Provincial Bordeaux gives Paris a good run for its money when it comes to on-trend boutique shopping. The Bordelais share an enormous pride in their city and its talented artisans, with a feast of independent and historic shops and strips in St-Pierre and St-Paul to prove it.
Get acquainted with local fashion designers Les Sisterettes, a stylish boutique for women by 'sisterettes' Céline and Amandine. Look for accessories by Bordelaise designer Camille and handmade jewellery by La Boutique d’Élodie.
Made in Bordeaux
Homegrown design is god in Bordeaux. Discover the work of local trailblazers at Baaam, a beautifully arranged concept store specialising in homewares and hip lifestyle items made in the city or, at a push, elsewhere in France.
France's Largest Independent Bookshop
Family-run bookshop Mollat, founded by Albert Mollat in 1896, packs five adjoining mansions with a labyrinth of books, ordered to sweet perfection on a mind-boggling 18km of bookshelves. French philosopher, writer and scholar Charles Montesquieu (1689–1755) aptly lived in one of the townhouses.
Tomme de Bordeaux
Many a cheese-and-wine match made in heaven has been conceived at highly respected, boutique fromagerie Jean d'Alos. Buy a chunk of Tomme de Bordeaux, a raw goat-milk cheese washed for several weeks in white Muscadet wine and encrusted in a peppery cocktail of herbs and spices.
Outside, on the corner of rue Louis Combes and rue de la Porte Dijeaux, admire B&W prints of Bordeaux's iconic department store in the 1930s. Locals have shopped here since the 1900s when Les Dames de France – hence the 'DF' lettering on the shop's elegant neobaroque facade – opened; Paris' Galeries Lafayette bought it in 1985. The exquisite Naudet & Cie barometer encrusted on the building still functions.
Paris has the Champs-Élysée, Marseille La Canebière, and Bordeaux, Europe's longest pedestrianised shopping strip called rue Ste-Catherine. The 1.25km street links place de la Comédie (north) with place de la Victoire (south). The Romans built it; urban planners kicked cars off it in the mid-1970s; and celebrity French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte gave it a shiny new contemporary polish in 2000–2003.
Roasted in Bordeaux
World cultures unite at Café Piha, a tropical-styled coffee shop named after the bay in New Zealand where French barista Pierre Guerin learnt about kite-surfing – and coffee. Paper-brown sachets of his medium-roasted espresso beans or lighter filter roasts, all roasted in situ with much local savvy and Bordelaise amour, are a perfect souvenir to take home.
Vinyls for Lunch
Shopping and food are inevitably intertwined in foodie Bordeaux: browse collectible vinyls over a craft beer and sassy plate of whisky-infused pulled pork or mint- and coconut-laced tuna ceviche at Mancuso, France's first achingly hip audio-cantine.
- Local produce
- Bordelais fashion
Rue des Ramparts is a two-minute walk from the cathedral on place Jean Moulin.
Tram Line A or B to the Hôtel de Ville stop next to the cathedral belfry.