Sunday, 13 September 2015

Interrailing the South of France: Bordeaux

If I was going to live in one of the six cities we visited on our 13-day interrailing trip across the south of France, it would be Bordeaux.
My fabulous travel buddy Amber and I both absolutely loved it.

I mean sure, we were bound to get a good first impression from the many giant bottles of wine that greeted us upon arrival at the airport, but wine aside, it's a delightful city.

We may have only been there for a couple of days, but we sure packed it in.

The Bordelais buildings are utterly charming - think pale French stone and shabby chic shutters. There are lots of narrow cobbled streets and beautiful open squares. It's just perfect for wandering round - we didn't get any public transport.
Bordeaux actually reminded Amber and me of Bristol, with which it is twinned. It's not that the cities look similar (Bordeaux has a distinct lack of Banksy graffiti as far as I could tell), but they have a really similar vibe. Ergo, we loved it.

There are lots of interesting independent boutiques, quirky cafés, cute bakeries, trendy bars and snazzy restaurants.

Bordeaux struck us as a really youthful, buzzy city. It has a great atmosphere by day, but really came alive at night.

The city is also just downright beautiful, full of gorgeous old buildings, pretty churches (yes, we went on a church-crawl) and a huge river.
Possibly Bordeaux's most famous sight is the miroir d'eau (water mirror) in front of the Bourse. On a sunny day, it was stunning. 

And every few minutes, little fountains of very fine water spring up which we obviously had to prance around in.
It's also incredible at night, reflecting the lights of the city.
Shops-wise, Bordeaux has got it all. It's home to the longest shopping street in France, Rue St Catherine, but then also has tons of independent boutiques.
Combined with the recommendations of our various uni friends who lived in Bordeaux on their years abroad and my lovely Bordelaise former French assistant at school, Pauline, we knew we were going to be spoilt for choice when it came to eating and drinking.

After huge hotel breakfasts we simply had snacky lunches (unlike many of the French who we spied having three-course, wine-fuelled feasts in the middle of the day), but we went out for two lovely dinners.

On night one, on the recommendation of Jake (thanks Jake!) we went to a place called L’Autre Petit Bois, which has a fabulous location on Place du Parlement. Sitting outside in the evening, with a chilled glass of wine (which is waaaay cheaper than it is in England, FYI) and free nibbles (you guys, bread baskets in France are constantly replenished. Resistance is futile) was pretty lush.

We munched on scrummy tartines and salad and felt très cosmopolitan.

A little post-dinner drink (wellll, we were on holiday) went down at a fab very popular bar just round the corner at La Comtesse (also recommended, thanks Jenny!).

On our second evening in Bordeaux we went out for drinks with the lovely Pauline who told us about a restaurant who do amazing burgers and peanut butter Oreo cheesecakes. We were sold.

Enter, Kokomo, another cool restaurant on another gorgeous square (Place Fernand Lafargue).

You can't see them, but there are onion rings IN my burger. Served in those trendy ceramic dishes, the burgers were indeed delish. And that cheesecake? Yup, as good as you're imagining.

Although a little disappointed by the food market at Capucins (maybe because it wasn't the weekend), we found a lovely flea market.
If you haven't been to Bordeaux, I heartily recommend you go.
^Does it look like Amber's loving life? That's because she was. We both were. Bordeaux is great.

Have you ever been?


  1. stunning pictures! France is such a beautiful country and there's indeed much more to see beyond Paris. I would also recommend you to visit Lille in the north :)

    The Fashion Matters- Fashion & Travel Magazine

    1. Thank you! Completely agree. Yes, I've been to Lille actually. It's so nice! x

  2. I'm doing a study abroad in Bordeaux next year (French major) and I'm super excited!


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