One of the advantages of having many sisters is that there are many weddings to attend. More specifically, one of the advantages of having my three sisters as sisters is that they pick the best destinations for their weddings.
Back in June, I went to St-Remy en Provence for my sister Cyrille’s wedding. And this past weekend I was back in France, for yet another wedding, Roxane’s wedding in Bordeaux. And I got to discover another gorgeous area of France. Should you be planning a trip to that area, here are some highlights.
We stayed at the Hotel Cote Sable in Cap Ferret, on the Arcachon basin. This small boutique hotel (15 rooms) with the most amazing staff (who belied even my opinion of French service…) offers amazing views of the beach, which is literally across the street, and a beautiful outdoor patio perfect for pre and post-dinner cocktails.
Cap Ferret is known for its oyster beds, which are harvested minutes from the restaurants that serve them, often right on the beach just past the high tide demarcation. You can walk along the beach and find oyster restaurant after oyster restaurant (all they serve are oysters and shrimp). After trying a few, our favorite (and where the rehearsal dinner took place), was Chez Degrave. We actually ended up there for three of our meals in four days!
Beyond oysters, the area is known for the Dune of Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe, so beautiful that more than a million visitors come to see it, and climb it, every year.
We made it out of Cap Ferret to visit Saint-Emilion, a must for a lover of red wine. Our favorite spot was Chateau Coutet, a family owned chateau where I learned all kinds of interesting things about Bordeaux wines.
Through friends of friends, we were able to meet Nicole Tapon and her husband, who served the wine (lots and lots of it) during the wedding and treated us to a picnic on their grounds. They own a number of acres in Saint-Emilion, and are known among other things for their Clairet (a wine that is darker and stronger than rose but not quite red…).
We could not leave without touring the actual village of Saint-Emilion, where we visited the Cloister of the Collegiate church, a magical, extremely old cloister and church…
And all of that was before the most beautiful wedding, in the sand and in the sun, with my sister Rachel officiating followed by a dance party that ended at 4 am, and a custom Robert Montgomery art piece / performance as the wedding gift… Congratulations to Roxane and Guillaume!