When my sister got engaged, it suddenly became quite the quandary of where they would get married – in the UK, in New Zealand, in Australia?! Well, they decided to surprise everyone and head to France! And I’m so glad they did as I got to explore and discover such an amazing part of the country.
As my parents were flying over from Aus and all the grandparents from Manchester, we had to stay for more than a couple of days for the wedding so ended up staying for a week. We started in Bordeaux city for a couple of nights before heading off to the Chateau where they were going to get married. We then headed off to Bergerac for a few nights in an AirBnB.
Bordeaux itself was a charming little city – of course after weeks of gorgeous sunshine, we managed to arrive on the day that the heavens opens and it was torrential rain. But that was okay – with umbrellas at the ready, I took my grandparents off for some exploration. The city itself is full of lots of little winding streets, old French buildings with crooked balconies and grand palaces.
The highlight was the mirror fountain – a giant but low fountain which creates a giant mirror along the riverbank. It reflects the grand buildings behind and was unlike any other fountain I’ve seen before.
After Bordeaux, it was time for the wedding! We jumped in the hire car and headed an hour out of the city and into the tiny town of Auberterre. It was gorgeous with lots of little brown traditional houses. The chateau itself was absolutely amazing – grand windows and it even had a turret. With giant grounds and a beautiful pool out the back it was the perfect location.
The chateau had about 12 rooms which meant that the direct family could all stay together – this gave us lots of time to relax and prep before the wedding. Luckily, by the time the wedding came around, the sun finally decided to make an appearance and the day went off without a hitch! They managed to have the ceremony outside, before a champagne reception and a delicious 3 course meal. The barn was then converted into the dancing hall for everyone to dance the night away!
Of course, if people are going to fly all that way to France, the wedding couldn’t just take up one day! So the next day everyone headed over for a pool party and BBQ. By this point, the sun had really made itself present and it was getting up to 28 degrees – perfect! It was such a relaxing day and it was awesome to be able to lounge about outside with all of the family in the sunshine.
Once all the fun and games of the wedding was over, it was time to continue on into wine country – this time to Bergerac. We did stop off and explore a bit more of Auberterre first, including the underground church which was just amazing. It was basically a ginormous cavern carved into a church, it was made hundreds of years ago and is such a feat of engineering.
Bergerac is a little town about 90 minutes outside of Bordeaux which has its own wine appellation. Of course, we now had to do what Bordeaux is famous for, drink a whole lot of wine! We went on a wine tour with 2B Wine Not? and it was great – we visited three local vineyards, doing a whole heap of learning and tasting – even getting to meet some wine makers who were just so interesting!
On our final days in Bergerac I took the opportunity to do a whole lot of nothing! It’s rare to get some real chill out time so I made myself comfortable by the pool and took to reading some books. Though of course I managed to leave my kindle on the plane on the way there so I was resigned to some trashy novels instead!
Overall, not only was the area amazing because of the fantastic wedding that we had, but the region itself was gorgeous. I did enjoy Paris last time I was there but this showed me a whole other side to France, one which I definitely want to explore more!
Have you been to the South of France?