When it’s too cold and rainy to enjoy a family stroll but not cold enough that ski season has already started, a Sunday brunch is a lovely way to cuddle up with your little buttons and relish some good food.
We’ve tried many places since our arrival 4 years ago (and believe me it’s not easy to find a place that will satisfy all five of us !) so we’ve compiled our own list of favourites divided by areas: Geneva, Vaud & nearby France. Bon Appétit !
- Un R de famille is our family’s favourite: homely, relaxed and very reasonably-priced. You can find out more in our recent post, a definite thumbs-up from all 5 of us !
- Wolfisberg Carouge has been serving up some of the best pâtisseries in town for over 50 years. The decor is contemporary, airy and spacious with a fantastic indoor playarea, complete with a colourful climbing frame (click here for a virtual visit!). Open from 6.30am to 7pm, this is the place to go for heavenly pastries but also 3 brunch choices on Sunday: Le petit poucet, L’anglais and Le gourmet (prices from 30CHF). As it’s very popular, it can get quite busy and the tables closest to the playarea are the first ones to go.
- Brasserie des Halles de l’Île doesn’t have a dedicated kids play area but it’s so cool and relaxed that families feel very welcome. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 3pm and the choice of sweet and savoury treats is just mouth-watering. Kids under the age of 6 eat for free, adult price is 39CHF per person and children aged 6-16 pay half price. This is cool, urban brunch à la genevoise.
- Restaurant du Parc des Eaux-Vives. Buffet-style brunch every Sunday from 12.00. This is the perfect spot for a gourmet Sunday brunch with little ones in tow during the cold winter months (there’s no Sunday brunch for families in the summer). From the beginning of October a buffet brunch is served at the brasserie while staff from BabyGym are available to entertain the children – after they’ve finished their meal - in a playroom filled with toys and drawing material. The buffet costs 75CHF per person but it’s free for children up to the age of 5. The price for children aged 6-12 is 50% of the adult price. Reservations must be made in advance at 022 849 75 75.
Nestled in a beautiful setting within the Parc des Eaux-Vives and overlooking Lake Léman, this really is a superb foodie haven on a rainy winter Sunday.
It was definitely a thumbs up from our 3 cheeky monkeys who didn’t want to leave and a massive “yes” from this frazzled old mum, who finally had the time to enjoy some dessert at the end of her meal.
- Brasserie Le Sud at the Mandarin Oriental. Buffet-style brunch every Sunday from 12.00 to 2.30pm. Le Sud is one of Paul Bocuse’s delicious brasseries. The Lyon-born chef is famous for his culinary stars and “chef of the century” nomination, as well as his innovative French cuisine. The decor is modern and elegant but very relaxed, with absolutely no frowning upon any of their miniature guests.
The children can eat with you and then run off to the adjacent playroom, or have their brunch there in the company of other children and the playroom staff. Our boys dived straight in before we could say “wash your hands” and came home with some great cardboard dinosaurs they had made with the animatrices !
Prices are 81CHF for adults and 28CHF for children. Bookings can be made at 022 909 0000.
- Family Brunch at the Crowne Plaza. Buffet-style brunch every Sunday from 11.55am to 2.55pm. Another great option if you’d like to enjoy a leisurely brunch while the kids play happily and take part in the activities organized just for them. The buffet is free for children under the age of 6, while the price for adults is 57 CHF. Kids aged 6-14 pay half-price, free parking for customers is also a bonus. Reservations can be made in advanvce at 022 710 30 52.
- La Ferme de Merlinge is perfect in spring & summer to enjoy a relaxed family brunch under the shade of their leafy trees, but the good news is they also do brunch in winter ! During the colder season brunch is held indoors with a welcoming roaring fire just waiting for you, and takes place on Saturdays from 9.30am to 1pm, but visit their website for more info on their special Christman brunch on Sunday 16th and 23rd of December 2012 (50CHF per person). Saturday morning brunches are 40 CHF per adults, kids under the age of 5 eat for free while children older than 5 pay 2 CHF per year of age. Bread, jams, pâtisseries and even the muesli are all homemade, and the fruit, vegetables and fresh eggs come straight from the farm itself ! Places are limited so booking in advance is mandatory, so give them a call on 022 759 18 73.
- The Starling Café In Geneva holds a “P’tits Chefs brunch” from 12pm on the last Sunday of every month (except July & August). We haven’t tried it yet, but word has it that they serve up a very good buffet-style brunch with entertainment, crafts, games & shows for children and adults. Prices are 59CHF for adults, children aged 4-10 pay only half and little ones up to the age of 4 eat for free. Booking is required at 022 747 02 47.
- Enjoy a delicious buffet-style Sunday brunch in the charming Art Deco setting of the Café & Restaurant du Parc des Bastions. From 11.30am to 2.30pm make the most of their wide selection of heavenly pastries, sweet and savoury breakfast treats, cold meats etc. for just 48CHF per adult and 22CHF per child. After such a sumptuous brunch, you might need to burn off some extra calories but no need to panic: the patinoire at the Parc des Bastions is open on Sundays and we guarantee the kids will love spending the afternoon there. Alternatively, try the giant chess games or the swings and climbing frames of the park’s excellent playground, just outside the restaurant. Advance booking at the Café & Restaurant du Parc des Bastions is required at 022 310 86 66.
- Family Brunch at the Tiffany Hotel, one of Geneva’s coolest hotels: chic without being stuffy and as cozy as you need it to be on a Sunday morning ! This art nouveau boutique hotel has a lovely relaxed feel and their Sunday brunch for families is a treat: from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. you’ll enjoy unlimited buffet access, cooked-to-order dishes and drinks from the buffet bar (fruit juices, bottled waters, coffee and tea). The children have a dedicated play area supervised by the hotel’s babysitters, so you can make the most of the delicious buffet while they play away happily. The best thing about it all ? Prices are very reasonable at CHF 39 per person, free for kids under 5 and half price for kids aged 6-12.
- The Bar at La Réserve doesn’t serve traditional Sunday brunch as such, but it’s great for a relaxed lunch and has a fantastic playroom downstairs where the kids can play when they’ve finished their meal. Click here to read our previous post about it.
- Le Brunch Club is THE place to go if you’re craving authentic American & British-style Sunday brunch. From eggs florentine to fluffy pancakes, English bacon, sausages and black pudding this is heart-warming soul food guaranteed to cure any home-sickness attacks ! Fruit juices are home-made and local organic produce is part of the ingredients as much as possible. Le Brunch Club has currently taken residence at the Café du Clos in Eaux Vives (9 rue du Clos), but the wonderful concept behind this delectable brunch club is that they will be moving to various locations, choosing different establishments that are normally closed on Sundays. Remember to check their official website for exact details. They don’t have a play area for kids but will provide pencils and colouring materials for the younger gourmands, so probably better if your children are a bit older. A kids’ menu is also available. Prices are great too at 25CHF for a big English breakfast. Brunch is served from 10.30am to 3.30pm every Sunday, reserve your places in advance by calling Juliette or Audrey at +41 78 855 90 59.
- Auberge du Chalet-des-Enfants in Le Mont-sur-Lausanne (VD) is a lovely restaurant that got the thumbs-up from everyone who’s ever tried it. The atmosphere is relaxed, warm and welcoming and perfect for families. They have an indoor area with wooden toys and drawing material for the little buttons as well as a great play-area outside with swings, carved animal statues and a wooden cabane made out of branches ! As the French would say: bucolique. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday (click here to see their brunch menu) and it costs around 29 CHF per person, while children pay 2.50 CHF per year of age.
- La ferme aux saveurs d’autrefois in Bussy-Chardonney (VD) serves brunch every Sunday from 9.30am to 1.30pm all year round. We’ve blogged about it already in our previous post “Brunch at the Farm” and it’s definitely a great place to take the kids as it’s also a working farm with animals. Click here to see the brunch menu made with fresh local produce. Prices are 35 CHF for adults, 1.50 CHF per year of age for children aged 5-13 and just 5 CHF for children under the age of 5. Must be booked well in advance as it’s very popular.
- Domaine de Divonne in Divonne-les-Bains. Another great option if you fancy a luscious buffet-style Sunday brunch. They offer a separate kids buffet as well as some fun kids activities (the hotel even offers you a birthday cake for your child if you book a Sunday brunch anytime during their month of birth, call +33 (0)4 50 40 34 34 for more info). Brunch is free for children aged 2-5 and 17 euros for children aged 6-12. Adults pay an all-inclusive price of 49 euros, which comprises water, tea/coffee and juice.
- Le Barbaro restaurant doesn’t serve Sunday brunch as such, but it is open every Sunday lunchtime and it’s a very child-friendly restaurant. Must be booked in advance, click here to read our previous post.