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Bordeaux Holiday Advice...Left Bank, Staying in Margaux

france

#1

Hello

We have a trip planned to the Bordeaux area towards the end of the month and looking for some hints/tips and advice please

We’re staying in a cottage in the Margaux area
We’ve got 5 nights away and we have a hire car

We have vineyard visits booked in to:
Chateau pichon baron
Chateau beychevelle
Chateau siran
Chateau haut bailly

We’re also thinking of a trip to the cite du vin museum in Bordeaux and also visiting lacanau ocean, arcachon bay and dune du pilat

Any thoughts on this?
Any other must sees?
Any suggestions for restaurants/cafes in any of these areas (good value would be good given the weak pound!)
Any good supermarkets/food shops in the area to stock up on food/wine when eating in?

Thanks for your help
Alex


#2

Hi Alex. I would look into the details in The World Atlas of Wines, and see if they come up with some good hints, if you haven’t done it yet. Then I would try to seek some information about official release partys and celebrations at that time, I recon it could be interesting to attend as well for turists. I only heard of one for that time of the year, but its on the east side, it’s Les Grand Heures des St.-Emilion, and it should be in September at some time. You can find info on the net, if you decide it’s worth driving for, and fit in to your planning. Have a nice tour. Regards Kristina.


#3

Thank you Kristina!!! Much appreciated. Will check those out! Thanks for your help!!!
Cheers A


#4

Hi @ALJ87, You may find this thread worth reading on places to visit and recommnedations in and around Bordeaux:


#5

Great
Thanks Leah I will check that out
Cheers!


#6

We went to the Atlantic Coast west of Bordeaux a few years 2010-13 and visited Pauillac a few times and Margaux just the once. La Salamandre down on the Quai in Pauillac is a decent lunch venue with a good value prix fixe. Can’t say what it is like in the evening.


#7

http://www.villabordoh.com/?utm_source=tripadvisor&utm_medium=referral

Villabordoh, lovely little cafe / bistro (and I do mean ‘little’) very basic menu without any fine-wine pretensions and thankfully without the associated price hike. Up a side street right in the middle of Margaux. Try the unique wine from Isle Margaux which includes all 5 allowed grapes and a high proportion of petit verdot. I’m not sure if you can book, so turn up early is my advice.


#8

sadly didn’t visit this summer but has been the haunt for the last {cough} summers

Cite du Vin -
great place, can easily spend 3-4 hours there. Little cafe downstairs or head in to town for lunch / dinner

Other ‘sees’ -
Go over to Blaye for the day on the ferry (as a foot passenger) from Lemarque - the citadel is amazing (and free) nice little market in town of a morning but little else
Fort Medoc (Cussac) is another great little find - interesting part of the French national defences and nice spot for a picnic

Restaurants / Cafes-
Pauillac - Hotel de France et d’anglettere on the main quai-said road is nice and followed by an afternoon stroll around the ‘harbour’ and town
St Julian Beychevelle - Chez Meme nice little bistro, frequented by CH owners and workers…
Bordeaux - La Tupina… great south western cooking. Shoulder of lamb is to die for…as is much of the rest - good wine list.
Margaux - Ch Marquis d’alesme had just opened a new ‘visitor centre’ and there served little sharing boards …haven’t partaken !

Little tip … lunch is so much better value for money than eating out at night ! We just had 3 three course lunch at a 1* restaurant for 35€ …dinner options were 64 to 82€
Then get pate, cheese, salads etc for an evening picnic. -all to be washed down with some nice local wine…also means no-one has to drive in the evening !

Supermarkets -
Castelnau has both Intermarche and Casino’s - have mainly used the Intermarche
Saint Laurent has a Super U
Margaux wine shops - L’avant Garde and Cave d’ulysse are both nice to have a look around…occasionally the odd bargain but do hold vintages with a bit of age so good for drinking there

Other things
Lacanau, Hourtin, Montalivet and Soulac are all typical French seaside resorts with campsites and holiday homes. it purely comes to personal preference but Hourtina and Lacanau are certainly much closer !
Listrac Medoc - Ch Fourcas Dupre is worth a visit - besides great wine (inc excellent whites) he has a little “museum” to wine making in the area and has old equipment etc. I can make an intro if you would like.

Enjoy !


#9

Fantastic advice
Thank you so much
We are booked in to Cité du vin and la tupina followed by a bordeaux begels rugby game!
Will check out those places in the medoc and by the coast
Looking forward to it
Lunchtimes look great value thanks
Cheers
Alex


#10

Alex -

You’ve got the Cité du Vin sorted, so no need to add that. I would suggest a trip to St. Emilion is a must at some point, though whether you can fit it in your schedule is another matter. As a world heritage site, the town is probably the most interesting to visit as a place, even ignoring its wine connections. There are regular trains from Bordeaux, and the train obligingly passes through two or three outer production areas that may not be worth visiting, but are interesting to see whizz by the window!

In terms of places to eat, the main eating out area in Bordeaux is just in from, and on the upstream side of the Place de la Bourse. Quite buzzy, and you can probably risk not pre-booking before taking a look at what suits you - but then book!

Speaking of the Place de la Bourse, there is a walk-round display in one of the offices next to the tourist office which is worth an hour or so, as it explains the history of Bordeaux and its role as the centre of wine exporting.

Bordeaux has a water bus that is part of the city transit system - if you buy a carnet to get about, you can use one of the units on the water bus - it’s worth it for a different view.

By the way, they are building a new tram line through the city of Bordeaux. It may be finished now, but if not, it has caused a fair bit of diversion work. If you need to catch public transport, it’s useful to know that not all the bus lines follow the exact routes given on the handouts, though the changes were pretty well signed locally. And if driving, not all streets are open.

(PS - I haven’t checked the thread recommended by @Leah yet, so apologies if there is any overlap).