French Weekender: Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion

After my Parisian escape, I needed a break from the busy city. Having my parents located in central France and my birthday coming up, a weekend in Bordeaux sounded ideal. Meeting in a local town near Limoges, we made our way through Central France, into the winery regions of Pomerol.

Although the weather was not fantastic, you cannot take away the beauty that is the French countryside. Sunflower fields for miles, horses and cattle roaming sleepily and hundreds of tiny little towns to explore.

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The Saint-Émilion commune is one of the renowned wine regions of the Bordeaux area. The winding little cobbled streets, the wine bars and gorgeous boutiques make this the perfect destination to see authentic French culture. Beautiful year round, Saint-Émilion is to date one of my favourite communities.

On arrival, it is best to start at the top of Saint-Émilion, nearest to the Tourist office. First check out the Monolithic church, the key attraction of town, then work your way down into the town square. This way you will get your bearings and experience the town the way it should be, slow and steady!

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There are two main pathways up and down the town, so take the steepest down and the others back up, don’t worry you won’t struggle navigating the tiny area. A huge tip, WEAR COMFORTABLE, STABLE SHOES. Heels, even a tiny kitten heel, is a NO NO. I was in sandals and still almost rolled my ankle twice!

The town center is also an ideal spot to take a break, try a local wine or have a decent meal. Optionally, head back up to the tourist center and jump on board the Train Des Grands Vignobles for a cool little ride through the local wineries and see some of the grand Chateau’s, including Mademoiselle Coco Chanel’s!

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I would also recommend enhancing your trip with a stay at a local boutique vineyard hotel. The cosy French cottages adjoining various farms can be found everywhere.

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Next stop, Montmorillon. A little further north, away from the Bordeaux area, lies this quaint little village. If you are lucky enough to be in town for a ‘vide grenier’ or farmers market, you will see the little place come alive with music, French cuisine and most importantly- WINE!

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The best part of these areas is that you can take your time, enjoy the endearing villages and all they have to offer without feeling rushed. The French way of life is not a hectic race to the finish, it is an enjoyable stroll. So embrace it and take it easy!

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