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The Magic is in the Mix


Alia Chaker Mangeat

Lawyer, politician, ceramics boutique owner: Which career doesn’t belong? According to Alia Chaker Mangeat, the three are not only complementary but necessary. “It’s true, I live a triple life,” says Chaker Mangeat, “but it’s richer this way. It’s good to immerse myself in a more creative world.” The deputy to the Grand Council (the canton of Geneva’s legislature) and independent tax lawyer was inspired to take over the space on Carouge’s Place du Marché after the retirement of her mother-in-law, a well-known ceramics artist and professor who used it as a studio. Chaker Mangeat reimagined it as a boutique, called Poesis (meaning creation in ancient Greek and poetry in Latin), a fitting name for the light-filled, almost meditative environment displaying the work of local and international artists. It’s located at the Place du Marché in Carouge.

The long-time Geneva resident has a stockpile of favorite spots that’s as eclectic as her career choices.

For drinks, she likes the creative cocktails and vintage-inspired interior design at Le Verre à Monique. She prefers simple restaurants (“not chi-chi”) where the focus is on the quality of the food, including Bologne for modern bistro fare, Kakinuma for Japanese, and ZaïZaï for Mediterranean with a hint of Morocco (“I love the marinated octopus”).

If you’re strolling through the Old Town

she suggests a stop at the Maison Tavel to learn about the city’s history as well as get a peek inside one of the area’s historic townhomes. Afterward, visit Soulwines, a hip wine bar/boutique that serves perfect-for-sharing boards of local meats and cheese to go with the Swiss wines. For lovers of contemporary choreography, she recommends performances at the Pavillon de la Danse.

Chaker Mangeat is a fan of the Museum of the Red Cross – “It’s part of the DNA of Geneva,” she says – and especially recommends their tours for children. Finally, she’s full of praise for the “magnificent collection” of the Ariana Museum, dedicated to ceramics and glass and spanning 12 centuries. It’s the only museum of its kind in Switzerland and set in a picturesque park near the lake that’s perfect for walks.

author: Christina Ferrari date: 04.03.2024