Written by Chantal Panozzo
The city of Zurich may be small, but its Limmatquai begins in a big way: at the largest urban square in Switzerland. Whitebook founder Peter Zeller takes note of his favourite local haunts.
Sun Quay– that’s what the southern section of Zurich’s Limmatquai was once called. And now that the well-known Sechseläuten Square’s border has been renovated using 15,000 sq. m of white quartzite, the area shines more than ever.
Sechseläuten Square is a place treasured by locals because it is home to old traditions such as the Knie Circus and the April Sechseläuten holiday (when a snowman is set on fire to determine how quickly the summer weather will arrive!). Peter has another reason for liking the square: it almost gives him a ‘Paris feeling’ – in a polished and gleaming Swiss way, of course.
It’s hard for Peter to choose among his favourite places surrounding the square. Turn right and there’s the Globus department store, with its collection of international and Swiss designer goods (and its late-night sushi bar). Turn left and there’s the Saturday flea market at the Bürkliplatz with its rare books and Victorian-era hats. Or continue straight to the Limmatquai where there’s another dilemma: late coffee or early lunch?
Peter has difficulty resisting the Sternen Grill, which has been serving bratwurst, grilled chicken, and Wiener schnitzel of almost cult status since 1963. In addition, the restaurant also offers a wide selection of Swiss vegetarian classics like Alpine macaroni and rösti (fried potatoes). It’s not quite lunchtime though, so Peter takes all his willpower over to the 100-year-old Café Odeon to have a coffee in the same style that famous poets, painters, musicians, and authors – including James Joyce – used to do.
The Limmatquai curves over to its namesake, the Limmat River. One could just enjoy the scenery – swans on the left and the famous Grossmünster church with its double spires standing on the right. There are also the 12th- and 13th-century guild houses to admire. Peter doesn’t just appreciate the Zunft zur Zimmerleuten from the outside though. He goes inside. To eat.
Most people don’t realise that the medieval guild houses, like the Zunft zur Zimmerleuten, where Peter enjoys the local speciality, Zuri-Sechnetzeltes (minced veal in an onion, white wine, and cream sauce), are restaurants. But that’s what Peter likes about the Limmatquai. It is packed with pockets just waiting to be discovered – no matter how long one stays in Zurich.
Peter Zelleris the founder of Whitebook, a tailored notebook system that combines old-fashioned writing tools with modern electronic devices. Each Whitebook is a handmade original, crafted in Switzerland under fair working conditions by people who are physically or mentally challenged. Constantly innovating, Zeller is also developing the first saltwater fish farm in Switzerland, OceanSwiss.