The venerable Hotel Bristol (opened in 1896) now has more going for it than classy traditionally decorated rooms overlooking a quiet courtyard, and a prime location on Geneva's Right Bank just a block from the lake and the Mont Blanc bridge. The hotel's restaurant has just been re-invented as Côté Square.
We were recently treated to a tour of the kitchen with chef Bruno Marchal, followed by dinner. If he ever decides to leave the culinary arts (we hope he does not), he could become an architect.
Chef Marchal emphasizes fresh ingredients, fusion flavors and beautiful presentation, as shown in this pressed cod and crab garnished with the flowers and sprouts of borage.
The main course was a lovely lamb mignon with polenta and a creamy caviar of aubergine, of which I have exactly zero photos because I could not put down my knife and fork once I dove into my plate, my wife's plate and perhaps someone's at the next table.
Then came dessert. The filling was apricot sorbet with thyme and other exotic flavors.
The wife and I were very happy that our room was only an elevator ride away. If we had any more energy left before getting horizontal, we would have surveyed the far reaches of our giant bed. But it was too comfy for a detailed expedition.
The ravishing lady on the painting is Countess Guy du Boisrouvray, mother of the hotel's owner, Madame Albina du Boisrouvray:
The décor of the Bristol's rooms really reflects the intended clientele: Modern but tradition loving business people and travelers - and anyone else who, in the heart of bustling Geneva, likes a quiet courtyard outside the window.
There is more calmness at the restaurant's breakfast, a buffet complete with live harp music. It is just the place to center yourself in Geneva before launching your busy day in this international city.
Merci beaucoup to the Hotel Bristol and Chef Marchal for hosting our little group of travel writers to a night's stay and a wonderful dinner!