Christmas Dinner and Dance at Château La Chèze - 2014



Our venue was the stunning Château La Chèze in Floirac. Built in the late 19th century on the grounds of a former small fortified castle by a wealthy market gardener, this Art nouveau style mansion has been recently modernized to high standards whilst retaining many of the original charming features. The staff were very helpful, friendly and welcoming.


Our evening began with a chance to catch up with some old friends and welcome some delightful new members whilst partaking of cocktails and delicious nibbles. We then took our seats in the beautifully decorated modern dining room for our special Christmas menu and selection of wines. The tables were just perfect with handmade centre pieces, candles and of course crackers. Everyone joined in the amusing table games and tricky Christmas anagrams (probably should have attempted before the wine started flowing!) and the men changed places after every course though some did forget to take their cutlery, glasses etc with them.

We then retired to our private reception with a fully stocked bar, a log fire and music with our fantastic DJ Gary Brooks.

Due to the several “walking wounded”(mostly men), I did think that us ladies would be dancing around our handbags, but how wrong can you be! I am sure everyone was dancing. Gary brilliantly took us from the 1950’s bang up to date with his selection of music. Even saw some Hip Hop, might have been Hip Après Op!!!

We all know just how difficult it is to organize these events and how many people are involved but a very special credit must go to Norma B and Colette Gibson for their hard work and attention to every possible detail to make this event so successful.

Though the Château were happy to let us party all night, I think the glowing embers of the fire, the copious amounts of alcohol and perhaps the conga drove us to our beds at 1.30. Those of us fortunate enough to stay in the spacious comfortable rooms at the Château were in for one more special treat, a freshly cooked breakfast that we all greatly enjoyed.

I would strongly advise anyone who sees this event advertised for 2015 to put in their diary and join in the fun.

To sum up, for those who are old enough to remember the classic Frankie Valli song ……..

…………………… “Oh What a Night” !!

Report by Avril, Photos by Phil

PS We enjoyed an excellent menu of:

  • Kir Imperiale
  • Amuse Bouche
  • Fois Gras mi-cuit et son chutney sur mesclun
  • Choice of Mousselline de saumon et avocats Eventail Magret, gratin dauphinoise, poelee de marrons. Or, Brochette de noix St Jacques en croutede noisette, julienne de legumes frais
  • Cafe Gourmande et ses 4 mignardises (dont une buche traditionelle de noel)
  • Tarte citron deconstructe
  • Cafe

Family Ice Skating

skatingSarah is organising a family trip to the open air ice rink at Place Pey Berland, in central Bordeaux.

As in previous years, the rink will be divided into two parts, one side for adults and the other for the under 8’s, for safety reasons. On the kids side there are ‘hold onto, push along’ toys, great for extra stability when first taking to the ice. Last year the cost was very reasonable, something like 5€ per person for as long as they like, including skate hire.

It’s a fun event for adults and children, and nice in the run up to the Christmas festivities, please come along with your children, your grandchildren, your neighbours children, whoever you like! Even without children if you can’t find any to bring along…. ! The exact time will be confirmed nearer the date, but is likely to be around 2pm.

To confirm attendance or if you have any questions, please contact Sarah

Christmas Bazaar : La Chapelle de L'Assomption

christmasbazaarThis annual event run by the Anglican Church at 370 boulevard Président Wilson, Bordeaux is not to be missed, with home produce, books and media, wine and white elephant etc.  Additionally there will be ‘Christmas Goodies’ a raffle and ‘silent promises’ (eg bid for some garden or computer help, ironing etc !).

It is also a great social occasion, with café offering home produce, and also a kid’s corner.  All donations welcome, please contact Pamela Prior, Bazaar Coordinator, on 05 56 59 67 34

You could also just arrive with books etc!

Christmas Market & Dinner at ‘Entrecote’


As arranged we all met up at 18h30 outside the tourist information office, and then we made our way across the road to the 19th Bordeaux Christmas Market on the allée de Tourny. The area was covered with wooden chalets and fake snow. Organised in neat rows, the small wooden chalets were a great place to find gifts, decorative items, costume jewellery, gourmet delicacies and, best of all, the appearance of Santa Claus! It is a fabulous venue, full of twinkling lights and fine treats to nibble, not to mention plenty of vin chaud, which was the first stop for many of our party :o)

A couple of hours later we made our way to the Entrêcôte. We were soon all inside, seated, chatting and ready to eat. The interior with its tartan walls, gloss black ceilings and yellow table linen is well presented. There are just 3 questions at l’Entrecôte: how do you want your steak cooked, what colour wine and what dessert do you want? The meal started with dressed green salad with walnuts, followed by fabulously tender steak in amazing sauce and shoestring fries, and then dessert.

A very memorable evening, much enjoyed by all. Many thanks to the organisers, Colette and Norma B

Report by Sarah P, Photos by Phil

Lunch & Golf – Gujan Mestras

Alas, a number of our regular golfers were unable to make this meeting, and a number who made it to the lunch were ‘hors de combat’ – we are all getting older, and leg, foot and back injuries reduced our players further! Additionally the ‘buggies’ which some injured players had been relying on were forbidden, as the previous day had been so wet, that is until the negotiating skills of Brian M came into force!

Eight of us enjoyed an excellent, and very sociable lunch in the clubhouse, to which we welcomed new member and new Gujan-Mestras resident – Danny A. Thus fortified, a select few of us ventured onto the golf course. Thankfully the threatened drizzle kept away until we were safely back in the bar (the 10th hole as we only played 9)! It may have been the liquid refreshment at lunch, but neither Phil nor Brian played their best golf, but we did avoid hitting balls into the beautiful, but somewhat intimidating lake.

We do wish our 4 injured golfers, including a past as well as our current President, a speedy recovery, and hope that we can return to full strength at the start of our 2015 season.

Report Phil C

Walk, lunch, chateau visit and exhibition of 20th century art: Gradignan


Well, the day promised a lot in the November newsletter, and even the hardiest members might have been put off with a late November outdoors event, which was perhaps why only 17 people attended, but it just went on getting better and better.

Apart from the reconnaissance by Norma B and Colette that preceded the event, no one had been to Gradignan before which was hardly surprising as the town is really an outer suberb of Bordeaux, just off the Rocarde, and not somewhere one would normally think of visiting, but it is genuinely somewhere not to be missed. Couple that to wall-to-wall sunshine with 20 on the thermometer, lovely parkland in all the glorious colours of autumn, a great restaurant and a public free-to-view art gallery together with great company, what could be more enjoyable?

The walk of which there are evidently five others in the area, links a number of beautiful parks, all owned and managed by the local authority. We started by the Prieure de Cayac, which has been serving pilgrims as a hostel ever since the 13th century, illustrated by the beautiful bronze statue of the weary traveller rubbing his blistered feet. The paths were clean and wheel chair and bike friendly, with “parkies” much in evidence. The autumn colours were as good as they get, especially as many of the trees were unusual specimen varieties. With foot paths running either side of the river, the many bridges allow any number of variations to the length of a walk, on our route from little over 1km up to more than 12 km. The route is popular with walkers and cyclists alike and has good parking.

The Restaurant K2 was a great choice. Arriving a little earlier than our booking, we enjoyed an apero in the sunshine, prior to being shown to a very nice private dining room for our party. Service was friendly and efficient and the midday menu offered good choice and value. The town council is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and the interesting art gallery in the priory, free to enter, is again just one of many in the area. There were three themed rooms, with artworks by local adult artists as well as contributions from school children, all to a very

Our heartfelt thanks to Colette and Norma B for a

Report by John C, Photos by John, Hugh and Phil

Jazz Club and Dinner


What more do you want from a jazz evening? Excellent artists, intimate surroundings, good food, good wine, friendly service and good company! In addition, the BBC revellers were invited to the Christiansen’s for aperos before the main event, just to make sure that it all got off to a good start. The only disappointment was that there were only 8 BBC members there (although, as someone said, it’s quality not quantity that is important). This is the third time we have organised a visit to the Bistrot Boheme and each time there has been a different group. An excellent blues trio were performing and even though there were only three instruments, it is surprising what can be done with a harmonica, double bass and keyboard. At one stage, they were joined by two other musicians and in true Jazz tradition, they all improvised and gave the impression that they always played together, despite only having just met.

A special thanks goes to Bjarne and Karin for not only organizing the event but also for their great hospitality beforehand. We will be back, hopefully with more aperos and more members but this is an intimate location and large numbers are not necessary for a great evening with great entertainment. Pictures are worth many words – empty bottles and a ‘smokey room’ but without smoking.

That’s Jazz !

Report and photo by John B

Remembrance Service - Talence


The Remembrance Service takes place at the Allied Military Cemetery in Rue Bahus, Talence, Bordeaux.

This moving and sombre annual ceremony will be conducted in the presence of H.M.Consul and the U.S. Consul-General.  The BBC wreath will be laid by our new President.  It will commence at 10.15 with the impressive procession entering at 10.30.  The service will last approximately 30 minutes. There is ample on street parking nearby.

Afterwards members are invited to join the British Legion for lunch at the Connemara, as usual. This Irish Pub is at 14-18 Cours d’Albret, next to the Musée des Beaux Arts.

Continue reading Remembrance Service – Talence – 10 November 2014

Visit to Grotte de Pair-non-Pair (near Bourg)

220px-Gravure_rupestre_(mammouth) (1)We enjoyed a beautiful day in glorious sunshine and visited the Grotte De-Pair-Non-Pair followed by lunch.

The Grotte De-Pair-Non-Pair is situated near Bourg which is on the east side of the Gironde estuary north of Bordeaux. The grotte (ie cave) was discovered in 1881 and was one of the early European discoveries of pre-historic wall art which in this case are engravings rather than paintings. Unlike cave paintings which deteriorate significantly over time it is possible to see the engravings in almost their original state.

280px-Entrée_de_Pair-non-Pair (1)The cave was discovered in 1881 when a cow grazing in a field got its leg stuck in a rut which was found to be a shaft leading into the cave. Francois Deleau, a resident of Bourg, was called in and after some preliminary work realized the significance when he found flints in the vicinity. Deleau was self taught and developed a passion for archaeology and anthropology at an early age and later became a member of several learned societies and helped to found the French Association for Scientific Advancement.

Deleau meticulously recorded his visits and excavations in a series of notebooks which recorded 880 visits between 1881 – 1913. He used innovative methods for the time such as gradual excavation of the archaeological layers and notation of the objects and skeletal remains meticulously recorded and presented in his notebooks. He documented about 15,000 ‘tools’ of flint, bone and ivory and around 6,000 bones from over 50 species of animal. From the evidence he found, Delau concluded that the cave was first occupied by man over 30,000 years ago.

At first glance it seems that the cave walls are covered with numerous scratch marks but we were accompanied by a very knowledgeable and eloquent guide who used various angles of lighting to show the relief of the engravings which highlighted in all their glory the shapes and movements of mammoths, deer, ibex, horses etc.

After the visit we retired, in true BBC fashion, to Bourg where 23 of us enjoyed lunch, wine, great company with much laughter and conviviality.

The weather for the day was gorgeous with blue sky, sun and calm. The surface of the water in the estuary was almost like a mirror which together with the old buildings of Bourg bathed in sunlight gave a magnificent ambiance and encouragement to wander after lunch and discover the historic town.

Many of us who have lived in the area for many years were unaware of this cave right on our doorstep. So huge thanks to Colette for finding something different and organising a very enjoyable full day of discovery, good food, good wine and good company.

BBC Annual General Meeting 2014

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