Authored by Christina
On our way from Bages to Bordeaux we made a quick little stop in Labarde for lunch at the amazing Le Gare Gourmande. It’s a restaurant converted from a train depot – tiny, but very well appointed.
For lunch we enjoyed a dish of shredded white fish with tomato confit with crushed potatoes – it was very good, and apparently a popular dish, as we then saw versions of it on other menus, though this was the best one we tried by far. Reminds me of a halibut with tomato confit that I make often at home from the famed Balthazar French cookbook. Not hard to see the connection there.
We arrived in Bordeaux in the early afternoon and located our apartment for the weekend. It was right in the heart of downtown Bordeaux on the rue Esprit des Lois. These accommodations were recommended by our “tour designer” at Bordeaux Saveur. They called it La Villa Grands Cru; it’s the in-city home of a French cheese shop owner – that’s as much as we can say about that. What we CAN say is that is was a beautiful apartment looking right down into the city, and a heavenly place to make our home base from, within walking distance of everything we wanted to see.
I made a beeline for my souvenir at Hermes, just mere blocks away (the store was only open that one afternoon we were in town). We walked and shopped the first afternoon, with the only downside being that the shops actually close fairly early by American standards!
We were glad to have time to enjoy our beautiful home-away-from-home before dinner. We also got the chance to meet the woman who had been coordinating the trip for us – the absolutely charming Clemence de la Ville. She arrived by bike – seven months pregnant – glowing and gracious. We were delighted to meet her, and at this point, we had a burning question for her.
“So, by chance Clemence, did you tell the estates that we have a blog?” (Honestly, we weren’t sure how much blogging we would wind up doing, or whom we would tell about it at this point, as it was such a new thing for us.)
“Oh yes,” she said, without skipping a beat. “I sent it to all of them and told them that you were wine bloggers and would probably write about them.”
Oh. Mystery solved. You see, for the past day or so, people had started referencing the blog, and I kept telling Bob that it appeared they were giving us press kits when we left – not the usual marketing brochures. After more than 20 years in Public Relations, it felt a little funny to be on the other side of the journalistic table – heck – many of our tours were led by PR people – but I also think that the blog led us to have some really rich and insightful conversations with people that we might not have otherwise had.
The blog was started as a way to put the results of our annual champagne party adventures up, and had been evolving into a way to share our wine experiences and recommendations. I sent it to Clemence originally as background and a bio, really. What then transpired in Bordeaux was a whole new level of storytelling responsibility, and we realized that we were more than up to the occasion, especially since I’ve spent my entire career setting up media tours, which was exactly what this had become! Couple that with Bob’s more than 20 years collecting wine, and we realized that we actually make a pretty good team. We know we have a lot to learn (like how to take better photos and to remember to photograph our food BEFORE we begin to eat it for starters!), but we’re grateful to Clemence for so innocently setting us on this path – we’re having a ball with it so far.
And now you know the rest of the story – and the reason why we feel compelled – and why we are quite enjoying – retelling our trip stories day-by-day, stop-by-stop, glass-by-glass.
Thanks for joining us on the journey!
Speaking of journeys – wait till you hear about our dinner that night…