SIGHTS in Zurich:
Good ideas should be handed on. Especially those like the Senior Design Factory in Zurich which brings the young and old together: for meals, chats and getting creative - for example during a knitting workshop. The idea for this project - building bridges between generations - comes from the Zurich designer Debora Biffi and Benjamin Moser. Crucial: her diploma thesis and Andy Warhol with his Silver Factory in New York melting art and consumption. The result: in March 2011 the first Senior Design Factory subsidiary opened with shop, atelier and workshop room located on Josefstraße. You can buy interior accessories, recipe cards, tea, brushes and household items. In autumn a second subsidiary opened on the pulsating shopping street, only a few houses away - with café and restaurant. Maybe you need to wait a moment longer for you coffee which you order from the 70-year-old waitress. But you'll possibly receive a charming smile in compensation. Also at the knitting workshop for beginners and advanced knitters with senior designers aged 90. Stop by, it can only get exciting!
As far as souvenirs go, there's probably no other country that has more than Switzerland. Okay, the Scots have their skirts and the United States have their cowboy hats. But we can bet that when you think of Swiss souvenirs at least three will come to your mind spontaneously: watches, chocolate and Swiss knives. You can buy these and more at Teddy's Souvenirshop, a store that is crammed with cuckoo clocks and other Swiss precision work. There are pennants and flags as well and everything worth printing an edelweiss on it. There are cuddly Saint Bernard toys, the famous cow bells to wear around your neck, and Swiss pocket knives with thousands of necessary functions to brag about. Teddy's is a hotchpotch of Swiss clichés probably worth only a mild smile by the Swiss themselves but the items still sell like hotcakes. Because once you are here you have to buy something, and be it a white cross on red background.
Jeremie Maret, Lenny Staples and Christian Weber are the initiators of The Proposal in a Zurich backyard in the district Wiedikon. Since autumn 2011 the gallery has been housing new art projects - proposals, that is creative offers and suggestions which are both pool for ideas for further artistic works as well as exhibition objects on sale. In the past there has been a big, ballooned plastic man who filled the whole gallery space, towered up europallets in the courtyard symbolising the quest for meaning in life or faint freckles on textiles. Until summer 2012 The Proposal exhibits three more proposals followed by a retrospective. Beside its function as exhibition space The Proposal also serves as a Bed & Breakfast for up to four guests. They sleep either in the room right next or also in the exhibition, or in a Peugeot bus J7 from 1977, located in the courtyard.
EAT in Zurich:
Industrial design: While the Swiss have not invented it, they like it anyway. At the trendy Rosso, for example, they overdo it a bit, with cables hanging loose and bare light tubes on the walls. Also the view you have from the long window front will only appeal to railway fans. Tracks and trains dominate the scene, and dinner is little romantic. But while you can get your water directly from the tap, you have to be patient awaiting your pizza. But when it finally is served, the waiting has been worthwhile. It tastes equally fantastic as the grilled calamari, making up for bare walls and bad service. The clientele that comes here likes the hippie chic because it's part of the scene. Medical students like the clinical surroundings, eagerly dissecting their wood-stove pizzas. Sometimes a local DJ acts as pizza man, unless he is occupied with his own business. All in all the Rosso is certainly an adventure not to be missed - but if you come a second time is a question of patience.
Fans of sushi, sake and sashimi will find Zurich a suitable place: Already on four venues the Yooji's chain serves the best rolls in the typically Asian minimalistic style. Seefeld, Josef and Bellevue rather sound like "Sisi and Franz" but, gotcha, you are wrong! Behind the monarchic names hide sushi places. And that these have little in common with pomp and fanfare is generally known. A bit of bamboo, a bit of glass, small servings but lots of lemongrass dominate interior and kitchen of the Japanese restaurant. Those who like it can visit the gift shop at Yooji's Seefeld. There, they get the right kind of utensils for Asian lifestyles. The Josef, however, has fully devoted itself to rice wine. Before, with or after the noodle soup you should give the excellent sake a try. And later you can have a sake cocktail as well. Also at the Bellevue you have a good view of sake but you can also help yourself without bad conscience: There, a nutritionist checks what is served on the plate. So you can afford to sin with respect to the drink.
Tao's is the small brother of the Zurich restaurant Indochine and one of the city's ultimate places to be. Because of the garden terrace there are especially bankers coming for lunch into the lounge on Augustinergasse. But it's not only them. By night many romantics flock to the side roads of Bahnhofstraße with its countless corner oriels. They all have lots of space to spread out in the house which is full of nooks and crannies. For example in the bistro-like Tao's on the ground floor or the Asian restaurant on the first floor. The menu is the same, the standards make the difference. Downstairs you stay for sashimi, a drink and the Zen touch. Upstairs the business crowd is paying court to their guests on heavy upholstery, and lovebirds are dining until the early hours. The restaurant is decorated with old oriental ornaments and Chinese sculptures. Joachim Karsten is in charge for the culinary part - his cooking skills have already been rewarded with several Gault Millau toques.
STAY in Zurich:
A butcher's shop in the past, the hotel today serves breakfast until 16:00 daily. Are all the guests late risers? Perhaps. But it might have something to do with the rooms' names as well: "Williams", "Kirsche", "Zwätschgge", "Pflümli" or "Quitte" forebode nothing good (being names of schnapps altogether). Is the Kafischnaps a hotel for alcoholics? No, it's not. While the rooms are named after schnapps types, you don't get a hangover from the lovingly decorated rooms. Beyond pompous luxury chains one is devoted to working with the things that are within reach - and has a toast on them. Speaking about "beyond": While the Kafischnaps is not located in the direct centre, prices are beyond those of rents in the popular district. And if you have missed out on breakfast you can still enjoy the puff paste pies with hearty filling and have schnapps with them in a relaxed atmosphere. The sights can wait. Double room from approx. 36 Euros per night.
Everything's a bit artsy here, a bit casual and easy-going. The Hotel Seegarten adapts to the vicinity of the lake, pouring oil on troubled water with its famous calm before the storm. The Seefeld district is not a quiet one, after all. Many bars, stores and galleries demand a high degree of shopping discipline, weigh heavy on credit cards and make visitors dizzy with shopping frenzy. We recommend you keep your nerve and quickly check into the Seegarten Hotel because there you will be able to catch your breath. Its Mediterranean flair, its rattan furniture and the terracotta floors make the world appear much more relaxed. No wonder that the hotel became a pilgrimage shrine for the stressed-out. Among the media and advertising trades the hotel enjoys great popularity. Apart from its nice atmosphere you can also enjoy delicious culinary treats dished up by Restaurant Latino, very leisurely and stress-free, of course. You will seldom find a more uncomplicated hotel than the Seefeld in clockwork Switzerland. Double rooms from 187 Euros per night.
In Zurich the world revolves around banks. And busy bankers best look for a hotel that furthers concentration, such as the Seehof. Here, business people may finally take a rest and keep a level head at the purist hotel. The design is slightly reserved some say. But others delight in the pure lines, the absence of pomp and the plain appearance. A bed, a table, a chair - do you need more than that? Okay, we will need some high-tech, too. And the furniture is best quality, too. The junior suite even boasts its own terrace, and a bath to feel good in with a beautiful bathtub. But still, even the upper floors are manageable as to sizes: 25 square metres feature only what needs to be there. The rest is bells and whistles anyway. This trend continues into the restaurant, which is often frequented by the local culture scene due to its vicinity to the opera. A titbit of sushi, little sashimi, well prepared by chef de cuisine Keisuke Takatori, who you may watch while he prepares his art. Conclusion: Dining and sleeping is well-portioned at the Seehof. But there's nothing wrong with it every once in a while. Double rooms from 211 Euros per night.
SHOPPING in Zurich:
Those who think that Swiss fashion is mostly made of traditional costumes are wrong. There are a few exceptions on the Zurich fashion scene: Lotta Müller, for example, who went to Milan to learn from the best. Among others, she already worked for Vivienne Westwood and Roberto Cavalli. Now, she is back to Zurich, and has opened up her own store. What you can buy here, you can't buy anywhere else: unique pieces made in Zurich and not in a North-Italian factory. If you get alarmed when you hear the name Westwood, relax: While Lotta Müller's fashion is avant-garde, her exclusive shoes are wearable. Also the other pieces of her collection may very well get in touch with dirt. While the new and newly discovered labels are chic and expensive, you won't find the Baroque ruffs á la Westwood. But you can buy her Anlgomania collection, and LaLotta Boutique also sells Gilles Rosier and Oktober.
Here comes our tip for a perfect day in Zurich: a visit to the Kunsthaus, a gourmet lunch at the Kronenhalle and if you are in the mood for gift shopping visit Steinhauer's around the corner. The store offers a wide variety of international gifts. The perfumed candles come from Paris, the towels from Japan and the leather bags from Vienna. Steinhauer is equally popular for its wedding presents. And if you have been married before you know that one can always use silver cutlery - and salad servers and champagne glasses. What a shame when the serviettes are missing at your new home! That's why the wedding list by Steinhauer comes in so handy. The store offers individual complete packages for couples so that the relatives know what they should buy and the newly weds don't have ten toasters in the end. But even if you don't want to get married you will find the right present for any occasion here. The garden furniture might be a bit bulky, and you might not be able to get all the china into the suitcase. But handkerchiefs and felt slippers will even fit into the hand luggage, for sure!
Have you experienced something like that, too? You step into a store and immediately ask yourself where you will place the stuff you are going to buy in a minute. And still you buy it, and later on you have garden shears although you have no garden. At Limited Stock you can devote yourself to passionate collecting. You'll find anything that makes your heart leap, always combined with the buzz words you want to hear: rare, for example, or unique piece, or limited edition. Hubert Spörri and Ulrich Zickler have travelled to the remotest spots in the world to bring along all those things that look simply good but probably are of no use at all. You want them anyway? Then come by here and discover a world of rare snails, fossil wood, noble viennese glass or garden gadgets. You will find something you would never have guessed you could use, for sure!