By : Catherine Gerber @hej_catcat. via Instagram
Biel / Bienne

A Saturday morning in the city of Biel

Good morning old town Biel
It's Saturday morning 9 a.m. and I set off on my bike for Biel/Bienne's old town. The weekly vegetable market is my highlight of the week.

For me, there is nothing better than starting the weekend with a stroll through the market. At the various stalls I buy everything I need for the week: cheese, vegetables, fruits, bread and eggs.

Cathy
So I go from stall to stall, buying goods for the whole family, chatting to familiar faces, enjoying the fresh air and good atmosphere.

Gourmet Tour

Today, however, I'm not just here for the vegetable market. I have two tickets for the"nourritour" in my pocket and I'm already looking forward to this gourmet tour through the old town of Biel/Bienne together with my mother. We're so excited to see what awaits us!
 
Nourritour in the old town of Biel
Nourritour in the old town of Biel ©Catherine Gerber

There're supposed to be seven small stops to taste local products: sometimes French, sometimes German - this tour seems to have a few surprises in store, even for me. I've been living here my whole life!

Breakfast in the Obergasse

With the map in hand, we start at the first stopover, a bakery. Here we are spoilt for choice: butter or Sils croissants, date rolls, brioches and so on. Our mouths are watering, as we are hungry after our tour of the vegetable market!

After eating our rolls outside in the bright sunshine, we continue on our way to the second stopover.

Immersion in the world of chocolate

In a vaulted cellar in the middle of the old town, we are introduced to the secrets of chocolate making! The production takes place right before our eyes. Everything is made by hand and with great attention to detail! We are impressed and we taste the chocolate creations with even more pleasure...

Chatting with local producers

A few steps further on, at Nectaflor Artisanal, we discover now salty specialities. Once again, we're very well received! We can observe the production and taste all the creations of the house.
 
At Nectaflor Artisanal, nuts are roasted and refined every day.
At Nectaflor Artisanal, nuts are roasted and refined every day. ©Catherine Gerber

Time for A coffee break

Halfway through the tour, we've already learned a lot about how local products are made. These discoveries've made us thirsty! So we sit down on the terrace of Edu's, a nice little café that has been lovingly furnished. We order cappuccinos and enjoy them while watching the market activity.
 
Watching the bustle of the market with a cup of coffee in hand
Watching the bustle of the market with a cup of coffee in hand ©Catherine Gerber

The charming Épicerie

All pepped up, we look at the remaining stops and decide on the charming Batavia grocery shop. We learn from Cyndie and Raphaël, who run the shop with great love, that they only offer local goods from producers they know personally. The vintage light wood shelves display an incredible selection of products, which we can't resist. So we continue to fill our shopping baskets!

If you feel a bit peckish, the shop also offers snacks to eat in or take away: carefully prepared sandwiches, salads and soups that change with the seasons. We're probably not the only ones to have fallen in love with this shop!
 
"Modern, local and organic' is the motto of the charming Batavia grocery shop
"Modern, local and organic' is the motto of the charming Batavia grocery shop ©Catherine Gerber

Cheese and wine to finish

We've been strolling for more than two hours now and we've ticked off all the stops on our map, except for the last one. The time's flown by and we're curious to see what awaits us at the end.

And we're not disappointed! It's time for an aperitif and we're served a lovely platter of cheeses and cold cuts, accompanied by a glass of Chasselas white wine. We admire the large selection of cheeses and sausages in the cheese shop, stock up on Tête de Moine cheese and absinthe sausages. And we get our last stamp.
 
It's time for aperitif, with a glass of Chasselas from Lake Biel and a selection of local cheeses and cold cuts!
It's time for aperitif, with a glass of Chasselas from Lake Biel and a selection of local cheeses and cold cuts! ©Catherine Gerber

With our bellies full, our shopping basket filled to the brim and many wonderful encounters in our luggage, we make our way home. Dear Biel's old town, you'll always surprise us! We're already looking forward to the next market and to a coffee in the spring sunshine!