Useful Swiss Consumer Programme – From Scams to Dried mushrooms, Toothbrushes and Tea.

If you are interested in consumer issues and want to know more about the products you buy here in French speaking Switzerland, it’s worth taking a look at the weekly television programme called ABE (A Bon Entendeur) presented by Manuelle Pernod and broadcast on Tuesday evenings on RTS1 at 20:10

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A regular look at the products we buy

This consumer progamme takes a regular look at many of the products we all buy in the main Swiss supermarkets and shops. It compares brands, analyses the content of many food products and draws conclusions for the consumer. Even if you only understand a basic amount of French, these programmes are well produced, can be easily understood and the conclusions are illustrated in graph form or with clear photos. 

Housing, Transport, Insurance etc

The programme also looks at other consumer issues such as housing, transport, insurance etc.  The website of the programme has useful links to consumer associations and  links to consumer rights groups.

The products featured over the last few weeks have been on a variety of items such as electric toothbrushes (their conclusion – buying the most expensive product in the shop isn’t necessarily the best!)  Scroll to around 4 minutes on the programme here to see the result on this particular test.

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Pesticides in Mushrooms and Herbal Teas

Another programme broadcast on February 18th featured the packets of dried mushrooms that can be found for sale in recognised retail outlets. It explained which packets of mushrooms contain pesticides and other chemicals, and which brand of mushrooms was rated the best all round. 

For lovers of herbal tea  another programme revealed the content of some well recognised tea brand names, the results can be seen on this clip here 

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Scam targeting local businesses

This week’s programme revealed a scam that involved small businesses being approached (one of them in Versoix) to take out and pay up front for advertising in a magazine that simply didn’t exist.

The programme has been on air for many years and there’s lots of archive material to be found on their site.  There is even an ABE app!



Swiss scenes by local artist – Ideal for a gift or a souvenir

If you are looking for a a souvenir of Switzerland, a gift for a friend or colleague, or simply a work of art for your own home, then it’s worth taking a look at the work and gallery of local artist Rita Mancesti.  This gallery, named Artiswiss is located under the lovely old arcades in the village of Coppet and Rita welcomes both expats and English-speaking tourists interested in acquiring an original painting of the area.

Desalpe Rita new

She  also accepts orders for specific scenes; whilst incorporating her own personal style,  if required she  can integrate some of the client’s personal history within the painting.  Plus, there is no upfront fee at the time of ordering the painting!

Rita Mancesti Gallery close up

 One of the key advantages of Rita’s workshop is that you can meet the artist and watch her working on-site. If you are a regular visitor you may even see a painting develop from very start to completion. This usually takes around  three weeks.   

Rita told Living in Nyon  I like this direct exchange: creating an artwork in front of visitors’ eyes. We share stories, and it then turns to be a living art, in the sense that I can explain how I am working and which ideas inspired me. Often children are the first being attracted by the gallery, and encourage their parents to come inside”.

Photo Rita Mancesti

Photo above – Rita Mancesti  – Rita was born in 1970 in Geneva, and has lived in Vaud since 1994.

Future plans for the gallery include representing locally-famous painters, bringing diversity in the interpretation of Swiss scenes  particularly the beautiful Leman area. 

Rita Mancesti front door gallery

The opening of Artiswiss Mancesti Art Gallery coincides with the launch of her book called “Coquille de Lumière – an interesting 25 years-retrospective covering 450 paintings and some sculptures – in a high quality 110-page book. It can be purchased at the Artiswiss Gallery in Coppet or ordered on the website. An English version will be made available in 2015.

You can find the  Artiswiss Mancesti Art Gallery – Grand Rue 28b, Coppet  Telephone  079- 216 5599.  The gallery is open daily from 09.30-12.30 (except Wed and Sun), or via appointment.  Rita speaks English, German, Italian spoken and the gallery accepts credit cards.  There are also monthly highlights and updates on Rita’s own website 



English Theatre begins in Coppet this week, Conference on Tomatis in Rolle

“The Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman and directed by Charles Slovenski, begins on Tuesday 12th November at the Théâtre de Terre Sainte in Coppet  until the 16th November. Performances on Tuesday to Friday at 20:00. on Saturday at 19:00.    This theatre has a nice bar for a pre-show drink! Free bubbly after the show on opening night.

”The Little Foxes is a tale of cunning, greed and sibling rivalry set in Alabama in the early 1900s, but its tale of big business versus social responsibility has many parallels in today’s world”.

The Hubbards are a greedy and ambitious cotton-farming family who are forging a deal with a wealthy Northerner in order to build a cotton mill that will hugely increase their profits. The two brothers, Ben and Oscar, are prepared to use every means at their disposal to acquire the funds they desperately need to secure the deal.

Their sister, Regina, is determined to have a share in this dreamed-of prosperity by getting her dying husband, Horace, to release his money for the cotton mill. Horace, realizing the Hubbards’ plans for riches will further exploit the black and poor-white workers of the town, hopes to stop them. But Horace is ill and may not have much time left.

Cast: Christopher Bailey, Emanita Bailey, Gillian Barmes, Gabriel Bird, Katharine Cullen, Julian Finn, Malcolm Grant, Chaitan Jain, Natalie Pernick and Gregoire Yameogo.

Tickets: CHF 30 (seats numbered). Booking details see here   More information on GEDS (The Geneva English Drama Society) see here

Little Foxes

Tomatis Conference “Better Listening Means Better Learning” Tuesday 12 November, 20:00 The Tomatis Centre, 17 Ch.du Couchant, Rolle.

Find out about the Tomatis Method : Improve Auditory Processing. Learn a new language twice as fast. Get better results at school. Enhance self esteem, motivation, concentration and memory. Feel at home in a new linguistic and cultural environment. Further information from Marsha Staubli 076 377 64 84



Tomatis conf

Tomatis Conference “Better Listening Means Better Learning” Tuesday 12 November, 20:00 The Tomatis Centre, 17 Ch.du Couchant, Rolle.

Find out about the Tomatis Method : Improve Auditory Processing. Learn a new language twice as fast. Get better results at school. Enhance self esteem, motivation, concentration and memory. Feel at home in a new linguistic and cultural environment. Further information See Tomatis Rolle  or contact Marsha Staubli 076 377 64 84

As You Like It – Shakespeare (in English) in Coppet next week

Next week Shakespeare comes to Coppet with a production of “As you like it” by GEDS, (Geneva English Drama Society)   at the Thèatre de Terre Sainte. This is a lovely theatre with a nice bar for that pre-theatre drink ! Read on for a description of the play and for booking details.

As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s light-hearted comedies — a real fairy-tale (though without the fairies!). There is the expected well-stirred mix of poetry and philosophy in this much-loved play and everyone lives happily ever after, but not before going through a bit of mild torment.

There is sibling rivalry, betrayal and banishment — but song and laughter too — and over all the dappled sunlight of the Forest of Arden…where things are not always what they seem.

Frances Favre has assembled a strong cast of newcomers and familiar faces to bring this delightful play to life — a great start to GEDS’ 80th anniversary year — don’t miss it!

Tickets: CHF 30 (seats numbered) Students CHF 20, ONLY at the theatre on the evening of the performance, subject to seat availability and on presentation of student card.
Book now at Theatre in English,  choose your own seats, pay by credit card or bulletin de versement or e-banking and print your own tickets. Special school group prices Wed. & Thurs. contact:
Book at a Swiss post office using a red bulletin de versement payable to Theatre in English,1214 Vernier CCP 12-20568-3. Give in the ‘motif de payment’ box the date and number of tickets required and your daytime phone number or email. Call from 29th Oct. on +41 22 341 51 92. Weekdays between 11.00 and 12.30.
Buy tickets at the theatre (CASH ONLY) on the night from 60 minutes before the show (check seat availability by phone or on the website).
Tickets neither changed nor refunded.

“My week with Marilyn” at cinema tonight, Macbeth and Madame de Stael performed in open air this week

A reminder to readers that tonight (Tuesday 19 June) it’s the English movie night at the cinema of Nyon. The film to be schown is  “My Week with Marilyn“. The film portrays the making of the 1957 film “The Prince and the Showgirl”, and stars Marilyn Monroe (Williams) and Laurence Olivier (Branagh).  The film starts at 20:30 See the cinema website here.

There are two outdoor theatre performances on the calendar this week and both are taking place in the courtyards of  local chateaux.

Firstly in the wonderful setting of the Château de Prangins –  “Macbeth” will be performed in English on Thursday 21, Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June 2012 at 20:00. Sadly this will be the last of the series of professional English-language theatre performances brought to the Geneva area by Howard Productions.  See here for ticket availability. All tickets are CHF 40 and seats are not numbered,  – first come, first served!   

Meanwhile over at the Chateau of Coppet from the 18th to 24th June, there will be a performance of “Autour de Madame de Stael”. Read more about the life of this fascinating woman in this Wikipedia entry (in English) here.   Ticket info on site here 

You can also find out more about her in this interview on Léman Bleu TV here below (in French).