Whilst I went for a lovely run by the river in Bordeaux, let’s not mess around. I was not there purely to go running, and eating and drinking were the headline acts.
We were staying at the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, which was absolutely stunning. It was in a great location directly opposite the Bordeaux opera house, meaning we could walk everywhere we wanted to go. When we arrived on Thursday evening, we went straight for drinks on the roof terrace.
This bar was seriously “too cool for school” (yes, that is the resident DJ) and we probably bought out most expensive bottle(s) of wine of the whole weekend here, including the champagnes. Still – it’s important to start the weekend right.
On Friday, we started out late (shockingly) – after exercise then breakfast – so headed pretty much straight for lunch. There are SO MANY squares in Bordeaux, and we opted for one near the Cathedral. .
We went for the “healthy” salad option. Seriously, there was nothing healthy about anything I ate all weekend. I promise there were leaves (perfectly dressed!) alongside the bread and cheese. They’re just a bit eclipsed in this photo.
As if the cheese salad weren’t unhealthy enough, Matthew managed to do one better…..
In the afternoon, we headed to the Bar à Vin, which seems to be somehow associated with the Bordeaux tourist board. For €20 each, we got to try two rosé wines, two white wines, two red wines and a sparkling wine and shared three cheese and meat boards. The waiter was incredibly helpful in selecting the wines to sample, and as you can see below, these were not stingy measures. We all had different wines, and there was plenty in each glass to pass them round for a taste and to then haggle over who got which one to finish off.
Strangely for me, my favourite was a rosé.
Here is their wine menu, but the samples we had (above) were half price. AMAZING.
For dinner, the hotel recommended Chez Jean which was on another lovely square.
When we arrived, it was sunny and we wanted to sit outside. The staff insisted on us sitting under their awning and sure enough ten minutes later it poured with rain. The below restaurant was full of people eating when we arrived. They can be seen huddling in the doorway in the below photo. The awning kept us dry, and it was still incredibly warm.
Our food was amazing – I had ceviche followed by steak tartare. Keeping it raw. We finished off with a drink on the square our hotel’s on. Bottle of wine number eight thousand of the day; good to end on a round number.
On Saturday, we did the gym and breakfast thing, and then headed to a market. This is a proper market for the Bordelaise people. We had a wander round….
found the coffee….
…..and then found a great Spanish bar actually within the market and sampled some non-Bordeaux wines. This place seemed really popular with the locals. It was probably a very odd choice for tourists to Bordeaux, but it was fun and we kept everything else strictly local.
For lunch, we found another square and had more delicious “salads”.
We decided to try some of self-service wine machines. This is a VERY EASY (and enjoyable) way to spend money.
None of us forked out for the €35 taster sadly/thank God…(yes, that’s €655 for the bottle).
Ah yes….that’s more like it……
For dinner we decided to eat in the restaurant below our hotel, and it was a fantastic meal. Lots of wine, meat and fish followed by cheese and pudding.
On Sunday, we all took a day off the exercise and instead went to the hotel spa. It was absolutely stunning! The swimming pool is perhaps the most luxurious I have ever seen….
and it was great to sweat it out in the steam room and sauna.
Finally, we took a trip back up to the roof terrace to spend some time in the hot tub up there. I could definitely handle more Sunday mornings like this.
Since it was our last lunch, we went to a restaurant round the corner from our hotel and drank a lot of champagne. Really, there was nothing else for it.
I had scallops and black pudding which I’d seen on every menu, but not gotten round to. Better late than never.
Sadly, it was then time to go home. I think Bordeaux is one of the best cities I have visited yet. There is little traffic in the majority of the centre, and there is a pedestrianised square full of restaurants and cafes round every corner. The wine was delicious and plentiful, and for us the weather was absolutely amazing. I will definitely be going back! I just need to win the lottery first….