MEDOC; ST. EMILION; environs of BORDEAUX..HELP
Will be driving west from Sarlat along the Dordogne to the wine country outside Bordeaux...wondering where to base ourselves for 2-3 days...... In the Medoc (Paulliac??) or St. Emilion? Can anyone offer hotel and restaurant and general food tips??????? Merci.
Oh boy, what a choice. St. Emilion is one of the most beautiful towns in the world--really dramatic, with its steep stone streets and ancient buildings. It would be a good base. But I'd say it depends on how much wine touring you want to do. Paulliac/Margaux, etc. are lovely, and the Médoc would be a better base for visiting those chateaux. I suppose it boils down to whether you like left bank or right bank wines better. I think if were me, though I am more left bank, I'd stay in St. Emilion, but spend a day driving around the Médoc.
In any case, run-do-not-walk to Lion d'Or in Arcins (just outside of Margaux). It's a wonderful little very unpretentious restaurant frequented by all the top winemakers. The chef/owner's name escapes me, but he's a real character; notorious throughout the greater region for his "grande geuele" (my in-laws, who live forty minutes away, are sort of afraid of him). Anyway, he does amazing cuisine à la grandmère. I'll never forget a fricasée of rabbit there with a deep dark wine sauce. We took our son there when he was 18 months old, and the chef made a huge show of getting him a high chair, putting him in it, tieing a huge napkin around his neck, and fixing him a special order of the rabbit--I'll never forget Wylie sitting there holding the rabbit leg bone, and licking the sauce off his fingers. When Wylie got fussy, the chef took him in his arms and brought him into the kitchen so we could eat in peace. Imagine our surprise when a huge wail (Wylie) suddenly issued forth from the kitchen, and chef ran back in with him and handed him off to us! We never found out what he saw that he didn't like. But anyway, a more memorable meal couldn't have been had. If you do go, please let us know how it was. Phone is 05 56 58 96 79. Arcins is so tiny, you don't even need the address--you'll see it on the main route.