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Spend a weekend in Bordeaux

November 21, 2017 1:03 pm Published by
The enjoyment of a weekend break is often enough to recharge the batteries, energising the mind, body and soul. There are plenty of European destinations from which to choose, but one less obvious winter getaway is Bordeaux. Located in SW France, Bordeaux enjoys mild winters. And with winter’s impending gloom, many people opt for an escape to sunnier climes. 
The port city of Bordeaux is the world’s largest urban UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is celebrated for the preservation of its numerous classical and neo-classical buildings. And yet despite this incredible fact, for many people Bordeaux typically conjures up one particular image: wine. Bordeaux is considered the wine capital of the world and its vineyards are indeed vast—some 112,000 hectares. The region’s mild winters, warm summers and sufficient rainfall, ensure Bordeaux’s climate is perfect for wine growing.

A weekend in Bordeaux

Visit

Bordeaux has a number of galleries and museums—from its famed Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux (Museum of Fine Arts) to its curious Submarine Base, a concrete and steel behemoth that spotlights modern and contemporary art. For wine aficionados, a visit to the bold, modern La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux’s impressive wine museum, is a must. Designed by Paris-based XTU Architects, the building sits in contrast to much of Bordeaux’s historic facades, its structure a reference to the action of wine swirling in a glass.

Eat

With an abundance of fine eateries, dining in Bordeaux is likely to use up one’s monetary resources (especially when combined with the region’s first-rate wines). At the somewhat more accessible Comptoir Cuisine, patrons can enjoy a chic bistro with open kitchens and a friendly atmosphere. A short, simple menu, with a choice of wines by the glass, ensures the focus is firmly on serving a good meal (see ViaMichelin for further details). Whether seated on the restaurant’s ground floor or on its mezzanine, diners can enjoy a view of LZF’s Totem lamps, their structure a veritable feast for the senses (particularly apt in their restaurant setting). Imagined and created by Mariví Calvo and Burkhard Dämmer, Totem is a clever and striking combination of Dämmer’s Pod and Poppy pendants. At Comptoir Cuisine, the impressive Totem lights spread a warming glow throughout the restaurant’s smart interior.
Comptoir Cuisine Restaurant (Bordeaux). Pics by Hervé Lefèvre ” Twins photo”

Comptoir Cuisine Restaurant (Bordeaux). Pics by Hervé Lefèvre ” Twins photo”

Comptoir Cuisine Restaurant (Bordeaux). Pics by Hervé Lefèvre " Twins photo"

Comptoir Cuisine Restaurant (Bordeaux). Pics by Hervé Lefèvre ” Twins photo”

Explore
Simply exploring Bordeaux’s maze of 18th and 19th-century streets and charming squares is a great way to see the city. The eye-catching Gothic Basilica of St. Michael offers majestic views from its free-standing tower, the tallest structure in Bordeaux. A wander along the Garonne river, with its revitalised banks, where old warehouses and merchant buildings now house shops, cafes and bars, is certain to excite the senses.
Sleep
For those with a penchant for design-led accommodation (and an alternative to the usual—sometimes tired—grandeur of many Bordeaux hotels), check out the iceberg-like Seeko’o Hotel or Mama Shelter Bordeaux, whose rooms were designed by French designer–extraordinaire Philippe Starck.
 
Written by Gerard Mc Guickin
Special thanks to Elodie Boyer.

 

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