As you may have gathered, I have migrated to the South of France two weeks ago. I tend to relocate there every August for a much needed family holiday filled with lazy lunches, afternoons by the pool, walks around the lake and other rural pursuits. Idyllic, right? It is, to an extent: I am most definitely a child of the city, never happier than when I am surrounded by tall buildings and large slabs of concrete. No matter how pretty the countryside is, I am always running right back to the biggest city I can find. In the case of our family holiday home, I have a choice between Toulouse and Bordeaux when the countryside smells too much like countryside and I feel like a different scent.
I usually end up in Toulouse, which is where I fly to from London, but this time we hopped in the car to Bordeaux – a mere two hours drive from our country house – to spend a rather luxurious day/night at the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa. If you are driving, parking can be quite difficult in the centre of Bordeaux, so don’t even think twice and do as we did: surrender your car to the valet at the hotel and forget about it until you check out (this will cost you €35/night). Once that’s sorted, check in and get ready to lose yourself in the opulent corridors and many bars and restaurants of the hotel… I got lost a couple times and each time discovered a hidden nook of the hotel, bringing back memories of being a little kid playing explorer on holidays with my parents. Priceless.
After dropping our bags in our executive room (super plush, following the theatre theme developed by Jacques Garcia), we jumped in the lift to the fifth floor for lunch at “Night Beach”, the Summer rooftop restaurant. The food there is light and easy, large beachy salads, tapas style dishes and a rather extensive list of mojitos (I tried the pink one and gave it 10/10). While you eat, you can admire the view of the tiled roofs of Bordeaux all the way to the Gironde… And if you think it is beautiful in the day, wait until you go back for more in the evening. We did and I simply couldn’t hold a conversation as I was too busy taking in the sights.
Back to our room after a light night cap, I was more than happy to dive into the super king size bed and snooze for 15 hours solid. I didn’t end up sleeping for 15 hours as there was some serious exploring to be done – and spa treatments to be had – but I may as well have, I felt so rested when I woke up. A total rarity. And as if a night in the most comfortable bed wasn’t enough to make us feel relaxed, we headed to Les Bains de Léa for a swim, sauna and steam room before our 90 minutes signature massage where we tried the sensory shower before getting a full body massage using all Nuxe products (their huile prodigieuse is a personal favourite). It wasn’t like any massage I tried before, it felt really soothing and soft, no pressure applied on the muscles, no kneading of the various knots from my personal collection. I even fell asleep a couple times which is always a good sign.
Theatre style decor and typical bourgeois interior in the rooms
I said “Bloody Mary” three times while looking in the mirror and this dishevelled Frenchie appeared. I just wanted a cocktail!
If it is possible to have a love story with wallpaper, then I think I may marry this one.
I feel sleepy just looking at these pillows…
The waiting room at the spa (Les Bains de Léa)
The view from Night Beach / Night Beach
The best iced coffee in town
Brasserie le Bordeaux
Mademoiselle Robot was a guest of the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux. Fly there from London with British Airways from £80. Rooms £250 for a Superior Room and from £350 for an Executive Room with the Summer offer.