Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Switzerland, Day Trip, Vevey, Montreux

MyStylist Travel Advisory

Were To Go

Vevey! As I mentioned in my last blog, Vevey, Switzerland is an incredibly charming town to wonder round, especially in what is known as the “Old Village.” It is one hour from Geneva’s international airport, accessible by train and bus and perfect for an afternoon of shopping, cheese smelling and tasting or chocolate browsing and buying.

What to do

Ever on the look out for out-of-the-ordinary shops, I found two in the Old Village that should be part of any “fashion” day trip to Vevey. Un Air De Famille, Rue du Conseil 5, is a stylish vagabond’s paradise. The clothes are alternative; almost costume, modern and antique at the same time, touches of whimsy and flavors of “the homemade.” You don’t have to be a fashion hound to appreciate the merchandising. Anyone with a love for antiques or Victorian attics will loose themselves. Expect to discover designers: Myrine & Me, NOA NOA and Ewa iWalla–very cool.

Your next stop should be Balthazar, 32, rue du Lac. The store’s colorful, kid-like pop-art merchandise screams “Come and see!” Proprietor Valerie Jobin lives above the store. Her decidedly cheerful buying choices stand out on a street that sets a more serious fashion tone. It’s fun. Check it out.

What to wear

Considering you are right on the lake (Geneva), dress warmer than you might think. Avoid small pointy heals–cobblestones! And dress comfortably elegant–I threw on a wool shawl, grey cords and a big chunky necklace.

What to eat

See my last blog post for the place we picked. Both restaurant and chocolate shop, Poyet fulfilled my Swiss fantasy of relaxing in a cozy spot near Lake Geneva, coffee and cookie en route to mouth!

What else

This area, encompassing the Swiss towns of Montreux and Vevey, is called the Swiss Riviera for its microclimate. The vegetation is varied; palm trees, pines and pansies occupy the same space. A walking path along the lake connects Montreux and Vevey. Get on it, if even for a short stroll.

Note: Montreux Vevey Tourisme offers the Montreux Riviera Card, a discount card worth investigating.

This time of year the “Montreux Noel” is ringing Christmas bells! Considered the finest Christmas market in Switzerland, chalets erected along the quays and the Grand-Rue are enchantingly decorated to welcome visitors and make them swoon with Christmas nostalgia.

Fellow travel dude, Ramsey Quebein and I discover Vevey.
Follow Ramsey for daily travel tips on Twitter.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Stylish Swiss Old Lady

When I’m older, I’d like to be Swiss. They are stylish bread, the Swiss old lady. She’s got her sturdy shoes; low heals, just heavy enough to withstand cobblestones, but not too clunky, junky. Her hosiery is sensible too, slightly thick for support and warmth. The calf length skirt she wears of a wool blend in an understated grey, camel or hunter, coupled with a cardigan or turtleneck are stylish choices meant to withstand time. She’s not changing her look from season to season, year to year. Then there is the scarf, silk, useful, beautiful.

I saw several of these iconic matrons during my trip to Switzerland last week. They impressed me mostly because they make such an effort to be “put together,” tidy, which is really the first step toward looking and feeling good.

One restaurant slash chocolate store in Vevey, Switzerland called Poyet, seemed to attract a well-dressed set, including my old-lady ideal. I wanted to know everyone’s story. The old man with the teenager, the elderly lady with bright orange hair and lipstick to match, the man with the velvet jacket reading the paper–they all had a tale. What’s more they seemed to be taking time to actually just sit, stare, listen and sip. It was a Tuesday afternoon almost rush hour, but no one was in a hurry.

Unfortunately, I couldn't surreptitiously grab a decent shot of any of these fine old ladies. So picture of the lovely Poyet and its chocolate will have to suffice.

Why not grab a silk scarf, slip into a straight long skirt, low heals and some pearls. Be traditional, worldly and timeless right now...A few suggestions below.

Swiss Matron Look