Fa­vorite spots,

Bordeaux J'Adore - - Contents - SUZANNE NEL­SON

A day and a night with So­phie Té­choueyres . . . . .

So­phie Té­choueyres, co-owner of La Co(o)or­niche and Ha(a)ïtza, grew up on the Arcachon Bay. We asked her to di­vulge some of her favourite spots on the bassin

◆ Ca­noe­ing on the Leyre river

The Arcachon Bay is full of nat­u­ral won­ders, but few peo­ple know about the Leyre river delta. 'It's so heav­enly that you for­get ev­ery­thing else,' says So­phie.

The Leyre starts in the pine forests of Na­tional Park of the Moors of Gas­cony and stretches more than 100 kilo­me­tres un­til it reaches Arcachon Bay. The delta com­prises 30 square kilo­me­tres of wet­lands, and in­cludes the or­nitho­log­i­cal park in Le Te­ich. Rent a ca­noe or join a small river boat tour.

www.ca­noesurla­leyre.com, 06 72 76 34 58

◆ Eat­ing caviar

The Es­tur­geon­nière is one of the pioneers in France's caviar trade, hav­ing in­vested in Siberian stur­geons twenty years ago. So­phie is cham­pion of the lo­cal caviar, serv­ing it in her restau­rants. Vis­i­tors will learn how the stur­geon (Acipenser Baeri) are raised for the pro­duc­tion of Aquitaine caviar. Vis­i­tors can watch a video on meth­ods for ex­tract­ing the eggs. The visit is fol­lowed by a tast­ing of their Per­lita caviar. Cost: 28 € / per­son (12 max.) - Lasts 1 1/2 hours. The shop sells caviar.

Caviar L’es­tur­geon­nière Route de Mios Balanos, 33470 Le Te­ich, 05 56 22 69 50

◆ En­joy­ing oys­ters

Run by the same own­ers as Chez Hortense, a pop­u­lar restau­rant in Cap Ferret, this oys­ter shack on the beach has a su­perb view of the bay and the dune. The own­ers have farmed oys­ters for four gen­er­a­tions, they serve their own oys­ters, pâté, bu­lots and shrimp with may­on­naise, and rosé and white wines by the glass. A glass of white or rosé wine, fresh oys­ters on the half shell from the park, small plates with pâté (6 - 8 €), bu­lots or shrimp and may­on­naise (8 €), oys­ters N°3 range in price by sea­son from 6 for 10 € to 12 for 18 €

La Ca­bane d'hortense - Les Youkas

Rue de Ta­maris, 33970 Lège Cap Ferret, www.la­ca­baned­hort­ense, 05 56 03 26 74

Open from April 1 from 11h30 to un­til late evening.

◆ ◆ Par­ty­ing with friends

Ev­ery beach town needs a fun bar, and in this quiet cor­ner of Pyla sur Mer, the Bal à Papa is a the place for danc­ing, drink­ing and lis­ten­ing to 80s hits and French oldies. Lo­cals say it's like no other bar they know. 'It's su­per kitsch,' says So­phie. 'It's for all ages, ev­ery­one has fun, ev­ery­one dances. Even Parisiens who think they've seen ev­ery­thing, have never seen this.' Don't be con­fused - it's some­times called Les Goë­lands or Chez Zézette, and it's run by Christophe Fau­cam­pre and Sab­rina Su­tel.

Bal à Papa - Les Goë­lands

242, boule­vard de l'océan, 33115 Pyla sur Mer www.lebal­a­papa.fr

Boat­ing on Arcachon Bay

'It's won­der­ful to visit the Banc d'ar­guin, the Ile aux Oiseaux, (bird is­land) and to sleep on a boat moored at the Banc d'ar­guin,' says So­phie. Pic­nics on the Banc d'ar­guin, tour­ing the bay to see the Ile aux Oiseaux the 'ca­banes tchan­quées and the oys­ter farms in Cap Ferret. There are many boat rental agen­cies. The tides and shoals make nav­i­ga­tion tricky, so con­sider a skip­per. So­phie rec­om­mends Arcachon Equipage.

Arcachon Equipages

6, rue de Joigny, 33120 Arcachon www.ar­ca­chonequipages.com, 09 62 58 86 96 et 06 80 25 72 38

◆ Paraglid­ing Over the Dune of Pyla

The Dune of Pyla is Europe's largest dune. It sits mag­nif­i­cently at the mouth of the Arcachon Bay, be­tween the At­lantic ocean and the vast ex­panse of the Lan­des pine forests. It's won­der­ful to climb the dune, ac­cess­ing it from the steps on the for­est side and de­scend­ing the other side to the beach far be­low, en­joy­ing this in­cred­i­ble land­scape — but there's noth­ing like soar­ing off the dune for a calm, peace­ful flight or a more ex­hil­a­rat­ing op­tion with 'ma­noeu­vres'. The Wag­gas School has of­fered paraglid­ing for over a decade. Suit­able for any­one age of 5 to 99 years. Dis­cov­ery flight costs 50 € for 10 min­utes. Sen­sa­tion flight costs 60 € for 10 min­utes or 100 € for 20 min­utes; three ½ day cour­ses costs 330 €.

Wag­gas School

Pyla Camp­ing, Route de Bis­car­rose, 33115 Pyla Sur Mer www.wag­gaschool.com, 06 32 04 32 07

PHOTO D.R.

The Ca­bane d’hortense.

PHOTO QUENTIN SALINIER

The Bal à Papa.

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