I recently hopped over to Bordeaux to explore the city and check out one of the most epic vintage furniture flea markets in France. I don’t know about you, but there is something so wonderful about visiting that continent; they have better weather, beautiful old towns and don’t even get me started on the food! This was my first time to the city, so I thought I would share some of my tips and favourite things with you before I go on to review their vintage scene, because even if you can’t go at that market, this is one place that you have to put on your bucket list, STAT!
I stayed in a typically french (as in, incredibly small roomed) hotel, based right in the centre of the city. It was clean, there was a good shower and the continental breakfast selection did more than fill a hole each day. French hotels can get pricey really fast, but they don’t really hotel like they do in America (or Disneyland Paris), so I tend to go for a cheap deal and save my money for the food and wine instead. The bonus to the HappyCulture Hotel is that they had a complimentary candy bar, free bottles of water, and most importantly, a portable wifi connecter that meant I could instagram on the go for only 1€ a day. BEST. INVENTION. EVER. How this is something I’ve only discovered in France? I have no idea, but by god I was obsessed with it.
Whilst my visit was only a week long, I’d say that was a really good amount of time to explore the city and see all the sites. They have beautiful architecture, and some really incredible sculptures throughout the town, making it really picturesque, especially because the sunshine out there makes all the colours pop.
Some of my favourite spots include:
The Water Mirror: I actually visited this spot 3 times on this trip because I couldn’t get enough of it. Based right outside the Place de la Bourse and opposite the waterfront, this installation changes throughout the day; water floods the grounds to create the magnificent mirrored effect as you can see in my first picture, then it steams off creating a mystical fog that’s super fun to walk through (see above!) The reason I went back so much is so that I could see it at different times of the day – the nightime glow of the building in the water is 100% worth going back for!
Jaume Plensa’s flat head sculpture, “Sanna” Unfortunately no photographs I took did this sculpture justice; From a distance you just see a giant iron sculpture of a lady’s head, but as you walk closer you start to realise the perspective is off. . . or maybe it’s you! This is a completely flat sculpture meaning it’s been carved to perfection in creating one heck of a magic eye trick; defo one of the coolest artworks I’ve seen in sometime!
The Statue Of Liberty replica She needs no introduction! This replica may be teeny tiny, but it’s still worth the visit, especially if you’re 5 ft and limber like me!
La Cite du Vin: Now, when I first saw that Bordeaux had a Wine Museum I did the most colossal eye roll. A vision of a bunch of old men with giant noses swirling wine, naming obscure smells, sipping and spitting (sacrilege!) good wine did not rank high on my to do list. But, that’s not what’s inside at all! Its one of the most technically advanced museums around. There are interactive exhibits teaching you about the wine making process (surprise!), but they also have incredible smell-o-vision stations, weird interactive dinner-wine-pairing experiences and some super awesome visual and sound experiences too. It’s also in a super incredible shiny building, has great views of the city from their rooftop bar, plus the slightly more expensive ticket includes – you guessed it – a glass of wine at the end! The added bonus of this experience is that from above I spotted that ridiculously cool Alice in Wonderland graffiti, which is two seconds outside the front door. It’s easy to get to as well, but those with a little time to spare can hop a boat from outside the Water Mirror to get there, which is a really nice way to travel anywhere if you ask me!
Opera Patisserie Not only does it have a beautiful interior with chandeliers, pastel pink ceilings and totally awesome pop art, the desserts are TO DIE FOR. I worked my way through 3 different kinds, plus I ate half of two (in life, halves don’t count), and I can honestly say I didn’t dislike one single mouth full. They do killer coffee, but you can also get bubbly rose wine, which you know fine well is the combination I consumed before my flight back home.
Le Petit Bois is a magical cafe / wine bar in the old town in Bordeaux and it is a sight to be seen! If you can manage to get a table in the restaurant upstairs, you’ll find yourself sitting amongst two giant (fiberglass) trees! All the furniture inside is old antiques, the walls are covered in incredible old pictures and theres even some fairy lights thrown in for good measure. The food is absolutely delicious, plus it’s so well presented you’ll find yourself photographing it like an old still life oil painting. What’s not to love about that?!
Amorino Gelato Al Naturale – it may be a chain, but it deserves a mention on my blog because THEY MAKE THE ICE CREAMS LOOK LIKE FLOWERS. They actually have special scoopers to do this, and you can even mix and match your flavours for each petal if you like. The gelato is divine, and they have a great selection of flavours (though if you ask me, cherry is always best!) The queue for service here was pretty epic, no matter what day of the week or what time of day – or night – but it’s worth the wait. Plus all the tourists who see you holding one will want to know where they can get one too, because novelty foods are always the best foods.
Ready to pack your bags and book a flight? Me too! Overall Bordeaux is super chill, super trendy and super worth visiting again if I ever get the chance. For those interested in that vintage flea market I mentioned at the start of this post, keep your eye’s out for next weeks instalment!