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Friday, September 22, 2017
 
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  Bordeaux (year-round) (France)

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Bordeaux, city of Art and History

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A city in full revival, the "Sleeping Beauty" has regained its eighteenth century splendour, with its white stone and historic centre, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Epicentre of the Bordeaux area, Aquitaine's capital is also the world capital of wine, gateway to a unique cultural heritage.

With 1,810 hectares listed by UNESCO and 347 buildings classified as Historic Monuments, Bordeaux is the largest urban centre in the world to enjoy this distinction. Best European destination in 2015, a student city that features among France’s favourite cities... Bordeaux has multiplied its merits, even attracting some of the most starred chefs, like Gordon Ramsay, Joel Robuchon and Philippe Etchebest. Now that Bordeaux and Le Port de la Lune are on the UNESCO World Heritage list, it is a city in the midst of restructuring, for never-ending discovery...

 

Nestled around the Garonne river, Bordeaux has preserved its theatrical decor while opening out to the river. North of the city, take a stroll through shopping districts like the "Triangle" with its majestic Grand Theatre, luxury shops and mansions, or the "Chartrons" known for its flea markets and antique shops ... As you wander through the narrow streets, look out for the “mascarons”, the famous Bordeaux faces carved in the stone. The squares of Old Bordeaux share their love of local fare, displayed on fine restaurant tables, while the bistro terraces in the popular streets of Saint-Eloi and Saint-Michel are laced with southern and Spanish flavours. On the right bank, the Bordeaux lookout offers a breathtaking view of Le Port de la Lune and Place de la Bourse with its golden facades.

 

A must when you are in in the world capital of wine: wine tasting. A preference for Margaux, Pauillac or Saint Emilion? Delight in the excellence of Bordeaux wine on one of six wine routes or aboard a cruise along the Garonne. Extend your multi-sensory experience at “La Cité du vin”, a cultural leisure facility that is an ideal spot for encounters and discoveries. Scheduled to open in June 2016.

 

Abundant and varied, the city’s cultural offering will satisfy all types of curiosity. Art is on show in unique locations like the Bernard Magrez Cultural Institute with its eighteenth century charm or the contemporary art museum, a former colonial warehouse. The museum of decorative arts and design recounts the lifestyle of Bordeaux aristocracy at the time of the French Revolution, while the Aquitaine museum traces the development of Bordeaux from prehistoric times to the present day.

 

Today Bordeaux embodies the sweetness of life: a pleasant town centre with soft modes of transport and a metropolis that is abundant in green spaces. Parks, botanical gardens and urban trails to delight walkers and sports enthusiasts....

 

Close to Bordeaux, the South-West coast reveals sumptuous landscapes: ocean views, Pyrenean peaks, the Landes forest, vines stretching as far as the horizon ... Enjoy a relaxing trip around the old port of La Rochelle before heading to the dream islands of Oléron, and Aix. Unless you prefer to sample the local oysters from the Bay of Arcachon during a bike ride, or surf at the best spots on the Basque Coast, in Biarritz. The Atlantic Ocean is within easy reach for a well-deserved swim ... to the delight of all water sports fans!

 

 

 

WHAT TO SEE

 

In Bordeaux

Sites and monuments
 

  • Pey Berland bell tower
  • Porte Cailhau city gate
  • Palais Rohan city hall
  • Saint Michel’s spire

 

Museums

  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Musée National des Douanes (customs and excise museum)
  • Musée de la Création Franche (outsider art).

 

Parks:

  • Botanical Garden
  • Parc des Jalles
  • Parc des Coteaux (over 25km of hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Garonne).

 

Nearby

Sites and monuments

  • Dune of Pilat
  • Arcachon Bay
  • The Basque Country

 

Parks:

  • Artificial caves in Majolan Park in Blanquefort
  • Parc Bordelais in Caudéran
  • Palmer’s Park in Cenon

 

 

GASTRONOMY IN BORDEAUX

 

Seafood

  • Arcachon Bay oysters
  • Eel
  • Aquitaine caviar
  • Lamprey: river fish resembling an eel.
  • Shad: migratory fish
  • Bichettes: small white shrimp from the Gironde river estuary.
  • Pibale: eel fry

 

Pork products

  • Grenier Médocain: Medoc regional charcuterie, a kind of sausage.
  • Gratton Lormont: tasty, spicy dish prepared with diced bacon, chunks of ham and shoulder of fresh pork.
  • Foie gras
  • Pâtés

 

Dishes

  • Tourin: garlic soup with egg whites, sometimes called "drunkard’s tourin".
  • Pauillac milk-fed lamb, from an old pastoral tradition, with its inimitable subtle flavour.
  • Entrecote Bordelaise
  • Salmi of wood pigeon
  • Poultry confit
  • Bœuf de Bazas: beef from the Bazadais breed with a melt-in-the-mouth texture, a subtle nutty flavour, and delicately pigmented with fat.
  • Grignols capon
  • Tricandilles: sliced pork tripe, grilled over a vine wood fire then seasoned with garlic and parsley: the winegrowers’ "snack".

 

Desserts

  • Cannelé de Bordeaux: little batter cakes with vanilla and rum, soft inside and crispy outside.
  • Bouchon de Bordeaux: local delicacy in the shape of a cork, made with almond paste and stuffed with raisins cooked in Fine de Bordeaux brandy.
  • Macaron de Saint- Émilion: sweet meringue-based confection made with ground almonds and egg whites.
  • Sarments de Médoc: fine chocolate twigs, dark or milk, resembling vine shoots.
  • Fanchonnette bordelais: delicious oval-shaped candy, filled with almond, chocolate, coffee, or fruit pulp.

 

Drinks  

  • Fine de Bordeaux: a brandy of great finesse, in shades of amber, distilled from white wine.
  • Lillet: Bordeaux aperitif made from wine and fruit liqueurs.
  • Wines of Bordeaux

 

 

UNMISSABLE EVENTS IN BORDEAUX

 

  • January: Meetings of the Short Form
  • February: Jumping International de Bordeaux
  • April: Pessac International History Film Festival, L'Escale du Livre book festival, Bordeaux Marathon
  • May: Bordeaux International Fair
  • June: Bordeaux Wine Festival
  • July: Quai des Sport & Dansons sur les Quais, sports and dance festival of Hauts de Garonne
  • August: Reggae Sun Ska Festival
  • September: Médoc marathon, Festival les Arts Mêlés (mixed arts festival)
  • October: Médoc marathon, Festival les Arts Mêlés (mixed arts festival)
  • November: Bordeaux S.O GOOD (Festival of the art of living and gastronomy)
  • December: Bordeaux tasting (Festival of the great wines of Bordeaux)

 

 

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