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Rethinking Rolle

Explore Switzerland // By Hansine Johnston // Nov. 29, 2016

Hansine Johnston’s pick of the top spots in newly-revamped Rolle.

Rethinking Rolle

Rolle has had a serious makeover. It’s no longer just a quaint lakeside town and a failsafe day out for visitors who fancy wandering around a château. The high street now features interesting boutiques, quirky gift options, a funky café-come-flea market, and a plethora of options for health-minded modern-thinking types who like their food and fashion green and guilt-free! You can sip fresh juice, eat power salads and browse clothes and jewellery by edgy designers from around the world. And the parking’s free. What’s not to love?


With many of the boutiques recently opened there is a bit of a buzz about the fashion scene in Rolle. Start at the Lausanne end and head to What to Where, the brainchild of local fashion bloggers Macha and Lydia. A cool, white setting for comfortable and affordable European design-led pieces with chunky knits and flattering pants. It's worth delving to the back of the store to the dreamy holiday section. Kaftans and bikinis sourced in hot fashion destinations from Brazil to Ibiza! 

Opposite are several more new boutiques, notably Charlie and Margherite for your new season Uggs and Liu-Jo knits, and Jardin des Modes for tailoring. 

Fashion fans with a conscience should head straight to funky A Ma Fille run by local ecowarrior Theresa Hamilton. Forget dirndle skirts and hessian sacks ... her range includes printed tea dresses by Notting Hill designer and favourite of the stars, Beautiful Soul. To truly embrace the vibe invest in eco-friendly sophisticated soft lounge and yoga wear by Italian brand Backlabel



Brocante café L’ Arentèle, is a must- see. Everything is for sale so enjoy a healthy homemade quinoa salad and soup while pondering vintage purchases. From tiny tins and signs starting at CHF5 to special design pieces costing thousands. If industrial design is your thing then this could be an expensive coffee break as the place is crammed with metal desks, lights and storage pieces.

Still in a healthy frame of mind? Stock up on fully-organic vegetables and fruit at nearby organic supermarket Tournesol.

More traditional lunch options include the bustling Café Vaudois, a clear good-value favourite with local shop owners, while people travel from far and wide to Café du Port for their famous filets de perches and fine frites. This family-run business has had the same chef for the last 25 years. Go with a good appetite and enjoy the extra portions of fish that keep coming (one serving and the price can sting...) Booking recommended.


Inspired artsy gifts at this brand new boutique/art gallery, L'heure Bleue. Owner Nathalie, is passionate about every piece, from unique candles and jewellery to giant Moroccan silk wall hangings. There are many North African designers too with homemade perfumes and silk jewellery displayed against a backdrop of work by local artists. Every piece has its own story. Well worth a visit.

Find Scandinavian homeware and knick knacks with a twist at Spice your Life. This welcoming store is a gift haven for everyone. Kids toys and puzzles start at CHF5, while luxury wool ponchos by Stefan Green go for CHF600. Check website for updates on events.

Some people just don’t get off on candles and ceramics so point them towards newly opened Bikespot - run by enthusiasts who offer all things cycling-related including bike rental and advice. It’s a MAMIL’s dream day out - super-friendly and they speak English.

Plus: Check out FatBike winter outings.


Style File is a dynamic half-hour show packed with hot tips on what to wear and how to wear it, the latest style events, beauty and wellbeing in this area all presented with Hansine’s signature fun style. Tune in for interesting interviews and news of events every Thursday at 10am (repeated Saturday at 11am). 

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