LOVELY LAUSANNE: QUARTIER DU FLON
Much too often I hear people complaining about Lausanne: how small of a town it is, the lack of inspiration, the steep, steep hills or the countless pharmacies and kebab shops on every street corner (they are honestly two of life’s essentials so I really don’t know what you’re complaining about).
I get it, it is a small town but it is the perfect town. It’s a town full of opportunity for people starting up businesses, working independently or looking to develop new ideas and I honestly don’t know if I would be where I am today if I didn’t live here.
Last week, I was asked by the Quartier du Flon to share some of my favourite spots in the area and it felt like such a great fit as there’s nothing I like more than sharing my love for this town. So… here goes, a little walk around the Flon, with Hannah behind the lens, showing off some awesome places in town.
Where to get inspired?
I wanted to start with a new spot in town that you might not have heard about…
Les Garages opened a couple of weeks ago and it feels like Lausanne’s version of the Boxpark in Shoreditch, London. The row of little boxes *cue me singing the Weeds soundtrack* is slowly filling up with some fantastic little art galleries, clothes shops and artisanal shops.
This is KA/NOA (Rue des Côtes-de-Montbenon 5), a shop selling no-nonsense Italian mens clothing. They have a selection of beautiful and comfortable pieces made in Italy.
My main new discovery was the Club d’Art Contemporain (Les Garages 7, Côtes-de-Montbenon 3), a little gallery spread over two floors, home to a beautiful selection of pieces from Swiss-based artists. I had a lovely conversation with the gallery owner, Agnieszka, about buying art. I feel like much too often people are spending money on commercial prints instead of original artwork that’s not necessarily more expensive and I absolutely love talking to gallery owners about how young professionals who don’t really have the budget can go about buying art and filling their homes with pieces they love.
I also popped into the Galerie Heinzer Relser (Rue des Côtes-de-Montbenon 3) just next door, where they had a collection of pieces by Sophie Bouvier Ausländer, a Lausanne-born artist who studied at ECAL.
If you’ve lived in Lausanne for a little while, it’s crazy to think just how much the Flon has changed over the last 10-15 years and Les Garages is such an impressive example of the transformation. It feels like just yesterday this line of shops was a street of graffitied garage boxes.
Where to shop?
There are lots of great shops in the Flon but I wanted to mention two that I love. Firstly, Vom Fass (Voie du Chariot 5), who were really the pioneers in package-free shops here in Switzerland. They sell fantastic olive oil, vinegar, whisky… more of life’s essentials. Need I say more?
And the second place I wanted to mention is the Moyard pop-up shop (Rue de Genève 19) which is a beautiful, big open space showcasing a wide variety of interior pieces that have been carefully selected and styled.
I mean, hello velvety sofas and carpets and chairs that match my handbag.
I sometimes forget that we’ve got places like this around town and yes, the pieces are pricey but the service is excellent and if you’re looking for a few pieces of designer furniture, places like Moyard are great to get a real feel for how they might fit into your home.
Where to grab a coffee?
This place falls somewhere in between where to shop and where to grab a coffee. The Galerie Port Franc (Rue de Genève 21) is a vintage furniture shop but also has a small café inside where they are so true to their concept that they have an original coffee machine from the 1960s that they still use to make their coffee. It’s not somewhere I go very often but it is a total escape and a cool place for a little brainstorm or if you want to take someone somewhere new. Plus, the Grin family have been in the business (and the area) for 28 years so they really know their stuff when it comes to retro interior pieces.
I couldn’t be in the Flon without mentioning Blackbird’s Downtown Diner (Route de Bel Air 1) which is somewhere I do go all the time. It’s my go-to place for a bowl of bircher when I’ve got nothing for breakfast and quick lunch meetings.
If I’m looking to get some serious work done and need to get away from my office at home, I like sitting at the back of Bad Hunter (Rue des Côtes-de-Montbenon 12). The room is bright and airy with big tables and is often less busy than the space upstairs. I’m not crazy about the food but the smoothies are great and because you order at the counter, they kind of just let you do your own thing which is really nice.
Where to eat?
I don’t know why but I don’t eat out in the Flon area much but when I do, I often go to Istanbul Grill & More (Rue des Côtes-de-Montbenon 20), a Turkish restaurant with good food. I always get their selection of mezze where you can pile as much as you can eat on your plate and you can sit outside on the terrace for the ultimate people watching session right in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Quartier du Flon, or at the back inside for a slightly cosier ambiance.
And there we go… a little selection of my favourite spots in the Quartier du Flon. It’s crazy to think that this area was once “downtown Lausanne” and considered a “rough” area of town. There are now so many lovely places to discover. Did I miss any of your favourites?
Photos by Hannah Shan Photography
Have a wonderful start to the week and see you back here soon! xS
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with the Quartier du Flon.