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BORDEAUX

The intrepid Mark Elliott jets off to the south west of France in search of 7” picture sleeves

The trip

Illustration Ben Talon

Wine is what Bordeaux is really all about, but as France’s sixth-biggest city, there’s a reasonable amount of cratedigging to be done here, provided you get the opening hours right. Some of the shops here still formally shut for lunch. Who honestly takes a regular lunch in the 21st Century? Or is that the voice of the painfully pompous metropolitan elite you can hear?

Whatever your views on the values of an hour away from the grindstone, this is definitely an afternoon venue, with the majority of the shops here only getting into their stride in the second half of the day.

Most of the venues are situated in the Saint-Paul district and you can reach them all within about 20 minutes’ walk of each other. Tucked away down charming shopping streets, this can feel as though you’re walking through a guidebook, with an amazing array of churches and fine buildings around every corner of this UNESCO World Heritage site (although the ugly corporate hub on the edge of the historic quarter is a 1960s eyesore).

There’s not an over-abundance of shops, meaning you can get round the list in a day quite easily, with time for a long leisurely lunch (if you can’t beat them, join them) and an evening of sampling the local speciality!

There are all manner of vintage shops springing up here and I found some records in a handful, suggesting there’s a steady amount of welcome gentrification underway and, with luck, more attics getting cleared of long-lost used vinyl.

There’s a reasonable amount of cratedigging, provided you get the opening hours right

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