Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 2:37 pm Post subject: Must do in Bordeaux?
My husband and I will be in Bordeaux for a few weeks this month (my first time) and would greatly appreciate some suggestions for restaurants (moderately priced), bars, shopping (kitchen, French gifts, unusual shops, flea markets, antiques and galleries, ...), clubs for live music/dancing, places to walk, favorite wineries, etc.
I'm an art historian and my husband is an historian, so any recommendations for all things old and cultural that might not be covered in the guidebooks would be great, too! We want to see, eat and breath as much as possible in Bordeaux that we can't get in the U.S.
Joined: 06 Dec 2006 Posts: 4 Location: Switzerland
Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:36 pm Post subject: La tupiña
Sorry for the late reply, I just signed up!
There are a number of memorable food experiences to be had in Bordeaux, for sure. The most exceptional for an American I suppose is dining at la Tupiña. You get amazing quality traditional South-Western French food, in a Disneyland-style reconstructed auberge that even the locals love. Great stuff.
Otherwise go to Thierry Marx in the Medoc, higher price but well worth it.
Perhaps you can use those tips for the next trip! _________________ FX's gastronomic blog
Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:21 pm Post subject: Bordeaux suggestions
I know I'm too late to offer any advice but am actually looking for some myself. I'm spending a couple of days in Bordeaux in April (en route to San Sebastian) - did you find anything worth passing on while you were there?
Enjoy a shopping expedition along Ste. Catherine's, the main shopping street which is like a huge open mall a few kms long. And there are some interesting antique shops housed in old warehouses along the river. _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Posted: Sun May 27, 2007 4:27 pm Post subject: Bordeaux highlights
I realize that I didn't post my highlights from my trip last year to Bordeaux. Here are a few tips and suggestions:
Dupont & Dupont (4 cours Pasteur) - I had 2 truly wonderful lunches here, and it's the favorite of my good friend who lives in Bordeaux and eats here on a regular basis.
Dick Turpin's (on rue de loup) - a wonderful pub that offers a few tables outdoors with a wonderful view of the beautiful archives across the street. A fun pub with an excellent owner and bartenders.
L'Etoile d'or (8, rue Saint Rémi) - exceptional Thai. We'd definitely return to this place. Expect the possibility of grumpy waitstaff.
Pizzaria Jacomo (11, rue de la Devise) - very well-priced pizza that is very good. Great for a quiet, budget meal.
There's a seafood restaurant with a giant neon sign of a fish that, I believe, is on rue de la Devise. We had an exceptional seafood meal there.
Le Taj Mahal - forgettable Indian on place du Parlement, but we ate here twice in desperate need of spicy food.
Cassolette Cafe (cassolettecafe.com) - a fun place and good for a limited budget. College-student atmosphere.
Chez Dupont (45, rue Notre-Dame) - overrated
place du Parlement restaurants - touristy, bland, skip them.
The restaurants in the St Pierre district were forgettable, but the atmosphere is great for people watching and al fresco drinking.
We signed up for the wine & cheese tasting through the tourist office and that was wonderful. They took us to a decent wine shop with a tasting room in their basement that had a walk-in filled with all-you-can-eat cheese. I've forgotten the name of the shop, unfortunately, but it was a fun experience even if you know all there is to know about wine.
We also signed up for a day excursion through the tourist office to some wineries near Bordeaux, which I would personally not recommend unless you're interested in the nitty gritty details of the chemistry involved in making wine. We love wine and have toured many a winery, but this particular tour was extremely boring, the wine makers (though very nice and knowledgeable) talked for far too long about how they produce wine, and the samples were few and far between. If I had it to do over again, I'd rent a car to see the countryside and would instead taste wines in the city's incredible wine shops.
As our luck had it, we picked up a free city guide (in the form of a thick paperback book) on our last day in Bordeaux during a quick trip to Olivies & Co (29 rue des Remparts), so you might stop there first to see if they have any to give you. It's especiallly good for a quick overview of shops and finer restaurants.
If you are headed to Bordeaux, I hope these tips help and that you have as much fun as we did. It's a truly wonderful city.
I personally did not like Bordeaux on any of my visits. The city was grotty and the people very rude. Have not been there since they put in the new light rail system though (we were there just before it opened the last trip) so maybe it has changed. I am open to the possibility.
The countryside around Bordeaux I love though. My choice if I had to go there again would be to pick up another one of the bus tours through the tourist office. Have done them to different Chateau in the area and had a great time. Some produced wine, some were just for the historic visit. Well worth it.
Agree with Davis re the shopping street. Apparently it is the longest "open street" type mall in the world. That area was interesting, but not enough to fill a couple of days in the city unless you are a mega shopping addict! _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
I've heard that a lot of people don't care for Bordeaux, so you're not alone, Debbie. I fell in love with the city almost right away and didn't expect to since I (like many people) have such an affinity for Paris. Perhaps because my husband is an 18th-century French historian and Bordeaux is one of the best places to experience that century of France (as opposed to Paris, which is largely a 19th-century city), and because of our love of Bordelais wine, we really enjoyed our stay there. It's definitely got the feeling of a working-class city, which I happen to like as well.
The new tram system is wonderful. It's all above ground, very easy to operate, extremely clean and efficient. It's a great way to see the city off foot.
In terms of what to do -- we lived there for a month, rarely left the city, and I still had a lot of places I never got to visit. The tourist office offers excellent walking tours, there are a surprising number of great museums, antique shops galore, foodie shops, and plenty of places for al fresco dining/drinking that are far away from car fumes and honking horns. It's a very walkable city with a large number of pedestrian-only roads, so you don't need to worry about risking your life in order to get around like you do in most cities or getting disoriented.
I also took advantage of the close proximity to Archachon. Its beach, huitres, and the "quiet" mood of the town makes for a nice break from a crowded city like Paris. It's also an easy train ride to San Sebastian.
Finally, the nightlife is great. There are so many bars and clubs to go to, all right next to one another, so you just need to cab to one place and back and you have plenty of options to choose from if one place isn't to your liking. The city is more laid back than Paris, so going out seems to be more about having fun than "being seen."
Bordeaux also seems to have an unusually high British and Aussie population, so if you like pubs and shepard's pie but can't leave the continent, this is the place for you. Still, my heart is in Paris and I'm looking forward to going back this summer.
I hope these tips have helped, if anyone is considering a trip.
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