On the morning of March 31st in Lausanne, you may have noticed small tables scattered outside in different locations throughout the city. At each table, you could have enjoyed a free sit-down breakfast offered by a local restaurant. With over a dozen locations, these secret pop-up breakfast tables lasted for only one hour, from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Do you know why they were there? Did you stop and have breakfast at one of these tables, like I did?
The purpose of these surprise breakfast locations was to spread awareness and build excitement for Lausanne à Table‘s new season of events. Held from April to October 2016, it’s an exceptional line-up of 28 different culinary events for people of all ages.
Petits-déjeuners en Ville 2016
After I arrived by train in Lausanne with my cousin, who was visiting from the United States, we soon discovered one of Lausanne à Table’s breakfast spots across from the main train station. Hosted by Café des Avenues, a gentlemen wearing a chef’s hat invited us to take part in Petits-déj’ en ville 2016. He also handed us a bright pink booklet with detailed information about the various events planned this year. Each of these events fall under at least one of five categories:
- Les p’tits gourmands (events for kids)
- En vadrouille (out and about — such as a farm visit, treasure hunt or boat ride with chocolate)
- Les mains à la pâte (cooking events)
- À votre santé (events featuring local wine or beer)
- Bon appétit (events giving you the chance to eat!)
After a short wait, some spots opened up, and my cousin and I joined two other people at the little table. We had lots of delicious breakfast options — hot coffee, fresh croissants, fruit salad, rice pudding, cheese, charcuterie and more — and all for free! It was a unique way to enjoy a delicious breakfast outside on the streets of Lausanne, while learning about other food-focused events planned for the next seven months in the city.
Lausanne à Table
In its fifth year, Lausanne à Table’s diverse line-up for 2016 includes the Lausanne Beer Celebration, Ateliers Shabu-Shabu, Food Truck Festival and a picnic for Switzerland’s independence day on August 1st, among many others. Given all the options, you can surely find something that suits your needs and interests. While the purpose of these events is to have fun and celebrate food, they also help to increase awareness of local producers and products in Lausanne. In addition, with several events especially for kids, educating the next generation about food is another component of this year’s program.
To give you some background, Lausanne à Table started in 2012 as a municipal program, when the city was chosen as the “Ville du Goût” for Switzerland’s Semaine du Goût (week of taste). Since that time, it grew to become an independent association in 2014, while continuing to receive financial support from the city. Today, its partners also include Lausanne Tourisme and Raiffeisen. Lausanne à Table currently has over 100 members, including local restaurants, food producers, winemakers, breweries and more.
With this launch event completed, the enrollment period has begun for Lausanne à Table’s 2016 program, with the first event scheduled for April 16 – Les Ateliers de Chocolat (Please note: some events are free, while others may require reservations and have enrollment fees). I look forward to checking out at least two or three events this year, and I’ll be sure to report back on what I’ve learned. Hope to see you there!