Bordeaux makes for an ideal winter city break with museums galore, a brilliant food scene and of course – fabulous wines…
What to do in the city of Bordeaux in winter
In the city of Bordeaux, the number one must see is the Cité du Vin – it is extraordinary. Whether you’re a wine lover or not, this museum is entertaining, fascinating and delicious. Innovative displays – boxes on the walls come to life at the push of a button! – take you through the history of wine from millennia ago to today. Included in the price is a wine tasting on the 8th floor with fabulous views over the city. Head to the 7th floor for lunch, dinner, a snack, coffee or wine. Here, the terrific restaurant Le 7 has superb views over the city, wine savvy staff and a delectable menu.
Wander the streets of old Bordeaux where the UNESCO listed Neoclassical architecture is magnificent. Enjoy a night at the Opera in the city’s famous opera house or visit museums galore. There’s the Natural History Museum, Contemporary Art Museum, Science Museum and Maritime Museum. And in 2020, the city of Bordeaux will open Bassins de Lumières, a magnificent digital art centre. It will be located in the famous submarine base, a remnant of the Second World War. This enormous bunker is five times larger than the Atelier des Lumières in Paris. It covers 11,000 square metres, and, when it opens in April 2020, it will become one of the world’s largest multimedia installations. Details: www.culturespaces.com/en/bassins-lumieres
The shopping is second to none (if you’re there in January the sales are fabulous). In fact it’s home to the longest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe.
Nip to Saint-Emilion, wine Mecca of Bordeaux. It’s just 30 minutes by train from the city centre to the outskirts of Saint-Emilion and from there about a 20 minute walk. Discover what to do in Saint-Emilion.
Eat out in Bordeaux
With thousands of superb restaurants, this is a city that gives Lyon, often called the capital of gastronomy in France, a run for its money. Local specialities include tourin bordelaise, an onion soup thickened with egg yolks, entrecôte Bordelaise, steak with a rich red wine sauce, and canelé, a soft cake with rum and vanilla flavoured filling. Really spoil yourself with the most popular treat in the city – a “Dune Blanche”. Get these delicious little sweet pastries filled with cream, exclusively from Chez Pascal, 7 Rue de la Vieille Tour. Read our guide to eating out in Bordeaux
Wine tasting in Bordeaux
Bordeaux wines are amongst the most prestigious in the world. Rich, voluptuous, spicy reds and soft whites from legendary vineyards such as St-Emilion, Margaux and Blaye. Read our Wine Lovers Guide to Bordeaux to discover the best vineyards and tasting opps.
Take a wine tasting at: Maison Gobineau. They have every kind of Bordeaux wine and the prices will blow you away – 2 Euros for a superb red, in stunning surroundings, think 18th century building, Aubusson tapestry and stained-glass. Simply the best in town. (1 Cours du 30 Juillet)
Wine and dine at: Le Chapon Fin, the magnificent Belle Epoque dining room created in 1825 has true wow factor. The former 3 Michelin Star restaurant changed chefs a short while ago, and as a result, the prices went down but the food is just as delicious as ever and the wine cellar is a marvel (www.chapon-fin.com).
Stay at: Live like a local at a luxurious apartment in the city – Your Bordeaux Home offers several superb options (yourbordeauxhome.com).