Unexploited Gem…

Blaye

During our recent sojourn to Portugal we went wild exploring all aspects of the country.

By the time to boarded our flight to Bordeaux we were ready for the quiet, serene French Acquitaine lifestyle.

Blaye
Blaye

We drove to our home in Blaye, outside Bordeaux, a sleepy little french town on the Gironde River in southwest France.

Blaye Citadel
Blaye Citadel

Blaye is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, containing a Citadel dating from the 17th century.

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The biweekly farmer’s market is also a huge draw.

Our Kitchen Window
Our Kitchen Window

Our home is a 17th century domicile which has been completely renovated.

Blaye is an amazing  getaway.

Crossing the Gironde River
Crossing the Gironde River

During our wine inspired stay, we visited Medoc which is a pleasant 15 minute ferry ride across the Gironde River.

Medoc
Medoc

Medoc is a winemakers paradise and is home to Premier Cru wines such as Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Margaux.

Lavinal
Lavinal

We spent the day roaming the countryside.

Lavinal Lunch
Lavinal Lunch

We enjoyed an amazing lunch at Lavinal in Bages part of  the picturesque town of Pauillac.

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Also on our annual must visit list is Bordeaux which has recently experienced  an incredible regentrification.

Bordeaux
Bordeaux

The buildings have been cleaned and a new draw is Bordeaux’s, Cite du Vin, which mayor Alain Juppé has proclaimed a “Guggenheim to wine.” The museum is devoted to the history of wine civilization.

Cite de Vin
Cite de Vin

My foodar kicked in while we strolled the pedestrian only streets of Bordeaux.

We headed to Miles. I later discovered that the NY Times had recently reviewed the restaurant.

Miles
Miles

The food was off the charts and we opted for the three course lunch.

Miles Dessert
Miles Dessert

Behind the operation are two young couples schooled in the prestigious Ferrandi cooking school in Paris who also worked in  outstanding Parisienne restaurants,  L’Astrance and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

The tasting menu, which rotates every two weeks, reflects the partners multicultural roots from Israel, Vietnam, Japan and New Caledonia.

Wandering the boutiques and designer shops was a lovely ending to a perfect Bordeaux afternoon.

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The best part of staying in Blaye is exploring the nooks and crannies inside the Citadel, heading to Bette’s for morning espresso, lounging in our living room and having dinner by the fire, listening to jazz.

We dine on fresh cheese such as Compte from the market, a fresh salad verte with olive oil and mustard dressing, cured meats and a fabulous bottle of Bordeaux.

This year we had a genuine Thanksgiving dinner complete with pumpkin pies, delectable whiskey infused cranberry sauce whipped up by one of the partners in the new, trendy restaurant, Agern, located in NYC’s Grand Central Station.

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving

We celebrated at my husband’s college roommates charming home.

When you dine with Les and Clarissa expect multiple wine courses.

We started with a peach infused aperitif, moving on to Rose, a beautiful Bordeaux, Ice Wine from Canada, concluding with Champagne.

Blaye is a precious gem…a relatively undiscovered oasis.

Fabulous restored apartment rentals are available for under $150.

On the list of must do’s are sommelier guided wine tours that far exceed any tour you have ever experienced.

Ile de Rei
Saint Martin-de-Re, Ile de Re

Another wonderful day trip is Ile de Re, France’s version of the Hamptons.

It’s easy to see why the Ile de Ré is a popular place for the well-heeled Parisians who flock there each summer.

Off season it is a charming fishing village. During the summer, the population swells from 20,000 to 200,000.
Scallops
Scallops

Lunch was a potpourri of fresh seafood including langoustines, scallops and steamed clams.

Ile de Rei beach on the Atlantic Ocean
Ile de Re beach on the Atlantic Ocean

We walked the long expanse of Atlantic Ocean beaches.

Back to Blaye…seeing the Blaye area by bike is a must, a day trip to St. Emilion is another highlight, the undescovered Languedoc region is less than 2 hours away.

Our dream is to spend several months a year living the life of bohemian Frenchies…until that becomes a reality, we will continue to enjoy our Thanksgiving holiday the french way.

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