Bordeaux – The Perfect Mini Break Destination
Bordeaux – The Perfect Mini Break Destination
When? April 2017
Why? Mention a French mini break and thoughts immediately turn to a romantic weekend in Paris. But here at The Style Traveller HQ, we’ve got news for you! We’ve found a French city which has all the components necessary for the ultimate weekend getaway and there’s not an Eiffel Tower in site!
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, invited me for a 2 night mini break to the InterContinental Bordeaux, Le Grand Hotel, to sample the delights of the French city, including wine tasting at Bordeaux’s best chateaux and a fine dining experience at Gordon Ramsay’s Two Michelin starred restaurant, Le Pressoir d’Argent at the hotel. Add to that full use of the Spa NUXE Les Bains de Léa, a tour of the Unesco World Heritage awarded city, what more can a girl ask for! Et Voila, all of the ingredients for the perfect luxury mini break in France.
Here’s my style traveller photo diary of my latest adventure on this foodie and culture weekend away in Bordeaux…
This is a sponsored post.
Dating back to the 18th century, InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel was designed by famed French architect Victor Louis. Functioning as a luxury hotel ever since, the majestic property underwent a full redesign and update by internationally acclaimed interior designer Jacques Garcia, who was careful to incorporate as many of the original features of the hotel as possible whilst modernising at the same time. The hotel re-opened at the end of 2007.
Steeped in cultural heritage this decadent, neo-classical building is a focal point of the city. Located in La Place de La Comédie square overlooking Le Grand Théâtre, it’s the ideal central location from which to discover Bordeaux.
Sunbathing post treatment on the rooftop terraces.
Each of the hotels 130 rooms and suites is individually styled in nostalgic, French style with modern touches. The colour schemes incorporate traditional stripes on sumptuous silks, in vivid, rich colours. Make sure you ask for a front facing room with a view of the Opera House and the Place de la Comédie to get a taste of the chic, lively square below.
The Spa Nuxe Les Bains de Léa
Nuxe Spa Bains de Léa is a huge 1000 m2 area extended over the two top floors of the InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel, with breathtaking views over the roofs of Bordeaux. The spa offers highly sophisticated treatments and massages using Nuxe products, but what sets this one apart from all other luxury spas in the region is the opulent and decadent interiors. It’s fabulous!
The Style Traveller Bonnie channelling the ‘golden age of travel’ in the majestic atrium at the hotel.
Food and Drink
Start the day off with a breakfast fit for kings upstairs at ‘Le Bordeaux Gordon Ramsay’ the more relaxed modern brasserie at the hotel. Featuring a smorgasbord of continental classics and a full english breakfast (with a French twist) the buffet and a la carte menu at breakfast time will set you up for the day. The Brasserie serves food throughout the day.
Jen and I having a pre dinner tipple at The Brasserie.
Le Pressoir d’Argent
Come the evening and the hotel has a magnificent, gastronomic experience up its sleeve at ‘Le Pressoir d’Argent Gordon Ramsay’- a fine-dining two Michelin starred restaurant (opened in September 2015). Le Pressoir d’Argent was awarded a Michelin star just four months after opening and it’s second star earlier this year, which is normally unheard of. Congratulations guys!
Sumptuous and seductive interiors reflect the mood and menu at the restaurant.
The gang and me (wearing pink Whistles dress) tucking into our 4th course from the 7 course tasting menu. With wine pairings of course!!
Delectable desserts at Le Pressoir d’Argent.
Executive Chef Gilad Peled (pictured with us below) who previously worked alongside Gordon Ramsay at his three Michelin- starred Restaurant in London, invites us into the kitchen to get a behind the scenes sneak peek of the preparations.
Located on the seventh floor of the hotel is a spectacular wrap around roof terrace with views across Bordeaux and the Garonne River. The hotel opens it for a “Night Beach” for the summer season, with DJs, signature cocktails and tapas for guests to enjoy whilst watching the sun set across the city (pictured below).
And in cooler climes the main bar at the hotel (pictured above) is a colourful way to end the evening.
Five fun things to do in Bordeaux..
- Take an afternoon sight seeing tour of the city, it only takes a few hours and it’s a great way to get a taste for the architecture and rich trading history of this UNESCO protected world heritage site. Ask concierge for a tour guide called Bruno! You won’t be disappointed!
2. Go wine tasting at one of the famous Bordeaux vineyards. We visited the exclusive Premier Grand Cru awarded estate of Château Angélus, whose wine has been featured in two of the recent Bond movies.
The current head of Bordeaux’s premier winery is Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, one of the only female directors in this region. Her story is featured in a short film created by InterContinental Hotels & Resorts which explores Stéphanie’s craft and innovative approach.
We took a tour of the vineyards (not all 20 hectares) and visited the cellars and winery. After the tour we got to sample some of the estates finest wines at the nearby Logis de la Cadene restaurant, also part of the family estate.
3. Visit the picture perfect, romanesque French town of St Emilion. Wander around the beautiful cobbled streets (flat shoes are advisable for this trip). Stop off in local boutiques, have a coffee and a canele (the favourite local pastry) in the quaint town square. It’s an idyllic way to spend the afternoon.
4. Visit the Decorative Arts Museum in Bordeaux centre. Housed in a converted 18th century manor house, the Musee des Arts decoritifs is the brain child of female art curator and director Constance Rubini. The museum is designed to emulate the interiors of an original French house, collaging varied eras of design by placing 18th century pottery, original panelling and fireplaces alongside more modern Le Corbusier or Phillipe Stark pieces. The museum also houses an impressive Art Deco collection.
Guest exhibitions will be housed in the brand new wing built in the original site of Bordeaux Prison next door. The introduction of this new gallery space, plus other city wide initiatives such as the Phillipe Stark designed public bikes and the Tin Box gallery on wheels, are all raising the city’s profile in the art and design world, making it a destination to watch.
5. Visit the Bordeaux Water Mirror (Pictured below). Built in 2006 the Miroir d’eau is the world’s largest reflecting pool, covering 3450 msq, the installation reflects the incredible architecture of the Place de la Bourse onto the Bordeaux waterfront.
Stay at the InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel from €290 per night
Bookable guest experiences:
o Wine Trip: For two guests « rate from 1 540 EUR » 1 night in Junior Suite with Opera View, Breakfast at the brasserie Le Bordeaux Gordon Ramsay, Spa
Access (heated indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi on the rooftop, sauna, steam room), Dinner at the 2 Michelin-stars restaurant Le Pressoir d’Argent Gordon Ramsay (Tasting Menu 6 courses + wine paring), Transfer to and from the Châteaux, Visit + Wine tasting – 2 Châteaux in Saint-Emilion, Pauillac or Margaux and Pass Cité du Vin
o Culture Trip: For two guests « rate from 1 230 EUR» 1 night in Junior Suite with Opera View, Breakfast at the brasserie Le Bordeaux Gordon Ramsay, Spa Access (heated indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi on the rooftop, sauna, steam room), Dinner at the 2 Michelin-stars restaurant Le Pressoir d’Argent Gordon Ramsay (Tasting Menu 6 courses + wine paring), Private Visit of the Opera House (upon availability) and Pass Decorative Arts Museum.
Good bye from Bordeaux, next stop Paris.
Bon Voyage xx