Every city needs a bit of quirky individuality, and it’s easy to feel that Geneva is somewhat lacking in that department. But it is there – if you squint a bit. One example is this bar-café built to resemble a 19th century ‘washing boat’, where women would gather to scrub their smalls in the river Rhône.
Moored on the river as it flows out of Lake Geneva, Bateau Lavoir is a lovely spot to go for a drink, a light lunch or an apéro as the sun goes down. Inside, there’s a cosy space with a wood burning stove where, on a cold winter’s day you can enjoy a fondue or a few beers while challenging your friends to a board game. In summer the rooftop terrace is a great spot to linger, soaking up the sun with the sound of water lapping at the side of the boat. Throughout the year the boat hosts live music events with the aim of providing a platform for local musicians.
It’s a great concept and an important one too – set up in 2012, it’s run by a social enterprise that offers internships to young people in difficulties to help them gain the skills necessary to get their lives on track.