I haven’t done much travelling outside of Paris in the past few months, and it’s something I’ve been itching to do, so on the last long weekend my boyfriend and I went somewhere neither of us had been before: Bordeaux! This may be a long post, so grab a cup of tea and settle in!
We arrived quite late on Friday and after spending 5+ hours in the car we were both more than a little ‘hangry’ (anyone who knows me knows that when my blood sugar drops I turn from a mostly chill person into a monster). We tossed our bags into the flat, did a quick scan of Google maps, and decided to go to Le Michel’s. Unfortunately because we came so late, they were out of the two dishes we chose first, but in the end we both had amazing steaks and big desserts, so no complaints there.
Our Airbnb was tiny but perfectly located in the heart of the old city, and was the perfect home base for our weekend. There are lots of trams and buses to get around Bordeaux, but we found that we could walk everywhere without ever needing public transit.
I’ve already posted here about our breakfast/lunch choice for both Saturday and Sunday, Karl. It was amazing and I’ve been craving their brownies ever since.
On Saturday, we visited as much as we could to make the most of the sunny weather. We started with the Porte Cailhau, an ancient part of the city walls. We paid 5€ to explore it, and climb up to the several floors of the tower. It was really interesting to read more about how it was designed to defend the city, and gave a great view across the river.
Next, we headed to Place de la Bourse and the miroir d’Eau. When I googled Bordeaux, these were the two landmarks that kept popping up. They were lovely to walk through and take pictures at, and there were lots of kids running through the water.
Next stop were the Jardins Publics, a really lovely big garden with a botanical garden section.
After being out in the sun walking all day, we needed some refreshments at a cafe by the river (beers and ice cream… Sophisticated adult aperitif). We wandered around a bit afterwards to see some of the other sights nearby, like the opera house and some cute side streets.
Dinnertime snuck up on us and we headed to an Italian restaurant called Ragazzi da Peppone on the water’s edge, where we had one of the best dinners I’ve had in a long time. I got a lasagna that was massive and cheesy, so, the best kind of lasagna. They make many ingredients in-house, and have products for sale to take home. There s even a wine cellar downstairs where you can buy wine to have with your dinner. Even though we were full after the main course, the dessert menu was too tempting and I chose the correctly named Dessert de l’Année (dessert of the year), a big fresh meringue with whipped cream and homemade ice cream, in hot chocolate sauce. I’ve been trying to eat less sugar in the aftermath of this trip, so just thinking about this dessert is giving me cravings!
Sunday started off with a lot of rain, which made for a chilly hunt for breakfast. We walked around to a few recommended places, but decided that 20€ is quite steep for brunch and decided to head back to Karl.
After a big breakfast, we mustered up the courage to climb the Tour Pey Berland, a 15th century tower. This was a bit scary as the spiral staircase is really narrow, and quite a workout too as it’s really high! The views were amazing though, and I think it was much less busy than it normally was since we were there in such bad weather.
Next stop was the Grosse Cloche, or big clock, and then on to a really cute cafe that we happened to walk past. Books and Coffee had a huge selection of tea, and a seriously good chocolate cake that we shared. It’s one of those cozy cafes that you can pass a few hours in without feeling pressed to give up your table. There was a bookshelf beside our seats, and we had fun browsing and seeing some old favourites. I’ll definitely be back to spend some quality time with a good book (and cake) next time we’re in Bordeaux.
With the weather forecast still looking pretty grim, we wandered around a little bit before deciding to go see a movie at the UGC downtown. On the way there, we stopped for a glass of wine at La Ccomtesse, a bar on our street that looked really cool from the outside, and was equally cool inside. I finally had some Bordeaux wine here, and we loved the vintage decoration of the bar.
The movie choice of the night was Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a bit silly but as funny as the first one, basically the perfect vacation film that doesn’t make you think very hard. We left the theatre around 10:30, and went to the best kebab shop in Bordeaux (according to Foursquare) Cappadoce. We agreed with Foursquare, the kebabs were great and also really budget-friendly at 5€ each! We walked back to the flat and slept really well, a bit sad to have to drive home the next day.
We loved Bordeaux, and are already hoping to go back in June or July. If you have any suggestions for places to visit next time we’re there, let me know! 😊