Time to kill in Zurich?

April 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve spend quite a long time hanging about in Zürich over the years returning home from various trips to the alps and much preferring to fly from Zürich rather than Geneva. If you find yourself in the same position and are feeling a bit hungry, then read on.

First of all, how long do you have before your flight home?

2 hours

A trip to the Steiner bakery, Migros supermarket and Confiserie Sprüngli, all in the airport shopping complex will provide you with the wherewithall for a cheese fondue plus dainty dessert for your return home, or a superior snack to produce on your aircraft tray table to the envy of your fellow passengers.

And it’s your last chance to grab a Brezel, the chewy knotted bread addictively flavoured with lye (aka caustic soda – I kid you not) which was the European forerunner to the American pretzel. A far cry from the packets of dry industrial snacks we know as pretzels back home. Pick up a plain one or, if you prefer, a split and buttered one filled with cheese or ham to make a superior sandwich, at the “Brezel Koenig” (Pretzel King!) outlet at Zürich airport. Fast food with a Swiss twist…

3-4 hours

Probably worth breaking your journey to the airport by getting off a couple of stops early at Zürich’s magnificent main station the Hauptbahnhof. Enjoy a last taste of Swiss food together with some great people-watching opportunities at the stately institution which is the Brasserie Féderal within the main station concourse. It makes me wonder why we don’t have decent restaurants in stations back home in the UK. We have to make do with a snatched stale baguette and a half gallon of overpriced milky coffee. I would love to see a proper station brasserie within Manchester’s characterful Piccadilly or Victoria station buildings but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon…

After your meal, you’ve probably still got time to wander into Zürich’s main shopping district to the Jelmoli department store, a bustling glass and steel building:

which hides its secret food hall, the Gourmet Factory, in its basement:

It’s a great place for browsing and for picking up odd delicacies like Hawaiian black salt, a handful of imported wild mushrooms, a pack of Piedmont rice to pop in your hand luggage.

5-6 hours

Lucky you! It’s worth heading off to Zürich’s atmospheric Old Town for a light lunch or spot of afternoon tea at the glamorous Café Péclard at Schober. Café-Konditorei Schober was an old Zürich institution given a makeover in 2009 by restaurant entrepreneur Michel Péclard. Think of Péclard as a Swiss version of Oliver Peyton or Terence Conran. The building has been completely renovated but keeping the quirky charm of its various rooms – think chandeliers, exotic murals and red velvet chairs.

Péclard’s next step was to hire French master-pâtissier Patrick Mésiano, the 36 year old Niçois with a Joël Robuchon pedigree who now has outlets of his own in Antibes and Monaco as well as this new Zürich venture. Mésiano’s influence is immediately apparent in the displays of elegant macarons, pâtisserie and chocolate in the shop which fronts the café interior.

Gaze first of all at the elegant wedding cakes in the window:

Then head inside past the pâtisserie and chocolate displays and wait to be seated:

And enjoy a signature hot chocolate and a dainty morsel or two in one of the café’s elegant rooms.

A place to see and be seen, not just for entertaining your maiden aunt.

As you leave, you can’t fail to notice the inviting shopfront of Heinrich Schwarzenbach, tea and coffee supplier to Péclard at Schober plus supplier of groceries sourced from all over the world. A great place to browse by all accounts but sadly as it was a Sunday when I visited I had to content myself with window shopping:

Contact details

Migros
www.migros.ch

Steiner
www.flughafebeck.ch

Confiserie Sprüngli
www.spruengli.ch

Brezel Koenig
www.brezelkoenig.ch

Brasserie Féderal
Bahnhofplatz 1
8001 Zurich, Switzerland
+41 (0)44 217 15 15
www.candriancatering.ch

Jelmoli
Seidengasse 1
8001 Zurich
+41 (0)44 220 44 11
www.jelmoli.ch

Péclard at Schober
Napfgasse 4
8001 Zürich
+41 (0)44 251 51 50
http://peclard-zurich.ch/

Schwarzenbach Kolonialwaren Kaffeerösterei
Münstergasse 19
8001 Zürich
+41 (0)44 261 13 15
www.schwarzenbach.ch

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Time to kill in Zurich? at The Rhubarb Fool.

meta

%d bloggers like this: