Weekend In Paris | Bordeaux
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Rum baba: Sponge cake, soaked in rum-flavored syrup with strawberries Rum baba: Sponge cake, soaked in rum-flavored syrup with strawberries Approachable and effervescent two-Michelin star chef Jean-Luc Rocha at Hotel Cordeillan Bages in the heart of the Bordeaux wine region in Pauillac makes staying at this Relais & Chateaux property owned by the Cazes' family, a dream come true for foodies like myself. Delicious eye-candy, plate after plate came my way when I dined there on my last visit to area.

Cordellian bages hotelOriginally a 17th Century Monastery, and later used as a guesthouse for the spirited wine family Cazes’ visitors. Chateau Cordeillan Bages Pauillac has been a relaxing oasis for the past 30 years. Perfectly situated next to one of my favorite wineries, Lynch-Bages (also owned by the Cazes family), it was a wonderful hotel to chill out in and spend a peaceful couple of days. 

DSC_0330While not a New Year's Eve destination this year, the Best of 2014 travel for me included multiple trips to Paris. Speaking from experience, nothing beats a New Year or Bonne Année in the City of Light. My first time seeing the Eiffel Tower at night was on New Year's Eve, 1990 with Mr. Weekend In Paris. It was the 100th anniversary of the tower and the excitement of the occasion was palpable. Of course the evening was all the more special since Mr. Weekend In Paris' birthday is at midnight! I instantly fell in love with the iron lady of Paris and my grandmother's heritage. France, you are in my blood!

DSC_0306Bordeaux is the perfect place to taste fine wines, but there are more experiences to be had in the land of vineyards. Hotel Saint James Bouliac, a Relais & Chateaux property is situated across the river from the city of Bordeaux and is not only a beautiful hotel but offers unique culinary experiences to enhance the visit to the area. The hotel began as an eighteenth-century farmhouse and in the late 1980's was made into a modern luxury hotel with a gourmet restaurant and first-rate cooking school.

Château Pavie vines overlooking the château Château Pavie vines overlooking the château Super Sommelier and Le Chapon Fin's front of the house manager, Alex Morin joined forces with Bordeaux Saveurs for a fabulous Tuesday. Time for wine tasting in Bordeaux beginning on the right bank in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol.

DSCN2073Today it's my 50th birthday (I don't feel a day over 49) and I just experienced the best trip in all my trips to Paris and France in my 24 years of traveling to Paris. It may have been my best travel ever, not a small revelation for a journalist who has been all over the world, but I have to admit the best trips ever were the trip down the aisle to marry Mr. Weekend In Paris and the two visits to the hospital to give birth to my wonderful sons Jack and Phil. But today, I want to share with you 50 things I love about Paris and France to commemorate my big birthday. 

Our sword ceremony outside the chapel after our wedding Our sword ceremony outside the chapel after our wedding The first time I visited the City of Light, I was with Mr. Weekend In Paris for a little romance and now I am thrilled to report that we will also celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in Paris for more romance and some prayers of thanksgiving for our amazing life together. An added bonus is that we will be wine tasting in Bordeaux for a few days too!  The ultimate best part is that our plan includes bringing some friends along. The only regret is that our boys cannot join us. They are working and studying hard back home.

Kirwin wines I tasted. Kirwin wines in Bordeaux By now my regular readers know that Bordeaux is the preferred wine of the Gal Pals and when in Paris we drink it almost exclusively. That is, when we are not drinking Champagne, Burgundy or Sancerre. My recent trip to visit the chic and unique city left me wondering what took me so long make the short trip from Paris to this fabulous wine country. Now that I have been, there's no turning back. I loved every minute of it! The Guide to Bordeaux: How to Plan the Perfect Weekend first appeared in Upscale Living Magazine and was meant to be a launching point for a stay, not a complete guide. After my next trip in a couple of weeks, I hope to bring you more tips and tastes!