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Bordeaux trip


#1

Hi all, one of my friends is turning 40 this year and we are considering going to Bordeaux to celebrate (London has also been mooted). Neither myself or his wife have ever been and she is worried that aside from the obvious drinking there will not be much else in Bordeaux to do. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or suggestions for London for that matter.

Thanks in advance,

Mike


Bordeaux Holiday Advice...Left Bank, Staying in Margaux
#2

When I went on a staff trip to Bordeaux we had some fantastic tour guides - driving to various properties etc.

@Ewan can you remember the details of the guides?


#3

We spent three nights in Bordeaux city itself a few years ago - as a sort of ‘weekend break’ for my other half’s birthday. There’s plenty of stuff to do in the city - it’s a beautiful place, in fact, which had seen a lot of investment by the EU and it shows.

There’s great shopping, wonderful little bars to sit and watch the world go by, walks by the river Garonne are also highly recommended (we ended up doing a fantastic circular walk, and stopped for a picnic) and the Wine Museum (Cité du Vin) is a true highlight. You can spend hours in there! The entry includes a drink at the top floor from a wine of your choice (there was quite a selection, if I remember correctly), with stunning views over the city.

There are great places to eat, too, and lovely little squares to meander through. We stayed in the St Pierre district, which was a fab location and highly recommended: https://www.bordeaux-tourism.co.uk/Discover-Bordeaux/Must-See/THE-SAINT-PIERRE-DISTRICT

The little square in front of the Porte Cailhau was a magical place to have a drink and a bite to eat in the evening. The Botanical Garden is also a highlight.


#4

Very topical for me as I’ve been wondering about taking off in my van for a week over there in maybe August!


#5

If you are fit enough I recommend a trip up Tour Pey Berland. http://www.pey-berland.fr/

Fabulous views of the city from the top. As others have said it is a beautiful city in its own right ignoring any wine related activities.

And if you are there over the summer there will be loads going on. Last time we were there we enjoyed a free concert in the courtyard of the town hall. Didn’t know it was on, just stumbled across it.


#6

Thanks for the responses so far, the trip would be for around 3 nights during the October half term (we are leaving the kids at home).


#7

If it’s the city you’re going to then - it’s a perfect amount of time to spend there. And although we went in March, which was still a little cool but sunny - I assume October will be lovely still.


#8

Hi Mike. I went for a few days at harvest time a couple of years ago and there is plenty to do, e.g. climb the tower, river trip, wine museum, the reflecting pool, wander round the old warehouse district and see the German submarine pens. The tram system is good for getting around and there is a cheap bus from the airport to the city.


#9

Drop an email to Henri Challeau at Bordeaux Wine Travel
contact@bordeaux-wine-travel.com


#10

there is so much to do and see both in Bordeaux and within 1 hours travel

As @inbar has mentioned, Cite de Vin is fantastic and easily 3 hrs …my boy was 7 when we went and was fascinated !

For restaurants you are spoilt…my two favourites are La Tupina (lunch is amazing value) and Entrecôte (https://www.entrecote.fr) …which is a bit of a wine trade hangout (Dan Jago ex boss of BBR was in there when we were)

Lots of bars to watch the world go by - https://www.decanter.com/wine-travel/france/new-bordeaux-wine-bars-410925/

For wine…Travel the D2 alongside the Gironde and you will pass Ch after Ch. You also have Pape Clement on the edges of the City and worth a visit.

For further a field - Cap Ferret or other places on the Bassin d’arcachon - I liked Gujan-mestras (but my ex-colleague lived there and knew just were to go)

Enjoy


#11

I second the Botanical Garden - if the weather is good, take a picnic. Get your lunch ingredients including excellent wines, pate & cheeses from Marché des Capucins, it is about as French as you can get, one stall just sells fresh herbs - check out Rick Stein’s Bordeaux weekend. He also visited Entrecote.

The Quartier Saint Michel is the place to go for Cous-cous, all foods north African & wonderful mint tea.

I took the single track train out into Margaux & Pauillac - but to be honest would not bother going again - monoculture vineyards, empty villages (all gone on hiliday) eye-wateringly expensive restaurants. MUCH better is the village (small town?) of Cadillac which is much more genuine, heading out towards St Emillion.

Bordeaux in the evening is lovely, can be smelly, but I really loved it.


#12

He also visited the wonderful Chez Meme in Saint-Julien-Beychevelle - great Bistrot where you always end up sat next to a wine maker. Table from Mouton last time we were there …along with their own wines !

And in the French Odyssey series he ate at La Tupina and now stayed there for the weekend


#13

I can also recommend La Tupina, fabulous steak and grill restaurant, we did dinner, you need to book an already busy restaurant is turbocharged after Rick Steins weekend in Bordeaux.


#14

A review recently said it’d gone downhill.


#15

I was there last summer and all was good - I had the lovely set lunch menu which at €18 is fantastic value for money …my son had the chips “steak Frites”, it was the next cut from my wife’s Chateaubriand !

It has had several people (critics) knock it over the years as (if I understand it correctly) the owners decided to turn their backs on awards and critics and not “pander” to them. This isn’t haut cuisine, Michelin star stuff - this is shoulder of lamb, confit of duck, steaks… its southwest France on a plate.


#16

Hi all, i thought I’d revive this thread. I’m thinking about Bordeaux in march/april next year, staying in the city and then getting a wine tour around the region. Has anyone had any good experiences with tours picking up from the city on a day jaunt with any recommend companies?

I didn’t really want to be hiring a car as a) it would heavily impair tastings and b) I’m a dyed in the wool cyclist…plus i imagine guests of a tour organiser would have good relationships with the wineries and they’d obviously crack open as many old bottles as we requested :blush:


#17

@Nowt_in_my_glass Hi Simon, I contacted Hamish Wakes-Miller of Bella Wine Tours, telling him what I wanted to do and he produced a super tour that exceeded expectations (e.g. barrel tasting at Mouton Rothschild) - see www. bellawines .co.uk


#18

Aw lovely thank you @peterm I’ll drop him Hamish an email :slight_smile:


#19

We went this summer
Had a great time
Hired a car and stayed in the medoc, Margaux to be exact. Moulin de margaux it’s on booking.com

We self arranged visits at chateau beychevelle, Pichon baron and siran without too much difficulty! All worth a visit! Can book via website. Tours in English. Got to try few wines at each and not expensive.

Pauillac quai is a good spot for lunch

Would recommend trying to go to a rugby game at Bordeaux begles it was a great experience.

We went to beach at lacnau Plage which we liked, great beach and kind of surfy cool think Cornwall on the medoc.

Found Cité du vin a bit overhyped to be honest
Great architecture and worth a visit but the actual content wasn’t revelatory and all a bit well, french. Strange cartoons, difficult to explain!

We used the equivalent of Boris bikes which were a great way to get around

There’s also a central wine shop I can’t Remember name name of which has an amazing spiral staircase with escalating vintages. That needs a visit!!! Great

Enjoy


#20

I sort of agree about Cite du Vin, but entrance does include a tasting on the top floor and there are good views form there, and an outside walkway.

Difficult to pitch a wine attraction that will suit geeks and the general public. Those with a great interest, like users found on this board, are most difficult to please.

Assume you are going to wallow in wine love, rather than experience a revelation, and you should be happy. And even geeks have partners who put up with the passion and Citi du Vin should show them a bit of what it’s about.

Also there are seminars in the theatre and special tastings that might be worthwhile if one can get there when they are scheduled. That’s why I went :slight_smile: (gosh, it was in 2016)