Coffee with a local in Geneva

Friday, 24 February 2012 4:34 PM

Idealshortbreaks.co.uk heads to the second most populous city in Switzerland, to enjoy some very glamorous drinks with Hannah Southall, and discover all the best local knoweldge...  

So, you’ve brought me to your favourite cafe/bar – tell me about it.
This is La Clemence, and we’re right in the middle of Place Bourg de Four in Geneva’s Old Town. During the summer it’s the perfect place to people watch in the sunshine.

Mmm... this is good, what are we drinking?
“Une Piscine de Rosé avec Pamplemousse”, which translates as a pool of Rosé and grapefruit. The huge glamourous glass with ice makes it the drink of choice for Geneva’s beautifully turned out clientele. During the colder months I’d have ‘un renversé’ which is how the locals refer to a white coffee. The ‘Vin Chaud’ is good too.

What are your favourite local dishes?
French-Swiss food such as Fondue, Potato Rosti, and Milk Chocolate can get a little heavy , so when I need something lighter I love to have Quiche Aux Epinards (spinach tart). Delicious, light, buttery pastry.

And where would you suggest I go to find these?
The best has to be those made fresh and locally at Chenevière Yolande Tea-Room-Boulangerie, Rue L’Atheneé. It’s a little out of town, but it’s the real deal: teaming with locals who epitomize the faded grandeur of Geneva in their fur coats. At the weekend most of the green leather booths are full all day.

The sky is blue and the sun is shining, what’s the best thing to do on a day like today?
Hire a free bike and cycle along the lake from the Jet D’eau (Geneva’s iconic fountain) to the Jardin Botanique. If it’s warm enough, go for a swim!

And if it rains?
Head to the Patek Philippe Watch Museum and prepare to be dazzled by diamonds.

If there’s one thing I should do while I’m here, what is it?
Try a chocolate or five from one of the local chocolatiers dotted about the city. The champagne truffles from Teuscher are divine!

Give us a local tip that other tourists wouldn’t usually know...
Eating out in Geneva can be pricey, but at lunch times you can join the locals for a spectacular and reasonably priced meal on the top floor of department store ‘Manor’. It even has an outdoor roof section with views of the lake.

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