If you fancy a trip to Lake Geneva, Lausanne is a great place to use as a base. Here is a list of some useful restaurants and bars in Lausanne and nearby Ouchy.
Beau Rivage Palace Hotel – in Ouchy, do not bother with any of the hotels restaurants*, instead have a relaxing drink or two and some bar snacks on the terrace overlooking the lake.
*Update: Anne-Sophie Pic is now running the Gastromic Restaurant here, so maybe it is worth trying the distinct food of France’s only female 3 star Michelin chef. Especially now the Restaurant has been awarded 2 Michelin Stars.
Alternatively you could have lunch on the Beau Rivage’s paddle streamer while it makes its way across the lake to Evian, dessert is served on the return trip.
Charlies Place – comfortable bar and restaurant in the centre of Lausanne, good cocktail list and free wi-fi. CLOSED
We spotted the Bistro de I’Hotel de Ville when we were exploring Vevey. It is situated in a small square next to the town hall and I would go back to Vevey just for this place. It was perfect, tasty inexpensive food, nice local wines, friendly staff and fabulous pastries for dessert.
This is one of the few “non Gourmet” restaurants to find its way into the Best of the Best category.
Pur is in the Flon, the “trendy” part of Lausanne, “edgy” is a better description, but that is part of the charm. We found it by accident, it was a wet evening and it was next to the Cinema – see www.pur-flon.ch
We never made it to the Cinema as Pur turned out to be rather special. The food is imaginative, the service friendly, the way they light up the terrace at night is superb, you can just visualise this place in New York’s East Village or London’s Soho.
My first visit to the Michelin starred restaurant at Parc des Eaux Vives, a small 5 star hotel on the shore of Lake Geneva was with some trepidation. After some disappointments on the culinary front in Switzerland I expected to spend too much money on mediocre food.
The table had been booked a month in advance for Saturday lunch time, we arrived at the beautiful venue, got escorted to the lovely dinning room and found we were actually the only guests, it did not bode well!
As soon as the amuse-bouche and the amazing seaweed bread arrived we knew we were on to a winner.
We finished off a delicious meal and moved to the terrace overlooking the gardens and the lake, taking time to enjoy a small bottle of PX .
So as the first experience was so fabulous we returned, this time staying as guests in the Hotel and much too my surprise they had actually upped their game. The restaurant was still not full, just a few tables set up outside on the small terrace, which made for a lovely atmosphere. The food was superb, and beautifully presented, this place really merits its two Michelin stars.
We also tried the Hotels more informal restaurant “The Brassery”, which was OK, but nothing to write home about. Oh yes and they upgraded us to a suite, so all round it ended up being great value for the money.
UPDATE : March 2010 – This restaurant has sadly closed. See :- Genevalunch.com
Some venues can be quite intimidating to walk into. One such occasion was an evening meal at the Italian restaurant Orsini inside the Savoy hotel in Zurich. On entering the hotel we asked at the reception for directions as there was no sign of the restaurant. No problem said the receptionist. I will show you the way. She then led us into the huge hotel kitchen. For a horrible moment I thought she had mistaken us for dishwashers. Fortunately we emerged through a small door into the restaurant….whew!
The food was okay but unremarkable. It was more interesting to watch the wealthy guests. The elderly lady who wouldn’t take off her fur coat even while eating her meal and the the middle aged man with a young redheaded twin on each arm. So from that point of view it was good value 😉
We went for the tasting menu, the idea being to experience the widest possible range of food in what is often described as Zurichs top restaurant. I really have no complaints with the food itself, which was off a high standard, the problem was the limitations in the tasting menu. Every course in a tasting menu by its very nature, should be different. That was not the case here, several identical ingredients were used in more that one course…..a mortal sin in my book 😉