Since it opened its first lounge in Paris’s posh Faubourg St Honoré in 1996, the boho-chic vibe of restaurateur Raymond Visan’s Buddha-Bar has been slowly infiltrating the coolest spots in the globe’s hippest cities.
Known for its exotic cuisine, atmospheric décor and avant-garde sounds, the brand today boasts a network of restaurants, hotels, spas, beauty care lines and music covering everywhere from Lyon to London and Manila to Marrakech.
And now finally – some might even say about time – it’s coming to Switzerland for a limited period this summer in order to mark a very special occasion.
From July 18 to August 11, for the first time since 1999, the town of Vevey is hosting its Unesco-protected Fête des Vignerons winegrowers’ festival. It’s only the 12th ever edition of this rare event, which began in 1797 and can be held no more than five times a century. A 30m-high stage will be erected in the town’s market square where 1,200 musicians and 5,000 performers will entertain a predicted 400,000 spectators with a show orchestrated by Daniele Finzi Pasca, the artistic director behind the Turin 2006 and Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic closing ceremonies.
Vevey's 150-year-old Grand Hôtel du Lac by Lake Geneva will be marking this once-in-a-generation event by welcoming the Buddha-Bar Beach to Switzerland for the very first time. From July 1 to August 18, you’ll be able to experience all the heady sights, sounds and tastes of the Parisian institution at a unique pop-up lounge in the hotel’s transformed pool and gardens.
Sip on specially created cocktails whipped up by a crack team of mixologists. Share a delicious selection of the brand’s signature Asian, oriental and Mediterranean fusion dishes put together with top ingredients. Laze around by the pool to a soundtrack of the Buddha-Bar music label's trademark subtle global electro sounds.
Hotel director Luc Califano promises a treat for the senses that adds up to an all-encompassing experience to remember: ‘We want to offer more than just an invitation to travel around the world's flavours,’ he says. ‘We want to offer an unprecedented experience to a young and demanding public.’
The hotel's festival celebrations don’t stop there, either. For ten days from July 18 it will also be offering its own culinary tribute to Ticino-born artistic director Finzi Pasca in the form of Maison Ticino. So, embrace your fête and head over to its relaxed La Véranda brasserie for exquisite Ticino specialties cooked up by hotel chef Thomas Neeser and Michelin-starred guests from the region.
Buddha-Bar Beach, Grand Hôtel du Lac, Rue d'Italie 1, Vevey (www.ghdl.ch/en, 021 925 06 06). Jul 1 to Aug 11, daily 11am-11pm. Grand Opening party Jun 27 from 6pm.