31 October 2016

How to Spend a Weekend in Lausanne

Recently, I learnt how to spend a weekend in Lausanne, Switzerland. Because my general geographical knowledge is as expansive as a walnut, I didn’t even know of the existence of this cute little city prior to the trip being booked. Turns out it’s only a 50-minute ride on the train (and those trains are always on time I bet) from Geneva airport. I rejoiced because Geneva is one of the few places that has direct connections to Porto (#itsthesmallthings)!

I also did not know that Lausanne had such delicious buildings with perfectly symmetrical and colourful shutters – that is so my jam.

LOOK AT THESE HAPPY GREEN SHUTTERS

lausanne city snaps

The buildings sure looked like they were made of biscuits! And what about these peach flavoured window eyelids above..

I think I spent most of my time during the walking tour of the city taking multiple pictures of the same things – windows and walls. I was mostly distracted so admittedly I didn’t really digest (or listen to) a lot of the information shared by our guide Hilary (luckily this wasn’t like school and so I wasn’t told off), but I heard her mention that the people of Lausanne apparently have very lean and muscular legs since the city is built on a small mountain and there is a lot of uphill walking involved.

However, since it was not summer, there was a lack of visual aids to verify this fact and I started looking at people’s pants/whatever leg coverers they had on and imagining what might’ve been under the fabric. Yummy Swiss legs?

CAFÉ DE GRANCY

cafe de grancy

I didn’t eat any yummy Swiss legs.

Our first meal in Lausanne was at this restaurant, which was cosy and warm and there were famous people’s names etched into the back of the wooden chairs.

Top: Deer ravioli with mushrooms and truffle oil and parmesan // AMAZING. WENT TO HEAVEN.
Right: Beef tartare // AMAZING. DIED 2 TIMES.
Left: Some kind of local fish (name forgotten!) with mushrooms and a potato mash thingy // This was Mehreen’s lunch I just took a pic of it.

When you eat well you’re on track to having a fantastic day, so I was glad we started our weekend here!

SWISS CHOCOLATE..

swiss chocolate workshop

Milk chocolate was invented in Switzerland. I did not know that. But now I do! Thanks to an afternoon at Chocolaterie Durig, who let us make our own animal-shaped chocolates as part of a small workshop.

Mine is that funny-looking thing on the right. It’s supposed to be a penguin. I got chocolate all over my hands.

We also got to taste SO MUCH (other, professionally/properly made) chocolate. There was chocolate infused with this and infused with that; by the end of it I really had consumed more chocolate than I had in the last year! I’m one of those weird people who isn’t in love with chocolate, but I did taste some nice things that day (some fancy dark chocolate infused with something fancy).

Anyhow, I gave my chocolates (including the penguin) away to my friends.

LAUSANNE MARKET

lausanne market colours

We managed to catch the market, which takes over the city’s pedestrian streets, on Saturday afternoon. It also takes place every Wednesday.

Markets are one of my favourite things to see (rather than museums or art galleries) in any new place I visit – there are so many delicious colours, sounds, and smells to take in. It’s really a sensory playground.

I did not make any purchases at Lausanne market. Lausanne is expensive! But luckily, smelling the smells and seeing the colours is free 🙂

LOOK AT THOSE SHROOMS. Jeanne bought some. She let me smell her mushrooms.

LAVAUX VINEYARDS

lavaux vineyards

Just from reading the name, I was convinced that this was going to be a beautiful place. Well that and I also read that it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

I didn’t really quite equate Switzerland to vineyards or wine but it turns out they do have good vineyards and good wine.

Lavaux was the highlight of my weekend! Big thanks to our host David for not thinking ahead about how we’d get from our wine-tasting venue to the port where we had to catch a the ride back to Lausanne – and I mean that in the most UNsacrastic way. Weaving in and out of those rows of grape plants was so much fun, especially in a rush going downhill ..with the risk of missing some form of transport (I’m good at that)!

I must say that this was the most.. prosperous vineyards I have ever seen. Every plant was FULL of perfect-looking grapes, which I of course picked and ate (just a few..). They were happy grapes (juicy and sweet). If I had it my way I’d be carrying IKEA bags full of those grapes back to my house.

a walk in lavaux

^Jeanne, Mehreen (I’m sorry your eyes were caught off-guard), and Mel

Boring news for you – we didn’t miss the boat!

THE UNMISSED BOAT RIDE

lausanne cruise

Lausanne is about a 20 minute cruise from Lavaux, on Lake Geneva. For the reverse journey we went by train.

Also, look at me trying to take a photo of myself using the app connected to my camera. Who knew trying to do that AND look at the camera at the same time would be so challenging? …

PINTE BESSON

pinte besson

I had THE BEST CHEESE FONDUE OF MY LIFE at this restaurant. This statement still stands regardless of the fact that my sample size is under ten.

It was melted cheese with cognac and mushrooms! Nobody could resist. The pots were WIPED CLEAN. The cheese was hot and bubbling and when you lifted your fork it stretched into long gooey lines – even the act of preparing the little blob of cheesy delight was a fun activity. IT WAS SO GOOD.

Oh yeah and Pinte Besson is the oldest restaurant in Lausanne, having opened in 1780. It has wonky walls and the ceiling looked uneven. That made me happy.

WHAT I WORE

lausanne outfit

Sweater – Zara | Leggings – Topshop | Boots – you’re not interested

Thanks Anouska for snapping these photos!

WHERE TO STAY

royal savoy lausanne

I saved the best part for last – The Royal Savoy Lausanne. It’s new (ish.. it opened in June 2015).

Everyone raved about THE BED. It was definitely one of the best beds I’ve slept in.. ever!

On the Saturday night we had all these plans to stay out and experience ‘the nightlife’, but at the end of dinner that evening I thought, “I can go out and party any time I want, but it’s not every day that I get to sleep in a five-star luxury hotel room”.

So that was that. No party. For anyone. We all went back to our snow white clouds and wished we didn’t have an early start on Sunday. I guess Mehreen wished it the most, because she woke up an hour late the next day! Haha

*Thank you to Lausanne Tourism for organising the experience. All thoughts are genuinely mine. Fortunately and unfortunately!

11 Comments

Christie |

THESE. SHOTS. ARE. AMAZING. and I am dying to go to Lausanne. What month were you there in? I wonder if it would be worth it to go in December? The shots in the first section are seriously killing me and that hotel looks divine.

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Katie |

I didn’t know this place existed! How beautiful and those vineyards! And that chocolate! Great blog that gets my feet itching!! 😀

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Kelly | A Pair of Passports |

Beyond obsessed with this! We go to Zermatt regularly and keep wanting to hop on the train for a day (or weekend) trip to Lausanne but never get around to it. We are trying to plan a trip over this summer and I will 100% be adding Lausanne to our itinerary!

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Darcy Coulter |

I love this one! I also didn’t know Switzerland had so much wine until I went there. The vineyards were stunning (and the wine wasn’t bad either!).

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Anna Colorista |

Lausanne looks lovely and those photos of Swiss chocolate made my mouth water! Thanks for giving us an insight in such an unusual place, I would love to travel there soon 🙂

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Aggy |

Love this post! It makes me miss Switzerland so much. It never ceases to amaze me how pretty and neat the cities are in Switzerland. I’ve only gone passed Lausanne on the train, wished I stopped and wandered around!

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Korinna |

I lived in Lausanne for half a year and loved the city! Your pictures look way prettier though than mine. It being situated on a hill is an advantage for everyone who loves to see the sun rise over the mountains and the lake. In this context one has to know that it’s so much better to live in Lausanne than on the opposite side of the lake (Evian), because from there one can only see flat land. From Lausanne, in contrast, one can almost see the Mont Blanc! And the city is known for its nights-out all over the French part of Switzerland, but I’m sure one can have nice places to party in every city, so I might have preferred my heavenly blankets too 🙂 As far as the restaurant prices are concerned, Switzerland is definitely not a country where you can eat in restaurants every day. In fact, we usually met up with friends in our cozy kitchens.
I’m very glad to see you liked the city as much as me. It’s without exaggeration one of my favorite cities in Switzerland (and the world).

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Yishyene |

Hey Korinna! Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I really did enjoy Lausanne so much – it is much like a fairytale city. Lucky you to have been there to enjoy it for half a year 🙂 I didn’t know about Evian.. it sure must suck to see only flat land, haha 🙂

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