Bordeaux resident Jane Anson picks out the best places to go in the city, by the river and in the vineyards.
Bordeaux travel: In the vineyards
The new cellars at Château Marquis d’Alesme (www.chateau-marquis-dalesme.fr) in Margaux will open this autumn, reflecting the French-Chinese heritage of the Perrodo family with design motifs such as dragon scales and dramatic red and gold colours. The cellars are in the middle of the village of Margaux, and will be open to the public. Tougher to get in to, but worth the effort with an appointment, will be the new Lord Foster-designed cellars at Château Margaux (www.chateau-margaux.com), also freshly completed this summer. Further north in Pauillac, the art museum at Château Mouton Rothschild (www.chateau-mouton-rothschild.com) continues its Paintings for the Labels exhibition, with original artworks displayed in glass cases designed by Francis Lacloche.
2015 is the 25th anniversary of Florence and Daniel Cathiard arriving at Château Smith Haut Lafitte (www.smith-haut-lafitte.com; www.sources-caudalie.com) and transforming it into one of the most attractive destinations in Bordeaux. The hotel has been extended with new rooms, a new indoor swimming pool and the excellent Red bistro and wine bar. Its gourmet restaurant La Grand’Vigne has just been awarded a second Michelin star.
If you act quickly, you should be able to try the cookery classes at La Terrasse Rouge (pictured above; www.laterrasserouge.com) that run until the end of June 2015. This new restaurant, which opened in 2014 at Château La Dominique, offers two-hour classes on Saturday mornings, followed by wine and food pairing over lunch. If not, the three-day St-Emilion Jazz Festival (www.saint-emilion-jazz-festival.com) is lined up for its fourth edition in July. Previous acts have included Jacky Terrasson, Youn Sun Nah, Monty Alexander, Fred Hersch and Earth, Wind & Fire, with concerts among the vineyards of Château Gaudet and Château Troplong Mondot, as well as in the historic buildings of the medieval city.
Jane Anson is Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent and the author of Bordeaux Legends.