With a recently rediscovered mojo, grand 18th century boulevards and a foodie scene to complement the fabled vins, Bordeaux is the perfect spot for a luxury French mini-break.
Your direct flight to Bordeaux from London takes an hour and three-quarters. After you have cleared customs and collected your luggage, you will be privately transferred to your hotel for the next three nights, the salubrious Les Sources des Caudalie.
The journey will take roughly half an hour, so depending on what time you arrive we will have pre-booked lunch or dinner, washed down with a bottle of wine (Bordeaux, naturally).
Today we recommend a leisurely morning with a long breakfast, before making your way to the remarkable Vinotherapie Spa for a thoroughly spoiling day of pampering.
Vinotherapy involves treatments created using by-products of the winemaking process (Cabernet scrubs, Merlot rubs, that sort of thing). We've arranged a day of couple's treatments for you, beginning with a facial treatment which is tailored to your individual needs. Following a spell in the steam room, you will enjoy a soothing candle massage (not as scary as it sounds!) before a soak a deux in the spa's barrel bath, which uses grape extracts to sooth and aid the detoxification process, just in time for a retoxifying supper.
After breakfast this morning, you will head to Les Sources de Caudalie's tasting tower, accompanied by the hotel's head sommelier, for a lesson in all things vinicultural.
Beginning with an explanation of the concept of terroir (the specific environment the vines grow in) you will move through the wines of Bordeaux and the surrounding areas, and then learn about to how best to serve them and the dishes they'll complement. After your tasting, you will be treated to lunch at La Grand'Vigne, the hotel's two Michelin Starred restaurant. Top tip - make sure to try the chateau's delicious white Bordeaux, as well as the clarets.
Suitably stuffed, we recommend borrowing a couple of bikes from the hotel and cycling through the vineyards to work off some of that lunch in time for another delectable dinner.
Today is sadly your last day in France, but before your late afternoon flight home you have plenty of time to explore the city of Bordeaux itself, starting with a boat transfer from the hotel to the Port de la Lune in the centre of the city.
Once in Bordeaux, we recommend heading straight to the Cite du Vin, a museum dedicated (unsurprisingly) to the art of viniculture. You can expand on what you learnt during your wine tasting yesterday, or test your food pairing knowledge, before taking in one of the temporary exhibitions - which change often and are always fascinating. After lunch (we recommend oysters from nearby Arcachon in the Marche des Chatrons), you'll just about have enough time to stock up on wine (it would be rude not to, really) and cheese from any one of our favourite boutique shops in town - check your handy Dossier for our recommendations- before heading to the airport.
Your flight home will leave Bordeaux in the late afternoon and will arrive back in the UK in the early evening.