The largest city in Switzerland, Zürich, is a major contemporary art and shopping destination. Our visit to Zürich came about as one of our dear friends lives in Zürich and our niece is studying aboard in Madrid. Before she wrapped up her studies we wanted to show her a bit more of Europe and chose to meet her abroad for a couple of weeks. We knew we would love our company, but had no idea we would be so drawn to the beautiful people, culture, views and food, too! Zürich ‘s 500 clubs and bars pulse with life until the early hours of the morning. Not to mention this city on Lake Zürich keeps their city immaculate and is covered in an amazing array of fast, eye-catching vehicles, too—a Ferrari or Lamborghini flying by is just another day in Zürich.
Kindli: This restaurant was love at first sight—part Ralph Lauren, part classy picnic, I knew we had to indulge. The meals served at this warm, inviting restaurant are prepared with seasonal ingredients. The results are such innovative dishes as rock lobster with roasted pasta or sirloin of beef with mustard-onion butter and roasted potatoes. We kept our luncheon simple ordering seasonal asparagus soup and caprese salad. Rich, colorful paintings, dark-wood paneling, elegant bistro furnishings, and linen table settings add to the upscale, warm comfort of the restaurant’s interior. We ate under the sun al fresco upon darling navy blue and red gingham table linens and pillows made by next door designing neighbor, En Soie, who carries an array of custom linens and handbags.
Bar MASI: In its seventh generation, the family-run business MASI is deeply rooted in the Venetian regions, making wine since the 18th century. Their passion for elegant yet simple food is inspired by the cosmopolitan culture of Venice and the oriental influence of spices. Their classic and simple recipes are rounded off with signature dishes created by chefs from around the world—all revealed when we attended their grand opening in Zürich for cocktails and dinner. It also happens to be one of the best “people watching perches” in the city—just grab a Prosecco and artisanal cheese stick and see for yourself!
Lumiere: This small, intimate and tastefully decorated French restaurant served us one of our favorite meals while in Zürich. The special, Entrecôte in a Scallion Sauce with Frites, tasted as incredible as any we’ve eaten in Paris. Layers of fresh vegetables and fish kept our taste buds jumping. A cozy atmosphere and fabulous staff—we took a liking to Alejandro—make this charming restaurant the perfect choice for dinner in the heart of Old Town. En Soie also appointed the inviting interior here.
Old Crow: Newly opened in December by Zürich star bartenders Markus Blattner & Jvan Paszti, The Old Crow is a hidden away speakeasy boasting arguably the best bourbon and bitters collection in Europe, with 700 mega rare bottles taken from their personal collection including the elusive 1964 Black Bowmore 31 year old Final Edition and the 1940 Macallan 50 year old. We enjoyed hand crafted cocktails and a dose of Zürich hospitality from our favorite bartender, Tom. Additionally, I love the classic interior mixing old and new with leather cocktail menus and coasters with simple light fixtures and jumbo plaid booth pillows.
Designer: Many of Zürich’s designer boutiques lie hidden along the narrow streets between Bahnhofstrasse and the Limmat River. Quirky bookstores and antiques shops lurk in the sloping cobblestone alleyways leading off Niedorfstrasse and Oberdorfstrasse. The fabled Bahnhofstrasse—famous because it’s reputedly the most expensive street in the world—is dominated by large department stores and extravagantly priced jewelry shops.
En Soie: This boutique stocks sophisticated fabrics with an element of whimsy via their custom bags and linens. A family owned and operated line of clothing, textiles, and home goods that originated in 1894, every pattern is hand-drawn and hand-printed to create bold and beautiful pieces. They have created the pillows and table cloths of some of our favorite Zürich restaurants and recently opened a location in Silver Lake/Los Angeles.
Bern: Hop on the train from Zurich and 45-minutes later, you will be in Bern. No other city in Switzerland offers such a wonderful wealth of culture, leisure and entertainment like Bern. Hurry and hectic are foreign words to the Bernese. In their city, people enjoy life and take time for what is really important. It’s entirely easy to relax and enjoy oneself in the unique Old Town atmosphere.
The Clock Tower or Zytglogge was Bern’s first western city gate (1191 – 1256) and is now one of Bern’s most important sights.
A visit to the Bear Park is a special experience for children as well as adults.
Albert Einstein lived in Bern from 1903 to 1905 and developed his Theory of Relativity here. The Einstein House gives visitors a chance to see where the great physicist completely revolutionized our understanding of space and time.
Have you ever been to Switzerland? If so, what are your favorite spots?