I would like to take the opportunity to wish all who have dropped by to read my blog in 2015, a Very Merry Christmas and all the best for a wonderful Happy New Year in 2016.
I hope you will drop by to see what I am up to next year.
Our final day saw us with stunning blue sky again and free time until our departures.
We set off for a walk around the main part of Geneva with plans to stop at the Patek Philippe boutique and the Vacheron Constantin boutique.
Looking back across the Pont du Mont Blanc.
Our first stop was the Patek Philippe Boutique. Located on Rue du Rhone and facing the lake, the salon has maintained the heritage feel of the building and the interiors. Gorgeous embossed and gilded wall paper and many antiques fill the space.
Watches are elegantly displayed and service is impeccable.
After Patek Philippe we headed to the Vacheron Constantin Salon where Mr. CA4G was wanting to see the vintage pieces they had for sale. It was great to see a high end brand actively buying, servicing and reselling their own historic pieces.
While the salon is housed in an old building the interior is thoroughly light and modern with subtle references to the past.
Then it was time for a bit of exploring. Walking the cobble stoned streets was an exciting experience and great way to see the town. I would hate to walk these streets in heels. The local ladies were mostly in elegant flats or low heels only some silly foreigners were in mega heels.
We found Christie’s Auction house. Alas no auction preview exhibition while we were there.
Perched on the hill above the city is the Cathedral of Saint Pierre. Built in the 12th century, the Cathedral became the local seat of the Protestant church in the 16th century when it also underwent some modifications. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to climb the 157 steps of the north tower for the views over the city and lake.
The Palais de Justice, the courthouse of Geneva and the street out front of it. The cafes were quite busy. I guess lawyers need to fuel up on caffiene like the rest of us.
The items for sale in M.A.D. Gallery are very eclectic and quite visionary. The Machine Lights by Frank Buchwald are quite amazing and I could see some of these in our house(anyone got the winning Lotto numbers for me?). Prior to making these unique lights Frank Buchwald was a freelance artist and science fiction illustrator. He then moved on to making metal furniture and in 1993, entirely self taught, he started producing the lamps.
Machine Light Type No. 1. I could see this in a movie featuring a mad scientist.
Machine Lights Type No. 3, this would sit nicely on our mantelpiece.
While the art is important at M.A.D. Gallery, Max Busser also has the fantastic mechanical wrist art that is M.B&F Watches. Mr. CA4G was keen to show me the HM6, also known as Space Pirate, that he saw in Singapore earlier this year. Max was inspired to design this watch by a cartoon he used to watch as child called Capitaine Flam.
The front two bubbles tell the hour on the left and the minutes on the right. The central sapphire crystal dome houses a tourbillon which has an articulated titanium cover that can be raised and lowered by the wearer. The rear two bubbles contain the twin spherical turbines that automatically regulate the winding system in case of excessive speed to reduce stress and wear. Very technical and very complicated.
Watches like this continue to astound me due the amount of research that goes in to the design and the movement. The sapphire crystal is incredibly hard to do as each dome is shaped from a block of crystal. Out of every 100 crystal domes produced there is around an 80% reject rate. Incredibly time consuming and costly. Makes you appreciate why mechanical timepieces like this cost what they do.
Who doesn’t love robots, especially these Melchior ones, designed by M.B&F and built by L’Epee 1839. These are table clocks that put boring run of the mill table clocks to shame. The dome on the head houses the movement . The body has jumping hours and minute indicators and the eyes are retrograde seconds indicators, the dome on top reveals the regulator which governs the clocks precision . The left forearm detaches to become the winding key. The good thing? With 40 day power reserve you don’t need to wind it too often.
And Max’s latest idea was a clock in the shape of a spider. Yep, not my cup of tea. Called Arachnophobia, Max Busser’s over active imagination was inspired by the giant spider sculpture “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois and bought to life by L’Epee 1839. The legs are articulated and it can either sit on a desk or be mounted on a wall.
Arachnophobia on the wall and Damien Beneteau’s kinetic sculpture ‘Spatial Variation’ in front.
Some of our favourite pieces were the ‘comma men’ by Chinese artist Xia Hang. These delightful, highly polished stainless steel sculptures are quite whimsical and fun.
Hanging on one wall was one of the most unique musical instruments we have ever seen. Ulrich Teuffel began making and designing guitars when he was 14. At age 30 he radically changed his approach to guitar making by focusing on conceptual design. His BirdFish design is now ranked among the best guitars in the world and used by people such as Billy Gibbons(ZZTop), David Torn, Kirk Hammett(Metallica) and many more.
Mr. CA4G has a thing for steam engines and has looked at these Bohm Stirling pieces on line. They do not rely on water to generate energy but heat from a small flame that heats up the engine and gets it going.
There was even one that can be placed over a mug of coffee and is activated by the heat rising off the hot liquid, also acts as a coffee insulator.
Also on exhibit were the works of Damien Beneteau. Originally a photographer, Damien began working with light and creating kinetic ‘light sculptures’. Moving parts within the pieces change the way light plays on them. Quite mesmerizing and somehow hypnotic.
Videos of the pieces can be found at the following link: http://www.mbandf.com/mad-gallery/creators/damien-beneteau/
For more on the artists featured at M.A.D Gallery including ones I haven’t mentioned visit their website http://www.mbandf.com/mad-gallery/
It was great to finally meet Max Busser and visit M.A.D Gallery. As my flight left earlier I had to depart and left Mr. CA4G to enjoy a catch up and lunch with Max.
We had a wonderful 5 days in Geneva and were very glad to have had the chance to go.
We would like to thank James Kennedy and the team from LK Boutique for inviting us on the tour, Patek Philippe for their wonderful hospitality and the opportunity to visit the factories and learn more about their watch making and design processes.
Our wine dinner at work way back in June was St Hallett from the Barossa Valley.
Our canapes were corn fritters with aioli, potato and leek soup and pork, veal and mushroom terrine with chutney. These were accompanied by 2014 St Hallett Eden Valley Riesling .
Our first course was a dish that I used to help make at Astral restaurant, a ravioli of lobster and salmon served with a ginger and treacle beurre blanc. This was very popular with our attendees. Served with 2014 St Hallett Poachers Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
Our main course was a Sous vide pork loin in cider, Czech bread dumpling, braised red cabbage and cider gravy. After removing the skin and setting it aside, I rubbed the pork loin with a spice mix of juniper berries, ground dried orange, salt and rosemary then marinated it over night in cider. Then we bagged the loins with some of the cider marinade, vacuum sealed them and slow cooked 4 hours. The pork was nice and tender with a hint of the spice rub which really had our diners asking where the orange was. As Mr. CA4G’s heritage is Czech I really wanted to pair the pork with the bread dumpling that his mother used to make. A great alternative to potato, the dumpling really soaks up the sauce. The main was served with St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz from two vintages, 2008 and 2013.
As our last wine for the night was to be another red, 2012 St Hallett Old Block Shiraz. I decided to serve a cheese plate with house made breads. The cheeses were Trinity Cellars Jersey Brie, L’Artisan Fermier and Trinity cellars blue. The L’Artisan Fermier is like an Australian version of Morbier. The breads we made were walnut bread, lavosh and oat crackers. The walnut bread is a staple on our cheese plates in the restaurant, the lavosh I have made before and makes a nice crisp addition to the plate. I have been wanting to make the oat crackers for some time and this dinner was the perfect opportunity. Who knew they were so easy to make?? We also added some honey to go with the blue cheese, grapes, walnuts and Maggie Beer quince paste.
I will be posting recipes for the breads in the future so keep an eye out for them!
Thanks for dropping by!
Our venue for dinner was Auberge d’Onex, located in the suburb of Onex on the southern side of Geneva. Nestled amongst a lush garden, Auberge d’Onex is housed in the building that was originally the clubhouse of the first golf club in Geneva. Cuisine is Italian and the owner/maître d’ is a very vivacious host.
Auberge d’Onex is a homely and cosy restaurant, dark wood exposed beams on the ceiling, floral curtains, white clothed tables with comfortable wooden chairs.
Red wine was the drink of the night, a lovely 3 year old Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico.
Baskets of bread were dotted around the table with some fantastic olive oil to dip it in. Antipasti was served from platters and included, grilled asparagus, grilled witlof, burrata cheese, artichokes, sausage, salamis, whitebait, grilled eggplant. My favourite had to be the burrata cheese, so creamy and soft. Servings were quite generous.
Main was a large whole fish that the staff bought out on a trolley and served to us with some caponata. Not being much of a fish eater I had veal scallopine.
Before dessert bowls of peaches, plums, grapes, fresh dates, kiwi berries and small mangoes, were placed on the table.
We had a choice of 6 desserts served from the dessert trolley. We were also offered grappa and house made Limoncello with dessert. I chose meringata and promptly forgot to take a photo, while Mr. CA4G had the tiramisu.
After a fabulous dinner it was back to the hotel for our final sleep in Geneva.