La Grand Maison hotel and restaurant in Bordeaux
by Sarah Bromley
Driving through its cast iron gates, La Grande Maison, an 18th century mansion, stands instantly impressive with it’s neo-classical façade, perfectly manicured gardens and a two-thousand year olive tree which is said to be ‘the guardian of wisdom’.
We are welcomed into a lobby of black and white checked floors, a winding majestic staircase and a featured collection of wines, all of that from one of the vineyards of co-owner Bernard Magrez. A hugely successful wine magnate, Magrez already owns forty-four vineyards and set his sights on making La GM into a hotel-restaurant project little over a year ago when he collaborated with acclaimed chef Joel Robuchon. Originally built in the late 19th century and owned by a Bordeaux lawyer, it’s a pleasure to see that many of it’s historical featured have been included in the restoration that has taken only a year.
The original library that’s now used for the dining room is filled with original heavy weight legal reference books written in latin, his own initials still featured on the lobby staircase and original art juxtaposing against modern art on the walls. Even our room, one of the hotels six rooms only, has been named Passion d’une vie (Zest for life) which acts as a subtle reference to the original owner, and is where we stayed.
Set in the grounds of La Grande Maison, set slightly apart from the main building, we are struck by the sheer detail of the bold floral fabric wallpaper, rich red velvet bed details, high ceilings and sumptuous lighting as well as our French doors leading onto a private patio.
Ascetics aside, it’s the finer details that I find stand out and I wasn’t disappointed. Vases of freshly picked pink roses to match the walls, local delicacies (including macaroons, of course!) and a well thought out selection of ‘his and hers’ Hermes toiletries.
We headed into the dining room
- we were lucky: after only being open a month, there is already a two
month waiting list.
is already much
Already having applied for two Michelin stars, it’s no surprise the restaurant will soon be going for the third at the nearest opportunity. Each course that comes out is exceptional and presented like a work of art, with each course out-doing the last.
Expect caviar jelly in cauliflower cream, duck foie gras with truffles en cocotte and of course the famous potato puree. Robuchon is keen to bring back the French tradition of carving meat at the table, which the waiting staff perform like an act of professional theatre, leaving us in awe and anticipation of our dinner.
The Sommelier is in an equal league of his own, carefully matching each course to one of the locally produced wine from a menu of two hundred and fifty-nine options. Owner of 4 Grands Crus Classés in Bordeaux, Bernard Magrez wanted to have an exceptional wine list which no other restaurant in the world can outclass, offering all the Grands Crus Classés and similar wines from Bordeaux. The chef has to thank him for heightening the food flavors.
After finishing our meal with an impressive selection
of cheeses and an array of tantalizing looking deserts, we retired to the plush
L’Olivier lounge bar for the perfect place to relax with desert wine. This
location is also where the hotel serves its luxury breakfasts and afternoon teas
and is set to also act as a more casual restaurant later this year.
If the waiting list wasn’t clue enough, this place is quickly taking
Bromley and her photographer flew with British Airways from
La Grande Maison