The Cottage Cafe in Geneva, Switzerland is a hidden gem. Make sure you don’t miss it when you travel to this brilliant city.
I can now admit that when Kristelle from the Geneva Tourism Foundation was telling me about Cottage Café, all I could think about was that the restaurant had an English name and that it might be frequented by more tourists than locals, so my hopes weren’t high for dinner that evening. (Continued from Part 1.)
Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the Geneva Tourism and Conventions Foundation during my stay. All opinions are my own.
The Cottage Café
Nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, the meal I had at Cottage Café that evening was one of the best that I had during my month long trip throughout Europe. There was nothing “touristy” about it.
If you’ve been following along, at the end of my last post I had just crossed Lake Geneva in a mouette (“seagull” water taxi in Geneva). This was after a cooking lesson and long walk, exploring Geneva by foot. Back at Hotel Royal, I decided to lounge in the luxurious lobby for a while before I returned to my room to get ready for dinner at Cottage Café.
It was a short walk to Cottage Café which is situated in the middle of a lovely park, facing The Brunswick Monument (more below). Lake Geneva is a stone’s throw beyond. It has to be one of the optimal and most picturesque settings for any restaurant I’ve ever seen.-Which, in turn, offers some of the most incredible views to its guests.
I wondered how a restaurant obtained this prime location and learned the history of the building (and the monument) on Cottage Café’s website. It was most likely originally built as temporary housing for the builders of the Brunswick Monument. Then I wondered about the story behind this ornate and unusual monument? I read about it on the menu whilst sitting at the cafe. In a nutshell, The Duke of Brunswick was a rather colorful fellow (to say the least) who bequeathed his massive fortune to the city of Geneva. The money didn’t come without strings attached: he added condition of having a monument erected in his honor.
As you can imagine, at this point, I’d forgotten all about my misgivings about Kristelle’s recommendation of the cafe. They were completely put to rest when my food and wine arrived.
It had been difficult to narrow down my choices to two items because there were a plethora of options on the tapas and mezzes menu. Many of the dishes were very appealing to me! Ultimately, I decided on the Iberico trio: Jamon Serrano, Chorizo Pata Negra & Manchego cheese. The other half of my order was the Burratina di vacca ” Casa Madio” arugula, with tomatoes & bell peppers. I chose a locally produced Swiss Pinor Noir that evening, trying to experience everything “Geneva” as I possibly could. I was not disappointed.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet the owner, Nicole Boder, but I could tell from everything in front of me, that she is a woman after my own heart. The flavor from each cheese, the meats and vegetables told me that quality is as important to her, as it is to me. I was served generous portions as these plates would normally serve two people. However, I am unashamed to tell you that I cleaned both plates and savored every single bite!
I was so incredibly fortunate that there happened to be a full moon that evening. As I left Cottage Café, I couldn’t resist taking countless pictures of the beauty that nighttime in Geneva held. I hope that, if anything, I may inspire you to travel, hopefully to Geneva. If not, that you just to decide to pack a suitcase and go somewhere you have never been before. Many of you who travel often will understand what I felt that night. I hope others may one day be able to experience the atmosphere from a foreign land, the feeling of being away from home in a place that is so incredibly beautiful and discover the joy of travel. I hope you can enjoy even just one dish, or morsel of food that is such a delight to your palate that you will never forget the moment you tasted it. These experiences combine to create the magic that comes from traveling.
I hope that these photos which I took the evening of my dinner, and during my stay, will help you to see Geneva, and the joy of traveling, through my eyes.
A Photographic Tour of Geneva
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Disclosure: I was hosted by The Geneva Tourism and Conventions Foundation. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone. I am disclosing this in compliance with the FTC’s regulations.