The Médoc is synonymous with gastronomy – great food to be paired with its great wines.
What about oysters from the nearby Bay of Arcachon with a crisp glass of Médoc white? Whilst the region is lauded for its red wines, it produces some stunning dry white wines, such as La Cygne from Château Fonreaud in Listrac (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion and Muscadelle blend). Perfect for a summer lunch overlooking the pool. Oysters are sold in the market in Pauillac on Saturday mornings, and on the quay on Sunday mornings (also on a number of other days during the high season).
The typical food of the Médoc is rich and luxurious, powerful enough to pair with the grand, mature reds of the region. Staples are entrecôte á la Bordelaise (a dish of rib steak cooked in a rich sauce made from Bordeaux wine, butter, shallots, herbs and bone marrow), milk-fed Pauillac lamb grazed on the marshes by the Gironde estuary, cèpes de Bordeaux mushrooms, and magret de canard (made with duck fresh from the lakes and rivers of the Médoc). These dishes are perfect with just about any of the wines from the châteaux around Manoir Saussus.
France is rightly known for its delectable desserts, and the Bordeaux region is no exception. It even has its own speciality – canelés - that makes perfect use of the egg yolks traditionally left over from the wine-making process. They are delicious with the sweet white wines from Sauternes to the south-west of Bordeaux. The perfect end to a Pauillac meal!
You’ll find these dishes in most of the restaurants local to Manoir Saussus. There are plenty within walking distance. Chief amongst them is the Michellin-starred restaurant at Château Cordeillan-Bages. For those with slightly more modest budgets, it’s little sister – Café Lavinal – in the Village Bages is a great option. La Salamandre on the quay in Pauillac has lovely views over the harbour and is famous locally for its burgers.
Our next-door village of Saint-Julien (another great Médoc appellation, with a host of Second-Growth châteaux) has a couple of great options. Bistrot Chez Mémé is perfect for a relaxed lunch. Le Saint-Julien is more formal, but the charismatic chef/ owner Claude (ever liberal with his favourite ingredient – truffles) will help to make any meal here a special occasion.
For those wanting to venture a little further, the options are endless. They range from the delightful, small family-run La Gare Gourmande, housed in an old railway station building near Margaux, to the magnificent Table d’Agassac in the 13th-Century Château d’Agassac in Ludon Médoc (their Grand Cru wine package is quite the indulgence!).
Your taste-buds are in for a treat when you stay at Manoir Saussus!
Arcachon Oysters at Cap Ferret