Brunch at Gordon Ramsey’s Le Bordeaux-Gordon Ramsey and walking around Bordeaux – random thoughts and photos of the experience.
Museum of Contemporary Art: Housed in a beautiful, renovated former warehouse. The building is the real star of the experience. Unfortunately, we did not enjoy the art exhibited very much. There were few descriptions of what was being displayed nor was there a site map to serve as a guide. Finally, the exhibits there seemed more aimed at lecturing patrons about France’s colonial history and scolding them about using natural resources. Normally, we enjoy contemporary art, but this was kind of a downer. I would recommend skipping it altogether unless you enjoy feeling guilty about what other people did 100 years ago.
Walking past an imposing building, we noticed a sign that stated open to the public which seemed like an opportunity to see a museum. We mounted the stairs and entered. After a confusing conversation with the guard, we were granted admission only to discover that we had entered a courthouse! We were free to walk around and saw a small hearing in progress. The interior architecture was beautiful and really quite impressive and the restrooms were clean, so not a total loss, although I expect the guard is still wondering what we were doing.
We had mixed feelings about the architecture. The buildings in the center of town were, without doubt, grand and imposing but when viewed from a distance, had an element of sameness, as if each building had simply been cloned from the one next to it. This gave the city a stiff, formal appearance that did seem at all welcoming. It was the details, the small niches and narrow street views, that really provided the interest and made walking worth while. The green areas, some of them virtually forests of sycamore trees, provided welcome shade and a respite from the stone facades. Particularly beautiful was the Place de la Comedie and the Grande Theatre.
Brunch at Le Bordeaux-Gordon Ramsey
The commanding appearance of the Intercontinental Hotel was a little intimidating but, once inside, the interior of the restaurant was warm and welcoming. Nearly all the staff spoke at least some English, so communication was not an issue. Several times they made an effort to ask if we needed assistance. High marks for the staff all around.
We were there for the Sunday brunch so no menus to deal with. The only difficulty was choosing among the many available items. The only other choices to make were whether to sit upstairs or down (I recommend upstairs as it is closer to most of the buffet) and which wine to choose. We selected a bottle of Chateau Bouscaut Grand Cru Graves, which proved to be a very good choice.
Downstairs is a large table loaded with shrimp, langoustines and shellfish. These items alone could make for a decent lunch. The rest of the buffet is upstairs and includes, well, just about whatever you want. I remember, in particular, the tender, juicy roast chicken and the salmon eggs Benedict. And the dessert table was completely incredible. Someone made a pig of himself with the desserts, but I prefer not to mention any names.
It is safe to say this was the best Sunday brunch I have ever had the opportunity to experience. The food (both selection and quality), the staff and the ambience all combined to create a wonderful meal. I can only hope that someday I will have the chance to return and try Gordon Ramsey’s two Michelin star Le Pressoir de Argent restaurant in the same location.
The restaurant’s website may be found by clicking here. Le Bordeaux-Gordon Ramsey is listed in the Michelin Guide (as I mentioned earlier, we ate at the Michelin-listed Brasserie, not the two star Le Pressoir de Argent). General Bordeaux tourism information may be found by clicking here.
A review of brunch at the Brasserie (in French, undated) may be found by clicking here.
An interview in which Gordon Ramsay discusses food critics and bloggers (2016) may be found by clicking here.