The Hedonist: Zurich
What to see and where to be seen
Saturday 16 July 2011
Zurich is a cosmopolitan, financial powerhouse better known for tax exiles than techno music. But alongside picture-postcard prettiness and business wizardry sits an edgy, underground scene and dynamic nightlife, making it a great, if unusual, destination for hedonists.
We'll get to that in a bit, though; this tale starts one steamy summer's afternoon, long before Kreis 5's warehouse clubs open their doors. On a day like this, lakeside lounging is the only option and there is no better place than Seebad Enge (00 41 44 201 3889; tonttu.ch), the most stylish lido in town. Settling on to a raised, wooden platform alongside Zurich's most attractive bathers, I indulge in the local fetish for mid-afternoon prosecco and take a dip in the lake to cool off.
Back at The Widder Hotel (00 41 44 224 2526; widderhotel.ch), I stay just long enough to slip into something glamorous before heading out. A crying shame because this is a place that deserves to be enjoyed; a chic, modernist boutique hotel forged from nine medieval townhouses, with a who's who of furniture design inside, including Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Charles and Ray Eames.
I take a water taxi to Seerose (00 41 44 481 6383; seerose.dinning.ch), Zurich's favourite summer restaurant, which lies a little way out of the centre of town. With a lakeside setting and crowd of glamorous habitués, Seerose has a touch of Côte d'Azur cool about it, the French connection reinforced by a Bordeaux-heavy wine list and a menu of retro-classic Mediterranean sunshine. I tuck into avocado and crevettes, tartare de boeuf and grilled sole and have to restrain myself from ordering another bottle of the crisp Provençal rosé. After all, I have a table reserved for the Hed Kandi night at Jade (00 41 44 202 8002; jade.ch) and it's time to head back into town.
Jade, the reigning queen of Zurich's more stylish clubs, is an elegant space with a glossy cream and dark wood aesthetic. A rather good restaurant during the week, come the weekend international DJs take to the decks, drawing in a sexy, Euro-chic party crowd. I find the lack of proper dancefloor a minor peeve but have booked a table, so there's plenty of space to throw some moves. A team of efficient waiters keeps the Dom Pérignon flowing.
After several hours of uplifting house music I'm in the mood for something a little edgier. Venturing into the dark heart of Zurich's warehouse club scene, Kreis 5, I find myself on Geroldstrasse – clubbing nirvana if trance floats your boat – dithering between Hive, Cabaret and Supermarket. As one of Zurich's best electro-techno clubs, Hive wins out (00 41 44 271 1210; hiveclub.ch).
All too soon it's 4am, and a stroll to Kreis 4 finds me outside Zukunft ( zukunft.cl), the city's most popular after-hours club. A low-ceilinged basement club, it's short on glamour (bar the stunning arrangement of massed disco balls), but rich with DJs playing a mish-mash of house, techno and disco.
I emerge, blinking, into bright sunshine and jumping into a cab outside Zukunft (another plus of Zurich: cabs everywhere) for the trip to Café Schober (00 41 44 251 5150; peclard-zurich.ch) in the pretty Old Town. Then it's back to The Widder to bid a sad farewell to my beautiful, unsullied room.
A Hedonist's Guide to... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see hg2.com
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...
COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...