A Weekend in Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a city in southwestern France most renowned for being the wine capital of the world, a region where wine has been produced since the 8th century. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century, so needless to say it’s pretty damn beautiful.
During the week I posted my travel guide to Bordeaux, but how was the actual weekend away you ask? (let’s pretend you do). Well, after another long winter in London and 4 months of wearing a heavy coat and too many layers, this sunny trip was just what I needed to unwind, top up on my vitamin D and enjoy some of the finer things in life (read: a hella lot of cheese and wine).
Bordeaux was quite a sporadic trip by my standards, as earlier that week my boyfriend and I celebrated our 7 (!) year anniversary and decided to book some flights just 5 days before setting off.
We stayed in a cute apartment from Airbnb in the perfect, central location of Chartrons. I love using Airbnb as it really makes me feel like a local and gives me a whole new perspective on a city. Hotels can so often feel stiff and same-y, especially on a low-mid budget, whereas renting people’s flats has a certain local charm about it and makes you feel right at home.
I hadn’t heard much about Bordeaux before my trip there so I didn’t really know what to expect, other than a lot of good wine. I once spent an hour in the train station when travelling from San Sebastian to countryside village Lalinde, so that didn’t really help to draw a great picture of the city either.
We flew from London Luton to Bordeaux Airport and were greeted by blue skies and a cute little airport vineyard!
We landed at 10am and didn’t waste any time to start exploring the streets of Bordeaux.
The sun was out in full force all weekend so we perched ourselves outside Chez Fred and enjoyed a few glasses of Rosé. Coats and jackets came off… it was glorious!
By day 2 we’d ditched our coats all together and soaked up the 18 degree goodness with Ray Bans in tow (though I kept my scarf just for good measure).
Both afternoons were spent ‘wine bar hopping’ from one amazing sunny spot to the next. We particularly loved sitting along the river, it had such a relaxed feel and we felt as though we were perched on the coast looking out onto the ocean (OK I think we’ve been living in the city for too long!).
Being the first ‘warm’ weekend of the year, Bordeaux’s nightlife was out in full force and everyone was enjoying their drinks and dinners outside on the terraces.
Le Petit Bois wine bar was one of my favourite evening spots, it was so beautifully decorated (this photos doesn’t do it any justice). Think full-grown trees inside with vines and flowers coming out of every corner, cosy vintage furniture and glamorous embroidery. We ordered a bottle of red and some dishes that we couldn’t understand/translate, which ended up being three variations of cheese. So much cheese.
Apart from the wine and cheese, the bread is another of my favourite reasons to visit France and Bordeaux bakeries didn’t disappoint.
These doughnuts cut in half and filled with copious amounts of Nutella really speak for themselves. There will be no judgement…what happens in Bordeaux stays in Bordeaux. Sort of.
Every Sunday morning there’s a lovely market along the river with lots of local produce and delicacies on offer. If we didn’t have to stick to any liquid restrictions on the flight home, my suit case would have definitely been repacked and filled with all the wonderful market foods and wines!
I’m the first to admit that beyond the cheese, bread and pastries, French cuisine isn’t my favourite – it’s a little too meat-heavy and beige for my liking, which is why I was so excited to go to this amazing bagel cafe in the Old Town for lunch.
By Sunday afternoon it was home time and after a nice lunch, we headed back to the airport and back to London Luton. Oddly, this short one-hour flight also had some of the most violent turbulence I’ve ever experienced, so I was pretty happy to land and head back home, just in time to settle in for the evening and get ready for another week.
All in all it was a perfect two and a half days and I think it was just the right amount of time to enjoy the best bits of Bordeaux. If you want to visit wineries and do some tours then I’d recommend you stay an extra night or two to fit it all in.
If you have plans to visit in the future, don’t forget to check out my Travel Guide to Bordeaux here.
Next on the travel list is…. VEGAS! So excited to visit next weekend on an all-expenses-paid trip thanks to my pretty awesome agency. It’s going to get a little crazy, I’ll keep you updated with lots of photos!