Utopia: Nicest cinema in Bordeaux
Believe it or not, the cinema has been built in a XVth century church.
It's a cinema "d'art et d'essai" with a careful selection of movies coming from everywhere, all shown in original version, of course.
(but don't forget that culture is often more fun than boring)
Dress Code: No food, no drinks, no phones. You're not in your average hollywood factory.
- Arts and Culture
SeveralLines: Dinner Cruises
There are tour boats docked on the river along the Quai de Louis XVIII opposite the Rostrales of the Quinconces that offer afternoon and evening cruises of the river with views of the adjacent activities. We have been on many of these elsewhere and although they are a nice evening, we opted to splurge on a fine seafood dinner instead (see our Restaurant Tips)
- Family Travel
The Theater: A Night At the Theater
As part of the annual chamber music festival, a concert for viola and piano was performed at the Theater on our second night in Bordeaux. We were able to buy balcony (unreserved) tickets which provided an enjoyable evening. We lost the program but the main feature was one of our favorites: Brahm's Op. 120 , two very late sonatas for clarinet and piano, which he alternately scored for viola and piano. We had never heard this version before. This gave us the opportunity to take pictures (without flash) of the main auditorium, which is where it was held, and the interiors.(Canapes and champagne were on sale at intermission). (We have more on this under Things To Do).
- Family Travel
Beers and Bars
There are lots. Look for the ones with tv's and football games on. They can be fun and noisy. The bartender can be on a happy mood and give some freebies away. You can see how much the french love football. You can make lots of french inspite of limited french language knowledge!!
Dress Code: Casual.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
The Blarney Stone
After a few weeks of on the road we were missing some things about Ireland. Such as good beer! Bordeaux had a small Irish pub called "The Blarney Stone" and we spend a couple of our evenings relaxing here.
Connemara: Irish bar
One of the best irish bars I've come across - originally first time in 2000 but revisited October 2005 and now much bigger. Their website states that Celtic fans hold the record for a days beer consumption, and that is pretty impressive given how packed the place was that time in 2000!
The Cock and Bull: English style pub
This is an Anglo French style pub, run by the same delightful family who have the Houses of Parliament pub in Bordeaux. Again, the pub is very informal, attracts a mix of both French and English expats, and is an ideal place to sit and let the hours pass you by. You will feel important, looked after, and the attention to detail is second to none. Do not miss the opportunity of asking the staff which famous person put all the coving up, as you will be surprised by the answer.
Again, this is another of Jon & Sara's masterpieces, and they are ably supported by Vincent, who in his own quirky way prefers people to touch his knees upon meeting them as opposed to a handshake.
An enjoyable retreat, very comfortable, and a guarenteed smile as you leave.
Dress Code: Informal, come as you are.
Le Plana: One of Bordeaux's most famous bar
Situated in one of the main square in Bordeaux, la Place de la Victoire, you will find Le Plana. Been there a few years ago and it was super packed during the weekend. Le Plana is a convivial place to party like everywhere: basically, not super sophistacted music (the current hits are played), nothing super specific in the bar, it is just one of the place to party: crowded, beautiful girls, beer, that is basically what I remember from Le Plana.
The Houses of Parliament: English style pub
Ok, I've never been a fan of the Brit's abroad haven, but this place has none of that aloofness that a similar place in Spain might have. It is run by a family originally from Essex. The son and daughter have grown up truly bi-lingual and appreciative of both French and English culture and it is perhaps this which allows for such a great marriage of the best of both worlds in this bar. The service is English style at the bar rather than French style table service, but this is not done in an obtuse way as if to say that the English way is somehow better, rather that the English way is a little eccentric and a bit of a novelty for the French. The walls are decorated with memorabilia from days gone by, including a 1966 World Cup programme.
It is indeed very popular with both English and French alike and both languages are spoken in equal measures. French people wanting to improve their English skills can be found asking at the bar for conversation tutors in order to perfect their accents. Rather than a bolthole for the English to avoid the natives of Bordeaux, I found it to be a place where English friendly French people meet French friendly English people.
The pub serves bottled beers such as Becks and Corona, local bottled concoctions such as beer with vodka or whisky, draught beers including John Smiths bitter, a small selection of alcopops and also coffee. No food is served here, but the landlady has no problem with people bringing food in from outside. Sports are shown here whenever they are on and a selection of English magazines and newspapers are available, as well as English Sky news so you can keep up to date with what's going on back home. There is also the ubiquitous pool table if you fancied a game...occasional karaoke nights and theme nights keep the buzz going.
"Happy hour" in the typical British binge drinking tradition is from 5pm until 8pm.
Dress Code: Come as you are
Comtesse: Favourite bar in St Pierre
With soft music and comfortable second-hand (or maybe fourth-hand) seats, and with prices dating from before the war (Gulf II, I mean), it's a nice and friendly place.
Can be really crowded and full of smoke, but in summer if you come early you've got a chance to get a table on the terrasse :)
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
Dick Turpin's: Your basic little pub
Bordeaux has a lot of english citizens, hence we've got lots of (good) pubs.
This one's my favourite, a cosy small one, with Strongbow on tap and savoury baked potatoes.
Can be packed and really smokey, though
Dress Code: It's okay as long as you're dressed
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
Mushroom: A nice bar/pub close to the cinemas
The Mushroom is a friendly bar/pub, with darts and wooden tables, a little dark and gothic (but the customers aren't necessarily goths). The waitress/owner is always nice and smiling
Lots of beers, cocktails, and the prices are honest, in a low french average : 2.50 - 3 euro a beer
A good place to hang out after a movie !
Dress Code: Tie excluded. Oh well, go dressed as you like !
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
Les Epicuriales: Epicuriales, every June
1/ Bordeaux is considered south of France, thus already an invitation to vacation
2/ End of june is the beginning of summer
To celebrate the beginning of summer, Les Epicuriales are a good option if you are around Bdx or wanting to reach it.
The concept is simple: one of the most beautiful avenue in Bordeaux is loaded with nice bars and terrasses, where people enjoy the first days of really good weather.
I have been there two years in a row and always had a great time. When "La Fete de la musique" mixes up with les Epicuriales, it just gets even better.
Cambridge Arms: Pub crawl or just a fall
With any luck and or influence, Paul (the proprietor) will allow you to have your own Laugh/Comedy night here. A helluva icebreaker when it comes to flirting with the Bordeaux women.
By the way, why are they all named Marie???
An international staff:
Dan (Dover, England)
Jim (Birmingham, England)
Mark (Dublin, Ireland)
If you like romantic nights,...
If you like romantic nights, you should go to St Pierre neighbourhood!
If you prefer partying and clubbing, you first should have a drink at one of the many bars located around Victory place and then move to the 'Quai de Paludate' (Paludate Pier), where all the clubs are!!
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