June 2005
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My Basel: dealer Iwan Wirth on his Basel highlights

The insider scoop on where to find the best food and company

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Iwan Wirth

Iwan Wirth

My favourite restaurant is Chez Donati. It’s an Italian restaurant on the Rhine and it’s really fabulous. During Art Basel I go there 99% of the time—we have a table there every night: you have to book it a year in advance for that week. It’s the only place in Switzerland where I eat spaghetti vongole and my starter is this incredible prosciutto crudo filled with truffle cream—I always overdo it and eat two, but I shouldn’t!

Chez Donati, 48 St. Johanns-Vorstadt

The other place where I very often meet people during Art Basel is the Kronenhalle in Zurich. (For me Basel and Zurich are almost interchangeable—particularly now that I am based in London.) The Kronenhalle is over 100 years old and has an incredible collection: fantastic works by Soutine, Léger, Picasso, Vuillard, Kandinsky. Chagall designed the menu and Diego Giacometti designed the bar.

Kronenhalle, Rämistrasse 4

The other thing I always try and do in Basel is to swim across the Rhine. I go in above the Mittelbrücke but I never manage to cross the river. I always go in the morning, at night it would be dangerous, especially after a heavy dinner at the Donati!

• Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as "My Basel by Iwan Wirth"

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