I was excited about staying in the middle of a vineyard in Bordeaux. But as our long drive through France brought us closer I was getting nervous that the small boutique hotel wouldn’t live up to its website’s promise.

Driving cautiously along the rough track, between rows of vines heavy with grapes, we caught our first glimpse of L’Autre Vie.

A corner of one of the buildings was enough to tell us the website’s photos hadn’t lied. It really was nestled in the middle of vines. Our home for the coming week was a simple building with no barrier between the garden and the surrounding vines, hillside views in the middle distance.

The simple garden, mainly grass, a few trees for shade and a scattering of deck chairs.

Was it too early to grab a deck chair and a glass of wine?

What a silly question. This was Bordeaux for goodness sake.

Bags unloaded and honesty bar investigated, we were soon in our deck chairs sipping rosé. The ideal start to a holiday in France.

The honesty bar became a good friend. Reds, whites and a rosé. Take a glass or a bottle.

Just make a note on the mirror and tot it all up at the end.

Even that felt naughty, writing on a mirror.

Justin is the main wine selector for the honesty bar. From what I could gather this involved visiting lots of vineyards over the winter months, tasting lots (and lots!) of wine. Tough job.

The honesty bar was a great way to go wine exploring without having to drive and meant there was always an interesting wine pairing to try with the delicious food.

Wine-inspired touches like the cork picture and the wooden palate coffee table were a quirky addition to the simple modern decor throughout L’Autre Vie.

A welcome highlight to our stay were the other guests, mainly Brits and Australians, a few returnees. We exchanged ideas on places to visit and wines to taste over the shared dinner table.

Where to go? What to see?

Vanessa and Justin were happy to provide help and advice on where to go, what to see and local events.

Visit a food and wine festival? Don’t mind if I do!

This led us to a very pleasant few hours spent at a village food festival where we sampled various local crémants and rosés. We purchased a few bottles and had lunch.

Sitting with the locals, the river flowing by, enjoy our glasses of rosé and chips. This is what holidays are all about.

Our wine haul from the food and wine festival.

How about a vineyard tour?

A tour of Chateaux de Pressac exceeded our expectations when we met the owner who explained his 20 year involvement and his hopes for the future.

Did L’Autre Vie live up to expectations?

Yes! Absolutely!

It is a great base for a relaxing holiday in the most amazing wine region.


Would we go back? Well, yes, we have already booked.