; elegant silver-and-semiprecious stone jewellery; unique and characterful Raku sculptures; delicate paper découpage ‘paintings’; leather sandals, and dresses, for summer; handmade cards; and fine chocolates. Anne-Catherine, a professional florist, has been hard at work planning, ordering, and in the days running up to the market assembling her own floral arrangements of seasonal flowers, herbs and plants with help from a support team that …


Recipes from your herb garden: Divine Green Goddess Dressing

This unctuous, full-of-flavor dressing has to be one of our all-time favourites. It works with almost everything, especially with seasonal white or green asparagus, and it takes full advantage of the abundant herbs that bloom outside our kitchen door (or on the grocery store shelf). My husband adapted this from an old recipe book we picked up near Toronto almost 30 years ago. He increased the amount of herbs and upped the tanginess. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we do! Green Goddess Dressing Makes about 2 cups Ingredients 2 tbsp anchovy paste (2 anchovy fillets) 2 small, fresh “new” garlic cloves, finely chopped (use dried garlic if fresh is unavailable) 2/3 cup light mayonnaise (we prefer Thomy 60% light mayo). (Don’t use a sweet mayonnaise.) 1/3 cup full-fat mayo (e.g. Thomy à la française) 1 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp tarragon vinegar 2 tbsp each of finely chopped shallots, flat-leaf parsley, chives and tarragon Salt, pepper and red or green Tabasco to taste Aromat to taste (Aromat is a salt-based powdered condiment from Knorr) 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream To serve …

Discover Geneva’s outdoor markets with help from a handy online guide

Outdoor markets have existed in the city for hundreds of years and many of the market gardeners (maraîchers) who ply their trade are but the latest generation in their family to do so. Likewise, over the years shopping habits have been passed down within families, so faces are familiar and greetings are often on a first name basis with warm handshakes attached. New faces are welcomed warmly and equally efficiently, with a brisk touch for all during peak hours (though there’s always time to share cooking advice). While supermarkets do their best to compete, nothing compares to the familial and familiar ambience of an outdoor market. To this add a lovely locale in one of the city’s leafy, cobblestoned town squares, in the shadow of a quaint church or nestled by a medieval fountain. The result is as much a rich social and historically-tinged experience as a satisfying culinary one. Most of all its about encouraging community, where people of all ages mingle, chat and sample. It’s not all about food, though. Geneva hosts some excellent flea markets offering antique books, porcelain, …