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At the little town of Vevey, in Switzerland, there is a particularly
comfortable hotel … The entertainment of tourists is the business of the
place, which, as many travellers will remember, is seated upon the edge
of a remarkably blue lake – a lake that it behoves every tourist to
Henry James, from Daisy Miller (1878)
Whereas brassy Montreux, a few kilometres down the road, has over the decades embraced with abandon all that glisters – gold, paper or otherwise – its old-fashioned neighbour VEVEY is more discriminating. Vevey quietly cleans its streets, tends its flowerbeds, makes sure it has enough, but not too many, hotels and then waits for visitors of a certain style to find the town for themselves, become enchanted, and stay. It’s a hard place to quantify, neither prim, nor stuffy, nor sophisticated, nor especially graceful … yet it somehow manages to incorporate strands of all of them in an ambience of tasteful, restrained gentility which seeps out of its modest facades. It is enchanting, a world apart (or a remnant of a world now past), and you may well find yourself lulled into staying.
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