If you are looking to experience a culinary adventure with all that it entails, connect with history, and explore new places, then Relais & Châteaux is a good place to start. The 63 year-old institution with its 550 landmark hotels and restaurants truly embodies passion and pride for the art of Hospitality. No matter where you go in the world, you will find a Relais & Châteaux operated hotel where as the French says it so well “L’art de vivre” is still alive and well.
Lucky me, I got to have a taste of it not too long ago. My friends at Relais & Châteaux and BMW in France offered the opportunity for me to discover an area I wasn’t all too familiar with – the French and Spanish Basque region. And as you would imagine, I jumped and packed our bags!
Our first stop was in Paris where we picked up our bright sporty BMW 430d coupé. What a ride! It was so smooth that we hardly could keep up with the speed limit! (tickets have been trickling in!)
Then we drove to our first hotel which was La Maison de Bernard Magrez in Bordeaux. If I can be totally candid, I hadn’t done a lot of research prior to our trip because I didn’t want to be swayed by expectations and biases. I wanted to be surprised.
As we were driving and getting closer to our destination, we passed a few questionable neighbourhoods which kept the suspense at its height! Where were we going? A few blocks of desolate and broken down buildings later and we found ourselves in front of a gate. Is this our hotel? It cannot be!
The gate of La Grande Maison opened to a world of wonders and enchantment – awe-inspiring estate where art and nature cohabited in absolute harmony. Behind this beauty stood a regal and charming mansion. One could tell a lot of history had happened in this 19th century residence. Our eyes were filled with joy and admiration. We couldn’t wait to get inside and discover the rest.
Our car was also well-accompanied with a Ferrari on one side and Rolls Royce on the other 🙂
This two-star gourmet restaurant and five-star hotel rightfully deserves its accolades.
From the staff to the food, wine, art and decor, every detail suggests finesse, class but most of all Passion, without which the heart of the house would not beat.
Harmony was the name of our room – beautifully scented, tranquil and serene. I don’t remember the last time I slept as well and deep before then!
PIERRE GAGNAIRE, TWO-MICHELIN STAR RESTAURANT
The world’s ambassador of taste, Pierre Gagnaire ,voted Man of the Year 2016 in the gastronomy category by the international magazine GQ, and wine composer Bernard Magrez invited us to live an exceptional experience in this magnificent residence where French savoir-faire and refinement are the Masters.
Executive Chef Jean-Denis Lebras, Gagnaire’s protegé, beautifully executed the exquisite Chef Gagnaire’s vision and our Sommelier, Mr Magrez’s polished taste in wine. Our eyes and mouth watered at each bite.
Our meal lasted a few hours short and with it long-lasting memories.
One experience I will not forget. I hope to go back very soon. I recommend you check it out. You will not regret it.
And if you want recipes from some of the top Chefs at Relais & Châteaux and specifically of the Salade Felicia, exclusively shared by Chef Gagnaire with Discover Out Loud, then download my free iBook here.
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