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Le Saint-James : an extraordinary place in the magic of the Bordeaux vineyards

Prestige stay

Étape prestige Bouliac - (Bordeaux)

Only 10 minutes drive from Bordeaux but nestled in a beautiful natural setting, surrounded by prestigious vineyards, in the adorable little village of Bouliac, this hotel has an unusual architectural style. Designed by Jean Nouvel, Le Saint-James is a design treasure bathed in natural light. Everything here is devoted to the cult of beauty and pleasure with exceptional wines to accompany the sublime food prepared by top chef Michel Portos. Discrete luxury, charm and authenticity, a personalized welcome and upscale services sum up the philosophy of Le Saint-James, member of Relais & Châteaux.

The hotel: ever-young
looking architecture

In the 80s, the Jean Nouvel's creative frenzy had caused a big stir in the world of hotels and restaurants. The architect had his followers as well as his detractors and the innovation of the concept caused a lot of ink to flow! Almost 20 years later, it is clear that it has not dated in the slightest. And if there are still customers disconcerted by this Relais & Châteaux relieved of any frou-frous or fussiness, Le Saint-James remains the hangout of those who look for peace and sensual delight in an easy-going atmosphere.
Dominating Bordeaux, 4 pavilions, which style is inspired by the region’s tobacco drying old barnsare, are surrounded by beautiful hanging gardens. They are connected by the glass gallery's anthracite staircases which lead, amongst flowers, to 15 rooms and 3 suites. All offer a generous and bright view on the Garonne, Bordeaux and the Landes with, to the foreground, the Saint-James’ 1,600-square-metre vineyard. The panorama over the city and surrounding countryside is breathtaking and the night makes the hotel take all its dimension, turning it into a ship of light.
Michel Portos

Richard Bernard

Design atmosphere and minimalist style

Harmonious blend of comfort and technology, the low-key décor in each room allows light “to invade” the space: large bay windows, walls coated with marble powder, painted concrete floors, spacious bathroom, furniture by famous designers, etc. The 3 suites from 50 to 70 sqm, are arranged as lofts and present each a peculiarity. The suite Hauterive has a heightened bed allowing to enjoy the landscape with the head on the pillow. The suite Harley Davidson, ground-floor terrace at the foot of the vines, shows a real bike in the room. The Jacuzzi suite has a its own Jacuzzi on the private teak terrace overhanging the vineyards of the establishment, overlooking the swimming pool with a view over all Bordeaux: a magic delight, a real sensation of privilege!

A star-Chef

After a childhood spent in the old part of Marseille, Michel Portos studies accountancy to please his father but continues to dream of ‘les grandes cuisines’. He eventually enters the vocational school, in Marseille, to come out first in his year 2 years later. His career as a Chef is launched. After 3 years as Executive Chef in the Restaurant Troisgros in Roanne, he opens his own establishment: Côté Théâtre, in Perpignan. That's where he is attributed his first Michelin star in 2001. Then in 2002, Jean-Claude Borgel gave him the opportunity to fully express his talent in Bouliac. Great complicity and deep respect bound the two men together. In March 2009, the Michelin guide gives his second Michelin star to Michel Portos and his exceptional team of 12 people, aged 25 to 30,all participating in the success of the restaurant since the beginning of the adventure.

A kitchen open on the world

Michel Portos has long since abandoned sauces for reductions, the small jus deliciously perfumed with spices and herbs. His cuisine “titillates the palate”. It is all about depth. It surprises. It astounds. It seduces. It is influenced by the Maghreb, Asia, to a major degree by the Mediterranean Basin and henceforth by the Girondin terroir in a perfect dosage of flavours. He interprets the register of the acidic perfectly thanks to his wide use of citrus fruits and vinegars. He always seeks to introduce a “crunchy” element for the sake of balance. He loves dishes that reflect people and special situations, expressing them in his very own way. There are no traditional recipes on the Saint-James menu: “This type of cuisine is done very well by local craftsmen. A gourmet restaurant must be creative.”

A sommelier “up to it”

Michel Portos is part of this generation of Chefs fascinated by the wine, he thus needed a Sommelier of exception. In September 2004, he calls by his side Richard Bernard, Head Sommelier at La Poularde (Montrond les Bains). They met at Troisgros and have always maintained their friendship despite different paths. This Best Sommelier of France (1997) is in charge of a wine cellar with 2,000 references, a superb selection that earned him the title of Best Sommelier of the Year from the magazine Gault Millau.

The awakening of the senses

The Saint-James, the gourmet restaurant, conjures up a cuisine that is indeed classical but nonetheless revisited and multicultural, featuring regional produce. Creations inspired by the daily market and the seasons in harmony with the low-key décor and the Deshoulières crockery: a line has been specially created to enhance the flavours invented by Michel Portos. All this crowned by panoramic views of Bordeaux, the gardens, the swimming pool and the rows of Merlot vines that produce the famous "Vin du Jardin".

Brasserie or steakhouse ?

Different atmosphere and different cuisine in the “Côté Cour”, the second restaurant of the establishment: under Michel Portos' leadership, its Chef,Nicolas, invites you to try fresh and savoury dishes highlighting seasonal produce. In the dining room Fabien welcomes you to the relaxed yet quirky atmosphere of this glass-walled eatery.
The “Café de l’Espérance”, the rôtisserie located in the heart of the old village bistro of Bouliac, proposes a choice of grilled meat and fish, accompanied by "home-made" chips as well as a buffet of starters and desserts. An absolute must for people in search of a truly French atmosphere: a friendly ambiance with the additional option on fine days of eating under the barrel vault across from the adjacent church.

“Only at” the Saint-James

Throughout the year, the Saint-James hosts thematic evenings around menus inspired by noble ingredients, depending on the season.
For lovers of wine or ‘art de la table’, l’Esprit Saint-James invites you to prolong your enjoyment of the place’s refined pleasures with a range of products chosen by Michel Portos (linen, tableware, glasses...) and a choice of wines selected by Richard Bernard, including the famous Vin du Jardin, a Premières Côtes de Bordeaux vinified in a small cellar, at the edge of the park, under the direction of Stéphane Derenoncourt.

Every month, the long “Saint-James
Gallery”, which links the restaurant
area with the rooms, presents a contemporary art exhibition, including works by artists from Bordeaux and elsewhere.
To relax, there’s Jean Nouvel’s black open-air swimming pool, heated 8 months per year, a sauna, a walk through the superb 7-hectare park, or the Bordeaux Lac golf course, 20 minutes from the Saint-James.
For the staging of events, receptions and other seminars, the Saint-James has 3 salons. They all have access to the terrace with panoramic views of Bordeaux and the surrounding vineyards. A dream setting for breaks, meetings, business or family lunches but also for celebrations, anniversaries, weddings, communions…

And for those wishing to deepen their knowledge of wine and cuisine, the Saint-James offers discovery packages allying the pleasures of dining with visits to the grand Châteaux of Bordeaux.

Dominique PEYRAL-BON

Le Saint-James

3, place Camille Hostein
33270 BOULIAC - France

Tél. : +33 (0)5 57 97 06 00

Fax : +33 (0)5 56 20 92 58