France is known for its excellent food and wine, so not surprisingly, they both feature on the list of great souvenirs to pack in your suitcase.
There is a great selection of shops to enjoy in the city and many are situated in the area of Saint Pierre Saint Paul Triangle d’Or. If you love traditionally styled department stores, Galerie Lafayette is perfect as it has many gift ideas for all ages. So, without loosing our time, we have listed below the top 10 souvenirs to buy in Bordeaux for you. Enjoy!
Bordeaux is known around the world for its fine wine. Bottles of really good local wine can be found in the supermarkets but it is far more fun to go to a specialist shop and enjoy some wine tasting (dégustation) too. L’Intendant is the grandest wine shop in the city and probably the whole of France, with a grand central staircase swirling up to five floors of wine displays – with 15,000 bottles of regional wines to choose from. Wine Cava Briau is another good hunting ground and again has 15,000 bottles of regional wines and these are displayed in ascending prices from E2.50 -E5,000 so you will definitely find something there to suit your budget!
The French are also famous for their fabulous cheeses and not surprisingly, there are a number of specialist cheese shops to discover in the city – mainly in the area of the Triangle d’Or. Chez Delphine in Rue des Ramparts is instantly recognizable as it has an old red bicycle propped outside and a wonderful array of cheeses inside! Beillevaire is an artisan cheesemaker with 150 different kinds of cheese on display. Fromagerie Dervelle is a family-run cheese shop with 150 different kinds of cheese to choose from and each day there are various cheese tasting sessions and these are advertised on the blackboard outside.
The French love good chocolate and there are several chocolatiers to discover in Bordeaux. Chocolaterie Saunion is the most famous as it opened in 1885 and the fourth generation of the family is now the master chocolatier.
4. Bordeaux Cannelès
These pretty little sand castle shaped fluted cakes with a lovely vanilla filling are probably the city’s best-known souvenir as they are made there. They are available in boxes of six cannelès and larger numbers but these will benefit from being carried in hand luggage! Alternatively, you can always buy one of the copper cannelè molds and try making them yourself once you get home!
5. Stylish French Clothing
The French are well known for their beautiful stylish clothes and in Bordeaux, there are boutiques to suit every taste and budget. There are fun teeshirts to buy and sweatshirts emblazoned with the name Bordeaux, but there are many stylish clothes for him and her including scarves, umbrellas, and handbags. A good hunting ground is Les Filles à l’Ouest which is a lovely building with seven artists selling gorgeous clothes and handmade jewelry.
6. Roger and Gallet Soap
Not strictly from Bordeaux but definitely French! Roger and Gillet is the name of the French perfumery that opened in Paris in 1862 specializing in luxury bath soaps that were made in a factory just outside the city. The soaps were made in a distinctive round shape and wrapped in crinkled silk paper with a seal and even today this is how they are packaged. One of the most popular fragranced soaps was violet and today they have a myriad of different perfumes and make really lovely gifts to take home.
7. A Delicious Box of Macarons
Another edible souvenir from your time spent in Bordeaux is a box of macarons. These delicious ‘melt in your mouth’ almond meringue shells are sandwiched in pairs with a ganache or buttercream filling. They are available in a range of flavors and pretty colors with chocolate and raspberry being the most popular. The best-known place to buy macarons in the city is Ladurée. On a recent trip to the city, one confectioner was advertising a new flavor – foie gras! The macarons are sold in various sized boxes and again, they will travel best in hand luggage – well that is if you can get them as far as the airport without tasting them!
8. Beautiful Household Linens
There are a number of shops in the city that sell beautiful household linens including tablecloths, placemats and tea towels. They are all very good quality and distinctly French in their stylish good looks. If you feel that you have room in your suitcase for some bed linen, there are some beautiful duvet sets available but be warned, many of them will be fine cotton which feels lovely but needs plenty of ironing. French bed pillows are square rather than rectangular in shape and the duvet covers have no fastenings at the bottom edge, but a pronounced ‘tail’ that is tucked in under the mattress to keep the duvet in place on the bed.
9. A Traditional French Beret
The distinctive black felt beret is a popular sign of local identity in southwest France. The beret was first made in the 19th century and by the 1920s was very popular. At that time there were 20 beret makers in France, producing millions of the soft, round flat-crowned hats, but today only three remain. You will definitely see Frenchmen in the city wearing black berets and these can be bought from a number of shops.
10. Skin Care Products
France is known for its excellent skin care product manufacturers and it is definitely a good idea to pop into one of the pharmacies in the city to buy some to take home. Embryolisse is a popular cream that was designed by a dermatologist and can be used as a day cream or even aftershave. It smells lovely and contains such ingredients as shea butter, aloe vera, and beeswax. Homoplasmine is another good buy and is a homeopathic cream that soothes, protects and moistens skin and lips. Another good product to buy is the handbag sized water mists for rehydrating skin.