Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Wanderings: Bordeaux

Just two weeks ago, we spent an enjoyable week exploring Bordeaux with the kids, while the hubby sat for an exam and attended a conference.  We opted to rent an apartment (it would have been impossible to let baby nap with Junior J bouncing around on the bed if we had gotten a hotel room!), and found this charming little place in the city: 

The family that owned the place actually stayed there, but packed up and moved to their parents place every time there was someone who booked their apartment.  Which meant we got to experience how a French family lived, from its rather difficult kitchen (there was no counter space at all), separate toilet and bath (the bathroom sink was in the bedroom, and the toilet down the main hallway!), wonky door locks, and unfinished walls that crumbled and showered you with dust if you were to knock into them.  It was a little challenging taking care of the boys while the hubby was out, and we were afraid that they would knock or break something, since the house was filled with loads of lovely decorations and vintage items.  That aside, it was a really beautiful place to stay in!

The family had a little girl, so Junior J got to stay in the loveliest child's room ever:

And we got to see how wine crates got put to good use (we've also seen wine crates being modified into shelves or taken apart to be used as platters):

One thing we loved about Bordeaux was its market.  Marche Capucins was just a ten minute walk away from where we stayed, and we loved its down-to-earth feel.  And of course, all that fresh and cheap seafood!  You could sit at a counter and have a plate of oysters with a glass of wine.  Some stall keepers actually inquire about when you would be consuming your fruit, and then proceed to choose the fruit of the correct ripeness.  The hubby would run down every morning to buy fresh chocolate rolls and croissants for our breakfast, and sometimes we would pick up baguettes as well.  

A favourite spot for the kids was the water play area along the waterfront, which was perfect for the blazing hot weather we experienced when we were there.  It consisted of a tiled area which sprouted mist at certain intervals (the mist got both kids rather alarmed, especially Baby J!)...

... and water at other intervals:

Since the water was very shallow, Baby J got to splash about.  In fact, the whole place was swarming with kids (and some even brought their dogs along for the romp)!

Since half of the city is Unesco-listed (Bordeaux supposedly is the largest urban World Heritage Site), the city makes for nice strolls around the area.  We spent most evenings just walking about, getting lost in the maze of little streets.

And of course, there are the cathedrals you could explore, like Cathedrale Saint Andre, with its oldest section dating back to 1096!

Stained glass windows in Cathedrale Saint Michel.

Food-wise, Bordelaise cuisine is known for their wine and oysters, as well as interesting dishes such as lamproie (lamprey, which tasted a little like sardines, and is cooked with leeks).  We got to try out the food at Le Cheverus Cafe, and the food was pretty good, and priced very reasonably:

Seafood risotto, which was nice and creamy.  

We had intended to try the food at the highly recommended La Tupina, but it was fully booked, so we were directed to Kuzina just down the street (a branch of the restaurant that serves mainly fish), and had some really good seafood.

That one week in Bordeaux had us falling in love with life in France, from its delicious seafood to the warmth of the Bordelaise people!


  1. Oh you lucky ducks!
    Bordeaux just looks so yummy and beautiful!
    I'm glad you had a nice break :)

  2. Love those pics (esp the splashing ones and the one walking into the sunset). Must have been such a delightful experience for you all.

  3. I don't mind to get lost in this beautiful city. Love this post! I feel happy to read this, must be the beautiful smiles and the sunshine!

  4. Very beautiful pictures,Jus! :) What an awesome time you must have had!

  5. Nat: Thanks! :) It was a good break.

    June: Those were my fav too, the boys had so much fun splashing in the hot weather!

    PC: Aww, thanks my dear! Its a lovely place to explore.

    Elizabeth: Thank you! We were thankful for the break we could have as a family. :)



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