EAT in Zurich:
Haya Molcho goes Zurich. But don't worry, she obviously stays in Vienna too. The Israeli-Austrian celebrity chef makes a present to the Limmat city with her coriander, thyme and chutney creations that are served at Neni in the 25hours hotel. Neni - that stands for the name of her four sons: Nuriel, Elior, Nadiv and Ilan. Three of them work for the family business because cooking is a joint ritual for the Molchos. In order to make everything authentically Neni-like in Zurich, Haya has personally trained the kitchen staff around Peter Schüler and even revealed some of her culinary secrets. The former all find their way into the pot and result in an international culinary mix: Persian, Russian, Arabic, Moroccan, Turkish, Romanian, French, Spanish, German, Austrian and Swiss. Put more practically: fennel-pomegranate salad with roasted nuts and stained salmon. Enjoy your meal!
Balance is the key - Indians have known that for 5,000 years. If you stick to this method and eat Ayurveda, you are in line with the universe. That's the idea behind the Restaurant Mohini, completely devoted to striving for harmony. And that's how it is done: Chef de Cuisine Valentin Schmid puts everything that the tongue can discern as taste in the pot, mixing bitter, sweet, hot, salty and sour in the right proportion. While he is the last to taste the meals, he keeps them hot three hours maximum, serving them only for lunch, because one shouldn't eat in the evening, and if at all, only light stuff. But lighter is not possible anyway: Zucchini with coriander, organic rice with tofu and mint tea make nutritionists hearts leap higher, promising meals that make guests find their balance, for sure. And if they haven't found it yet, the energy gained from so many vegetables is just fine for another city tour. Meat eaters, by the way, need not have a bad conscience: Ayurveda allows beef and other meats on the plate, however, only for the very sick and the emaciated. The Mohini, however, does not offer nursing services and is strictly vegetarian.
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:
Greulich (sounds like grey or gruesome in German) is not the best name, however, it derives from the street name there, and the street is named after a renowned labour movement politician. The refined understatement is palpable all over the district. Where once the clack of heavy boots resounded, the creative scene walks high-heeled about its showrooms. Designers also gave the finishing touches to the hotel, paying tribute to the thirties and fifties above all. Function and colour dominate the interior of the design hotel - here a bit of secretive blue, Mediterranean shades over there, interrupted by a lot of glass for the perfect view of the inner courtyard. And it's this view that surprises: Instead of the usual three wooden tables with open sunshades you find birch trees, conveying a lot of tranquillity amidst the scene district. The rooms are devoted to Zen as well: Purity, indirect lighting and minimalism at its best. The business people like that and the cuisine as well, Catalan specialties following the topical principal of slow food. And if you have eaten your food real slowly, you can slowly light a cigar at the Cigar Lounge. Double room from 180 euros per night.
The Hotel Zürichberg is well off with its top location: on a hill above the town, amidst rolling hills, meadows and woods, with a terrific view of Zurich and the lake. Here, guests can rest and recreate, protected from noise and stress. The Art Nouveau building's façade hides what awaits you inside: top-class design. Noble parquet floors, shades in mauve and red and great designers such as Arne Jacobsen and Jasper Morrison forebode only good things for a good night's sleep. And late sleepers and caffeine junkies have only to steps to walk before reaching their own Nespresso machine on their room. While George Clooney is not included, the noble Restaurant R21 has other goodies in store. The Mediterranean cuisine is almost as attractive as George. We recommend a glass of champagne on the breathtaking terrace of Zürichberg and lots of idleness. And if that's not enough for you, you can also set out on a discovery trip in the woods behind the hotel. Double room from 219 Euros per night.
The Kindli is one of these honest hotels one likes to visit and likes to leave again. And one likes to remind it. Here, they've been in the hospitality business for 500 years already. While in former times the pious ones with their very pious thoughts flocked to the Christian hospice and its very pious landlord, today's guests wash away their sins on Grander water. They put their heads on Hästens pillows and pray that their credit cards last through their shopping sprees at Zurich's top designers around the corner. But also the restaurant is worth its price: While the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine has not much room for tight belts, it has made room for Hanny Fries, whose pictures are on the restaurant's wall. On the wine card you find the noblest champagne as well as red and white wines from all over the world. One thing for sure: With its fountain in front of the windows, its Laura Ashley style and the church bells in the morning, the Kindli is one of the most romantic hotels in town. Whether it's still as pious as in former times we can't say. Double room from 277 Euros per night.
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!
Kreislauf 4+5 is the creative heart of Zurich: Here, fledgling designers create the labels of tomorrow, artists invent the art of tomorrow in their studios and chefs conjure up the cuisine of tomorrow. Everything that has to do with art, trend or style is at home here. And so it was only a question of time before the artists' quarter installed its own open house. The latter is called Kreislauf 4+5 here, introducing all visitors to a creative microcosm that offers anything connected with a city's lifestyle. Every May you can browse around in architectural books, buy unique furniture or devote yourself to fusion food over a coffee. Whatever you need, you can buy it at Kreislauf. And a book of the same name serves as guide through the large quarter including portraits of all stores around here. And if that's still not enough you can go on a 2-hour tour with insiders that will point out your favourite stores.
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.
SHOPPING in Zurich:
Where the world is still a disc, the world is fine. At the Zero Zero you won't find a double zero as it sells only the best the music world has in store. At the perhaps best-assorted and largest record store in town music fans will find anything their heart desires. A comprehensive discography of rock's history, a lot of reggae and much Indie is big here. Our tip: If you arrive here on Thursdays, DJ Rexx will advise you and he is a true expert. You cannot only buy records here but also the fitting streetwear. Labels like Superdry, Abercombie and Goorin are the right outfits for Hip Hop and Co. And if you own something that you don't need anymore you've found the right place, too. The Zero Zero buys anything in the fields of CD, DVD, records or games. They even pick up bulkier stuff at your home. There is one genre though that even deters the wildest record dealers: The store doesn't sell hits and they are not bought here either.
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!