Paddle on the lake, architectural walks and discovery of the yacht club designed by Philippe Starck for Michel Reybier.
Eileen Hofer – journalist and filmmaker
Two years ago, I was walking along the edge of Lake Zurich, in Seefeld. We had to squeal the brakes of the car, an obligatory maneuver, so as not to crush an Apollo in swimming shorts who was crossing the asphalt barefoot.
This God fallen from Olympus had wedged an inflatable paddle under his arm, the water of the lake still streaming over his swollen pecs. I regretted for a long time not having knocked him down, it would have allowed me to accompany him to the emergency room and, between two consultations, to get to know each other…
This fall, it’s my turn to cross the Quai Uto, which runs along the lake, in a bathing suit. With the difference that my paddle is kindly carried by the porter of La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich located opposite the promenade, between Bellevue and Zürichhorn. Isn’t it funny to cross, across the Sarine, a wharf in a bikini in the middle of rush hour? I take advantage of the Indian summer which stretches out to spend an hour on the lake when it is not yet 9am.
During this escapade, I will also enjoy the Seebad Utoquai. As a five-star guest, you enjoy unlimited access to these public baths built 120 years ago. This “bathing palace”, so nicknamed because of its two domed towers, removed during the 1942 renovation, is located a minute’s walk from the hotel’s 40 rooms and suites.
We owe the wooden construction and the Moorish style of the basins and terraces to William Henri Marti. If swimmers who are not too chilly join the fixed rafts in the lake in the crawl, the employees of neighboring companies take advantage of a ray of sunshine at noon, time to take a bite.
This seaside stay continues with a visit to the city on a small queen. You can borrow Miloo’s new electric bikes from reception. Thick “beast” tires would make a Harley-Davidson green with envy. We cross the tram tracks without anxiety. Enough to zigzag among the 70 green spaces of the city. You walk along the botanical garden and its tropical greenhouses to padlock your bicycle in front of the Le Corbusier pavilion a few pedal strokes from the hotel.
Located in a green setting, this last steel and glass building entirely designed by the Franco-Swiss architect was completed in 1967. The initiator of this now listed monument, Heidi Weber, also a patron and gallery owner, was the president and curator of this museum center for half a century. Since 2019, the pavilion has been managed as a public museum by the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich on behalf of the City.
In this total work of art, Le Corbusier demonstrates a synthesis of the arts: the interaction of architecture and furniture, painting, tapestry, plastic and graphic arts and photography, according to the temporary exhibitions. 50 meters away, in the Chinagarten, the Chinese garden with its pond and small palace pays homage to Kunming, Zurich’s twin city. A guaranteed change of scenery!
Sailing and meditation
As the weekend is intended to be sporty, we push the physical exercise to the end of its limits, well almost… It is by titillating the speed 5 of our bike, that we reach the den at 25 km/hour. by Carl Gustav Jung. The family residence of the psychoanalyst overlooks, in Küsnacht, a garden and a private beach and is open three days a week to the public. He rushes to the entrance so as not to miss the visit.
Internal telephone, central heating, private car, the Jung family wanted to be at the forefront of period technologies. The family moved there in 1909. If Jung worked in a clinic, he now opened his office upstairs. The rule is simple: it must not be disturbed unless there is a fire or a war. The session with the pioneer of depth psychology will be altered on August 3, 1914 with the excuse that Germany has just declared war on France…
We also learn that Einstein and Freud visited him. Grandpa, as Jung was nicknamed, read thrillers sitting in his library. On the first floor, it still has 5,000 books arranged by theme: spirituality, philosophy, anthropology, history, science, psychiatry, etc.
His patients came from all over the world. He received them twice a week in 50-minute sessions. Rooted in spirituality and religion, the scholar developed a new vision of the Christian message through psychoanalysis. And to wash his mind, he disappeared into the distance, alone on his sailboat to meditate on the waves.
We enter with one of his sentences in mind: “Clarity is not born from what we imagine the light, but from what we become aware of the dark. »
The imaginary yacht club
The rest of the evening will be spent at the hotel, between the ground floor and the rooftop. Dj Sophie mixes house new disco live from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the Eden Kitchen & Bar. They are three resident DJs to share the week. His creed? “Happy music and cool vibes!”
The brasserie and its executive chef Marco Ortolani have just been honored with a Michelin star. The open kitchen allows you to follow live the development of classic Italian cuisine with French and international influences. But tonight, having sipped his cocktail, we reach the establishment’s second restaurant, La Muña, by elevator.
The mild weather allowed us to dine on the rooftop and enjoy a 360° view of the historic center, the Alps in the distance and the lake. Inside, the tables are arranged under the framework of an old converted attic. Opened in 2020, the address quickly became the place to be for its gastronomy.
The specialties of chef Tomoko Gunji Hangartner (Miya) are shared like tapas and combine Peruvian flavors with Japanese Umami: miso with jalapeños, Gyu maki and its beef tataki with Suzuki ceviche with a backdrop of the ballet of boats gliding on the sleeping lake.
The hotel was redesigned by Philippe Starck, a sailor in his spare time. The designer offers here a timeless experience aboard an imaginary yacht club. And imagination, it doesn’t take much to come across Carl and Yaya, this couple of models and influencers staged by Ruben Östlund in his second Palme d’or “Without Filter” presented at Cannes this year. In this film on French-speaking screens at the moment, aren’t they invited on a yacht for a luxury cruise after Fashion Week?
If the building bears witness to the resort spirit of the early 20th century, the interior has been redesigned thanks to the brick walls, the marble bases and the solid wood floors unearthed under the layers of old tapestries and old wallpaper. A raw material sculpted by a play of lights which, associated with the choice of furniture, evokes this nautical universe. In short, there is no longer any need to go to the sea or risk a shipwreck, a nod to those who will see “Without Filter”.