We spent 3 days in March visiting Bordeaux, doing a quick day trip to Saint Emilion and doing a full day private wine tour in the Medoc region, focusing on the Margaux area. It was a really great, long weekend with fabulous, sunny weather and amazing food and wine.
We travelled on the weekend just before France closed their borders and the lockdown began in the UK so we feel super grateful we got to safely squeeze in one more trip for 2020. Due to COVID-19, the chance of travelling this year is looking very slim.
Day 1 – Bordeaux & Saint Emilion
Courtney and I flew out on Thursday morning but we had delays as the first officers seat belt had an issue… *rolls eyes*. We were meant to get into Bordeaux at 10:25am but got in an hour later, meaning that to get to Saint Emilion for our lunch reservation was tight.
From the airport, you can get the airport bus 1 to the city centre of Bordeaux. We caught it to Gare Saint Jean which took around 50 minutes. We caught the train to Libourne and as we were already quite late to our lunch reservation, we took a taxi to the centre of Saint Emilion which cost €15.
We went to L’Huitrier Pie for lunch. We had the 3 courses which started off with some canapes, then the white asapargus with scallops and haddock with a yuzu mousse as the starter, the chicken with foie gras in red wine with seasonal vegetables and after, a citrus, chocolate, crunchy meringue dessert. The meal ended with some petit fours. The 3 course lunch menu is good value at €34.
After lunch, we strolled around the small town of Saint Emilion. It was quiet and super scenic!
We caught the train back to Bordeaux, went to our airbnb and relaxed a bit before heading back out.
For dinner, we went to Le Metropolitain and shared a charcuterie board and baked camembert and washed it down with a bottle of red wine.
After, we went to La Comtesse, a cosy cocktail bar. The mojitos were so damn good (we had two) but also had a few others to try something different. I can vouch and say the mojitos were the best.
Afterwards, we went to L’Empire for a dance and some more drinks. It was a fun night!
Day 2 – Medoc Wine Tour
I woke up feeling a little rough after all the cocktails the night before, but we got ready and went to Le Boulanger de l’Hotel de Ville for some baked goods (croissants etc) and then went across the road to Sip Coffee Bar for some hot drinks. Ryan arrived in the morning too.
We got picked up at 10:30am for a private wine tour. It cost us €100 each to visit two chateaus so it’s not cheap but it was convenient. We headed up to the Medoc wine region, which was around 45 minutes away from Bordeaux city centre.
How the French chateaus do their tastings is very different to how the wineries work in Australia. It’s good to note that you must do a tour for each chateau before doing the tastings and the tour and tasting generally take one hour all up. Therefore, even if you want to visit many chateaus, it’s not really possible in one day. Two visits were the perfect amount for us.
We visited the first chateau called Chateau Lascombes. We had a tour of the vineyard and learnt about the wine in the region. After, we had two tastings.
For lunch, we went to Le Savoie and shared the beef, lamb and burrata with jambon which were all very good.
After lunch, we drove around for a bit, taking in the scenery and then headed to the second winery.
Our second chateau visit was to Chateau Prieure Lichine. We again, had another tour and ended with three tastings.
We got back to Bordeaux around 5pm and went into the city centre to try some caneles. It is a specialty in this region and is flavoured with rum and vanilla. We went to the two most popular places called La Toque Cuivrée and Baillardran.
I checked into Cœur de City Hôtel and relaxed a bit before heading out again before dinner.
For dinner, went to Restaurant LouLou. We shared the scallops, seabass and the cote de boeuf. The beef was incredible! We shared the chocolate tart and tiramisu for dessert.
We went to Symbiose for an after dinner cocktail which was nice.
Day 3 – Bordeaux
The next morning, I packed up, checked out of the hotel and met Courtney and Ryan at the markets.
I walked to Marche des Capucins and walking through the empty streets was refreshing.
We had a hot drink to start with and explored the markets with its fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, meats and desserts.
We bought meats, cheese, some tomatoes, avocado and some some sweet treats from the market as well as the choux from Dunes Blanches (amazing!) and we went to Jardin Public for a picnic. It was super nice to sit in the sun and enjoy the food and park.
Bordeaux is lovely to come in mid March but I’d love to come back in Autumn time to see the wineries in full bloom as well as explore more of the culinary scene.
It was a great weekend trip away with great people and I can’t wait to come back when this pandemic is over!