(picture borrowed from virtuoso.com)
Wanna see how much I can do in two days in Bordeaux? Well, when time is short and you have excellent hosts and like minded peers, you get your fancy, okay, comfortable walking shoes, your shades and scarf and you hit the road.
Arrive after a long flight across the Atlantic and picked up by my driver in a beautiful black Mercedes Benz sedan (with WiFi!!!). In about 45 mins we arrived at the beautiful Intercontinental Bordeaux. I still cannot decide if the location (smack dab in the city center across from the opera house – Opera National de Bordeaux) or the beautiful 18th century facade wowed me more. Regardless I knew I was going to enjoy this city.
After a quick shower and quick photo shoot of my room and view, I joined my hosts and the other agents for lunch at l’Orangerie, which started with a champagne toast and ended with cafe gourmand. It was certainly a nice start!
L’Orangerie at Le Grand
We were joined by our guide for a walking tour of Bordeaux. Bordeaux is quite a compact port city with a very interesting past and beautiful architecture. The guide was quite knowledgeable and witty without trying to be funny or overly entertaining (here’s looking at you missy from my Hong Kong city tour) and it was just what I needed to ward off my jet-lag, increase my Fitbit step count and improve my knowledge of Rococo vs Neoclassicism vs Baroque architecture and of Bordeaux (not the wine this time).
We head back to hotel and I opted for a manicure to pamper my cold fingers at the nail Bar at Spa by Nuxe. The Spa by Nuxe looked amazing, my manicure was quick and pretty I only wish I had more time for a full treatment.
Clearly one of the main reasons people travel to Bordeaux is to visit the vineyards and wineries but with such a brief stay that would not be possible so we brought the “winery” to us in the form of a private wine tasting. This I have to say was a first for me, a blind wine tasting tour set up in the suite in the hotel. Our guide/sommelier was fun and entertaining and despite his warning that we may discover our favorite varietal and/or appellation is not what we thought, my favorite was and still is the Bordeaux red (Saint Estephe) and my special blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Merlot #delicious.
Yep, still going strong and despite all the wine and charcuterie we had a couple hours ago, there was and always is room for Gordon Ramsey (Brasserie Le Bordeaux Gordon Ramsay). And yes that’s lobster bisque, but not the pressed lobster bisque from Le Pressoir d’Argent (Gordon Ramsay Michelin star gourmet restaurant) though I imagine its just as delicious. Everything was delicious.
Breakfast spread with all that you expect from a luxury hotel in France, and enhanced by the view. I totally enjoyed looking out the window at the people going by while I ate too many pain au chocolat.
I read the itinerary, it said something about bread making and brunch at Au Petrin Moissagais. Brunch! Why did I eat breakfast? Why?
We arrive at this nondescript boulangerie and I immediately started salivating. The door was like a turnstile for the entire time we were there and the owner/baker gave us a history of the store, the bread making process and we even got to peak into one of the oldest (hundreds of years) working oven in France. Again, why did I eat breakfast? We all groaned and moaned but ate every little bit of deliciousness presented to us and opted to walk over to the market, browse, then walk to the newly built wine museum, La Cite du Vin after which we were picked up and taken to the airport.
Room and experience at the Intercontinental Bordeaux – Le Grand
Typical of the Intercontinental brands, this hotel was beautiful and stayed true to the location and period in which it was built. Check in was quick and although I did not spend much time in my room, it was beautiful. The hotel is a maze however, I got off on the wrong floor a few times and so I’ll leave it up to you if you find the different levels (this is because the hotel expanded by buying adjacent buildings) quirky, I certainly did.
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