REGION : Southwest – Bordeaux
ATMOSPHERE : Country in the city
STYLE : Small resort
ROOMS : 5 rooms and 4 lodges
A welcome gift upon arrival
Nestled in Talence, at the foot of Bordeaux and in the heart of the Pessac-Léognan appellation vineyards, this beautiful neo-classical building was built in 1896 by the Bordeaux architect Pierre-Charles Brun, who also built the Saint-Louis des Chartrons church. Originally, the building was used to receive the distinguished guests of the nearby Château Raba. Out of this past as a “guest house” the site has kept its flair for hospitality. Ravaged during the Second World War and then cautiously restored, the place has regained its splendor thanks to Alexandra and Philippe Monnin. Having fallen in love with the domain a few years ago, the duo brought it back to life in the form of a small resort that is full of surprises.
Remodeled, like all the Groupe Millésime’s houses, by Marie-Christine Mecoen, the Napoleonic-influenced main pavilion houses the Marguerite restaurant with its fine French meat dishes in a large living room with classic moldings, candelabras and bovine details. Ethno-exotic, the restaurant Les Petits Caprices offers comfort food and flavors from more distant lands.
Turning back to Europe, find yourself seated in the armchairs of the bar Le Contre-Jour, which has an English club decor lined with antique trunks, old books, prints and realistic travel souvenirs.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE “COUP DE TRAFALGAR”. The cocktails are delicious, starting with the house’s signature, d’Aventure et d’Épices, which mixes rum, amaro angostura, French bitter and one of the three spiced house syrups proposed by the bartender as part of the experiential journey offered by the estate.
Each of the Millésime houses highlights a product that represents the local know-how. Here, at Domaine de Raba, it is the spices, worked into the dishes, spa treatments and cocktails. New for the summer of 2021, they are also found in the vegetable garden.
THE 5 BEDROOMS, BRIGHT AND SNUG, are located in the wine cellar. They revisit the garden’s chromatic palette by employing greens and white, trunks, feathers and nods to the surrounding woodland animals – pigeons, ducks, and swans.
We follow these feathered friends to the edge of the forest where we find one of the four lodges, sumptuous and welcoming, which act as the grounds’ annexes. A “luxury camp” added to by an ephemeral restaurant (when the weather allows it): the Tiki Bar.
The cherries on top? An intimate cinema, swimming pool, and an Echo spa where you can enjoy Gemology treatments are also part of the site’s zest.