Plate With A View; Le Café Beau-Rivage, Switzerland

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The Independent Travel

Lunch in Lausanne should not be hurried, especially if taken looking over the imposing Lake Geneva. Among the many eateries in the Ouchy district of Lausanne, there are few that can match the Café Beau-Rivage's grandiose setting, view or mouth-watering menu.

THE PLATE

Lunch in Lausanne should not be hurried, especially if taken looking over the imposing Lake Geneva. Among the many eateries in the Ouchy district of Lausanne, there are few that can match the Café Beau-Rivage's grandiose setting, view or mouth-watering menu.

The café is at the front of the 140-year-old Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel, which sits in 10 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds next to the Olympic Museum. While the decor is all marble and fine old-world furnishings, the menu in this Parisian-style brasserie is decidedly modern. The lunchtime offering is varied enough to meet most needs, and the hotel takes pride in its use of local produce.

The food is exquisitely presented and the dessert menu is a theatre of indulgence: a variety of tarts, cheeses (regional and otherwise) and ice-cream.

You can wash this down with a glass, or two, of the local syrah. Add to this a lively and attentive (but not overly so) waiting staff and it makes for a perfect lunch venue.

THE VIEW

Raising your head from the food, your gaze is met by an explosion of floral colour. Raising your head a little higher puts you eyeball-to-eyeball with the serene lake, and then with the towering and ragged Alps. Further on, your gaze, darting between yachts, pleasure boats and ferries dutifully working their way from one side of the lake to the other, hits France: specifically the pretty spa town of Evian that gives its name to the bottled water, whose source can be found on the glacier high above.

THE BILL

It is easy to forget that Switzerland is not yet part of the euro zone, but it doesn't take long to be reminded that Europe's guardedly independent state can be an eye-wateringly expensive place. The crousti gambaz (prawns) aren't as damaging on the pocket at SFr28 (£13) as the grillade de loup (sea bass) at SFr43 (£19), but both are worth it. The wondrous array of desserts cost a standard SFr10 (£5), as does the cheeseboard, while a glass of regional red or white wine cost SFr16 (£7). It all adds up, though, and lunch for two including coffee will cost around SFr160 (£70).

The café is open Monday to Friday 9am to 12.30am; Saturday and Sunday noon to 12.30am.

Café Beau-Rivage, Place Général-Guisan, 1006 Lausanne-Ouchy, Switzerland (00 41 21 613 33 34; www.brp.ch)

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