Bristol Cultural

Bordeaux June 2024: An Invitation

Welcome to the latest news from the Bristol Bordeaux Partnership. Today we are inviting Members to join us on the 18th October to help plan the Bristol Bordeaux Partnership visit to Bordeaux in June 2024.

Encouraged by some informal visits this year, we’ve started conversations with our friends at the  Association Bordeaux Bristol about an organised Members visit next year, aiming for June 2024.  We’d centre this on the Bordeaux Fete du Vin, which will run from Thursday 27th June to Sunday 30th June.  Please hold these dates, ideally through to Tuesday 2nd July, in case we aim for a few days extra.

The time is right to start planning, especially as EasyJet has just released their summer 2024 timetable: helpfully, five flights a week between Bristol and Bordeaux, not the Wednesdays or Saturdays.  

But the invitation now is to get involved and help us plan the visit to Bordeaux.  Please join us at our scoping meeting at 7:00pm on  Wednesday 18th October, at the Berkeley Square Hotel.

Our broad agenda will cover:

1  The Fete du Vin itself.  This is a very sociable time in Bordeaux: outdoors, by the river, and we may well aim to obtain tickets that entitle you to 11 tastings.  Crucially, these would be over the four days, so you can drop by afternoon or evening.  

2  Wider events and outings.   Both in the city – the more established sights and relative novelties such as the light show in the big submarine pen: Bassins des Lumieres – and near the city – wine villages such as Saint Emilion?  The coast at Arcachon? How much would you like organised, how much free time?

3 Travel and accommodation.  For many EasyJet flights will be the easiest, but other options?   Different types of accommodation according to individuals’ budget? 

We are also starting to organise a visit to Bristol by Association Bordeaux Bristol members, likely to be in September 2024.  We may get to discuss this a little, but it won’t be a major focus of the evening.

Please let us know if you can join the planning meeting, or indeed if you’d like to join the trip in principle, and write back with your thoughts.  But we’d very much like to meet you on the 18th!   

A bientôt!

Bristol Bordeaux Partnership


Primary Presentation

Mark Atherton, BBP secretary, asking the Barrs Court pupils what they already knew about Bristol and Bordeaux.

In response to the approach from Barrs Court Primary School, we visited in the penultimate week of term and gave a half hour presentation to three different classes at the School. The presentation was on all things Bordeaux and twinning.

We focused on Bordeaux, its history, its location in France, its trade – wine of course was mentioned – and we discussed some of the differences between the French and British school days. And we also took a little time to talk about the other cities twinned with Bristol.

We asked the pupils what they already knew about Bordeaux, why they thought the Mayor of Bordeaux and the Mayor of Bristol would meet and what they would discuss and even how many bottles of wine they thought that the Bordeaux region produced in a year! 

And of course the topic of the recent placements of students from Bristol University in various Bordeaux primary schools for two weeks was raised – which interested the pupils.

When asked how the sessions went and whether the children enjoyed the presentation, a couple of replies were “It was fun to learn about the student exchange programme – that was really interesting.” and “It was really fun to listen to. He kept us all engaged.”

Let’s hope that we now have nearly a hundred young Bristolians fired up with a desire to visit France and, you never know, an ambition to live or work in Bordeaux in the future.

If you know of a Bristol primary school who may also want to take advantage of the offer of repeating this presentation in the 2023/4 year, please reply to this email – or ask them to contact us directly. We’d love to be able to help and to spread the message re twinning in general and Bordeaux in particular.

A bientôt!

Mark Atherton, for
Bristol Bordeaux Partnership


Bordeaux Summer

Welcome to our summer newsletter! Our main news in June was the visit of six Bristol University students to teach in Bordeaux schools for a couple of weeks.  We’ve been arranging visits by Bordeaux students to Bristol schools for many years, so it it felt right to organise a return trip.

By the purest of co-incidences, the Fete du Vin was on and Helen and I, together with a few other BBP members, happened to be in Bordeaux at the same time. So we got to share a few experiences, not least receptions at the Association Bordeaux Bristol and at the Hotel de Ville.  And a few conversations.  The stories that I heard from the students were of warm welcomes from host families and schools, and of the unexpected differences between schools in France and the UK.  Even short visits like this exchange open new perspectives.

One strange sight awaiting our students, following the March riots against increasing the pension age, were the temporary front doors at the Hotel de Ville.  Exact crafted replacements are under preparation in the workshop, as the notice on the current blue plywood doors, from Mayor Hurmic, states.  Photo below.  It was a relief to see that Bordeaux was largely spared the protests a few weeks ago.

The weather for the visit was kind, often hot but not a furnace.  Bordeaux was at its best for both the students and the wine festival.  The hollyhocks which grow in those inhospitable gaps between houses and pavements were in full flower.

A very impressive sight was the drone display on a couple of Fete du Vin evenings. Again photo below.  Clever stuff indeed, and perhaps a harbinger of fewer big firework displays in mid summer as the world works towards better air quality.

But, as your roving reporter for this newsletter, can I conclude with thanks to all who worked hard to make the exchange possible – Bristol University, the Association Bordeaux Bristol, my colleague Mark Atherton, and not least the students themselves.

A bientot!

Mark Packham, for
The Bristol Bordeaux Partnership

Bordeaux Bristol

2022 Highlights

A short review of Bristol Bordeaux Partnership activity in 2022.


Bordeaux Bristol

A Special Guest

It was such an honour and a privilege to host Pierre Hurmic ( @pierrehurmic ) the Mayor of Bordeaux and the City of Bordeaux @villedebordeaux delegation to our recent AGM. He kindly answered our questions and  talked about the main climate challenges that he believes our two cities are facing. A very interesting and emotional meeting to remind people that the long relationship between our cities is more alive than ever.

Bristol Bordeaux Partnership Team


Bristol Bordeaux Exchange Reunion

Do you know someone who knows someone who went to Bordeaux for an exchange?

If it’s a yes, he/she will more than welcome to share his/her memories to Bristol Bordeaux Partnership last event of the year.

Located in Sea Mills, this FREE event will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the long history between our 2 cities. Link to event here.

See you there!


ABB Visit to Bristol 13-17 July 2022

Late in the evening of 13th July, five members of l’Association Bordeaux- Bristol arrived at Bristol Airport and were met by Mike and Teresa of the Bristol Bordeaux Partnership, who took them to their hotel/lodgings in Clifton/Horfield. In the group were Michel and Huguette Bordeau, Valérie Bonnet, Maggy Leglise and Nathalie Pasquier.

The following morning – ‘le quatorze juillet’ and a beautiful day – Vivien, Rob and Teresa took them to Clevedon, where, for ‘morning coffee’ at No. 5, The Beach, Nathalie was delighted to be served tea in a teapot with a tea cosy – knitted by the granny of one of the waitresses!

A visit to the historic and beautiful Victorian pier was appreciated by all and was followed by lunch at the Glass Box restaurant.

In the evening, some met with David Vowles, longstanding member of the original Bristol Bordeaux Association, and friend of many, at Teresa and David’s (not forgetting Monty) in Sea Mills.

On Friday morning all five Bordelais, now joined by Joël Goumy and his wife Marlène and accompanied by Thomas and Vivien, met up with Rob Collin, a Blue Badge Guide for the South West, who conducts walks which focus on the history of slavery in Bristol. He took the group on a short walk in the centre which was packed with information: indeed he proved to be both extremely knowledgeable and totally passionate about the need to accurately convey to visitors the facts about the slave trade in Bristol, particularly of course in relation to the part played by Edward Colston.

Rob was very impressed by Huguette’s knowledge of some aspects of Bristol history and he was very touched when Huguette presented him with a copy of her book about John and Sebastian Cabot.

He was also impressed by the keen interest shown by the group in the rather difficult subject matter. I think he would have happily extended the tour well into the afternoon but lunch had been booked at the Watershed and the group had to leave their guide on College Green.

To mark the 75th Anniversary of both the Bristol-Bordeaux and the Bristol-Hannover twinnings, members of BBP and ABB, together with a strong representative from the Bristol Hannover twinning, gathered on College Green, to await the arrival of the Lord Mayor of Bristol. Tea and cake were served in the City Hall and speeches given by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Paula O’Rourke, the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Peaches Golding and Dr Ann Kennard, chair of the Bristol Hannover Council. There was also a video recorded message from the Mayor of Hannover who was unable to attend in person as he had contracted Covid. The speeches were followed by an uplifting performance from RISE, the youth dance group.

A special cake had been made for the occasion…

On Friday evening, still not exhausted by the day’s activities, some of the Bordelais group managed to meet up with old friends from previous visits.

On Saturday the Bordelais were free to visit the Harbour Festival at their leisure and in the evening the group, now joined by Cathy Barquero and her daughter Ethel, her sister and a friend from Bordeaux, met for a very pleasant farewell meal at The Lion in Cliftonwood.

Some of the group flew back to Bordeaux on Sunday and others managed to fit in a few more visits to old friends before flying home on Monday.


Mini Assistant Scheme

As a part of our annual program, 6 Master’s students teachers from Bordeaux University arrived earlier this week for 15 days.

Alexia Boblet, Margaux Bonnet, Anais Darnaud, Emma Ges, Léa Bourgoin and Adeline Vogel will teach French in 6 schools across Bristol :

  • Compass Point Primary, BS3 3AU
  • Ashton Gate Primary, BS3 1SZ
  • Dolphine Primary School, BS6 5RD
  • May Park Primary, BS5 6LE
  • Southville Primary, BS3 1JG
  • Hareclive E-Act Academy, BS13 0HP

Here are some pictures from the French activities morning at Ashton Park Primary with about 140 children involved.


75Th Birthday Celebrations kick-off

What a wonderful way to start our year of celebrations!!

Thank you to Bedminster Winter Lanterns for their amazing event.

Also wanted to thank you kids, teachers and parents from the Victoria Park Primary School for their creativity

Massive MERCI to Quartet Community Foundation for the financial support to make this project a reality.

More events are coming.

So stay tuned.


Digital Learning Pack Download

Produced by the Bristol Bordeaux Partnership in collaboration with Lighting up Learning and Bristol City Council, funded by Quartet and designed by Jack Anderson, this interactive tool will help learners and schools alike spread the word about Bristol’s oldest twinning relationship.

Comprised of a suite of fun and entertaining activities which also link to things you could do in school, it is the perfect tool for discovering the South West Capital of France.

Feel free to download it from our website with this link.