Two weeks ago I was in Bordeaux. A happy coincidence I’d say. It was the outcome of a random wednesday night catching up with my high school friends over a glass of wine. We decided to plan a short trip like in the good old days. A few requirements were set in order to pick a place: it should not be too far, it should involve good food, have a fair amount of drinks, be a bit social and likely to be sunny. Bordeaux seemed like a great match to us…Off I go with voyages sncf.
To be honest we didn’t really have a plan. And you don’t really need to in Bordeaux. It’s such an easy city to get carried away, from one little street to another cute corner. So here’s some of my pleasant encounters in pictures.
Home away from home
We stayed in Apartement Chateau d’Issan and it was just perfect. Right next to Musée des Beaux Arts and the cathedral, you can go anywhere by foot from here. It had everything we needed. Amazingly comfy hotel beds, fully equipped kitchen, a cosy living room and it made us feel at home away from home.
No matter where I go, I always try to find a spot for a panoramic view of the place. If you wanna have the best view overlooking Bordeaux, then take it to La Cité Du Vin museum. This bold architectural statement piece aligning the Garonne river houses a museum which will teach you everything about wine if you’re up for some playful interaction. I especially enjoyed interacting with a glass of Bordeaux wine on the top floor.
Me and my friends go way back and I can’t remember how many glasses of wine we had over all the years to celebrate basically anything. You’d think we would be pro’s by now but we’re not at all. We definitely couldn’t leave Bordeaux without a proper wine tasting. At Le Boutique hotel we were warmly received for a ‘tour de France’ wine tasting. I now know why wines from the south of France tend to be stronger than the ones from the North. And I can successfully track the smell of wet leaves and minerals. Went from dummy to pro real quick, I must say.
French people will never admit it but a good barista-style coffee is not a common thing to find in the streets. Sure they can pull a safe café creme, but for a good latte or a flat white you need to know where to go. SIP and L’Alchimiste serve perfect cappuccino’s in a setting how a coffee bar should look like: cosy, laid-back and packed with locals.
Food and drinks
People in Bordeaux must really enjoy the good life. Besides being one of world’s most famous wine regions, it has a whole lotta options to enjoy good food in authentic places. Maybe the perks of a city that has not been completely swamped by tourists? My absolutely favorite discovery is Belle Campagne. A restaurant that serves locavore dishes. Loca what? Basically they serve seasonal food only that comes from local suppliers. Don’t think this will cut down your options. Everything on the menu sounded like a sensational taste bud explosion. It was a pleasure to see how passionate the owner was explaining the concept, dishes and recommending carefully selected wines. We were taken care of so well and the food was just beyond. My favorite was the slow cooked pork with apple beignet and sweet potato cream. The other night we headed to Fils a Maman for a casual dinner. Cosy place, lovely staff and nice food. For drinks we kinda claimed Mama Shelter as our local hangout from the first night. I’ve been to Mama Shelter in Paris and think the one in Bordeaux has the same vibe. Cosy but spacious, with a metropolitan flair, good cocktails and cool people. We wanted to try Ibaïa and Iboat as well, but we had to shelter from the rain. In general, Place Du Parlement has a lot of nice places for food and drinks and really comes alive at night. So go and wander around, and don’t forget to stop by Rue Parlement Saint Pierre to find the cutest balcony ever at La comtesse. And if you have time and you’re up for something completely different than the picture perfect sand colored facades of Bordeaux, you could cross Le Garonne and go to Darwin Ecosystem. Looks like a previously abandoned graffiti covered place