Bordeaux – The Journey Continues

Lacy shares her experience of Bordeaux. Here’s the second part of her travels.

The next morning and post espresso, we set off less than an hour away for Arcachon Bay to experience a day of true maritime culture. The bay is fed by both fresh and saltwater, and the tides mingle amongst the channels to maintain the unique geography, ideal for fishing and cultivating oysters.

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We greeted our captain and hopped aboard a pinasse boat, a sleek wooden vessel adapted for touring the shallow waters. We cruised the triangular-shaped coastline, and headed for Cap Ferret, a low-profile playground for the rich and famous. You will not spot any flashy red soles, as this flip-flop destination mimics the unpretentious Cape Cod dotted with hydrangeas, bicycles and colorful homes.

Between Sips Finding Perspective Beyond Bordeaux 1

First we stopped at a seaside oyster shack, serving only white wine, water, bread and salty oysters. These delicacies of the sea are literally lifted from the shore straight to your plate, and a solid squeeze of lemon ensures they slide right down. Brilliantly simple and all the fuel I needed to relax and watch the masts bob through my Ray-Bans.

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Next, we cruised across the calm waters to a sandbar with a breathtaking view of the Dune du Pilat, Europe’s largest sand dune sprinkled with paragliders and sunseekers. The executive team arranged a generous picnic, and we admired the sound of the surf on a private slice of paradise.

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We completed the day with dinner at Café de l’Espérance, the hotel’s off-site bistro in the heart of Bouliac. First course and dessert are offered by buffet, and the dessert fridge is filled with every delight from petite crème brulee to lemon tarts and chocolate candies.

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The main course is presented on a blackboard menu boasting meats from steak du boeuf to duck and pomme frites. The experience was a genuine illustration of hospitality and left me feeling right at home.

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On the last morning, I was thrilled to be in a familiar element, the kitchen. Le-Saint James opened its own cooking school, Côte Cours that allows guests to recreate the magic of Chef Magie. Poggen Pohl and Miele outfitted the open-concept “classroom” allowing a bright space for dicing and slicing. Our teacher and sous chef Celía Girard, first demonstrated how to chop pumpkin, as we were constructing a pumpkin risotto topped with sea bass, grapefruit-infused sponge cake and sorrel emulsion.

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Next, we prepared a starter of butter-crisped langoustine atop a white bean salad. A quote I always carry from a notable chef, “To taste great food, you have to know how to prepare it.” Savoring every bite amongst our class in the garden under the warm sun was a fabulous feast and finale, one you could only experience if you are up for an apron.

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Leaving Bordeaux, it’s great to see hotels and the travel industry in general finally grasping experiential travel and what it means to dive in locally as part of their luxury holiday ideas. I have found incorporating cultural discoveries into life back home to be the most valuable souvenirs. It’s no secret the French have mastered art de vivre, or the art of living and luckily for us, they graciously share the juice.

 

Lacy Colley Yamaoka

Lacy is Founder and Editor of expâté.com, her labor of love that connects the curious to her simple life motto: do good, live well and see places. As a serial expat currently based in the Caribbean island of Anguilla, her ultimate dream is to inspire others to explore the world through the joy of journey versus simply checking off a destination on the list. Her longtime love for luxury travel and social media stemmed from her experience in public relations with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Lacy’s favorite destination is always the last place she’s been, so catch her if you can!