Family Picnic and Games in the Médoc, Sunday 11th August

beach-picnicWe’ll meet up at 13:00 at the île aux enfants at Hourtin Port, ready for a fun afternoon.

Come and spend a fun afternoon in the great outdoors. The Île aux Enfants at Hourtin Port is the perfect place to get together with friends and family for a relaxing afternoon of picnicking and games.

As the name implies, it’s perfect for kids of all ages with it’s wooden chateau and play areas as well as a large wooden fort and playground available for everyone to have a fun time.

We shall also organise some ball games, cricket and badminton for those who are interested. .

Don’t forget to bring your own picnic and deck chairs!

Last year we all had a great time, so if you’re looking for something fun to do on a Sunday afternoon, and you’ve got family visiting for the holidays, come along and enjoy yourselves!


Please reserve direct with Sarah P whose contact details are in the members area here


Musical Celebration - Thursday 30th May

Although this is not a BBC event, we thought that BBC members would be interested as it is a repeat of a similar event held several years back with the UCLAN Choir and was enjoyed by numerous BBC members.

‘Ascension Day’ – Thursday 30th May at 11:30

11:30 – Open air Communion Service (Optional)
12 30 – Picnic lunch (please bring your own picnic)
14 00 – Concert in the garden (mix of classical, swing and popular music)

All in a beautiful garden setting in Carcans

(Please reply to this email if you would like detailed directions and GPS co-ordinates)

A very special celebration in three parts

Featuring the award winning Choir of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)


The Choir of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) is under the leadership of Director Mark Goggins, Students from UCLAN won the adult category in the ‘2010 BBC Choir of the Year’

……. no charge but donations welcome for purchases of wine/soft drinks (to be divided between Church funds and Choir expenses)

…….feel free to participate in some or all of this relaxed family day.

Enjoy some of the UCLAN Choir performances on YouTube: Swing – ‘The Continental’ and Mellow – ‘The Good Side of Me’ Classical – ‘Dies Irae’ from Mozart’s Requiem,


Please also do not forget the day before at the Cathedral St Andre:

Concert of Sacred & Classical Music

Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 16:00 ( 4pm )

Cathedral St Andre, Bordeaux

A celebration in music

Featuring the award winning Choir of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) under the leadership of Director Mark Goggins,



Come and join us for a walk and picnic in the Médoc at Avensan…….

… discovering a lake attraction called “CABLE PARC” where very fit people in wetsuits come to enjoy water sports activities called “Jetski” …..

… further along are another two small lakes in a figure of 8 which are ideal for a long walk for some or, shorter walk for others The choice is ours.

Bring along your pooch as it’s great walk for dogs !

The picnic area is in the trees, enjoying a lovely view of the fishing lake. An excellent day of gentle exercise and fresh air in the country… further details nearer the date.

Booking and Contact Details

If you would like to come along please contact Cath M whose contact details are here (please use your BBC members password to access. If you have forgotten your password then please click here )


Family Picnic and Fun: Hourtin Port - Sunday 29th July

beach-picnicCome and enjoy a lovely afternoon next to the lake in Hourtin Port.

Bring your picnic and round up your friends and family.

There’s fun stuff for kids to do, a great wooden fort and playground, perfect for hide and seek, and we can organise cricket, badminton and other games or, for the less energetic, just relax in the sunshine.

Don’t forget to bring your own picnic and deck chairs!

Last year we all had a great time, so if you’re looking for something fun to do on a Sunday afternoon, and you’ve got family visiting for the holidays, come along and enjoy yourselves!

Meeting time and Place

The plan is to meet around 14h on the île aux enfants at Hourtin Port, parking is easy and there are some nice places for a gentle stroll if the fancy takes you.


Please reserve online below or direct with Sarah P.

We use the free Helloasso event booking system and and they add a suggested ‘tip’ called a Pouboire, at the final stage of your booking.

If you do not wish to leave a tip, click ‘Modifier and click the feint box to the left of ‘Je ne souhaite pas laisser de pourboire‘. There is no obligation for you to add a tip.

  • Book online via the Helloasso system here

Please note that the person making the booking must be recorded as a 2018 member of the Association Bordeaux British Community.

International Seaplane Rally and Picnic - 12:00 noon Sunday 10th June: Biscarrosse


In the inter-war years Biscarrosse was the centre of the thriving French seaplane industry, with more than 100 flying boats providing flights to Africa. New York and South America. There is now an excellent museum there, with a regular international event to trace the history of aviation.

The 2018 edition also marks the centenary of the first flight of what was to become Latécoère Air Lines which started delivering freight and post for Laposte to the french colonies in Africa.

During the first world war the founder, Pierre Latécoère, invested in factories in Toulouse producing shells and aircraft and delivered about 800 planes to the french army. The company then specialized in design and manufacture of seaplanes which reached a zenith with the six engined Latécoère 631 which was billed as ‘The Ship of the Skies‘ and designed for transatlantic flights. The 631 first flew in 1939 and 10 examples were produced. It was the largest production seaplane ever built and to put this into context had a wingspan about one third larger than the famous Short Sunderland of WWII fame. Groupe Latécoère still exists today as a successful group of companies supplying assemblies and components to Airbus and Boeing.

The 2018 flying displays will involve historic seaplanes and legendary aircraft of French and international aviation including the Breguet 14, PBY Catalina, Douglas DC3, De Havilland Beaver etc

More recent aircraft will fly including a Rafale, competitor to Eurofighter Typhoon, from the 17F Flotille of the French Naval Air Force, a fire fighting Canadair seaplane of the Civil Security and also the presence of the Patrouille de France which is the Air Force aerobatic team.

There will be helicopter rides, exhibitions and the usual event amenities.

The BBC enjoyed an excellent day in 2016, and we look forward to visiting again this year, seeing around 30 classic seaplanes in action, contrasted with a display by the mighty supersonic Dassault Rafale which is built at Merignac.

Our Rendezvous and Picnic

We must expect it to be busy, and to avoid the crowds we propose meeting at 12.00 sharp for a ‘tranquil’ picnic at the Petit Lac.

We will then walk less than 1 Km along the canal to reach the event at the southern lake at Latecoere, which has the usual festival facilities (aviation and other stalls, refreshments etc).

Entry is free.

Please bring all you need for a picnic ! Phil aims to ‘reserve’ the picnic tables by the lake !

Picnic and Meeting Location

TIME: 12:00 noon on Sunday 10th June

GPS: 44.396591, -1.182885  ( N 44°23’47.7″ W 1°10’58.4″ )

Alternatively, set your GPS to Avenue de Montbron

Map: Please click here for a map

Directions from Bordeaux:

  • Take A63 from Bordeaux and after 28Km turn off onto A660 signed to Arcachon
  • Turn off after 5 km, onto D216 signed to Biscarrosse
  • In Mios turn sharp right at the first roundabout then straight over the next one
  • After 25km go through Sanguinet (over 4 roundabouts including a large one surrounding the town hall)
  • After a further 12 Km you reach Biscarrosse
  • Go straight over the first and second roundabouts, and continue straight into the centre (over an absurd number of speed bumps !) past the Marie and the church
  • Take the second turn right after the church, signed to Dechetterie and Cimetiere ! This road is Avenue de Montbron
  • You will cross a bridge over the canal (joining Biscarrosse’s three lakes) and then look out for the lakeside car park on your right opposite the cemetery
    • Note the car park has an intimidating 2.1m width restriction. If your car is wider, or you don’t trust your judgement, you can park opposite in the Cemetery car park !
    • Note ignore any signs for ‘Hydravion’ (which direct to special parking, buses and crowds)


To register, please contact Phil C direct or book online below.  Phil’s contact details are here

When using the on-line booking form, please note the following:

  • Click ‘Submit’ only once and then wait for your booking details to be re-displayed on your screen.
    • There maybe a little delay while your details are being noted and registered.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact the organiser direct for your booking confirmation.



‘Kings and Popes’ Series – Chateau Roquetaillade & Chateau Villandraut: Mazeres – Friday 4th May

Chateau Roquetaillade & Chateau Villandraut: Mazeres – Friday 4th May

As part of the ‘Kings and Popes’ series of visits, we have been organised a morning visit to Chateau Roquetaillade which is one of the most visited historical sites in south west France. After a picnic lunch, onwards to Chateau Villandraut, which is a castle built by Pope Clement V.  These two chateaux are massive constructions built as defensive castles but also as residencies. Very different from our normal chateau visits and very much essential to further experience the history of our region.

Program for the day

11:00 – Guided tour in english at Chateau Roquetaillade. One of the most visited historical sites in south west France

Chateau Roquetaillade, Roquetaillade, 33210 Mazères.  Map here Website here

12:45 – Your picnic lunch

15:00 – Guided tour in english at Chateau Villandraut. A castle built by Pope Clement V in 1307 and designed as both a residence and a defensive fortification.

Chateau Villandraut, Rue Lafon Isoré, 33730 Villandraut. Map here Website here


Chateau Roquetaillade is one of the most visited sites in south-west France and a classified historical monument. It is privately owned and has has been lived in by the same family for over 700 years since 1306.  It was first opened to the public in 1956.

Our guided tour, in english, will start at 11 am and takes approximately 1.5 hours.

The chateau is close to the village Mazeres (33210) and situated on a natural defensive site, with its roots going back to prehistory. The name Roquetaillade means ‘carved out of rock‘.  The grottoes beneath the site were home to troglodyte man. In case of attack they took refuge on the moat.

The first earth and timber fortifications were certainly constructed by Charlemagne as he advanced towards the Pyrenees, and then over the years they were replaced by stone fortifications and the old castle came into existence in the 11th century. It continued to be extended up until early 14th century.

In 1306 Cardinal de la Motte received permission from King Edward 1st of England to build a new castle. For this, we must thank his uncle Pope Clement V, the first French pope in
Avignon. Clement V’s political power was vast and extended as a far as Oxford in the UK.

What we see today is a unique example of feudal architecture, that is to say two fortresses within the same castle walls. The first major restoration was carried out in the 17th century. Many Renaissance features were added on the first floor,.  Windows were opened and monumental chimney pieces were created. The second restoration is 19th century and is the work of the famous French architect Viollet le Duc.

Other activities at the castle include a famous production of white Graves wines ‘Chateaufort de Roquetaillade‘, and Bazadais cattle breeding. (Ed. If you ever see bazas beef on a restaurant menu, it is delicious! )


After the morning tour relax with your picnic in the Chateau grounds.


Following lunch, a short drive to the village of Villandraut for our second guided tour of the day at Chateau Villandraut. Our tour in english starts at 3 pm

The castle of Villandraut is known as ‘the castle of Pope Clement’ because Villandraut is the native land of Bertrand de Goth, who in 1305 became the first pope in Avignon under the name of Clement V.

From the beginning of his pontificate, Clement V decided to erect a new castle in Villandraut, as a symbol of the increased power of the Goth family.

The work, begun in 1307, was completed in 1314. The castle was built in just 7 years, a short period for the Middle Ages, when normally it would take 20 years for such a work. This shows the wealth and power of the sponsor, Pope Clement V. The castle was intended to be comfortable without neglecting the defensive aspect indispensable during those troubled times. The moat is 6.5 metres high and 15 metres wide with a drawbridge and together with six defensive towers each at 22 metres high.

The interior of the castle consists of a central courtyard, surrounded by three main buildings. The ground floor was devoted to stables, communal areas and kitchens and was mainly for guards and servants. The upper floors were for the nobles. The chapel is located on the first floor, as well as a large reception rooms. Comfort is ensured by no less than 21 chimneys and 19 latrines.

Subsequent history of the castle:

After the death of Clement V in 1314, the castle remained in the Goth family for only ten years. After this, due to marriages and legacies, the castle changed ownership many times.

The religious wars mark a turning point in the history of the castle. It is looted twice, in 1572 and in 1577, and in 1592 it is occupied by the Leaguers who take refuge there. The army, in order to make them surrender, attacked the castle and shelled the building with nearly 1860 guns and the southeast tower collaped. The Bordeaux parliament even ordered the total destruction of the building, but this decision was opposed by the King of France.

In 1600 the castle was bought by the lord of Lalanne who over 25 years carried out repair works leaving the architecture unchanged. In 1739, the castle is bought by the Marquis de Pons who stripped of woodwork and left it abandoned. The castle gradually deteriorated until in 1886 it is classified as an historical monument. Until 2007, it was the same family, of Sabran-Pontevès, the castle is now owned by Norbert Fradin, a Bordeaux promoter, great lover of medieval castles.

Since 1985, volunteer camps have been organized to clear the moats and restore the most sensitive parts of the castle. Archaeological excavations, stone cutting and masonry are on the program every summer at the castle.


The cost for the two guided tours is 13€ per person assuming a group of 25 people.  Please book online below as soon as possible but no later than Friday 20th April. Norma B’s contact details for the cheque etc are here

When using the online booking form, please note the following:

  • Do not forget to press ‘Submit’
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from Norma B within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact Norma direct for your booking confirmation

Activities Week: Marans (near La Rochelle) - 2nd to 9th June 2018

Update: 7 apartments are now booked but there is room for one or two more couples. If you want to come, please book direct with Ted and Jenny as soon as possible but by the end of January at the latest !

Park and Suites

This year Ted and Jenny are proposing a week at Marans, a small town about 20 minutes north-east of La Rochelle and near the Marais Poitevin.

We will be staying at Park & Suites:  Parks and Suites at Marans-la- Rochelle

Details of the Marais Poitevin regional nature resereve are here:

Park and Suites is a complex of groups of two storey apartments set in a park.  You reach the top floor apartments by an outside staircase.  Each apartment has a bedroom with large double bed leading to a shower room and on to a kitchen/dining area with large fridge, dishwasher, hob and microwave (no oven) with a sofa bed, table and chairs.  Outside there is a small balcony or patio.  In the case of the downstairs apartments the patios are covered.  The apartment is well equipped and the bed made up.

Outside for your use a large heated pool, sauna, ping pong and a boules court.

There are several blocks of apartments with large spaces in between which makes it feel very spacious.  A few minutes walk brings you into the little town where you will find shops, a small marina, bars restaurants. There is also a Super U easily accessible.

Excursions and relaxation

We are planning excursions to the Marais Poitevin, visits to ruined abbeys, chateaux, walks along the coast and of course La Rochelle and Ile de Re.  There is an opportunity to play golf at Pree la Rochelle.  There is certainly a lot to do in the area, but maybe you would just like to relax around the pool and not join in the activities.  That’s OK too!

Price and Payment

The price of all this is 49€ per couple per night, 343€ for the week.  They will require 50% on booking then the rest before arrival.  There is a reasonable cancellation policy.  Cheques must be made out to Park and Suites and sent to Brian M as soon as possible.  Please note that this type of activity is not covered by the BBC insurance policy. Hence the booking and all payments are made direct between the attendees and Park and Suites .

Anyone interested should email Ted and Jenny. We do need to have time to organise numbers and bookings, so we must operate on first come first served basis.

La Rochelle


'Medoc Meanderers' walk in the Medoc: Margaux - Wednesday 8th November

Medoc Meanderers

The Medoc Meanderers are a walking group based in the Medoc and formerly co-ordinated by our good friend Piet who sadly passed away earlier this year.

When and Where

The walk is on Wednesday 8th November starting at 10:30 from the car park at the Salle des Fêtes in Margaux.

About 6/7 km and mainly the route is not muddy.  For part of the walk, should it rain or have rained there’s an alternative way back to Margaux.


For those who would like to join a bring-your-own picnic you will be very welcome to come back to the organisers kitchen whose house is very near to the parking area.


Open to everyone. If you would like to register and receive more details then please complete the online booking form



A tour led by Alain Mounolou and one not to missed.

Among the major figures that left a mark in Girondin history are Bertrand de Got, a local aristocrat aka Pope Clement V (1264, 1305/1314) and Henri III king of Navarre (see Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost or “lou nouste Henric” for Gascons) who ultimately became King Henri IV of France from 1589 to 1610.

This is the first of a series of possible visits of interesting sites and monuments connected with these major figures in the South of the Gironde department.

The Day’s Programme

We meet at 10:15 at the church in Uzeste, 8 km west of Bazas, for a guided tour.

Notre-Dame d’Uzeste is a large church in a small village, originally 12 th century but rebuilt in the early 14 th century thanks to generous subsidies from Clement V, with an elegant choir and apse.

The Pope’s vault is there (which accounts for the lush financing), modern stained glass and other very noteworthy features.

Following the visit to the church we drive down to Chateau Cazeneuve, eat our picnic in the splendid grounds.

Château de Cazeneuve a mediaeval fortress overlooking two rivulets, originally a hill top keep in the 11 th century. Later surrounded by a large walled area in the 14 th century, then revamped in the less insecure times of the 17th century. It is lived in by the Sabran-Pontevès family, who are descendants of the original owners, the Sires (lords) d’Albret from whom Henri III/IV was also descended.

The house is extensively furnished with kitchen, cellars, chapel, dungeon. The successive stages of the chateau’s development are well documented. The chateau is surrounded by extensive grounds which provide fine views of the surrounding area.

The guided visit of the house takes approximately 60 to 75 minutes and is followed by a degustation of fine wine. The grounds are open to the public for those who itch for a walk. The cost of the visit is 12 Euros per person.


Please bring your picnic.

Where and how to get there

Uzeste is situated 10 km south to south-west of Langon, 8 km west of Bazas, 5 km south-east of Villandraut. The church can’t possibly be missed. Cazeneuve stands 10 km south via Préchac. For
map-lovers and GPS haters, directions are below:

From Bordeaux:

  • Our advice is to get to the rocade, then aim for A 62 (the Toulouse motorway)
  • Veer south 6 km after Langon towards Pau along A 65, leave at junction 1 Bazas and turn left along D3 (sign for Villandraut),
  • After 5.5 km then left again down D 222
  • After 3 km and you are there!!

From the Entre-Deux-Mers:

  • Aim for Langon and either find your way to Roaillan/Château de Roquetaillade down D 222 (15 km) OR drive 13 km towards Bazas down N 524, turn right to Villandraut at the big roundabout, 6 km then left to Uzeste (D 222).

From the Arès-Arcachon Area:

  • Aim for Biganos-Facture, then D3 (Bazas), Mios, Salles, Belin-Beliet, Hostens, St-Symphorien, Villandraut 1 km right down D 110.


If you would like to join us please either book online or contact Norma B or Alain M whose contact details are in the Membership Directory here

When using the on-line booking form, please note the following:

  • Do not forget to press ‘Submit’
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact the organiser direct for your booking confirmation
[subject=’Dear NORMA and/or ALAIN, Please confirm my reservation for the KINGS AND POPES VISIT’]



'Jazz on the Beach' - Andernos - Sunday 30th JULY (Not August !!)

Every year Andernos hosts a jazz weekend at the end of JULY which is very successful and well attended.

As in past years, on the Sunday evening 30th July there is a concert on the beach at Plage du Bétey, starting at 10pm and finishing at midnight. People sit on the sand/rugs/deck chairs and drink beer/wine/champagne whilst listening to the jazz, it is very laid back and good fun.

This year the Demitri Baevsky and the Jeb Pattern Quartet will be playing on the beach. They are an alto sax, piano, double bass and drums ensemble and according to the blurb are excellent. They play American bluesy jazz swing, so should be ideal for chilling out on a balmy summer night on the beach sipping a glass of your favorite rosé.

Charles will host a bring and share picnic at his house in Andernos starting at 7pm. Do not forget to bring your picnic!

At 9:30pm we all make our way to the beach (10 min walk) clutching rugs, chairs, bottles and glasses and install ourselves on the beach to enjoy the concert.

Afterwards walk back for coffee, tea and whatever else you hadn’t consumed pre-concert.


Andernos les Bains. Location details and directions are contained in the St George’s Day announcement in March and April Newsletters here


Please either book either direct with Charles or online below. Charles’ contact details are in the Membership Directory here

When using the on-line booking form, please note the following:

  • Do not forget to press ‘Submit’
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact the organiser direct for your booking confirmation