A WEEKEND IN...BORDEAUX
Bordeaux is so much more than fine red wine - it is a city of classical french architecture and cuisine blended with a buzzing late night bar scene
A Weekend in Bordeaux | Friday...
Drop your bags at the hippest new hotel in town Mama shelter and head straight up to the rooftop bar to indulge in one of their signature cocktails to celebrate your arrival. This is the hottest bar in town and the downstairs buzzing restaurant means you don't even have to leave the hotel to relax into dinner.
Amazing signature cocktails at Mama Shelter
A Weekend in Bordeaux | Saturday...
Bordeaux is a relatively traffic free town which makes walking a pleasurable way to get around. Set off - croissant in hand - to take in some of Bordeaux's most famous hotspots in the centre - heading over to the revolution monument and its vast square which then leads you nicely down to the river towards the Place de la Bourse.
This is one of Bordeaux's most photographed sites and combines the wonderful sprawling palatial architecture of old with the mirror d'eau - a 3,500 square metre spellbinding reflective pool in front which creates a number of mirages and effects before your eyes over the course of 15 minutes on a repetitive loop so no need to worry about missing any of it day or night!
Continue to follow the river and carve off left into the narrow atmospheric streets which surround it. Get lost in the sandstone buildings and pop into the boutiques on the Rue du Loop for a great selection of vintage finds - Freep Show Vintage (80 Rue du Loup, 33000 Bordeaux, France; www.freepshow.com), Blue Madone (59 Rue du Loup, 33000 Bordeaux, France; https://bluemadone.com/) and Vintage Paradise (rue 33000, 2 Rue Tustal, 33000 Bordeaux, France) to name but a few.
A well deserved morning coffee in the Place Fernand Lafargue is a great place to rest your legs and watch the square as the city starts to come to life. Note – the residents of Bordeaux are not particularly early risers – nothing was open before 10am and little outside of coffee shops open much before 11am.
The 3,500 square foot mirror d'eau and it's effects
The Capucin Market (Place des Capucins, 33800 Bordeaux, France; http://marchedescapucins.com) is a foodies paradise of local cheeses, meats and more importantly seafood! – It is an amazing place frequented by both locals and tourists alike - pull up a stool at one of the tiny little bars inside, grab yourself a plate of oysters paired with a crisp white local wine to get the full experience.
Retrace your steps past the St Michel church and then back onto the seafront to reach La Petit Commerce (22 Rue Parlement Saint-Pierre, 33000 Bordeaux, France). This is famous for its Mussels, razor clams, fried sardines and more! Razor clams with loads of garlic comes highly recommended! Round it off with a Petits Gourmand for a small taste of each of their finest desserts.
Now for a bit of culture - head over to the Fine arts museum (Musée des Beaux Arts, 20 Cours d'Albret, 33000 Bordeaux, France; www.musba-bordeaux.fr) you can see both masterpieces and a more modern selection. It is one of the largest galleries outside of Paris so there is something for all art lovers to discover here.
You have to try the razor clams at Petit Commerce
The hottest dinner ticket in town is Racines (59 Rue Georges Bonnac, 33000 Bordeaux, France; +33 5 56 98 43 08) - book in advance for this highly rated local spot. The Scottish born chef curates a small chalk board menu which changes daily based on the inspiration he draws from local trips to the market and is great value for this intricate standard of cooking.
Voila! (36 Rue Parlement Saint-Pierre, 33000 Bordeaux, France) is a great bar to call in on for evening drinks paired with local cheeses in a bohemian setting to round off your meal. Finish up in Bar L’Apollo (19 Place Fernand Lafargue, 33000 Bordeaux, France) which spills out of the street and into the square with a great selection of music.
Voila! bar is super atmospheric for a spot of wine and cheese
A Weekend in Bordeaux | Sunday...
The local Sunday past time is to buy and sell at one of the city's famous flea Markets. Les Puces de St Michel if one of the best and if full of furniture, paintings, vintage clothing and vinyl with cafes surrounding the square for when you need a break from all the haggling.
La Cagette (8 Place du Palais, 33000 Bordeaux, France; www.lacagette.com) is a local institution and the prix fixe menu is one of the best buys in Bordeaux for lunch. Small plates with a focus on seasonal produce give you an opportunity to samples the best of the region washed down with a Bordeaux red for which the city is famous.
Once refreshed pick up some bikes through the V3 hire-as-you-go system (www.infotbm.com)which can be easily picked up and returned on most street corners and head over to the Darwin Eco Systeme. This is located on the site of a former military barracks and is now a sprawling home to an urban farm, skatepark, artists open studios, bike polo field and a wellness centre. This modern inner city community is a future green urban economy in the making and is a great chance to experience a modern take on Bordeaux nestled amongst the historic. Grab a drink in the sunshine from the bar and pick up some great foodie souvenirs from the organic shop before you head off for the airport.
The Flea market at Les Puces de St Michel