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

Bordeaux Bristol

Photos from PROPS – Bristol to Bordeaux annual cycle ride

A huge congratulations to all our riders and a massive thanks to all the support staff .

Bordeaux Bristol

Poppy’s report – Intern for 5 months at the Association Bordeaux-Bristol

Poppy Madaras-Smith has now finished her placement in Bordeaux with the Association Bordeaux-Bristol.
Thank you Poppy for this report !


“This past term, as part of an Erasmus year, I spent five months in Bordeaux working at the Association Bordeaux-Bristol. As a modern languages student with the Erasmus scheme behind me I had various options as to where to go and what to do but I can say, in all honesty, that I could not have picked a better placement. The Association, which is right on the river Garonne with a view of the Pont de Pierre, is the kind of place that, despite having spent September to January there, I find difficult to describe. The sense of community is wonderful.


 Even though everyone there was a volunteer and popped in only when they had time, the twinning committee and all its members could not have been more welcoming and supportive towards me. By the time I left after Christmas, weighed down by presents, good wishes and offers of somewhere to stay next time I’m back, I really felt a part of their team and personally invested in the future of the twinning between Bordeaux and Bristol. It was brilliant to work in a place where people were so passionate about what they were promoting. Everyone that I met had a nostalgic story to tell about Bristol and something good to say about the British … Brexit only seemed to be motivation to work harder to create and nurture friendships.


It was a pleasure to help with the preparation for the school exchanges and I really hope that future generations will continue to see the value in them as I now do. As the level of interest on the Bristol side is a little lower, I will happily do my best once back in Bristol next September to help generate enthusiasm in local schools. Bristol’s link with Bordeaux can offer so much not just to children but anybody who is interested. The opportunities I got whilst there were invaluable in terms of work experience and I got the chance to live in a new country and feel like a local rather than a tourist. That said, I definitely recommend Bordeaux as a tourist destination! As a small city, with a good selection of small museums (such as the Musée des Beaux Arts), fantastic food and a compact city centre with amazing things to see all within walking distance of each other, it’s a great place to go if you have no more than a weekend free.


I would like to thank everyone at the Association Bordeaux-Bristol for being such generous employers and hosts and look forward to my next visit which hopefully won’t be too far away. Lastly, I would also like to thank Alix Hughes for helping to make this placement possible. It just goes to show how chatting to the person you sit next to in the Bristol Cathedral can lead to great opportunities!”



02-06 JAN. 2018 : The cultural cooperation Bristol-Bordeaux highlighted in the newspaper ‘SUD OUEST’

Christophe LOUBES, journalist for the local newspaper SUD OUEST from Bordeaux, has dedicated some press articles on artistic projects between Bristol and Bordeaux.
Five interesting articles to read !!!

Thank you Christophe LOUBES.

Bordeaux Bristol

Bristol&Bordeaux 2017, a friendship which has lasted for 70 years

YouTube player

20 young footballers from Bristol all around their Twin City of Bordeaux

Three Days of September sunshine takes group of young Bristolians all around their Twin City of Bordeaux thanks to Community of Purpose and the Bristol Together Championship

Meeting with children from Bordeaux’s Dupaty School and Chantecler Football Club


A warm welcome at the Association Bordeaux-Bristol, with Valérie Bonnet.



On the morning of Tuesday 26th August, 20 footballers from four different Bristol primary schools arrived at Bordeaux Airport to warm sun and a warm welcome from their twin city.
They spent the following three days being shown some of the most interesting and exciting things Bordeaux has to offer.

From an open top bus tour to a reception at the City Hall, where the group was privileged to meet Bordeaux’s Mayor, Alain Juppé himself, these young Bristolians had the chance to see all around a completely new city during what was for most of them their first time in France.

They met children from Bordeaux’s Dupaty School and Chantecler Football Club and a number of them remarked just how similar their French peers were despite having imagined that they would be unlikely to get along. Football and fun and games sufficed as a common language as Chantecler and Dupaty put the children into mixed teams and a number of new friends were made.

Having been greeted at the Association Bordeaux-Bristol, who helped to make this visit possible, where they tried all sorts of new French snacks, the group wandered around the city, buying souvenirs and making memories, finishing their trip with a private tour of the new Matmut-Atlantique Stadium and an afternoon in the sunshine swinging through the trees at Acrobranche, ‘the scariest but coolest place ever’ according to one boy arm in arm with a new friend from a different school in a different part of Bristol.

‘It was really brilliant to see kids from Bristol, some of whom were outside the UK for the first time, splashing around in the Miroir d’eau and climbing through the trees at Acrobranche. They didn’t let the language barrier hold them back from having an amazing time and they were inquisitive and gracious throughout the three days.

They threw themselves into every activity and were a credit to their schools as well as the city of Bristol. It was especially great to see girls being given a chance to play the sport they so clearly love and it was so much fun to see kids from different schools making friends with each other and learning about a new country together. Community of Purpose has done a wonderful thing in setting up this trip – Amy Kington’s hard work has definitely paid off as the group of kids and adults alike discovered life in Bordeaux and how valuable the twinning between Bordeaux and Bristol really is’.

Article from Poppy Madaras, Intern at Association Bordeaux-Bristol and group guide.


Thanks to the Quartet Foundation for their support.