The Swiss Secrets (1): Virginie Peny, Zurich


Why would asking a French girl about her favourite places in and around Zurich be the perfect opener for my new column: The Swiss Secrets? Maybe because almost 25% of the Swiss population come from foreign countries and French is just one of the four national languages… Charming Virginie Peny works as a Creative Consultant for shops and brands. On her online platform you will discover dozens of DIY projects and style inspirations on a daily basis, surrounded by conscious living aspirations. And with her passion for retail, crafts and slow living, launching her online shop Atelier30 was just a natural next step for her.


Atelier30 onlineshop

Virginie, where do you live?
I’ve been living in Zürich’s Kreis 3, in a cute street close to Wiedikon. It is three years since I moved in this city, and this area is still my favorite. My tiny apartment feels like a museum, my favorite place to be at.



Your favourite café?
Whether it’s for a creative session or for a sunday brunch, I particularly like Kafi für Dich. There’s a warm atmosphere and an inspiring set up there. And yes, the cakes are very tasty.

Photo: Andrea Monica Hug

Photo: Andrea Monica Hug

The best place to be on a hot summer day?
For me there’s no other way around than being at the Lake, swimming and chilling with friends.

Your favourite restaurant?
So far I have none, I really enjoy the diversity of tastes and concepts. Especially with pop up restaurants. In summer I discovered Zamparo, it was amazing. The last I’ve been to was Vier und Eins. The food was amazing.

The best place to grab a drink in the evening?
Panorama Bar Jules Verne, or at George Bar & Grill, they have nice cocktails – and the night views are simply stunning!


Picture: George Grill & Bar, credit STORES & GOODS

Your favourite boutique?
This is a difficult question! I’m working part-time at Monadico Concept Store, in Seefeld, for which I contribute to purchases and merchanding – really involved in that story, so for sure it’s among my favorites. If I should name another one, it would be Cabinet for its curated designer and product selection. A very inspiring space, based in Viadukt.


Cabinet Creative Space


And your favourite online shop?
I try not to shop much online, but I really like, where you’ll find limited, qualitative items from all over the world.

A new store/restaurant/club in town we should know?
AYLA real food in Gasometerstrasse. Finally found nice and healthy meals for the lunch time!


Ayla Real Food

Your favourite museum/gallery?
Museum Bellerive: as textile lover I could spend days long here. Their exhibitions are always interesting.


Museum Bellerive

Where do you take out-of-town friends?
In the mountains for hiking, near of Stoos.

Which hotel can you recommend?
I had the chance to spend one night in the Marktgasse Hotel for ist opening last year, and I really liked it. Modernity meets tradition.


Hotel Marktgasse

Which Swiss person do you admire?
I’d say I simply have a lot of respect for the Swiss nationality, for their values and what they made out from the country.

Which is your favourite Swiss product?
Think chocolate is not a bad answer! Even the boxes are worth using after consumption.


Who is your favourite Swiss designer?
Among the young designers I’ve been having a faible for Stefanie Biggel since her beginnings. But my all-time favorite might be EnSoie.


EnSoie AW2016


EnSoie Clutch

Your favourite cultural event?
The National Swiss day on the 1st of August is to me the most significant event.

What do you like the most about Switzerland?
Its proximity to the rest of the Europe, it makes traveling easier.

Which souvenir should I bring from your city?
One picture of the white swans bathing at Quaibrücke.

Where do you spend a day off?
Exploring by bike the city’s areas, and drop off to tiny coffee places!


Virginie Peny at Viadukt Zurich

The ONE tourist mistake one should not make?
Running the red lights, not only unrespectful but also quite dangerous.

Tell us a secret.
You want to be more creative? Decide to spend one day without phone and money, and see where life brings you. Efficient!

– Merci, Virginie!