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.)
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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
“The world is a book and whose who do not travel read only one page.”
Don’t miss another travel or recipe post; sign up for my free subscription below!
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.
Christina’s Cucina is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Thank you, Nyssa!
What a motivating post to jump on a plane and head to Geneva! Everything looks so inviting.
I hope you do!
Looks so beautiful!!! I have only been to Zurich…now I’m adding Geneva to my bucket list!
I too, have been to Zurich, but I think you’ll be surprised at how different both cities are from each other. Glad it’s on your list!
Geneva is such a walkable city, I used to walk through it all the time and not just in old town. I never tired of the fountain, it is “just a fountain” but it is so beautiful and when you live there, reassuring. I had not heard of Cottage Cafe – I am wondering if it opened after I left, although the building at least looks like it has been there awhile. Your posts have allowed me to revisit my time in Geneva which has been such a delightful experience.
I heard about the Genevans’ preoccupation with the fountain going on and off at the correct times! I thought that was funny, but given the Swiss reputation with their timepieces, it makes sense. You are so fortunate to have been able to experience Geneva as a local for some time.
Yes, the Cottage Cafe building has been there from 1876, but it was turned into a cafe in 2008. Glad you enjoyed my post, Andi!
I really like Swiss wine, particularly Pinot Noir. It’s a shame that only 1% of it is exported because it’s nearly impossible to find outside of Switzerland. Glad to see that you tried and enjoyed it!
Yes, it’s very hard to find Swiss wines outside of Switzerland because the keep it for themselves! Yet another reason to visit! :)
[…] On my second full day in Geneva, I met with a lovely lady named, Gaetane, who must have been the friendliest and most informative tour guide in Geneva! Together we’ll show you how much you can see in just one day in Geneva. (Continued from here.) […]
Ah, Geneva! This brings back some great memories – great photos, Christina! The Cottage Cafe sounds wonderful and your selection is just what I would have chosen, it sounds perfect!
Great minds and taste buds… :)