Consumer issues in French speaking Switzerland – from Head lice lotion to Chicken nuggets.

Consumer issues in Switzerland – from head lice lotion to chicken nuggets. Plus, an appeal for winter clothes for asylum seekers, drop off in Nyon and Gland.

If you are interested in consumer issues here in French speaking Switzerland and want to know more about the products and services you buy and use, then Living in Nyon can recommend two excellent sources of information. The first is “Bon A Savoir” (Good to Know) –  a monthly magazine which can be found in many newsagents including Naville.

At just CHF 4.50 it’s packed with info and tests on products. November’s issue tested 8 different bottles of head lice lotion and produced a graph with its results. See here.

Also in this month’s issue are tests on the dried fruit that can be found for sale in main supermarkets. These fruits were checked for their pesticide and preservative content, provenance, cost per 100g etc. The results are surprising!

Not all of the tests are not available online, you have to subscribe or buy the magazine to see all the results. However the savings to be found in some of the magazine’s comparative testings on products such as  health insurance premiums, and telephone charges more than make up for the purchase price!  Even if your French is quite basic, you should be able to understand the tests and their results.

Bon a Savoir

A Bon Entendeur (ABE) is a television programme produced by RTS TV and broadcast on a Tuesday night and this also covers consumer issues  ranging from an analysis of the actual meat content in the chicken nuggets that are sold in shops and fast food outlets, to the maze of “packages” offered by telephone and internet companies to consumers.  See a programme from the 14th October here

Mens clothing and toiletries required for asylum seekers in Gland 

 EVAM, the (Etablissement Vaudois D’accueil des Migrants) in Gland has put out an urgent appeal for warm coats,  jackets,  jeans,  trousers , belts,  shoes (all kinds), socks,  gloves,  woolly hats,  scarves,  back-packs, hold-alls,  bath towels (all sizes) and toiletries for the male asylum seekers currently in the Gland reception centre and waiting a decision on their future.  At this stage of their asylum application, the men are not allowed to work unless their application status changes. Further info here

Clothes can be dropped off at the following places.

1. Nyon: Centre Horizons, Maison de Paroisse, ch. des Eules.  Bin at door.

2. Gland: Chapelle Catholique, chemin de l’Abbaye, go down steps on left – bin

For further info on the work of EVAM see their frequently asked questions page on their website here. 

Mother’s Day on Sunday – Present Idea – Gardens Show in Coppet

On Sunday 11th May it is “Mother’s Day” in Switzerland. If you are looking for  present ideas, it’s worth visiting the small but interesting shop down at the Rive in Nyon called “Continents Apart”. This shops sells handmade jewellery, much of it made by Deborah Willis, the owner of the shop. Deborah travels to Asia to source original stones and jewellery items, and returns to Switzerland and reworks it to create one-off pieces, necklaces, bracelets etc. She also imports beautiful, brightly coloured necklaces made out of  vegetable ivory. These are created by two families living in Ecuador, the sale of these necklaces helps to fund the education of their children. Prices for the necklaces and other goods in the shop are very reasonable and the shop is open at the weekend including Sunday!

Continents Apart is at Rue de Rive  48  in Nyon. Tel 022 361 -6700

Photos below – gift ideas

Earrings and rings

Nyon sailing club - Continent apart 022

Necklaces made out of vegetable ivory

Nyon sailing club - Continent apart 023

Vegetable ivory in its original form (husk in photo below)

Nyon sailing club - Continent apart 024

Suede bags for sale Nyon sailing club - Continent apart 025

More jewellry

Nyon sailing club - Continent apart 027

 The shop down at the Rive in Nyon (just around the corner from the very popular Italian ice cream shop)

Nyon sailing club - Continent apart 032

 Jardins en Fête

On Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May, the Jardins en Fête gardening and flower show will be held in the grounds of at the Château de Coppet.  There are lots of lovely gardens on show, and in competition. The event is also host to garden designers, garden retailers and lots more, see website here. There will be food and refreshments served at the fête.  Opening times Friday 10:00 to 19:00, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 18:00.   See articles and photos here from a previous year on Living in Nyon.


Finding your Favourite Expat Food in the Nyon area

From filet de perche and Saucisson Vaudois, to cheese Malakoffs, these are just some of the many local culinary delights that expatriates discover when they move to Vaud. Yet from time to time, expatriates also like a taste of food from their own countries, and for this there are local retail options around to source products from “home”.

Firstly, there is My Expat Shop com. This successful online shopping site stocks and delivers products across the whole of Switzerland. From British favourites such as Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Carnation Evaporated milk or Betty Crocker mixes for its American customers, the shop carries a comprehensive stock of products. 

Check out the many different categories of products on the site from the “Baby and Toddler” range to the “Expat Gourmet” range.   My Expat shop also offers customers the option to buy their products at approximately eight different retail outlets across the canton (there is one in Crans près Celigny and in Tannay).  You can find them all listed under the ABC section of the site.

The Nyon outlet is the Marché de l’Etraz . This is a small supermarket on the Route de l’Etraz in Nyon (near the Edward Life Sciences building heading towards Prangins) see map here.  This shop has an area specifically dedicated to exapt products. Should you want a product that you don’t see on the shelves, you can order it from the catalogue, just point to the photo in the catalogue if your French isn’t quite up to scratch ! 

 The shop is owned by by Mr Kadri Mustafe, and run by the very friendly Madame Vezire Moustafa helped along by her son Lulzim and assistant Madame Mary Luce-Fimon (in photo below).  This shop is open from 08:30 until 20:30 Monday to Saturday and 08:30 to 13:30 on Sunday morning, which  is very useful to know!

Listen to the interview here  that the Living in Nyon editor made with Kristine from My Expat Shop on World Radio Switzerland in January 2012.  On it you can hear what the most popular expat food products are requested by customers across Switzerland.  You can also hear what the expats round the table like about local food!

The American Market  in Nyon (there is also a Geneva branch) has been in the centre of the town for around seven years. Along with selling food and products geared to the U.S and Canadian market, it also stocks food and drink for the local Latin American population who miss a taste of  “home” including Inca Cola, Mate, Dulce de Leche, Alfajores, Mexican and Tex Mex food. The shop also carries a small stock of British produce.

New to the scene but certainly not new to selling produce to British expatriates, is Jim’s British Market which opened last month on the Avenue de Mont Blanc in Gland just a few miles along from Nyon. Already a well established name over the border in St Genis-Pouilly, “Jims” has been operating for 15 years in France and in addition to the shop, he has also been serving  fish and chips and scones in its tea toom. Check out their website on the story of “Jims” and for full details and opening hours of both shops. 


My Expat Shop

Jims British Market

American Market

The American Market



Jazz this weekend at Novodonium and Conservatoire – Living in Nyon stand at Saturday market

Photo above  Heidi, a stall holder at the Saturday market in Nyon selling cupcakes.  See Heidi Bakery

There are two jazz concerts on this weekend in Nyon, the first is tonight Friday the 18th November at 20:30 in the Conservatoire de l’Ouest Vaudois with a performamce by “Antwork”.  Click here for more details of this concert.

The second concert will be held tomorrow night the 19th at the underground venue of Novidonium (entry via the Mumbai Bar) this is a venue where local and international artist perform. Details of this concert here  Concert begins at 22:00.

Living in Nyon at Saturday market tomorrow

Also, tomorrow the 19th November, why not come along to the morning Saturday market in Nyon and say “hello” to the Living in Nyon editor who will be at a stall there. Ask her questions about living in the region and take the opportunity to pick up a copy of  the “Living along Lac Léman book” at the same time. The position of the stall is not yet known so just walk past them all until you find it! The market operates from 08:00 to 14:00.

Photo below, another store holder at the market.

“Living along Lac Léman” book is now for sale! – The perfect gift for everyone.

Tuesday evening in Nyon saw the official launch of  the book “Living along Lac Léman”. Thankyou so much to all those who came to the Villa Thomas at the COV for the vernissage/launch.

Photos above. Happy book fans!

The venue in the stunning lake side setting made it the perfect place to launch the book. It also gave readers of this site,  La Côte newspaper, and other members of the public a chance to mingle and enjoy a glass of local Swiss wine, along with tasting some British cheeese from the British Cheese Centre of Switzerland. 

Photo above: the Villa Thomas along the lake side. Note – there will be a jazz concert at the Villa Thomas on Friday 7th Oct see COV for here for full details

There were also representatives at the event from the various local festivals (Paléo, Caribana, Visions du Réel etc),  from Nyon town council and Nyon tourism giving those there the opportunity to find out more about the three festivals and local issues.

Photo above – Checking out the book at the vernissage

About the book –  The perfect company gift, birthday or Christmas present.

Packed with columns articles and photos the book is is a light hearted look at life along the shores of lake Geneva and contains a selection of columns which have been published for the last two years in English every Friday in La Côte newspaper.  This weekly column is a conversation is about the people, places and events in Vaud as seen through the eyes of a British expatriate.

Photo above: left C. Nelson-Pollard author of “Living along Lac Léman”, right Contessa Pinon – editor of La Côte newspaper

With observations on unusual Swiss customs and on the peculiarities to be found in both the French and English languages, it also comments on other subjects such as the jargon that estate agents use when advertising houses for sale, the difficulties of making a fondue, or trying to say a telephone number in French.

Image above – article from book called  “Figuring it out”

With other articles on local festivals, the Désalpe and more, and packed with photos that capture the colour and essence of the Léman region, the book makes a perfect gift for someone who has just moved to the area. It  will also delight those who have lived here for a while, whether expat of Swiss, in recognising  the slightly side quirky side of Swiss life whilst acknowledging the beauty of the Léman area.

Image below – Article from book called “A saisir!” (on estate agents’ jargon)

At just 29 CHF, the book is available to order through this site, just click on “Living in Nyon” book on the top side bar to order.  Free delivery in the Nyon, Coppet, Rolle and Prangins area.  

From  Tuesday 11th October, the book will also be for sale at Nyon tourist office  Opening hours  Monday-Friday 08:30 -12:30/ 13:30 -17:30

Special book signing – The author will be signing copies of the book at Nyon tourist office on Friday November 4th from 16:00- 18:00.  An ideal opportunity to pick up a copy and find out about events and winter activities happening in the Nyon and St Cergue region.

Photo above and below – Selling the books left to right. Anna Hiller Bedlington, Suzy Nelson-Pollard, Nicola Bedlington.

All photos of the vernissage –  Catherine Lewis photography see site here