In a city as small as Lausanne, it’s easy to make the mistake of believing that everything has already been seen and that all the good ideas have already been had. But for all the tracks that we’ve made across this town in the last six years, we never ventured beyond the Bellerive parking lot to visit the waterfront behind the CGN docks. Fortunately, a new little buvette has reclaimed this forgotten space and reminded us that creativity lurks in the most unlikely of places…
Earlier this summer, Jetée de la Compagnie started making its presence known on social media, and by the time we finally visited after our holidays two weeks ago, we discovered that plenty of other Lausannois had already taken heed. We were delighted by what we saw – new life along a forgotten and otherwise despondent back alley, boasting the best views in town.
Everything points to abandonment – the roots of plane trees obstinately push through the sidewalks. Saplings claim their space in the exposed earth of the resulting cracks. The adjacent plot, half filled with gravel doesn’t seem to lead anywhere you would walk after dark. Indeed, Jetée de la Compagnie sits behind a warehouse that is beyond an abandoned gravel lot, which is located beside a car park. It’s no wonder we never wandered back here before!
But oh boy, are we ever glad that we finally did! It seems that the best seat in the Lausanne house was sitting empty all along…
Last Saturday we gathered with a group of friends to enjoy early evening beers and cocktails, grilled brochettes and fresh fish from the Lake. The sun was edging toward the horizon; children with sun-kissed cheeks roamed among the tables, lakeside loungers loitered in bathing suits along the deck, soaking up the late summer sun and the beauty of that multi-toned blue expanse of our collective backyard. We looked at each other in dismay – is this place for real?!
A few practical things that will interest you: the menu features mostly apéro sized dishes, such as dried meat and cheese platters, fera mousse or lentil salad with fera and apples. In the evenings, they also fire up the grill and serve brochettes with chicken, beef and lamb. It’s a no-frills sort of spot, but the food is fresh, local and delicious!
Also worth mentioning, if you appreciate Jetée enough to want to participate in keeping it alive, for just 50chf, you can purchase a plank with your name to add to their deck. And the more planks, the more prime lakeside real estate there will be!
Jetée de la Compagnie does all of their communications through social media, so follow them on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for information about events and weather-dependent opening hours. This week they are hosting an outdoor film each night at 20:45!
Summer is nearly over and thus so is your opportunity to visit this charming lakeside haven. Let us know if you’re there – chances are we will be too!
Jetée de la Compagnie
M-F: 11:30am to at least 11:00pm
S-S: 10:00am to at least 11:00pm
Visit their site for a map, as the location can be difficult to find!