Vevey: More than the Market
The town of Vevey in Western Switzerland is well worth a visit for its Saturday morning market alone: the lively market ambience, amazing array of fruits, vegetables and local specialties and its location right off the water. It’s even more of a destination during the summer months when there’s folk music, artisanal crafts and unlimited wine tasting as well. But without the ordinary market or even le marché folklorique, I’d still recommend a visit to Vevey. It has a beautiful spot on Lake Geneva, narrow, winding streets to wander around, tons of cafés, as well as shops overflowing with cheese, meringues and chocolates shaped like Charlie Chaplin’s shoes.
…Not to mention a gigantic fork standing upright on the water!
The old town is as charming as they come. Clean and colorful, with inviting storefronts, boulangeries, patisseries, souvenir shops and more.
After seeing chocolates in the shape of Charlie Chaplin’s shoes and a statue of him just off the lake on Quai Perdonnet, you’ll begin to wonder why. The English comedic actor and filmmaker moved to Vevey about 25 years before his death in 1977 and is buried there along with wife Oona. His former mansion in the village of Corsier (not far, just uphill from the center of Vevey) is now the Chaplin Museum. You’ll want to get those caramel-filled chocolate shoes at Povet, so you can check out their other chocolates and pastries too – and they even offer chocolate classes throughout the year. If you’re more interested in cheese than chocolate (why not both?!), then you must not miss the Laiterie de la Grenette. And it’s hard to miss, so no worries. With cow print fabrics lining its tables and a corner spot just off the main market square, you’ll be standing in line ordering your double crème in no time. After that, you’ll want to put aside some time to visit the boutique next door, L’Air du Temps, a real find for anyone interested in food, wine and high-end tchotchkes. I bought a few chocolate bars and beautiful cards with Swiss designs, but left behind the antique bread slicer that weighed 100 lbs and did not come cheap. It’s a small shop with tons of stuff – Laguiole knives, tea from Paris’ Mariages Frères, coffee, cookbooks and lots of great gift ideas.
We only had a short day in Vevey, so I wasn’t able to do everything I had in mind. The Swiss Camera Museum, which celebrates 30 years in 2009, is high on my list for the next visit. There’s also a Museum of the History of Vevey and a Swiss Museum of Games. Not to mention the city of Montreux just a short boat or train ride away. It’s most well known for the big jazz festival in July, and I bet I’ll have a whole list of addresses to check out there too.
There is however one museum in Vevey for which I absolutely did make time. And it’s no coincidence that it’s sponsored by Nestlé. That will also help explain the big fork. Stay tuned…!
Laiterie de la Grenette
27 rue des Deux Marchés
8 rue du Théâtre 8
L’Air du Temps
25 rue des Deux Marchés
Charlie Chaplin Museum
Le Manoir de Ban
Musée Suisse de l’Appareil Photographique
Musée Historique de Vevey
2 rue du Château
Musée du Jeu
1814 La Tour-de-Peilz