* Musée de la Machine à Coudre
On a beautiful sunny morning a group of BBC members assembled at La Maison Brasserie in Place de la Stalingrad, Bordeaux where we enjoyed coffee and croissant before our visit to the Musee Machine a Coudre.
The Musee is a private collection of vintage sewing machines assembled by the patron M. Nonet who enthralled us with his enthusiasm and passion for these beautiful old machines. Smiles were brought to our faces as he regaled us with his anecdotes on the history and how he sought out the machines from all over Europe.
The collection contains some truly beautiful machines not only ingenious pieces of engineering but beautiful works of art. All the machines have been lovingly restored to their former glory by M. Nonet. The first model of sewing machine to have a light most certainly would not conform to modern standards of health and safety, this ornately decorated machine was embellished with a candlestick!
Other machines were decorated with colourful birds, flowers and some inlaid with mother of pearl and semi precious stones. We were even shown very tiny functioning machines to go in dolls houses and machines that can sit on your hand. On being shown into a storage area we were amazed to see shelves stacked ceiling to floor with some very old machines awaiting renovation.
Lunch was back at La Brasserie Maison, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch all the food freshly prepared on the premises. The young team running this restaurant made us feel very welcome with their warm and friendly service and definitely worth a try.
* Maison Cantonale
Following lunch, suitably fed and watered, it was a short walk to the Maison Cantonale, Bastide. This beautiful old building is a listed historic monument, designed by Cyprien Alfred-Duprat, construction started in 1913 and unfortunately interrupted due to the first world war, it’s inauguration did not take place until 1927.
The building is quite unique and is a blend of art deco and art nouveau in style and is constructed out of stone, brick, wood, ceramic and wrought iron. It was designed to house a purpose built court of justice of peace and its dependencies, a police commissioner with housing, a library, a conference hall and a municipal sub-office. The building underwent extensive renovations in 2005.
We were allowed to wander at our leisure through several public rooms and admire the architecture.
Thank you very much to Colette for organising the day and the sunshine. (Report by Norma B)