Saint Emilion is a medieval village classified by UNESCO as humanity world heritage, located just 28 miles from Bordeaux. It’s a really picturesque place where you can walk on cobblestoned streets, see a monolithic church, a hidden convent behind the tourist office, the old wash house (laverie), the kings tower, a panoramic view from bell tower square and, of course, all the wonderful vineyards of red wine like Cheval Blanc or La Tour Grand Faurie. You should taste the other specialty of Saint Emilion, a small cake made of almonds. Stop at the Laguiole store to buy some hand made knives made in the store. my last advice is not to go in the village with a stroller but instead to carry your baby, it’s less sport… (My arms remembered it).
To eat, I suggest going to try « Le Clos du Roy » (www.leclosduroy.fr). The food is fantastic, especially Bordeaux’s « canelés » (it’s a little cake to eat with your coffee or tea) and the strawberry macaroon dessert. It’s not too expensive as long as you stick with the set menu for around 30 Euros. In France, all the restaurants offer « le Menu » which from the Carte (what we call a Menu) you have a set price for an appetizer (entree in French), Plat (main dish) and dessert or cheese for one price. It is alot of delicious, gourmet food at a really great price. They also serve it in 3 courses so your stomach has some time to digest properly and you won’t feel full after your meal. Just really happy….!
If you want to buy some good bottles of wine, go to the museum and wine store just behind the tourist office or, for the best way, go and visit a wine castle around the village. My favorite is Laniote Castle (www.laniote.com), because the wine is fantastic, it’s a « Grand Cru « , and the owner is really funny. Your kids will not be annoyed during the visit, because he loves making magical tricks and he will give you a rebus card. If you want to see more about Saint Emilion, I suggest you check out this video about this wonderful village : http://www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com/fr/videos.html
Sauternes is a cute little village in the south of Bordeaux where you can find the most famous syrupy white wine like Yquem (www.yquem.fr). Like almost every village in France, Sauternes has its perfectly picturesque church and limestone fountain. You can walk around the village in the vineyard or on hiking trails. I recommnend eating at the restaurant Le Saprien (www.saprien.free.fr). If you like sport, you can also arrange a boat tour on the river.
The Medoc between Bordeaux and the Atlantic Ocean is a really famous vineyard with famous castles like Margaux, Saint Julien or Saint Estèphe. More than the wine tastings, you should arrange for a cultural tour to go and visit Margaux castle (www.chateau-margaux.com) and Beychevelle castle which is known as a little Versailles (www.beychevelle.com). If you have more time, take a day to go to Lacanau and see the stunning beaches of the Atlantic coastline, and you can even try surfing in the glamourous seaside resort of Biarritz.