La Belle Bordeaux

Under the direction of Mayor Alain Juppé, Bordeaux has become much more than just fine wines.

Under the direction of Mayor Alain Juppé, Bordeaux has become much more than just fine wines.


Buildings have been sandblasted à la Paris in the late 1950s by André Malraux  to erase years of pollution and dirt, the Quai des Marques is a modern shopping center built on the old quais on the banks of la Garonne and a modern tramway awaits at La Gare Saint-Jean to whisk you off to your hotel for a mere 1.40 euros.


Our destination was the recently renovated, in a very elegant style with touches of Art Deco, at a cost of 6.5 million euros, Hotel de Sèze near the Grand Théatre and the Place Quinconces. This is a family affair and  young Cédric Janvier is on hand to greet you and see to your every need. His staff is young, enthusiastic, professional and welcoming.

mea-spaAnd as a requirement of every new or remodeled hotel there is a relaxing spa.



No need to bring your laptop as each room has Wi-Fi and a big screen TV/Computer–perfect for those of us of a certain age. Bedrooms are decorated in soothing tones with matching linen and American-sized bath towels are a treat.


Our first stop just around the corner was the Place des Quinconces on the site of Castle Trumpet. It consists of an esplanade gently sloping towards the Garonne bordered on the north and south by magnificent trees. The imposing monument to the Girondins and two rostral columns are bookends. It is host to concerts and fairs, including an Autumn Antiques Fair for three weeks at the end of November.


Just a few blocks away is la Place de la Comédie and the Grand Théatre designed by Louis Victor in 1780. Today it is a venue for the great voices of the world, including Placido Domingo and Cécilia Bartoli.


For a pre or post concert flute you will love the Café Opéra. Open in time for your first coffee of the day, lunch or dinner as well.



Directly across from the theatre is the Grand Hotel, once a private residence it is now home to Bordeaux’s most prestigious hotel.

Bordelais and bordelaises love to stop in for an after work apéritif or a leisurely tea in the orangerie decorated by Jacques Garcia.


Sunday morning often starts with a visit to the brocante at the waterside Marché Saint-Michel followed by the Marché at the Quai de Chartrons for dinner fixins.


It was a long and pleasureable day and we heard the carnivore’s call and headed for the Brasserie Bordelaise for a lusty meal. A peek over my shoulder and a look down at the grill convinced me to opt for the American-sized (450 gram) entrecote from Sebastien MANSEAU while M settled for the slightly smaller but every bit as juicy faux-filet.


Dessert was a delicately perfumed poire William sorbet laced with a nearly lethal dose of the potent potable. Not content to allow us to end our meal on that note, François filled snifters with a 1982 Bas-Armagnac  Domaine de Busquet from Francis Darroze.


But the highlight of the evening was my new pal Tom who was dining with his family in the private room to my right. After a symphony of smiles he ran towards me and jumped into my arms.

Hôtel de Sèze 
23 allée de Tourny 33000 Bordeaux FRANCE
T. +33 (0) 5 56 14 16 16

For best rates and upgrades contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brasserie Bordelaise 50 Rue Saint-Rémi  Tel: 05 57 87 11 91

For all other inquiries the Office of Tourism at 12 Cours du XXX Juillet is a great service.



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