Bordeaux - day 8

An early start this morning followed by a gentle 46 miles to reach Bordeaux in time for wine tasting.

Our journey included trying to keep up with a rather professional looking cyclist, which passed a few miles.

We stopped at a quaint tea shop for hot chocolates & coffee. The friendly owner gave us pistachio chocolates as we left, I think she felt sorry for me having to put up with 3 boys.

Our hotel is, once again, beautiful. Walking through the grounds we have found tennis courts, a horse & 2 donkeys. Apparently a few people from Manchester have stayed here over the summer so word must be getting around. On arrival, even though the place was closed we were supplied with drinks and creme brûlée fois grois, made for the hotel’s 5th birthday by their Michelin star chef!

This afternoon we took a wine tour at the chateau haute bailly, which we learned is the only vineyard in Bordeaux to house vines that have survived both world wars. The grapes are hand picked and every effort is made to preserve the traditional methods. We tasted wine at various stages of the fermenting process & sampled 2007 bottles. Unable to purchase a case without overloading mark’s panniers we purchased a bottle to enjoy over a game of cards in the evening, or so we thought…

The vineyard pointed us in the direction of a town for dinner but in true French style the only restaurant was closed till 7:30. At 5:30 we passed an hour wandering round & enjoying the delights of the patisserie - that even sold a haribo birthday cake (for 8 year olds!) and a further hour in the bar. we returned to the restaurant to enjoy a meal on the beautiful but slightly too cold terrace. We asked the hotel to order us a taxi but they told us it would come from Bordeaux centre, 15 miles away, and we would have to pay for it to get to us. Being English we couldn’t accept this so tried to return to the bar, now closed, then spent a cold hour trying to obtain taxi numbers, ascertain the distance to walk (7k) & ask the hotel if they could collect us. All options failed, then ian’s phone died (the only 1 we had with us). Eventually we asked a pizzeria to call a taxi for us & we made it back to the hotel, several hours later than planned, and whilst the cards have come out, the bottle of wine sits in it’s beautiful white box on the table untouched & needing to be carried in a pannier tomorrow.

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