A taste of Bordeaux past and present

Bordeaux and its flavours

I’ve discovered two new places in Bordeaux that have taken me right back into the past. As they’re not very far from one another, I can easily visit both when I find myself in the area. The well-known, bustling Chartrons area, where wine-sellers were traditionally based, is right next door to the Bacalan neighbourhood. Bordeaux’s bourgeois long sneered at the Bacalan, deeming it too working-class, but it is now beginning to be held in higher regard. The Cité du Vin, where Chartrons meets Bacalan, was an eye-opener. It’s all right next to the Garonne.

The Port de la Lune warehouses

In 2007, the former warehouses on the wharves along the Garonne were converted into a shopping centre – the Quai des Marques – with outlet stores and cafés. Anna Pédelaborde launched her shop there at the end of last year. It’s called the Echoppe de la Lune, in honour of the Port de la Lune, a nickname for Bordeaux because the section of the Garonne that the city sits on is shaped like the crescent moon. The shop sells historical and gourmet goods, and is a feast for all of your senses! Here you’ll find a range of products created in Bordeaux, not least Marie Brizard liqueur, which was first made in 1755. Visitors are in for a warm welcome and I love going there to rediscover products from my childhood and unearth exciting new concoctions.

A journey through time

The Echoppe de la Lune is like a timeline of food. First you’ve got your Marie Brizard liqueur, then there’s Louit mustard, Tête Noire vinegar and preserves, Vodka Pyla and Moon Harbour whisky, as well as Meneau cordials, Lou Gascoun patés and preserved foods, Cacolac drinking chocolate, Jock powdered desserts, the Lillet aperitif and the Savons de Bordeaux soaps. The furniture matches the period of the products, with a large dresser for the oldest products and shelves or more contemporary sideboards for newcomers. Each product has its own little presentation board. It’s all decorated with Vieillard faïences, and you’ll even find Jacqueline du Pasquier’s book on this type of glazed pottery.

The market makes a comeback

The Halles de Bacalan has taken the indoor markets of yesteryear and given them a facelift. You only have to glance at the architecture of this building, opposite the Cité du Vin, to understand. Artisan producers set up stall here with not only local, tasty produce, some of which is organic and vegetarian, but also Italian and Spanish goods celebrating the delicious gastronomy of these countries. Some of the stalls’ names, such as Les Requins Marteaux, Garg’Antoine and Mouette Rieuse, are amusing puns that I really like. You could of course simply wend your way through the stalls, but you can also soak up the easy-going, gourmet vibes by sampling some of the dishes on offer, like the charcuterie meats and pizzas. Or you could take the weight off your feet at the brasserie overlooking the Cité du Vin.


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