Last week saw the second edition of the Prix Traditia du Patrimoine, a prize ceremony that rewards Bordeaux and Aquitaine figures who have contributed in key ways to the restoration, creation or promotion of the cultural life of the region. A kind-of Pride of Bordeaux awards, founded by Philippe de Saint Seine.

The ceremony was held at Domaine du Chevalier (where Olivier Bernard greeted us with, 'I am so happy to welcome you all here tonight, especially as for once it isn't me who's paying...!!'), and was very well attended. Among the winners was Denis Dubourdieu, who was accepting a Trophy of Honour along with Alain Rousset, president of the Conseil Regional d'Aquitaine, for the creation of the new Scientific Institute of Vines and Wine (ISVV) that opened last year in Villenave d'Ornon; Europe's biggest wine research centre. It covers over 10,000m2 and was designed by local architect Philippe Mazières, with a gorgeous glass wall by artist Pascal Convert and one of the biggest tasting rooms in the world. It took ten years to design, and cost 25 million euros.

Michel and Christine Guérard were also recipients of an award, 'Personalites du Patrimoine d'Aquitaine' for their creation of the renowned gastronomic hotel-restaurant Les Prés d'Eugénie, in Eugenie les Bains (I have longingly read about it several times, but never actually been personally).

Local architects firm, Agence de l'Arsenal, were fitting recipients of the third award of the evening. Owners and directors Christophe Massie and Pierre Lapallus specialise in restoring 18th and 19th century buildings, and have worked across a number of chateaux of the region including Château Kirwan, Château Siran, Château d’Issan, Château du Tertre, Château Haut-Bailly, Château Giscours, Château Smith Haut Laffite and Château Palmer. They are currently working on Château de la Brède in Pessac Leognan.