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February 15 2013

Wander around in Bordeaux

Bordeaux is under construction. The city, with its eighteenth century facades certified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, is turning to new projects and reinventing itself. A renovated city, with refurbished docks where the Bordelais walk on Sundays, a brand new tram that crosses the city, the trendy and arty neighbourhood of Chartrons. By 2030 the city plans to have a million inhabitants and is working hard to get there, from the Bataclan-Bastide Bridge aimed to be ready by 2014 to the new neighbourhood of Bassins à Flot where the cultural centre of wine will be located. The city is leaving its image as the bourgeois capital of the Gironde behind and making room for an unprecedented international and creative revamp.




photo: © Xavier Veilhan-Le Lion

Texts: Béatrice Delamotte & Evane Haziza-Bonnamour

Prefecture of the Gironde and the capital of the Aquitaine region.

Population: 239,624 (719,489 in the urban community)
Area: 44.55 km2
Specialities: Cannelle cakes, lamproie à la bordelaise and les sarments du Médoc chocolates.




    Jean-Marie Terroine opened the doors of his home in this eighteenth century city in July last year, turning the family home into a guest house where there is an overriding sense of holiday spirit.
    A great traveler himself, Jean-Marie wanted to create a charming space where everything is done to make guests feel at home: wine tasting in the cosy lounge in front of a roaring fire in the classic fireplace, a library full of comics to rival collectors, inviting rooms with a simple but chic decor.
    There is also a breathtaking view of the Palais Gallien, the ancient Roman arena, for the lucky guests staying in the Margaux room.
    29 rue Emile Fourcand



    Just a few steps from the hotel, one can find themselves at the Une cuisine en ville restaurant. Philippe Lagraula, originally from Landes, offers a wholly original, uninhibited type of cuisine here, in a neo-bistro setting. After six years in Dax, the restaurant has succeeded in its move to Bordeaux and established itself as an open and welcoming space to come and sample the “tapas y pinchos” menu. An outpouring of flavours are inspired by the region and elsewhere (Philippe’s wife is Peruvian): zucchini flowers, bruccio tempura to dip into a purslane and Thai curry sauce and even a rock octopus ravioli stuffed with heart duck, parmesan cream and Bellota chorizo. A concentration of culinary thrills.

    77, rue du Palais Gallien
    T. +33 5 56 44 70 93


    Behind the docks of Chartrons and its buzz, an atmosphere of serenity, bourgeoisie and of effervescent calm is awash over the rue Notre-Dame. The facades of a bygone era dress the local shops like the fresh fruit and vegetable vendor committed to sustainable farming, Le potager d’Alex, and a fishmonger, Bonne mer, created in February 2010 by Oliver de Butler. The antique shops have gradually disappeared to make room for new galleries and design shops. The Galerie Jean-Jacques Mandel, opened by a former travel journalist, displays the treasures of art brought back from his travels. Opposite, at number 73, one must stop to discover the furniture and the objects that have been lovingly selected by Anne Prévôt-Leygonie & Franck Lascerre (R.K.R) displayed in a softly lit loft. Their collection includes the Danish brand Ferm Living and their Harlequin textiles, lighting by Constance Guisset, crockery by Naked Girls and Gervasoni furniture. At 104, stop for lunch at Estelle who entertains patrons in a chic and friendly ‘table d’hôtes’ style with inventive, refined and honest cooking. On the menu are fresh soups, foreign dishes and homemade desserts that are reminiscent of childhood. Your last stop should be directly opposite at 101, at Chambon Florian Henry Gregory, a mini gallery of strange and eclectic objects with an intriguing selection.


    More than just a restaurant, La Tupina has been a Bordelais institution since 1968 and was voted best world bistrot by the New York Herald Tribune. Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, the owner offers a cuisine du marché here, which he goes in search of every morning on the hunt for fresh produce. With a vegetable garden, fish in the estuary, free-range chicken and a grill over the coals in the fireplace, JPX – as he is known – develops “authentic Southwest” (the motto of the house) recipes. Not to mention the soup simmering quietly in the tupina (‘kettle’ in the basque language) over the fireplace in the middle of the room. More recently, chef JPX has been delighting the public with his new grocery store, Le Comestible, just across the road from the restaurant, where you can also sample the cooking of this talented chef. And then, to finish on a warm not, you can head over to Le Cave Bar to enjoy at the counter, table, by the glass or by the bottle, a fabulous selection of coast wines. 6, rue de la Porte de la Monnaie



    Nestled in a beautiful garden, the Labottière château houses the collection of Bernard Magrez, the owner of large international wineries, and exhibits modern and contemporary art. For its fifth exhibition, the Bernard Magrez Cultural Institute, located in this magnificent mansion, will pay tribute to Venice. The exhibition will take you on a trip through the Venetian works of artists of yesterday and today. Sophie Calle, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Giacometti, Anish Kapoor and even Cy Twombly unveil their interpretations of the channels and gates of the city and glorify the splendor. And to end the day, taking a walk in the French garden of the château is a must at sunset.
    Rêves de Venise.
    From March 23rd to July 21st 2013
    5 rue de Labottière



    In the Hangars du Passage, on rue Allamandiers, the loyal customers are captured by the special atmosphere of the place. Under dim light and great height from the structured ceiling, here one can hunt for that rare piece in a cheerful bric-a-brac shop set up like a movie set: objects from the 50s and 60s, furniture for children, as well as dresses from the Roaring Twenties. And just a few steps away, under the huge canopy of an old banana ripening from the last century, the Passage Saint-Michel is home to about thirty antique shops. Three floors of disparate objects waiting to be discovered and coveted by connoisseurs. And to rest after the excitement of antiquing, you can relax on the Place Saint-Michel (whose basilica was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO), take time for a coffee and let the kids play.

    12-14, rue des Allamandiers

    14-15, Canteloup place


    The city has just opened the doors of its new auditorium. Worthy of its past cultural history, this building is the home of the National Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra. In designing this new temple to classical music, the architect Michel Puétuaud-Létang has achieved an architectural feat in mixing classicism with modernity, all the while remaining influenced by the major European concert halls. Behind a façade that is perfectly integrated amongst the bourgeois buildings, the hall houses some 1,400 seats and the largest pit in Europe. Fuchsia and light wood seats energize the overall look. A beautiful exercise in style that reflects the discreet chic of Bordeaux.
    9-13 Cours Georges Clemenceau


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