The past month came in like an avalanche. From back to back travels to Turkey and the Philippines for work to a hand surgery. The next thing I knew, it’s 16 days before Christmas and 21 days before our long-awaited holiday in the Philippines.
After a very long year, it’s been hard for me to step on the breaks and enjoy the most festive season of the year – Christmas and New Year. So, Aaron and I decided to check out the Christmas Market in Parc des Bastions to get into the holiday mood and it worked!
Noël aux Bastions is a new Christmas Market in Geneva this year and probably the largest one. This Christmas Market mostly has food stalls (almost similar to the Street Food Festivals in Geneva this year) and few artisanal shops.
Parc des Bastions is a beautiful park to walk around so, I like the idea that this is more of a food Christmas Market than shops. I personally enjoy walking around with an artisanal macaroon on my left hand and with hot coco on my right hand.
The highlight of the Christmas Market is the chalet serving traditional Swiss fondue. We decided to have our lunch here and our first fondue of the season.
Le Chalet à Fondue can accommodate up to 150 people. On the right is the bar area and on the left is the restaurant. We were there for lunch on a Saturday and the place was packed. Based from our experience, it is a must to book a table in advance. There was a queue to get a table for people who made reservations in advanced. Maybe it was because it’s the first weekend or maybe because it’s the weekend. Either way, despite having a booking, it took us 15-20 minutes to get a table and another 20-30 minutes for the entire process of getting of finally eating.
I wouldn’t say that the service is bad. In fact the staff were working really hard to be as quick as they could but there’s just way too many people. They need more staff and more machines to process the orders and bills (there was only 1-set of equipment to punch in the orders, print the receipts and process payments).
After finishing our fondue, we decided to get our dessert-s from the stalls. One stall I recommend is the artisanal macaroons. From a classic chocolate to a more interesting ones like the foie gras and red onions confit. We got each of them. We haven’t tasted everything yet but our favorite so far is the salted caramel butter.
Next was the search for a hot coco. To my disappointment, the “bar” stalls don’t serve hot chocolate drinks – just coffee and hot cider. Good thing we found the Bailey stall, which serves hot chocolate drink… with Baileys of course. It was nice but it would be great to have non alcoholic hot chocolate drinks.
Out of curiosity, we also tried these chocolate-coated mousse-like marshmallows. They’re very sweet and goes well with coffee.
This new Christmas Market in Geneva is worth visiting. Aside from the food stalls and shops, there’s also a small ice skating rink for the kids. We’ll be back for raclette, mulled wine, and more fondue here in the coming days.