Gourmet De­lights, Bite-size Bordeaux

A trea­sure-trove of Borde­lais culi­nary his­tory, the épicerie Echoppe de la Lune chron­i­cles the city’s tastes over the past 200 years. From in­fused rum to caramel-roasted nuts, all the iconic brands are here

Bordeaux J'Adore - - Contents - CLARE O’HA­GAN

Jock ‘Crème Tra­di­tion’

Jock was in­vented by Borde­lais man­u­fac­turer Ray­mond Bou­lesque in 1938. A blend of maize, wheat and bar­ley to which milk is added it will re­mind Brits of Bird’s cus­tard pow­der. In Bordeaux every­one of a cer­tain age will sigh fondly at the men­tion of this child­hood sta­ple, also avail­able in choco­late, caramel or pra­line flavours. €2.90 for 500g

Moutarde ‘Di­aphane’louit Frères

Cre­ated in Bordeaux in 1825, this is a slightly sweet-tast­ing, aro­matic mus­tard with a base of ca­pers, car­rots and cau­li­flower. The jar, re­sem­bling a wine bar­rel has not changed since it was first pro­duced. Un­til the war, all Borde­lais grew up on Louit Frères.

€3.90 for 160g

Sel de Château

In the early 20th cen­tury when wine and salt from France were shipped over­seas to­gether, a storm smashed the bar­rels in which both prod­ucts were be­ing trans­ported, and wine soaked into the coarse grains of salt. When spices were added the wine-in­fused salt proved de­li­cious. Bouteille, €6.90 for 130g

Bou­chons de Bordeaux

These crunchy, del­i­cate bis­cuits are made from a paste of al­monds and raisins soaked in Fine de Bordeaux the lo­cal wine-based brandy. The cork-shaped del­i­ca­cies have been pro­duced since 1976 and are a firm favourite in the re­gion’s châteaux. €6.90 for 100g

Con­fit de Sauternes au safran

Chan­tal and Jean-marie Pelette cul­ti­vate saf­fron on their es­tate near Bordeaux. With a tex­ture like liq­uid honey, and a fab­u­lously sweet, so­phis­ti­cated mar­riage of flavours, this jelly is a deca­dent ac­com­pa­ni­ment to foie gras or ma­gret de ca­nard.

€12.50 for 100g


An­other pow­er­ful trig­ger of child­hood mem­o­ries and an iconic Bordeaux brand, this choco­late milk first hit the shelves of lo­cal stores in 1954. Since its cre­ation, gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren across France have grown up on Ca­co­lac served warm in win­ter and chilled in sum­mer.

€1.50 for 20cl

Thé au canelé Chris’teas

There’s no bet­ter way to bring back mem­o­ries of your hol­i­day in Bordeaux. This in­fu­sion will hit you with the ex­act vanilla-rum-caramel bou­quet of the small, in­tensely sweet lo­cal cakes, tra­di­tion­ally made by nuns to sat­isfy the hunger pangs of the small chil­dren in their care.

€9.90 for 100g

Ril­lettes d’es­tur­geon Sturia

Stur­geon’s roe is en­joy­ing a come­back in the Aquitaine re­gion. Spread thinly on toast it’s the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to your even­ing aper­i­tif. Sturia’s jars of roe are lightly en­hanced with white sum­mer truf­fles or yuzu.

€6.90 for 90g

A Stroll through The Chartrons

For cen­turies Bordeaux wines were ma­tured and stored in this neigh­bour­hood’s cel­lars. English, Ir­ish and Flem­ish mer­chants set up shop here, ship­ping wine back home. Now a fash­ion­able ur­ban vil­lage, The Chartrons is per­fect for a post-pran­dial stroll. Browse the an­tiques shops and cloth­ing bou­tiques on the Rue Notre Dame, dip­ping into cher­ished lo­cal hang-out, Bar Notre Dame for a tip­ple. Pick up a bot­tle of lo­cally-pro­duced in­fused rum in ‘La Pe­tite Mar­tinique’, then fol­low the peace­ful back street to the in­ter­sec­tion with the Rue Borie. Here the Mu­seum of Wine and Trade gives a great in­sight into Bordeaux’s unique com­mer­cial her­itage. If you’re peck­ish af­ter­wards, Restau­rant Le Boucher is a tra­di­tional re­gional brasserie with a good rep­u­ta­tion.

Musée du Vin et du Né­goce, 41, rue Borie, 05 56 901 913

Apéri­tif on the wa­ter

If you think the Borde­lais pace of life is leisurely, then cross the river to the even more laid-back right bank. Bike or stroll over the Cha­ban-delmas bridge for an apéro at the Chantiers de La Garonne. This for­mer ship­yard is now a river­side beach bar beloved of the lo­cals, who flock here on balmy sum­mer evenings. Pull up a deckchair, plant your bare feet in the sand, then sam­ple the lo­cally-brewed craft beer, Dar­win. The menu cov­ers ocean-fresh clams, oys­ters, prawns or hot tapas, and if you’re feel­ing game, then sign up for a spot of kayak­ing or stand-up pad­dle at the wa­ter-sports club on­site. Parc d’ac­tiv­ités des Queyries, 21, quai des Queyries, 33100.

Satur­day night at the Movies

Why not catch a late-night film at the Utopia? Bordeaux’s art­house cin­ema is housed in a gor­geously re­fur­bished church. Ar­rive in ad­vance of the screen­ing and grab a cock­tail at an out­door ta­ble in the cin­ema’s bar over­look­ing the buzzing Place Camille Ju­lian. The Utopia’s pro­gramme is a care­fully cu­rated se­lec­tion of global cin­ema and the crème de la crème of French film-mak­ing. That said, un-dubbed Amer­i­can block-busters are shown if they are half-way in­tel­li­gent. Utopia, 5, place Camille Ju­lian


The lobby of the Utopia Cin­ema.

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