Lausanne

The Lausanne factor.

The reasons why I love living in Zürich and what brought us to visit pretty Lausanne and a gem of a village in the French part of Switzerland.

There was a time in life when I didn’t use to pay much attention to many things and just enjoyed the ride, in total freedom and careless about the future.
It was like being in love in your twenties: I enjoyed the ride in full, I did not need to care about much in life but studying, my loved one and…parties, of course, AH!

Lausanne
The center of Lausanne and its pretty streets are a very good idea for a short trip from Zürich.

But when years pass by, other duties start to add in and you end up thinking about other components in your everyday life and the ride is less light-hearted.
Well, going to Lausanne was kinda like this.
It’s been a while I wanted to visit and have an idea of this city: breathe the french part of Switzerland’s vibe, actually being able to communicate openly and without using apps to search for the right word, catch conversations while drinking coffee at the bar (raise your hand if you never did it), read an entire newspaper and understand what is going on.
Colossal deal guys, I assure you.

Although still lost in translation after almost six years here, in an eternal attempt to learn German while trying to deal with Swiss German at the supermarket, I must say Zürich has revealed itself as a stunning place to live:

  • it is a city with so much going on, from food festivals to concerts, events of all kinds, restaurants of all sorts, bars, you name it;
  • the lake is beautiful and accessible, you can actually find a badi close to your area and enjoy the view or a swim (or a coffee on a terrace);
  • the system works and everything is so efficient sometimes it hurts (for a foreigner not used to such excellence). The city is safe, clean, and when you have children, things like these are a huge plus (just to mention a few of the components I refer to above);
  • there are definite seasons here and you can enjoy summers and winters, coming from Ireland it is a major asset!
  • Zürich is very international and people here speak all sort of languages so you won’t struggle to communicate, still…

…if you don’t speak the language (German at least), you’ll end up losing the real pleasure of being part of the community you live in. And although I have my reasons for not having learned the language yet, I feel embarrassed – mostly with myself – that I do not yet have the ability to communicate better with locals.
Lausanne and its french voice looked a good place to visit for a break from misunderstandings and communication concerns. Nonetheless, there were some components that made me wonder if it’d be the right place to live in for us four.
But this is another story, for another post and coffee.
Always curious about your opinion however, so please drop me a line if you feel like sharing your important ingredients in life!

The town is very pretty and greeted us with a wonderful sun and weather.
The stroll by the lake was a dream: the view is so wide and open you want to fly up and have a look from above, like the many hawks gliding in the sky.
The atmosphere is quite relaxed and unpretentious. Buildings are so diverse, from baroque styles to the newest architectures, so interesting. Not an expert but it looks like there was a sudden boom in edification at some point (maybe there is some expert out there who could confirm it or not?).

Most of the shops were closed on Ascension day but we found Blackbirds Cafè open, for some seriously good food. The coffee wasn’t special but the service, the quality of raw materials and the price, definitely yes!

A place surely worth a visit is the beautiful Kiosque St. François.
Built in 1896, certainly one of the most charming cafè in Lausanne.

We loved their breakfast: the croissants were soft and fresh, the tartine (bread, butter and jam) amazing, yummy, wonderful. Cappuccino, so and so: again, better stick with local type of coffee. Cafè au lait is generally a good option here, in my opinion!
As I said already here, coffee is not everything on this blog: style, design, vibes and fanciness are absolutely crucial factors that sometimes make me enjoy the drink even more than the drink itself.
Le Kiosque is one of this place: its interior design is remarkable and admirable well-kept and decorated. Loved it.

If you want to stop for a seriously good food experience, Crêperie La Chandeleur is the right spot. In Lausanne city centre but surrounded by beautiful hedges and wisterias, you will enjoy a perfect fresh made crêpe with the best combination of ingredients: spinach and cheese, sausage and tomme, lard and egg, and so on. All amazing.
An absolute must when in town!

On the way back, we stopped to Gruyères thanks to a suggestion of a friend.
Why on earth we didn’t go before, seriously?!
The village is an enchantment, the silence around, the peace of the footpaths, the view from the castle walkway, the alphorn music the villagers offered at sunset…swoon.
We had dinner at Hôtel de Ville and enjoyed some typical delicatessen. The espresso was served with a small barrel full of fresh double cream. And it tasted good. Need to say more?

If you are planning a visit to Lausanne, my suggestion is to have a look at The Lausanne Guide: a very good reference for all sort of things happening in town. Lots of places were closed during our visit so we’ll be going back soon and surely follow many of the guide’s suggestions (like Al Sacco or Saveur PimenThe, both seemed super from outside!).

Chiara

About the author
Hi, I’m Chiara, Italian mom living in Zürich and loving it. I like to write about coffee, how it is and how to pair it with, where to drink it and, the most important factor of all, with whom to enjoy it.

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