A Bordeaux Travel Guide

Friday, September 04, 2015
I sometimes forget how lucky I am in to live in France and have the opportunity to hop on a train or do a car share and be in some of the country's most beautiful and buzzing cities within a few hours. I don't visit as much as I'd like to or should but with my sister just moving to the outskirts of Bordeaux last week- I took this as a chance to finally see somewhere new! In return I agreed to help her move in and sort out her new apartment, give n take and all that. A short 10-15 minute tram ride from her apartment and we were in the city centre ready to explore (and eat)!

I think the first thing that grabbed me about Bordeaux was the gorgeous architecture! You can't get any more typically and traditionally French than the buildings in Bordeaux...it felt like Paris but without the overload of tourists, cars or noise.

We headed straight to la Rue Sainte Catherine aka an absolute haven for shoppers. There is every shop imaginable along this street as well as cafés and restaurants to stop for a break and do some nosey people watching. The road starts out with markets, individual boutiques and make up stores then towards the other end of the street are old favourites like H&M, Zara, Mango and Pimkie as well as a must-visit when in France, the Galaries Lafayettes with all the high end brands. You could easily spend a full day here exploring all the different shops and getting a whole new wardrobe...so get saving!

We left slightly later than planned and had some errands to run beforehand so by the time we arrived in Bordeaux it was already mid lunchtime so we hunted around for somewhere reasonably priced to eat that would leave us satisfied but not so full that we'd need to take a nap! Luckily we came across this little gem - Locadillos.

We were that kind of starving that any idea of food made us weak at the knees so when we saw this place with it's modern, chilled vibe, customers dining al fresco and homely interiors - we were pretty much drawn in.

I'm not going to lie, I was a little confused by the menu seeing as I can barely speak Spanish but the friendly staff explained it all to us, what was on offer and we finally settled on the lunch menu at only 9,50 euros a head. You choose two different types of montaditos, a side and drink. Me and my sister both had a delicious glass of chilled wine each (when in Bordeaux ey), the 'Azteque' and 'Di Buffala' montaditos with patatas bravas on the side. 

As if this restaurant couldn't get any better, we were also given a little mobile (we're talking Nokia circa 2005) with a number and were told we would receive a text when our food was ready to collect...how amazing is that?! Best text I've ever received.

 The meal was presented so perfectly I almost didn't want to touch it, but I was hungry so of course I wasn't going to just stare at it, was I? Nah. As you can tell by the photos (are you drooling?) it was pretty damn beautiful. Everything was delicious with lots of flavour and it left us both feeling full up and satisfied but not stuffed...which in my eyes, ticks all the boxes! 

The 'azteque' montadito had chicken, fried onions and homemade guacamole and the 'di buffala' had juicy tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and homemade pesto and the patatas bravas drizzled with a red pesto type sauce. There was one big flavour party happening in my mouth guys. ANYWAY before you end up drooling all over your computer/smartphone- in short, this restaurant was like a little gift sent from the food gods. If you're heading to Bordeaux, you must visit here! DO IT or regret it for the rest of your sad montadito-less life.

Locadillos: 137 cours victor Hugo, Bordeaux.

While my sister was off at the hairdressers (her priorities), I went for a little wander round the streets myself and stumbled upon Freep'Show. I felt right at home as soon as I stepped in the door...The Cure was playing, I was surrounded by vintage clothes with a disco ball above my head and the walls lined with vinyl …basically, I was in my element. There was everything from vintage dresses to skirts, shoes, bags, leather jackets and much more- for women and men. A real little treasure tucked away in the city center of Bordeaux- don't miss this place if you're a vintage lover! 

Freep'Show friperie: 80 rue du loup, Bordeaux.

We made a little pit-stop at Place Saint-Projet, a nice little spot with open terrace cafés to stop and recharge your batteries over a drink and do some people watching!

We took a walk down the Garonne riverside where you can see Bordeaux from a different perspective. There are more shops (yes, more), cafés and river cruises to be enjoyed in this area as well as it being a popular spot for joggers, cyclists and picnickers (is that even a thing idk)...a nice quiet part of Bordeaux to be discovered!

Because looking at nice pictures of cakes doesn't make you put on weight and it's (almost) as enjoyable.
After a long day of walking about, eating, window-shopping (it's a hard life) we called it a day and headed back to my sisters apartment. I've been through Bordeaux on my travels but never had the chance to see it properly like this so I was glad to finally discover what it has to offer and I already want to come back again! 

It's a buzzing but easy-going city with something for everyone whether you're keen on museums and galleries, trying out the restaurants, shopping or of course, drinking the Bordeaux wine! Luckily my sister will be in fact studying wine for her year there so if she ever needs a second opinion when wine tasting eh!