With around 30 establishments brandishing themselves as English or Irish style pubs in a city of 245,000 people, there are 7350 people for every pub – which ironically is the exact number of punters who hit the bar at closing time in my local back home.
1154 – The city becomes part of England under the control of Henry II after his marriage to ‘medieval rebel’ Eleanor of Aquitaine
1203 – Bordeaux’s merchants and citizens are exempted from the Grande Coutume export tax by King John. Bordeaux gains a monopoly on wine exports giving birth to the world wine industry.
1453 – The Battle of Castillon – Bordeaux is taken back by the French – the local citizens send numerous envoys to the Royal English court begging them to come back. A pro-English rebellion against Charles VII is brutally crushed and over 2000 Bordelais leave for England.
17th–20thC – Bordeaux continues to be flooded with British wine merchants – in 1756 over 30 are present on the quais with hundreds more staff (numerous chateaux are founded by the British in the Medoc after the marshes are drained by the Dutch (Cantenac-Brown, Clarke, Dillon, Kirwan, Léoville-Barton, Lynch-Bages, MacCarthy, Palmer etc.)
1989 – The Golden Apple, the first English pub in Bordeaux opens in Chartrons
2014 – The Houses of Parliament/HMS Victory/Market Tavern organize the first ever modern delivery and sale of English draught beer in Bordeaux in partnership with the Sweeney Todd’s
2015 – Pub Crawl Bordeaux, the city’s first official pub crawl is launched…
Le Comptoire with its extensive world beer section – opposite the Cock and Bull
This influx of pub and beer culture is part of a local revolution that is rooted in the fact that at its heart, Bordeaux still has the spirit of the Anglo-Saxon world running through its veins! Watch this space for news of the upcoming Bordeaux Beer Festival in October – BLIB (Bordeaux Let It Beer).
So there you have it, a nice list to get you started on your pub crawl in Bordeaux!