Nat & The City's Blog
the key to the city's secrets….

Jun
24

With the beautiful weather, so many events are happening in Geneva… yes yes Geneva is happening. Last night I first went to the President Wilson hotel, for a Brazilian bikini fashion show, and then joined my friends at Cotton Pub, for a Moët & Chandon event.

So let’s start with The President Wilson, honestly I never think to go there near the pool at the Bayview restaurant, but I think I should start considering it… I am planning to go on a regular night to taste the food, but right now I can say that the setting is amazing. You have a great view of the lake, it is not too big, nor too small …(is it me or I just sounded like “Goldie Locks”? )

Anyway, so last night there was the fashion show of a Brazilian bikini line, sold exclusively at the hotel’s spa. As nothing is easy in Geneva, arriving to the hotel was a big challenge as well. I guess every person who saw the sun, took his/her car to verify if it was real or not. The Mont – Blanc bridge was packed. Once arrived at the hotel, the valet refused to take any more cars and asked everyone to use the Hotel’s parking. The only problem was that my friend who had arrived before, tried it, but the door of the parking was blocked, so nobody could get in or get out…. So after turning half an hour in Paquis to find a spot, I literally left my car on the side of the road. Once arrived to the promise land, between the nice weather, the Brazilian music, and the models wearing the beachwear walking around the pool… I finally realized that summer is on. They were off course offering Caipirinhas and all other sort of Curaçao based cocktails. Personally, I just went with my bubbles.

After Le President, I went to meet up with some other friends at the Cotton Pub. I have to admit I am not a big fan of that pub… and I never got the reason why people are very into it, but last night they were doing their yearly Moët & Chandon event, so I decided to try it out. It consists to promote the bubbles by decreasing their price, a champagne bar and tents are installed, and it seriously attracts lots of people. It was full from 6pm the happy hour till, 2.30 am where I finally decided that it was time to stop my bubbles juice fasting and I needed to go home and get some food. It was nice to see some old friends in the crowd, but interesting also to see few interesting (and I am being nice) people, who seemed to be there simply because they saw the light and the crowd in this case.

So even though I am not a Cotton Pub addict, I would try to catch up this event, because it was really fun. Tonight there is another happy hour event at the President, so if you are in town and don’t know what to do, you should simply swing by 😉

Jun
24

Come discover Geneva’s most Exclusive outdoor Terrace pool, Bayview at the President Wilson Hotel!
Live music will be played by DJ Edmond Doux Jesus, and Lebanese mezzes from the hotel’s famous restaurant L’Arabesque will be offered for all guests!

Free Entrance and open to all from 6 30 pm, so bring your friends to make this event a success!

For Table reservations and Info:
Email: bayview@hotelpwilson.com
Phone: +41(22) 906 6745

Jun
21

In Geneva, when you say “Auberge de Dully” everybody starts salivating thinking about the chicken, and the rostis and the yummy warm shortcrust cream pie….
Dully opened its wine house in 1840 and housed a lounge with only five tables and fifteen stools. It is only in 1964 that the chicken and lamb legs started to be served. So over 40 years, this Auberge owned by the Charriere family, situated between Geneva and Lausanne serves their customers. Growing up in Geneva, I used to go there a lot; first with my parents, then with my friends, and now with my friends and their kids…
It is not the first choice spot for the evenings, because it is 20 – 30 minutes from Geneva, and you need to take the highway. In a city small like Geneva when you stay in your car more than 10 minutes to arrive to a restaurant, it is considered far, and with all the police controls, you have to be careful with your alcohol intake…
This week-end we decided with a friend to go there and enjoy the chicken, and I honestly was craving more about the pie 😉 As usual the place was packed, and as usual the place was too hot. I had the feeling to sit near the sun… The décor is very rustic and full of pictures of formula one and especially Ferrari as they are big fans. Normally we could park just in the front, and it was always a big chaos as everyone would leave there car at any empty spot. Now they have closed it, so you have to be creative and park along the road or use the open air parking a bit further away.
The chicken was juicy and the rosti crispy. I don’t even talk about the pie, because I finished it almost by myself… The service was as usual quick and efficient. The crowd was composed of few people that I knew, few families, few couples, and few groups. There was one woman whom I was happy not to sit in front, she had so many surgeries that she reminded me of a mild version of Jocelyn Wildenstein (you know the socialite in NY who did so many plastic surgeries that she looks like a cat… although that would insult the poor cats). Thanks god the person that I was sitting looked good, therefore my appetite was intact, lol
So a great night after all, great food, good vibe, funny people to watch, great company and the good point was that while I was eating, due to the heat I was in a mini sauna; so instantly losing weight 😉 the negative point, when I left, I smelled like a roasted chicken myself… could be dangerous when you walk by a dog….

Jun
19

What to do on a rainy day… sorry rainy week in Geneva??? Big dilemma as it happens very often in our lovely town. Why do you think everything, including some people are so green? We have so much rain that even humans started to grow leaves ….
So I have spent my days home, working and let’s be honest planning my next trips. I finally decided to leave my castle for a meeting, followed up with a lunch. My friend proposed me “La Finestra”, near Confederation Center. Never heard of it so was quite excited to finally discover a new spot. It is a small Italian restaurant with maximum 10 tables. I would more go there in winter than in summer, but then again these days it is quite chilly in Geneva. I would also advise that spot for romantic lunch or dinners. I am sure at night you have lots of couples. The menu is great but I decided to go ahead with the daily special. Let’s say if I am very hungry I would need two daily specials as the portions were tiny.
The service was good, we received the appetizers very quickly and the entrée came soon after. But I had one big complaint. I know I know I always do. The waiter had one main mission…. To never let my water glass empty … Every 55 seconds, he would come and top it up… and this even if I didn’t drink it… I seriously hate that. First of all you cannot have a conversation as you keep being interrupted and also, it creates a panic in you. You feel obliged to keep drinking, so there is enough space on your glass…
This reminds me the fish restaurants in Turkey; beside the water battle, I seriously believe they work on commission about the plates they change. The waiters have this compulsion to take away your plate even if you had a little bread crumb on it. And I spend my lunch or dinners fighting to keep it….
Finally we told him that we could take care of the glass filling, and ordered our coffees, and enjoyed the caramelized almonds brought to our table. Between us, the coffee was so bitter that we really needed something extra sweet.
So after all, if you want to have a calm or romantic lunch/dinner, good Italian food, you should give a shot, but tell your waiter to leave your glass alone 😉

Jun
17

On my quest to find the best terrace for lunch in Geneva, I decided to give a shot to “Riverside Café” in Geneva. It used to be “Le Bleu Rhone” when I was living in Geneva couple of years ago and the food was correct. The beauty of this coffee is that you are directly sitting by the lake, and quite far from the traffic. The new decoration is beautiful, the chairs more comfy. My sister told me that she heard about their famous burgers, although I decided to stick to my filet de perches (perch filets).
The young girl serving us was all smiles and sweet; we placed our order in 5 minutes and had our appetizers in 10… while lunching we saw two another friends, who joined us. One of them took the burger and the other one the filet de perches like me. The waitress told me that unfortunately we won’t all receive our dishes at the same time, which was normal.
After 45 minutes I started to lose my patience and asked her if the cook went fishing my perches? She said that I was so right that she has already asked him 4 times. Finally after 55 minutes I receive a plate where the fish looked still alive, the fries soaked in oil. Tried to taste it, not only it wasn’t cooked but had no taste. My sister, who had ordered a cheeseburger, had a piece of cheese thrown on her ground beef.
I guess you all know what happened after. Called her and told her to take away this, cause I couldn’t accept a raw tasteless fish after waiting that long. My friend also said to cancel her order. And we both took burgers instead. Finally we got all the food, some salads missing, some salads we wished were missing cause they looked really tired. My burger off course with onions (that I told at the beginning of the lunch that I cannot eat) and tasteless. Thanks god the spot is nice and I was with friends because I would have returned everything and leave that place right away.
I think it is unacceptable that because a restaurant has a terrace, they have to hire incompetent cooks, incapable of cooking fish in 55 minutes. And the worst, the restaurant was almost empty, what would have happened if it was full? We would have never seen any food???
So Riverside Café has definitely capsized, and don’t think there is any hope to save it from sinking.

Jun
16

One of the top events of Java Club, wear your white clothes and dance the night away!!!

Grand Hotel Kempinski
Quai du Mont-Blanc 19
1201 Geneve
To book a table call 022 908 9088

Jun
16

” Exams Are Over ” time to party for students!!!!
Don’t forget to bring your student card 😉

Grand Hotel Kempinski
Quai du Mont-Blanc 19
1201 Geneve
To book a table call 022 908 9088

Jun
10

Yesterday, there was the bikini, beach towel and jewelry sale of friends, and a percentage of the profit would be going to an association called “Act In Kind”. So I went to see them and check out the beautiful stuff.
After the sale, my friends and I went to have a drink at “Le Soleil Rouge”, do you remember the wine and tapas place? Well if in winter it is a good spot, in summer not that much. As the weather was warm, everybody was outside, but different crowd this time. It seemed people who saw the crowd on the side walk… stopped. The wine was still good though, and the tapas … as long as you stick to the basics, fine. I would not advise any fish related tapas there (personal experience talking).
So after a while we wanted to go to a place where we could sit and nibble, as these tapas weren’t exactly what we were looking for. So we decided to go to “the Cottage” café. It is a restaurant on rive droite, just across the Richmond Hotel (actually it used to be their restaurant). The menu is composed of Mediterranean tapas, and they have a great terrace. The only thing I reproach them is the service. The owner keeps hiring these students, they are lovely but every time I go, either they forget to bring something or disappear on me. The restaurant lost a lot of lunch clienteles, simply because people had enough of waiting, and had limited time.
So last night before going there, I told to my friends, the food is great but don’t expect much about the service. And I wasn’t wrong, beside the fact that they missed one order, our pulpo didn’t seem very fresh. I didn’t even try it but the smell of it was unbearable. And they literally forgot us, no one came to see us for at least half an hour, at a point that we were about to leave without paying… even then not sure they would have noticed. The service crew is lovely but has no idea about service, or even the product they are selling. They brought this “artisanal” drink that was supposed to be with berries… The color was beautiful, but the taste was all chemical, and when you read the label, beside chemical formulas you couldn’t read anything else. So you start to ask questions about their “artisanal” teas and ice creams as well.
Thanks god most of the food is yummy, and makes you forget a little about the quality of service 🙂

Jun
08

Something interesting happened in Geneva; this week-end … the sun was out. Don’t laugh it is a big deal for us sun deprived Geneva people. So everybody was out on the streets or near the lake. I have asked on my facebook business page, what was the people’s favorite spot for a sunny lunch. Sadly the best spots advised were Hotel terraces, their own terrace or Brasserie Lipp. I think it is sad that in a city around a lake we don’t have more terraces. Of course there is “Bain des Pacquis” that I call “Mare aux Canards” which literally translates by “the Duck Pond”… a tiny space with so many people that you can barely move. I agree the spot is great, we even did a private party for charity there couple of years ago, but for me sitting in a terrace and enjoying the sun should be a pleasure, not a torture where everybody sits on top of each other..
Anyway, so on Saturday I decided that I should stay at my apartment and enjoy my terrace, but as my terrace was literally cooking and I had no breeze, I ended up in front of TV, shades down, air on… On Sunday I decided that it was time to leave the apartment so I met a friend for tea at the Brasserie Lipp. Effectively it is a nice terrace, no cars passing buy, nice and quite spot… our tea lasted few hours until they came and asked us to leave cause our table was reserved for dinner.
I left my friend and met another one and we went to “La Nautique” for dinner. It is the Marina and Yacht club of Geneva built in 1872. This selective Geneva Club is membership only, and you need to have a boat and I think be sponsored to be able to become a member. My friend, have the membership card, it was a good thing because the minute we sat someone came and asked to see the card, and we had to put it on a little stand done especially for our table…. He told me that the cook finally changed and that finally the food is getting good. I never had a great food experience there, so I was quite happy to taste again.
We were lucky because it wasn’t over packed; I guess the tempest announced the weather channels scared more than one person… but not us 😉 we even sat outside. The crowd was composed of families with lots and lots of kids, and people of a certain age, whom I believe were here before even “La Nautique” existed… The menu was quite big, but I had to change 3 times my appetizers because they had onions in them and as the food is prepared in advance, they cannot take it out. Now honestly I think it is a bit shocking coming from such a “selective club”. I am not a cook, but how much time it will take them to add the onions at the last minute? And leave that, now that I am thinking it was a quiet night… so it means that if someone wants a fish carpaccio or a fish tartare, the following day for lunch, is the club gonna give them the left over from the night before (or even before that) with all the ingredients in it, which means all the tastes confused??? Hmmm… I guess I am lucky that I didn’t eat that. When you see the price list, you expect fresh food, but I guess people don’t really mind. Anyway, my second course was “Filet de perches”. It is a “Filet of Lake Perch”; one of Geneva’s summer specialty dish. After they put some flour on the perch, they cook it with butter until it gets gold. Most of the time, they add some lemony butter on top as well, and you have to eat it with fries. Ok I am officially hungry again 🙂
Joke aside it is a great dish if the perch is fresh, because in winter they import from Canada, and off course they are frozen, and you can taste it. This one was really good, and the great part was the fries. They were crispy and tiny and delicious. I am not a French fries girl, but those didn’t stay long on my plate.
To finish our dinner we took a warm chocolate fondant cake to share, not really impressed as well, no chocolate was coming out of the not that warm cake. So conclusion, if you go to la Nautique to eat, just stick to the “Filets de Perches”.
For me it was a good way of finishing a week-end, good company, found a good dish and enjoyed a nice bottle of Chateau Minuty Rosee…

Jun
04

Woke up this morning, happy to be back to a sunny Geneva, which is rarely the case… As it has been a while that I am rarely home, had to do the boring stuff, like invoices, grocery shopping etc… But I had to catch up with friends as well. So decide to have lunch with “wifey”. She is my high school friend that I know for 25 years now. We studied and lived in Pensionnat Valmont, Lausanne. It is a school where the Marcelline Sisters devoted themselves to the education of young women, in other words, a girl’s boarding school governed by the nuns, with so many restrictions that we end up … well we end up like me, free spirited. So my friend that I call wifey was there as well, and she did her part of globetrotting and we end up both in Geneva… no need to add which kind of special bond we have.
So as we both keep traveling, we try to catch up whenever we are both in town. And this time we decided to go to “l’Armoire” (literally means the closet) for healthy food. Although last time we had lunch there, we both had burgers with fries. L’Armoire is a restaurant that opened in Geneva for few years now. The food is always quite decent, and what I like about is that, beside the familiar faces I always see there, while waiting for your food you can read little inscriptions on the walls about funny citations. The lunch crowd is a mix of business people and ladies catching up, and the dinner crowd is composed of the usual suspects, getting ready for a long night out. They have a little terrace which is literally on the street, so it is nice to be out but if you sit at the edge you basically inhale all the cars smoke and survive through the roads dust. I prefer the tables near the sidewalk where it is a little healthier. So we sat on our table, I ordered a beef tartare, and wifey took a seafood ceviche. It was a good food, great company, and not overpriced like most of Geneva restaurants. So I highly advise to give a chance if you r in town and not looking for the perfect terrace.
After lunch I went and did some shopping, because all the private sales started, girlzz and boyzz, get ready in Geneva the sales has started as well. And I am the proud parent of two new Lesputains (Louboutin) for the ones who read me the first time) …
and now so happy to be home and chill. You know me; never go out at nights on the week-ends 🙂