Everyone is familiar with Bordeaux wine, and when in the city it is customary to sample...

Cacolac: the (other) beverage from Bordeaux

Everyone is familiar with Bordeaux wine, and when in the city it is customary to sample local delicacies such as the ubiquitous canelé, but one beverage which is uniquely Bordelais is the chocolate milk drink Cacolac.

The Cacolac story goes back to 1928 and the founding, by the local Lanneluc and Lauseig families, of the Laiterie de la Benauge dairy on the right bank of the Garonne. In 1952, the son of one of the families, Robert Lauseig, travelled to the Netherlands and came across flavoured milk beverages. Upon his return he was inspired to add cocoa (ample amounts of stored cocoa beans were readily available at Bordeaux docks) and sugar to milk before sterilising the mixture. Cacolac was born and was commercially launched in 1954, selling mainly in surrounding towns and villages from the backs of vans.

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The Pont d’Aquitaine , which extends over the Garonne from Lormont, to the north of Bordeaux, is ...

Pont d’Aquitaine: the troubled bridge over water

The Pont d’Aquitaine, which extends over the Garonne from Lormont, to the north of Bordeaux, is such a fixture of the city’s landscape now that people have almost stopped noticing it… and even more so now with all eyes on Chaban-Delmas bridge linking the Bacalan and Bastide quarters built further upstream and inaugurated in March 2013.

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Looking across the Garonne from the Quai des Marques shopping centre which has been installed...

The Bordeaux Grands Moulins de Paris mill: where flour blossoms



Looking across the Garonne from the Quai des Marques shopping centre which has been installed in what used to be riverside storage houses, a remarkable building stares back: the Grands Moulins de Paris flour-mill, or “minoterie”.

This industrial flour-mill and its 48-metre-high tower have been a dominant presence on the right-bank landscape since the 1920s.

In the wake of the First World War, the port of Bordeaux was taking delivery of enormous quantities of grain that arrived from the Americas and mills in the area were unable to cater for local demands. Traders in wheat therefore clubbed together and funded the construction of this mill to the designs of the architects of the Paris-based Société d’Entreprise Meunière. The mill was completed in 1921 and was strategically positioned within easy reach both of the river and the railway line.

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In Medieval Bordeaux, as in towns and cities all over the world, craftsmen would set up shop alon...

Rue des Bahutiers: the trunk-making quarter

In Medieval Bordeaux, as in towns and cities all over the world, craftsmen would set up shop alongside fellow specialists of the same trade. The proximity was of interest both to the craftsmen and their customers: by being located close to each other, the craftsmen could club together to order supplies, and the customers knew that they would be able to  view a wide spectrum of wares in their line of planned purchases without having to drift too far.

The world over, the names of streets continue to reflect the trades that were present there. Examples in central Bordeaux include Rue des Herbes, Rue des Argentiers (silversmiths), Rue des Boucheries (butchers) and, the road we find ourselves on today, Rue des Bahutiers.

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If, at first glance, the photo on the left seems a little dull and uninspiring, that’s possibly ...

Stade Bordeaux Atlantique: the next big sporting arena


If, at first glance, the photo on the left seems a little dull and uninspiring, that’s possibly because it is, arguably, a dull and uninspiring photo. The subject matter is interesting though… it’s just a case of being in the right place in the wrong year, because come 2015 the view will look something a little more like this:

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