Bordeaux, a port city in the northern part of the Aquitaine region, is regarded by the French as highly sophisticated with an abundance of fashionable shops, historic buildings, and chic chocolateries.
The pedestrian-only shopping streets that cut through the historic center are quite fun. Rue St. Catherine at 1.2 km is the longest pedestrian-only shopping street in Europe, but I was more impressed with its neighboring streets, where one can spend hours uncovering chic French designers and enclosed galeries.
If you are in the market for exquisite chocolates and confections, make a point to visit Saunion at 56 Cours Clemenceau. It has been in the same family for generations, and I was absolutely charmed by the experience of choosing a collection of goodies one by one while the shopkeeper carefully fits each piece into a beautiful little box and ties it with a ribbon.
Le Triangle d’Or is centered around the glass-domed Galeries des Grand Hommes, and small streets shoot out from its center like a star. World class boutiques, upscale cafes, and sophisticated home decor stores make this golden triangle the preferred shopping destination for the city’s aesthetes. An excellent fromagerie can also be found here: Jean D’alos (see photos below). When you’re shopped out, take a quick stroll through the Jardin Public, a small but carefully planned gated park near the historic center.