It was gem and after gem and this new one did not disappoint! Alas, on arrival to Bordeaux, with minutes to spare after much “Oooohing” and “Aaaahing”, I didn’t get much time to get to take photos to show you around (I did manage to sneak a few photos of the rooms before heading out but I’ll try to show you more later).
On this day, we would finally get to explore Bordeaux properly and for that we got a guide who would be able to provide a bit more context into the history and heritage of the city, outside of wine and vineyards it’s known so well for. (I was feeling pretty lazy, nay – laidback, after drinking wine here so this was the perfect arrangement – especially considering our limited time in the city).
We basically proceeded to spend the next few hours, traipsing through the city, constantly “Wow”ed by the stunning architecture and pretty little shops.
Every so often, we would take a few minutes to disappear into the little shops, churches and mini-markets around the city- much to the unexpected delight of our guide.
I actually thought it would be more irritating to her if we kept stopping but she insisted that this was one of the best ways to see the city – by taking the time to enjoy the stuff that catches your fancy – little did she know that she’d just given me the perfect reason to stop in every patisserie shop possible (okay, fine… every patisserie shop my greedy tummy could handle – I’ve recently come to the realisation that even I , despite my epic sweet tooth, can feel ill from having far too many sweet things 😀 ).
We swung by Puerta de Cailhau – the amazing city gate and one impressive feat of French architecture which is worth fully appreciating from both sides…
…before walking down the riverfront over to The Miroir d’eau (the water mirror), which makes for a pretty amazing sight once the water settles down and reflects on the stunning Place de la Bourse in front of it. (At night, it’s absolutely incredible! Check it out here on instagram).
Eventually, we said farewell to our guide for the day and hot-footed it over to the Cité du Vin (pretty sure that translates to City of wine 😉 which sounds right up my street).
At Cité du Vin, we went straight to Le 7 restaurant where we would be having lunch.
The views here are pretty great, by the way, so if you do visit in summer, try to nab a seat outside.
We started off with scallops for me (I think Lloyd has a consomme but don’t quote me on that 😀 ).
For mains, we went with fish (with the lightest batter) and langoustines before finishing off with Petits fours (we decided to skip proper traditional dessert – my snacking in town had finally caught up with me 😀 but I still managed to work my way through those Petits fours).
The food was absolutely brilliant and just the thing needed (along with the wine) to give you an extra spring in your step.
Done with lunch, and pre-empting what was sure to be a post-lunch carb low, we decided to walk off the food with a wander around the attractions at the Cité du Vins.
The museum here is fairly compact and easy to take in though as most of it was in French (or seemed geared to a French audience), I’d be lying if I said I paid too much attention. I just spent most of my time here distracted by the amazing contraptions, arctitectural patterns and sensory wine experiences (it’s as close to a wine tasting in the museum itself as you can get without actually drinking wine 😀 ).
With that, we said farewell to the Cité du Vin and headed out to explore Bordeaux (and hopefully its many wines) on our own sans any guide whatsoever.
The city does transform at night. It’s such a perfect French city as it’s big enough to feel city-like but small enough to make it seem like you’re in a small French town or even a village (depending on what street you’re on).
Bordeaux is a surprisingly intimate city and coming from a giant city like London, I absolutely loved that. Anyway, enough rambling from my end – catch you in the next post.