It's Sunday night and my final meal in Bordeaux. I'm talking with a local called Brigitte in Le Plat à Oreilles, a popular husband-and-wife-run restaurant in the city centre that serves traditional country food. So far, so Bordeaux. But as I dig my spoon into the fricassée de lapin and try not to slurp my glass of Graves, I'm finding it hard to recognise the city that Brigitte is describing. "Growing up in Bordeaux, I never really saw the river," she says. "It was physically blocked off by the port until about 10 years ago. In the city centre, the buildings were dark and dirty, and you couldn't really sit outside in the squares because of all the cars. It wasn't a very inspiring place to be." Think of Bordeaux, and images of a classic French city spring to mind – its grand boulevards, open spaces and neoclassical buildings inspired Baron Haussmann's remodelling of Paris in the mid-19th century. Add to that the venerated reputation of its wine, and a whiff of bourgeois … [Read more...] about Bordeaux reborn
Food marketing association
For all the innovation and choice that define the food and drink industries, if you want to make money, you could do a lot worse than bung some water in a bottle and flog it. A litre of tap water, the stuff we have ingeniously piped into our homes, costs less than half a penny. A litre of bottled water can cost well over a pound, especially for something fancy that has been sucked through a mountain. Yet the bottled water market is more buoyant than ever, defying the plastics backlash inspired by stricken albatrosses on the BBC’s Blue Planet, and a broader, growing sense that something has to change. Sales in the UK were worth a record £558.4m in the year to last November, an increase of 7%, according to the latest figures from the market analyst Kantar. Separate data from the analysts Nielsen show that last year we guzzled more than 2.2bn litres of bottled water, including “take-home” and “on-the-go” products. That’s an annual rise in volume of … [Read more...] about If we care about plastic waste, why won’t we stop drinking bottled water?
Amazon will open its first checkout-free grocery store to the public on Monday, moving forward with an experiment that could dramatically alter bricks-and-mortar retail. The Seattle shop, known as Amazon Go, relies on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from the shelves, and what they put back. Cash registers and checkout lines become superfluous: customers are billed after leaving using a credit card on file. To start shopping, customers must scan an Amazon Go smartphone app and pass through a gated turnstile. If someone passes back through the gates with an item, his or her associated account is charged. If a shopper puts an item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from his or her virtual cart. For grocers, the shop’s opening heralds another potential disruption at the hands of the world’s largest online retailer, which bought the high-end supermarket chain Whole Foods Market last year for $13.7bn (£9.9bn). Amazon did not discuss if or when it would … [Read more...] about Amazon’s first checkout-free grocery store opens on Monday
Doctors are allowing patients to stockpile vital medication amid concerns of a no-deal Brexit . GPs say patients with long-term illnesses such as diabetes and epilepsy are asking for extra supplies of essential drugs in case there is no agreement with the EU before October 31. GP Alexa Evans said some medics are giving out extra prescriptions to keep patients going. She said: “There could be months of uncertainty. “People with chronic health needs who rely on daily medication are going to be anxious. Some GPs have prescribed extra medication ahead of time to cover the uncertain period. “We have been advised by pharmaceutical companies that we could expect a month of delays post-Brexit in the event of a no deal.” Elaine Cleary told the Sunday Mirror she is concerned about her daughter Florence, four. She has phenylketonuria, which means her body cannot break down protein. Florence could suffer brain damage if left untreated. Elaine said: “We rely on … [Read more...] about GPs letting patients stockpile drugs in fear of no-deal Brexit
Mosque-cathedral The Mezquita-Catedral is the attraction everybody talks about, because it’s incredible. Originally a mosque, built in the 10th century, it later became a cathedral. Being local I don’t pay to get in, but anyone can get in for free by showing up at 8.30am while they’re preparing for the service – although they push you out at 9.20am. There’s a tower with a nice view, though it’s best to stand inside in a corner, in front of one of the hundreds of columns, and take in the whole space. Córdoba is one of the warmest cities in Europe, so this building, which stays very cool, is a good place to be. • Calle Cardenal Herrero 1, ¤10, under-10s free, mezquita-catedraldecordoba.es Jugo wine bar Locals don’t really feel at home in the bars and restaurants around the mosque; we go to places by the river at La Ribera, or in the commercial centre, the real centro, where most people live and shop. Jugo, my current favourite, is … [Read more...] about A local’s guide to Córdoba, Spain: 10 top tips