Any good gastronomic indulgence should be paired with the finest of wines and what better place to combine the two than in the renowned and charming city of Bordeaux.
Located in the heart of the Aquitaine region, Bordeaux is only 2 hours away by train from Paris. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is the epicurean French destination par excellence. Bordeaux has over a hundred thousand hectares of vineyards and 10,000 grape growers. The city produces large quantities as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world.
From Bordeaux, you can take the train to Saint Emilion, one of the world’s most famous vineyards, or opt for a guided tour in a vineyard to taste one of the famous vintage wines of Margaux, Pauillac or Saint-Julien.
Aside from visiting a vineyard or two, there are several public museums to wander through, or perhaps take a relaxing stroll down the Rue Sainte-Catherine, considered the longest pedestrian-only street in Europe.
Take a walk along the Quais de la Garonne overlooked by the harmonious 18th century facades. Continue to the cathedral Saint-Andre and the nearby Pey-Berland tower for a panorama over the city. In the evening, have a drink in the Allees de Tourny with a view over the Grand Theatre. There are two public parks in Bordeaux where you can relax – Jardin botanique de Bordeaux and Jardin botanique de la Bastide. Nature lovers should visit the Bassin d'Arcachon to enjoy a moment of pure bliss on top of its Dune du Pyla (Europe’s highest sand dune) which has an imposing view over the Atlantic Ocean.
Take a break on a terrace in the quartier Saint-Pierre to sample some of the finest wines together with Magret de canard and treat yourself to one of the famous local pastries, a canelé. You can always attempt to burn away the calories whilst you window shop your way through the wealth of luxury stores which are located in the Golden Triangle, within, Cours de lÍntendance, Cours Georges Clemenceau and Allees de Tourny.
France’s Train à Grande Vitesse, or TGV as it is better known, is the high-speed train operated by SNCF, which has been tearing across the length and breadth of France and beyond since 1981. The high speed train travels at a speed of up to 300km/h and allows you to reach over a thousand destinations in Europe in comfort and ease.
The TGV offers two classes of service. All passengers will benefit from a restaurant car serving hot and cold drinks and snacks, comfortable seats and friendly staff. There is also a family area for children to play games.
France is well equipped to be explored via train and boasts an extensive rail network and fast, efficient and comfortable carriages.