As part of Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary, we were invited to spend three days in the capital of Switzerland, Geneva. While we had already been there several times before, we hadn’t taken the time to really immerse ourselves in this wonder of nature and man.
In a short twenty-four hours, Geneva has more to offer than many other cities around the world.
Our Geneva experience started with a pleasant ride on Segway mopeds from the Kempinski hotel up to the old St-Pierre Cathedral in La Vieille-Ville, the drizzle not affecting our excitement and good mood. After a hearty Swiss fondue at the luxurious 17th century residence Hotel Les Armures, we headed to La Réserve Genève Hôtel by Lake Leman, one of the nicest spots in the city. That night, we celebrated the 175 years of Patek Philippe in a grandiose and lavish manner.
The next morning, off we were to Cave & Domaine Les Perrières, a two century old vineyard and one of biggest domains in Geneva. With its own yards spanning across hundreds of acres, and a production capacity so large it has villagers from surrounding areas bring over their grapes for wine production, the domain offers seventeen extremely diverse different grape varieties. At the heart of Geneva’s vineyards just a few kilometers outside the city, Les Perrières has built a long-lasting heritage by raising eight generations of passionate winemakers who have mastered the art of classic winemaking while using the latest oenological techniques. Taking a stroll between the vines, we were impressed with the terroir’s soil of clay and molasses, a combination that surely provides a very adequate base for the vines to grow. We tasted reds, whites and rosés, sparkling and sweet wines, and can humbly attest to the highly deserved medals Domaine Les Perrières has accumulated throughout the years!
After lunch, we travelled back in time at the Patek Philippe Museum, discovering treasures and secrets behind fine watchmaking.
On the last sunny-October day, we visited the Geneva Jet d’Eau, a landmark fountain rising 140 meters in Lake Geneva, and learned about the intricate mechanism that activates it. The fountain “announces” the start of the day every morning at 10am when it is launched; we had the honour to push the launch button and kickstart the water jet -a privilege most locals have never had. A boat ride on Lake Leman with a splendid view of the city complemented the nautical experience: a strongly advised activity if visiting Geneva.
After having lunch by the lake, we dropped by the Beau Rivage hotel into the kitchen of Chef Dominique Gauthier at Le Chat Botté, where we learned how to cook his delectable foie gras poêlé with black olive confit.
Then, to indulge our sweet tooth, we visited the chocolate heaven of Swiss maître chocolatier Philippe Pascoët just outside Geneva: an incredible sensory awakening where aromas, flavours, different types of chocolate, sugars, fruit purees and herbs dance around divinely, culminating in bold chocolates, macaroons and sweet treats. As luck would have it, we participated in the preparation of fruity chocolate pieces that we brought back for our friends in Dubai to enjoy. We are still dreaming of the scent and taste of these little bits of happiness…
Picture a city that brings the world together. A city that offers premium education, remarkable culture, exciting discoveries, watch novelties, art events and so much more. You just visited Geneva.
A big thank you to Geneva Tourism and Patek Philippe for creating new unforgettable memories for us!