Looking Glass Magazine


Le Jardin Suisse
Unrivalled ambience on Naklua Soi 16

 by Jack Corbett 

Le Jardin Suisse

Here on hectic Naklua Soi 16, Le Jardin Suisse represents a welcome respite from all the traffic and noise pollution that afflicts every other restaurant.  Located where Soi 16 makes an abrupt right angled turn to the North, it almost seems illogical to think of the restaurant and the guesthouse behind it as a retreat from all that chaotic traffic because it really doesn't seem far enough back from the road.  There's all those tour buses carrying Chinese passengers prowling past, seemingly unmuffled and loud motorcycles from the dim witted showing off with their badly maintained engines.  This is not the United States, and it's not Germany, England or any other Western country where the authorities care about all that noise pollution.  This is Thailand where just abut everything is permitted.  But inside Le Jardin Suisse it's a little world of its own where a good meal can be had, drinks can be enjoyed without having to put up with all that unwanted noise, and finally a small guest house where travelers can stay at very reasonable prices.

Le Jardin SuisseLe Jardin Suisse

Le Jardin SuisseLe Jardin Suisse

I took the pictures above in the front part of the restaurant that onlookers can barely get a glimpse of because of the low wall and plants that separate the garden from Soi 16.  Then there's that green awning decorating the restaurant inside that shields the place from prying eyes, but I think it's a combination of the awning and the outside wall that serves as an effective barrier to all that noise that amazingly isn't really there.  There really is nothing like it anywhere on Soi 16, or when I really think about it, within a kilometer away.  The English translation for Le Jardin Suisse is "Swiss Garden" but I think most of us think of Switzerland as a small beautiful mountainous country where practically everyone speaks German.  But not here.  Le Jardin Suisse is owned by Jimmy and Danielle who come from the French speaking section of Switzerland so one can think of Le Jardin Suisse as a French Oasis existing in the middle of Little Germany. 

At least that's the way I like to think about my neighborhood.  Naklua is after all predominantly German and it seems that I now have more German friends than I have of any other nationality.  Which suits me just fine as I have a weakness for German food.  But when it comes to Le Jardin Suisse the ambience is French with a certain French style pemeating the place.  Which I think is a great thing.  For one thing I get to inflict my horrific French language skills I learned in school fifty years ago on Jimmy and Danielle and since the customer is always right, they have to just grin and bear it.  And now that I think about it, I bought my teak desk, the coffee table in the living room, the desk my girlfriend uses, the teak bed and chest of drawers in the small bedroom, and my latest book shelves, from Nicholas over at the Decorum, which is a French owned store that offers in my opinion the finest furniture in Pattaya that's of a style that's different from what one can get anywhere else.  So I really must face the facts, in spite of all the good things that's ever been produced by my German ancestors, the French do have a certain style and flare.  I like it here. 

This second group of pictures show an even larger garden behind the restaurant that practically no one knows anything about. This is the 8 room guest house, and it's so new that Danielle and Jimmy haven't quite gotten around to equipping its rooms with television sets.  But not to worry, they are coming very soon.  Now just take a look at the second picture below on the top row.  In the background you can see the Long Beach Hotel.  That's the building directly behind my condo buiidling.  If you click on the thumbnail you will get a bigger picture that will show the seven story orange building where I'm living.  Now, I'll wager that very few people who actually live in my building are even aware that Jimmy and Danielle now have an eight room guesthouse and that this guesthouse is a part of Le Jardin Suisse.  Believe me, this place is an oasis.  And when you consider that in the five or six hundred meters between the restaurant and the end of Naklua Soi 16 that in the next four years there will be over 2500 new condo units, this little area will become even more heavily trafficked, and even more noisy than it is now.  But there it is--the pictures tell the real untold story of this little secret gem that offers great ambience, French-Suisse cuisine and now a quiet place to stay for just 800 baht a night.


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