Prolong the holiday season with a trip to Le Saint James

The hotel in Bouliac, south west France, is dressed with aesthetic furniture and serves exquisite cuisine from its Michelin-starred restaurant1. Just a 90-minute flight from Gatwick Airport2 and a short transfer to the hotel, a trip to Le Saint James is just as effortless as staying there. My friend and I were lucky enough to get a room at the radical Block Hotel inside Gatwick s South Terminal before heading to Bordeaux to make our jaunt even more convenient.

Able to get a good night s sleep in a comfy king size bed, checked in using the free WiFi and freshened up in a monsoon-drench shower wet room, we were just steps away from the departure lounge. The warm welcome you receive from staff when you walk through the large glass front doors at Le Saint James, continues through every aspect of your stay. Transformed and enlarged in 1989 by Jean Nouvel, the stylish custom-designed hotel boasts 18 rooms and suites, all encapsulating the scenic vineyard setting from the other side of the window.

Prolong The <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Season With A Trip To Le Saint James Expect nothing but seasonal and fresh fine dining at Le Saint James

Our trendy minimalistic but classy suite boasted a private terrace with jacuzzi and a low feng shui style bed so we could wake up to a breathtaking sunrise. All the mod cons and essentials you d expect in a four-star hotel were there lush toiletries, bottled water, fresh fruit, tea and coffee, a flat-screen TV, a music system, safe and bath robes. The sun beamed from dawn to dusk so we took full advantage of our bubble tub and the sublime outdoor swimming pool.

From our wood-decked balcony, the pool looked like a feature pond lined with conifer trees and wildlife, but as we walked down from our penthouse we discovered the exclusive pool was the perfect secluded sunbathing spot for sipping on gin and tonics.

Prolong The <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Season With A Trip To Le Saint James Cool off in the tranquil swimming pool at the hotel

Having built up an appetite after a few lengths, we got changed and headed into the quaint village for an alfresco lunch at the Bistro Le Caf de L Esp rance. Just a two-minute walk from the hotel and right next to a beautiful church, we shared a mighty chateaubriand steak and chip platter at the charming cafe. Sitting back with a glass of white, we soaked up the sunshine and felt like we were a million miles away.

Prolong The <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Season With A Trip To Le Saint James Tuck into an alfresco lunch at the Bistro Le Caf de LEsp rance

Famous for its wines, after lunch we met up with the hotel s head sommelier for a generous wine tasting lesson. Apart from knowing that I like sauvignon blanc and dislike chardonnay, my knowledge of wine is rather limited, so I learned a lot. Sampling various whites and red wines from the region, we sat out on the beautiful stone patio, fringed with grape vines, before we were called into the hotel s award-winning restaurant for our delightful gastronomic din-ner.

Led by head chef Nicolas Magie and restaurant manager Fabio Rambaldi, expect nothing but excellent seasonal cuisine and outstanding service. With floor to ceiling glass walls, if felt like we were dining in the very midst of the vineyards. Our seven-course meal was like nothing I had ever experienced.

Each plate was a piece of art and the sommelier picked out the perfect wines to complement each dish. Accommodating my friend who has a wheat intolerance, we had a basket of the best gluten-free rolls I had ever eaten. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy within, the warm crumbs just melted in the mouth.

Lobster, Bordeaux lamb, wild turbot, Foie gras and cucumber sorbet were some of the savouries that graced our table, presented beautifully on white crockery with flowers and foam to decorate.

Prolong The <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Season With A Trip To Le Saint James Experience a gastronomic dinner at the hotel

The sweets, crafted in such a stunning way with a rhubarb theme running throughout, offered a variety of textures, and we ended with a strawberry and tarragon sorbet to cleanse our palettes. The food was as creative as the painting and sculptures dotted around the elegant room and was certainly worthy of its Michelin star. Although dainty and pricey, after several dishes and a fair few glasses of wine, we were full to the brim.

We strolled upstairs to our room and fell straight to sleep dreaming we could stay here forever. We woke to a magnificent sunrise (and a fuzzy head) and headed down for an early breakfast before hopping into a taxi back to the airport. A glorious buffet greeted us.

From cereals, fruit and creamy yoghurts, to warm pastries, cold meats and a quirky egg station (not forgetting the fresh coffee) the choice was superb.

Prolong The <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Season With A Trip To Le Saint James Chill out in your private jacuzzi on the terrace

Le Saint James is an ideal vacation for us girls looking for some rest and relaxation, but it is also a perfect treat for romantic couples and for families.

With panoramic views over Bordeaux, exquisite cuisine and a sterling service, I hope our dream of returning one day comes true.

  • Laura s stay, transfers, lunch and gastronomic dinner was provided by Le Saint-James, organised by Perception PR. Rates at Le Saint-James start from 140 per room, per night. Breakfast costs 18 per person.
  • Her stay at Bloc Hotel Gatwick was provided by Bloc Hotel Gatwick.

    Rates start at 59 per night.

References

  1. ^ Michelin-starred restaurant (www.getsurrey.co.uk)
  2. ^ Gatwick Airport (www.getsurrey.co.uk)

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