If they’d asked: I had my British passport in the back pocket and could have easily swooshed them away. They might’ve even thought I was Gordon.
Having sorted the apartment I’m a happy boy. It looks good and I’ve got my garden and wifi and a nice shower and fairy comfy bed. For France anyway… at least there isn’t one of those rolled-bloody pillows. Why? POURQUOI? Why have a sausage for a damned pillow.
Yesterday I visited a Michelin-star for lunch, Les Pavillon des Boulevards (€40 all-in) which was a good buy; but it could have been better, really.
One of the dishes was revolutionary and absolutely smashed it… and in fact that was the dish, that replaced the fish dish that I told them I wouldn’t eat, (In broken French… which is “pas poisson, monsieur” or “no fish”! So instead arrived Fois Gras which was bloody epic. It was the kind I like… not the soft steak that you drink with Sauternes… it was the stuff you cover your bread with on Christmas morning. We all do that right? And alongside it was the real pleasure… fois gras granita. But there was a problem here too… the plate hadn’t been cooled so as you ate: the best element of the entire meal deteriorated in front of your very eyes.
But hey! This isn’t a food blog. I’ll skip through quickly: all the plates looked good but were trying too hard; everything was cooked well but rarely connected and there was passionfruit on my main course for no reason whatsoever other than, I suspect, it sounds Michelin. The lemon tart filling piped onto the dessert plate, next to a scoop of apple pie filling and Italian meringue… was so good that I just wished they’d given me a lemon bloody tart. Over-elaborated fluff. But I’m being very critical because it’s got a star and I’m a bit of a bell sometimes. Hey… that fois gras was one of the best dishes I’ve tried in yonks… or it was until the granita un-granita’d on the warm plate. Enough.
I stroll into the centre of Bordeaux and see a properly French city. Which is great, and utterly spectacular at times… but somehow doesn’t have the quirky, quaint beauty of some of those stunning towns I’ve already passed on my travels. I think of Sancerre particularly. The Intercontinental Hotel, which houses a bloody Gordon Ramsey restaurant, is incredibly beautiful and I was quiet fortunate that I needed to use the gents as I walked past. Seemed as good a place as any. If they’d asked I had my British passport in the back pocket and could have just swooshed them away. They might’ve even thought I was Gordon. A quick pitstop and off to The Cite Du Vin: Bordeaux’s wine museum.
I must admit; I was looking forward to it and it let me down a little.
I think it would be very interesting for somebody who knows a little about wine, or somebody who liked the odd glass and thought it would be a good day out… but honestly it was a bit kindergarten. And if you rely heavily on touch-screen interaction then they’d better be good and not frustrating. It wasn’t something I was going to skip – seeing as this is a wine tour – and I’m glad I went but it was just a little ‘blaaaargh’.
So then I went about continuing what is now my three day struggle to find a decent wine glass. Failing miserably again (I’m not a muppet and so I’ll spend a tenner at most)… in Bordeaux for God’s sake… I head to the supermarche and bought three for a fiver. Not the tulip Reidels I was hoping for… but enough of a swirl to give a twirl. Just.
Tomorrow: Up early to visit two of the most famous and reputable Chateau’s dans la monde.