Bordeaux and St Emilion

We’re tourists again! Its good to have visitors because we get to visit places, new and old (to us that is). The highlight had to be Bordeaux, and our first time too. What a lovely city. Delia thinks it’s about the size of Nottingham, about right except the wine is better.  The old centre is a good size to walk around and one is spoilt for choice.  The Chambre d’hote we stayed at was a lovely old Bordeaux building that had one been a blacksmith.It is difficult to say how the upper floors related to the ground floor, to me it seemed that they might have been individual apartments since we climbed what would have been an outside staircase to get to “front” doors that let you into a narrow corridor with of which doors led to the individual bedrooms. "Outside" in the sense that there was an atrium alongside the stairs, the roof of which had been covered in recent history.

On our first evening we ate in one of the many squares, I decided to try what I had always avoided in the past, salade de gesiers (gizzard salad). Although I had seen it presented to other diners in the past this was my first taste. Very tasty pieces of extremely tender meat, probably liver, kidney and who know what but it was delicious. Unfortunately the steak that followed for myself and Delia (who, unlike me, had skipped the menu du jour and gone straight for the main) was a bit tough.  Our second (and for us,final) evening we lashed out and went to a gourmet restaurant (well, the bistro part of a one Michelin star place anyway). The melon soup was totally unexpected for B and myself. "Melon smoothie" doesn’t do it justice, and my mignons de porc were delicious. My dessert was lots of little bite sized tastes not really big enough to fully savour. The wine though was one of the most expensive I’ve ever drunk, courtesy of my mother in law!

The next day before we left, we enjoyed a journey on the tram to venture a bit further afield to the north to see la cite du vins – a beautiful artful building supposed to reflect the swirl of wine in a glass and its bouquet. Dunno about that faff but I got a couple of good photos inside.

F & B had an extra day in Bordeaux before flying off to Seville for a week, during which Delia an I caught up on our work. After collecting them from the shed in Bordeaux Airport that Ryanair flies into, we went to St Emilion. Beautiful manicured fields of vines and Tuscan styled villas and chateaux dotted the hillsides. The town itself is heavily touristic but nevertherless beautiful, with its church and tower perched on their hill surrounded by traditional south west French rooftops. We treated ourselves to a box of three bottles of wine and were disappointed to find that they weren’t actually St Emilion, but just from nearby Bordeaux chateaux. The one we’ve tasted so far was damn good though.