Happy Tuesday! I hope all of you at home enjoyed your Labor Day holiday. Today marks the official end of summer here in France, as children return to school and most businesses re-open after their “vacances annuelles”. Paris streets will be full of very tan faces for the next few weeks. As the temperature is predicted to be 90 degrees on Thursday, the opportunities for sunbathing do not appear to be over quite yet.
Mark and I had a wonderful weekend in Bordeaux, which was a pleasant 3 hour ride south west on the TGV. We arrived around 10:00 Friday night and checked into the Hotel Burdigala, which was done in a “Hollywood Glam” style. (Is that really a style? If not, it should be.). There was lots of leather and shine and bling.
The best part, though, was that the rooms were totally sound and light-proof, meaning that one could easily sleep all day if one were inclined. Fortunately for this post, we were not!
Saturday we had booked a half-day tour of the village of St. Emilion and of a winery in the area.
St. Emilion was a tiny but beautiful village about 40 minutes from Bordeaux. I am pretty sure the inhabitants are part billy-goat, however, as it super hilly and the streets are all uneven cobblestone. There are over a thousand wineries in the area of St. Emilion, and almost as many gorgeous wine shops in the village!
From the village, we toured a winery and tasted several of their offerings, which were so good we had to take a few home with us.
Bordeaux itself was a very pretty little town, built almost entirely of a gorgeous local limestone that glowed when the sun hit it right.
le Grand Theatre
This shallow splash pool felt great on our tired feet on a hot afternoon!
Although we did not do much research or planning before this weekend get-away, I did research the restaurants (“quelle surprise”!). We asked our hotel concierge to make reservations in three of them, and they were all memorable!
Friday night we ate at Le Plat a Oreilles, which was one of many restaurants on a lively but tiny street. Here are the views on either side of our table.
The food was amazing. These were our appetizers.
Mark had a salad with two piping hot clouds of goat cheese in puff pastry!
I had tiny mussels swimming in garlic, olive oil, and parsley. Ok and maybe some butter.
Sunday we had a bountiful brunch at a tiny place called Plume. “Le brunch” was a set menu for 19 euros; one only needed to choose a hot beverage. Love that! The dishes included an omelette on an English muffin, 2 small pancakes, vegetables, amazing granola and fruit with fromage blanc, cheese, bread, a muffin, and beans. Juice and coffee to drink. Yeah, we were full!
Feeling svelte and ready for the beach after our little breakfast, we rode the tram to the train station and went thirty minutes west to Arcachon.
on the tram!
This wasn’t our train, but I loved the embellishments!
Train station in Arcachon
From the station, the short walk to the beach took us by lots of lovely old Victorian homes like these.
And then voila- we were at the beach!
A visit to Arcachon was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. The beach and boardwalk were alive with people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. We sat in the shade and enjoyed the cool breeze and the people-watching. Ahhhhhh.
Back in Bordeaux in time for dinner, we luxuriated in one final gourmet meal at Solena, which was owned by a woman from San Francisco and her husband, and was just a short walk from our hotel. The ambience was not as good as the previous night, but the food was amazing.
Bordeaux- an easy weekend destination from Paris with plenty of charm and delicious food. And wine. Lots of wine. If you’re into that kind of thing.
I hope you enjoyed the highlights of our fun weekend. It’s nice to be back. Thanks for stopping by!