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Weekend in the wine capital of the world: a trip to Bordeaux

Dal Kikin
March 13, 2019


The beautiful city on the Garonne River is experiencing a renaissance: the best architects build futuristic buildings here, talented restaurateurs open fashionable brasseries, and the ambitious mayor Alain Juppe does not spare the budget to turn his “patrimony” into an improved version of Paris.

The beginning of spring is the best time to explore the city. The historic center of the capital of Aquitaine can be bypassed in a couple of hours. It is better to start in the area of ??the Saint-Michel Basilica, a massive Gothic cathedral with a bell tower, which rises up to 114 meters.


After wandering through the narrow streets of the quarter, it is easy to go to the city embankment, from where you can reach Place de la Bource, the most popular photo spot of the city. The former Royal Square was created on the occasion of the ascension to the throne of Louis XV, which was once testified to by the grand sculpture of the monarch in its center. In the last years of the revolution, the disgraced bourgeois ’monument was demolished, replacing the bronze caper with the fountain of the Three Graces, the daughters of Zeus. Admire the harmonious architectural ensemble of the best from the embankment, where there is an amazing building - Mirror of water (Mirroir d’Eau), which reflects the most beautiful area of ??the city.

iStock/Leonid Andronov

A couple of hundred meters on the street of Red Hat - and you are at the majestic Place de la Comédie, the pompous appearance of which is given by the building of the Grand Hotel and the exquisite Neoclassical Opera House. From here it is easy to reach the largest square in Europe - Quinconces esplanade, spread over 12 hectares. At its center is one of the symbols of Bordeaux, a cyclopean monument to the Girondists with a 50-meter pillar, topped with a winged statue of Liberty.


If you are not tired, then go to the area of ??the street Notre Dame. Here are concentrated the best antique and interior shops of the city, including the famous boutique and art gallery Le 101 with rare posters, prints and postcards. But the most advanced concept stores of Bordeaux, which seem to be popular with local Graduate fashionistas, are looking for Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges.

The first association that comes to mind at the word Bordeaux-wine. And although on the embankment of the river Geronne no longer meet the shops of merchants, the city hints at the title of the world wine capital very unequivocally. Walking along the front facade of Bordeaux on the quay of the Port of the Moon, it's hard not to notice the giant glass building of the largest wine museum in Europe (La Cité du Vin). Architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazires designed the glass community, inspired by the trajectory of the movement of the drink in the glass. The winding walls of the building housed the museum itself, a cinema, a library, and a virtual attraction imitating a voyage ship trip. In addition, in La Cité du Vin you can try the best varieties of Bacchus drink produced in the Gironde department and other areas of France.

For the masterpieces of Delacroix, Van Dyck and Rubens, gathered over the years of prosperity by the city’s powerful wine aristocracy, head to the Museum of Fine Arts located in the Roanne mansion, which once belonged to the Archbishop of Aquitaine (Sours d’Albret, 20).

Contemporary art can be inspired in the building of a former grain warehouse, where CAPC - the Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux (Rue Ferrere, 7) is located; its collection presents works by French artists created from the 1960s to the present day.

iStock/Micha? Chodyra

For a long time on the gastronomic map of France, Bordeaux looked very modest, lagging behind its competitors: exquisite Lyon, creative Paris and the critically acclaimed Provence. The situation began to change several years ago, when restaurateurs, inspired by the influx of tourists, rushed to open progressive brasseries and oyster bars in Bordeaux. Their efforts in the Michelin Guide appeared several local institutions. For example, the restaurant Le Pressoir d’Argent is one of the latest releases of the great and terrible British chef Gordon Ramsay (Place de la Comédie), or the gourmet temple at the Grande Maison hotel under the auspices of the two-time Michelin laureate Pierre Gagnaire (10 Rue Labottière).


For nontrivial flavor combinations, walk to Miles Restaurant (33 Rue du Cancera). The secret of his popularity is fresh ingredients from the city market and chefs' masterly talent. You can verify this by tasting the Atlantic swordfish with curry jelly, coriander and coconut. An alternative for gourmet conservatives is the Racines Restaurant (59 Rue Georges Bonnac). The kitchen is run by the minimalist chef Daniel Gallacher. In its laconic menu two salads, two hot dishes and two desserts. But the “dish of the day” is almost always seafood or fresh fish.


You can finish the evening in the cozy bar Le Petit Bois (18 Rue du Chai des Farines) with a glass of tart wine or in the more respectable Terrace Bar on the roof of the Grand Hotel Bordeaux (2-5 Place de la Comédie), which will be a great bonus for an impressive wine list. view of the city.