If there’s one thing above all that my husband and I love sharing, it’s a good restaurant. I could explain this by the fact that he’s French and Swiss, and French people love food and wine. But the truth is that I’ve had a passion for gastronomy since my childhood and teenage years, when I used to spend part of my summer holidays with my godmother in Castelldefels, a beautiful seaside village not far away from Barcelona. She used to own a fantastic restaurant and every summer I had the chance to have dinner there every day for a month. She also loved taking me to other good restaurants in the area, so I can say that it’s thanks to her that I became a real foodie.
Meeting Philippe made things worse (or better, depending on how you see things) as he introduced me to French cuisine and gastronomic restaurants. We’ve been together for almost 15 years now and during that time we’ve been to an unreasonable number of restaurants. As I’ve already written a few times on this blog, I wish we were into sports instead 😉
I must admit that gastronomy, as understood by the Michelin guide, wasn’t something I was used to. Not at all in fact. It always makes me smile when I remember the first weekend we spent together. He invited me to a château in Burgundy, one of those places where there are no prices on the ladies’ menu (yes, these menus still exist). We had both just started working after leaving university and hadn’t saved any money yet. So when I had a glimpse at the menu and saw the price of the wine, I was so stressed about it that I could no longer enjoy the meal!
Fifteen years later, I am very familiar with the price of French wine 😉
Although we still love eating out at a good restaurant, you can imagine that the number of gastronomic experiences we indulge in has dramatically dropped. Let’s be honest: it’s not easy to relish a 5-course meal with amuse-bouches and petits fours when your baby or toddler is getting up from the table a thousand times. Not to mention how people sitting at other tables stare at you when the baby cries or yells… Besides, we used to enjoy going out in the evening, which is not the best time for babies to do so too.
But for some time now, we’ve found a compromise so that we can continue to enjoy our passion for food WITH the kids and without the challenges of evening dinners. Now, when we want to celebrate something, we go for a brunch.
A brunch is ideal with kids. It doesn’t last too long, there’s often a buffet, so you can get up from the table as much as you want and it’s the time of the day when kids are not too tired yet.
The challenge in Geneva is finding child-friendly restaurants or child-friendly places in general. The challenge is pretty much the same in many countries, but it’s surprising to realize how difficult it can be in Switzerland, one of the countries with the best quality of life in the world. I haven’t yet found a Mammaproof initiative over here, and it’s quite frustrating for young, active parents. In any case, we still are miles away from what Scandinavian countries offer to families.
That’s why I’ve decided to write about the child-friendly places I discover. Whether you live in Switzerland or are just visiting, these are the places I wish I had known before!
A couple of weekends ago we celebrated Philippe’s and his father’s birthdays brunching at the Parc des Eaux-Vives restaurant. We knew the place because of their amazing food and views (there’s a breath-taking view of the lake), but we didn’t know they also did Sunday brunch.
Why we loved it:
- The most appealing for us is that they have a huge playroom with someone looking after the kids for free.
- The food is really nice. They have a buffet with plenty of things. At the beginning I was disappointed there were no eggs in the buffet, but you can order them directly from the waiters.
- There’s a candy buffet for kids (I know, not very healthy, but from time to time…).
- Children don’t pay until 6 and pay half price from 6 to 12.
- They have fresh orange juice. This may seem stupid, but I get quite frustrated when they serve bottled orange juice in these kind of restaurants.
- There’s plenty of families with kids, so you don’t feel nervous when your kid cries or runs. It’s normal.
When we were there, the weather was awful, but the restaurant is situated in the middle of a beautiful park where kids can play, and there’s a wonderful terrace for summer days.
It may seem a little bit expensive but, honestly, compared to other places in Geneva, the price difference is not excessive considering what you get. We’re not going out as much as we used to, so when we do, we really want to enjoy the experience.
As you can see on the pictures, Inés enjoyed it very much. She was really proud as she ordered crepes herself at the buffet!