GENEVA’S OLD TOWN – our favourite street!
by Chené Koscielny
Photographs by Alexandra Belz
Geneva’s Old Town is a maze of fascinating streets where I not only regularly get lost, but also often lose myself for a few hours.
It not a fascinating step back in time, but also offers a great selection of art galleries, restaurants, bars and quaint and interesting shops.
On Saturday, 28 September, the Art en Vieux-Ville, (AVV) – hosts one of their quarterly open days during which around 15 art galleries and 3 cultural institutions in this part of the city invite the public to visit the galleries for extended hours between 11h and 17h. MORE INFO HERE.
This is a perfect opportunity to explore this part of Geneva again, or if you’re a tourist – for the first time!
There is one street I always return to – the Rue Verdaine. Not least because this I where you can find the tastiest poké bowl and caramel cake slice in the Old Town, but also because I love popping into the quirky shops and chatting to the local shop owners.
ALSO read our article about THE SECRETS OF THE OLD TOWN and find out about a MOST UNUSUAL BOOKSHOP IN THE OLD TOWN. If you want to know more about the history of Geneva Old Town, why not book a TWO-HOUR TOUR OF THE OLD TOWN AND OTHER FAMOUS LANDMARKS.
HEALTHY BOWLS AND JUICE IN OLD TOWN GENEVA
The first stop for me is restaurant MAPLE at 9 Rue Verdaine, –which recently changed their name from STEAK after they found that their lunch-time clientele wanted a greener offering. They expanded the menu from the staple steak and chips and fish and chips to include pretty and tasty poké and other healthy bowls, including my current favourite – the pink bowl – with avocado, beetroot and pomegranate!
The fresh juices are delicious.
NEW INTERIOR DÈCO BOUTIQUE – GEORGE
Just a few steps further on, on the same side of the street, you have a brand new home accessories and jewellery concept store called GEORGE, which we only discovered by chance this week!
The shop has beautiful displays of interesting artefacts and jewellery, mainly from Europe. We love the bright and beautiful setting, with big windows, high ceilings and historical stone pillars, which fit the collection of products beautifully.
You’ll find stunning posters, beautiful plates (exceptionally from China), colourful vases, dainty jewellery with precious stones, natural perfume sticks and many more interesting finds.
ALADDIN’S CAVE OF GIFTS AND FURNITURE
Across the street, discover the delightful LA 3EME MAIN – an Aladdin’s Cave of quirky interior dèco items, which make great gifts – especially for friends from abroad, as well as designer furniture.
Your eyes are at first drawn by the pretty shrubbery framing the entrance and the colourful display of designer chairs on the pavement outside.One of our favourite finds in here is the Panorama knife –serrated in the shape of the Geneva landscape, including the Mont Blanc. We also loved the Donkey Lady cycling basket complete with picnic blanket and wine bottle and opener!
OBSESSED WITH COLOUR – CURTAINS AND SOFA COVERS
Right next door at 10 Rue Verdaine, you’ll find DUOSURCANAPE– which also offers accessories for the home, as well as unusual gifts, furniture and fabric. The owner Nancie Wohliers is obsessed with colour and has a great sense of humour, which is reflected in her interesting choice of cushions, sofas, and home accessories.
She stocks British Designer Guild fabric and the shop re-upholsters old sofas and arm chairs, restores furniture and makes curtains.
BOHEMIAN CHIC CLOTHES AND ARTEFACTS FOR YOUR HOME
Also on this side of Rue Verdaine, you’ll find NUMERO 12, which is another concept store offering a mix of bohemian chic clothes and home accessories.
They used to be called Ange de la Montagne and focused on interior design for chalets, but they recently changed this shop to have a more urban feel. However, they do have a second shop in the mountains in Thonon-les-Bains in France and you can still order items from there, should you prefer.
BEST BAKERY IN OLD TOWN – TRY THE CARAMELIO SLICE
If by now, you’re feeling peck-ish –PIERRE & JEAN is one of the best cake shops in Geneva – read our article about the best cake shops in Geneva here.
Do try the Caramelio – a slice of heaven, which has won them several awards
PHOTOGRAPHIC ART POSTERS AND AVANT GARDE FASHION
YELLOW KORNER is a well-known poster shop next door, which offers a fantastic selection of limited edition art photography posters in ALL sizes at reasonable prices. The themes include urban, music fashion, landscape, dream and creation and more. They also offer posters and wall art for businesses.For some reason the naughty nun picture appealed to us today!
We cross the street to pop into AVANT GARDE, 13 Rue Verdaine – a bohemian chic boutique – focusing on individual and unusual women’s wear, shoes and accessories. You’re very unlikely to find someone else with the same eye-catching coat or leopard skin boots!