The regions of Lausanne and Montreux-Vevey are amongst the most renowned in Switzerland for the art of entertaining. With regional specialities and gourmet menus, the cuisine on offer on the Vaud Riviera is as rich as it is creative.
With more than 50 toque- and star-rated restaurants, totalling over 600 points in Gault Millau and 12 Michelin stars, even the most demanding of gourmets will be well and truly satisfied. And those seeking authenticity will be delighted with the typical Vaud bars serving regional produce accompanied by local wines in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. With cheese fondue, papet vaudois, fillets of perch or Arctic charr from Lake Geneva, smoked sausage or boutefas sausage... there's something to excite the taste buds of all food lovers!
For those wishing to combine the pleasures of walking with the delights of the table, there are numerous excursions offering the possibility to sample a wide range of delicious dishes. During the summer, educational trails lead to the inns and cafés of the high mountain pastures where all manner of regional produce can be enjoyed. A little later in the season, in September, the "Route Gourmande" takes in the Montreux vineyards and offers participants the chance to experience a whole range of gastronomic specialities and regional wines en route.
Throughout the year, markets, fayres and "open cellar" events enable visitors to meet with producers and grape growers to enjoy the seasonal fruits of their harvest.
From vine to wine
Inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list since June 2007 on account of its extraordinary natural beauty, the Lavaux Vineyard is also known as the "Land of the three suns": the sun from the sky that warms the slopes; the sun on the lake that acts as a mirror and the sun on the walls that keep in the heat.
In a well-exposed position overlooking the lake between Lausanne and Montreux, this splendid terraced vineyard produces vintages with fine, subtle bouquets using mainly the Chasselas grape to create a wine which is especially fruity, dry and heady. As the soil in the region is very diverse, each wine, according to its appellation, has its own particular character.
With 830 hectares of vines, Lavaux has eight appellations d'origine contrôlée (AOC): Lutry, Villette, Epesses, St-Saphorin, Dézaley (Grand Cru), Calamin (Grand Cru), Chardonne and Vevey-Montreux. These different wines can be tasted at the vineyard itself, in the cellars, and also in a typical carnotzet (drinking room) or in one of the gites in the surrounding villages. A visit to one of the chic wine bars offering numerous regional and international wines is also highly recommended.