Burgundy for 3 nights based in Beaune

Apr 13th, 2014, 04:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Burgundy for 3 nights based in Beaune

After 7 nights in Paris and before moving onto Lyon, my boyfriend and I will be spending 3 nights in Burgundy based in Beaune. We are hiring a car for this part of the trip. Will be our first time travelling to France. In Burgundy we are not so much interested in visiting the wineries, more interested in exploring villages in the countryside, visiting some of the castles and of course trying the amazing food!
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best make use of our time here, villages or castles that they would recommend?
From what I have read, Vezelay sounds like a great place to drive to and visit, do people agree? Would it be best to allocate a whole day to this area?
All suggestions/opinions are appreciated
ReneeLJ is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 04:57 AM
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Vezelay, Auxerre, Pontigny all great

This is the TI website for the area, a little tough to use but still very useful
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 05:06 AM
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Pick up the Michelin Guide for Burgundy Jura. You will find it contains a wealth of information about the area including driving tours. We spent five days in Beaune last September and were never at a loss for things to do or see.
waterdog is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 05:29 AM
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Vezeley sends my husbands heart beat fluttering. If you love architecture, you will be stunned by the interior. The town of Beaune itself was full of wine tasting cellars. We spent several days cycling in Burgundy and, like previous poster said, never were at a loss for things to do. Our "go to" each day was to find a town center or plaza, a local market to buy take out and enjoy the peace with a picnic. French towns have an amazing lack of muzak in stores compared to Canada.
snowgirls is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 06:08 AM
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>>>more interested in exploring villages in the countryside<<<

The picturesque villages ARE the wine villages because wine brought wealth and the small wineries which are typical for Bourgogne are usually neat and romantic. Just drive slowly the small roads through the vineyards, especially those which are white or yellow and marked with a green line (scenic) in the Michelin maps.

Drive through the villages, stop your car and walk around a bit. Peep into the courtyards of the wineries.

You drive northwards through the most famous vineyards and villages like Aloxe-Corton, Nuits-St.-Georges, Chambolle-Musigney, Morey-St.-Denis and Gevrey-Chambertin.

Do not miss to pay a visit to Chateau Clos Vougeot - it is a castle that houses a wine museum and it is said to be the origin of wine-making in Bourgogne. www.closdevougeot.fr/en

Also drive into the hillw where you find forests instead of vineyards, but some scenic roads and small villages too.

South of Beaune you find similar villages, like Pommard, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet.

You may take the autoroute and drive southwards to Tournus, which is a picturesque town, and visit the small village called "Chardonnay". The village itsself is nice but not special, but you might buy a bottle of Chardonnay from Chardonnay. If you drive westwards from Chardonnay, you may visit two castles, Chateau de Brancion which is a ruin and a medieval village (http://www.chateau-de-brancion.fr/) and Chateau de Cormatin, which is a splendid renaissance castle (http://www.chateaudecormatin.com/).

You drive from Beaune to Auxerre, but keep in mind that driving time is over 1 1/2 hours (each direction). Driving time to Vezelay is the same from Beaune, but you may combine both destinations.

Do not forget to see the best of Beaune: The ancient hospital (Hospices de Beaune, Hotel Dieu) is spectacular (http://www.hospices-de-beaune.com/in...-Dieu/Le-Musee).

And although you appear to be not especially interested in wine tasting do the self-guided tour through the Marché aux Vins - the setting (in a cave and in the ruin of a former church) is outstanding and you will leave the tasting happily filled with 30+ sort of white and red wines (www.marcheauxvins.com).
traveller1959 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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Consider visiting Avallon, which has a wonderful inn/restaurant (Le Moulin des Ruats, an actual converted mill with mill race) right on the edge of the French National Forest - with deer, boar, etc and great for hiking.

As we were having dinner overlooking the mill race we saw what we though was a white cat on the other side - until it stated to run - and we realized it was an ermine.

Many Parisians come to this inn for a romantic weekend - the food and the national forest - as well a local wine vilages and nearby Vezelay.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 06:23 AM
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In September 2011, we spent a few days in Burgundy based in Beaune. Like you, we were primarily interested in exploring the region. If you click on my username, you will find a trip report as well as links to photos of places we visited including Vézelay, Cluny, Autun, Avallon and Dijon. We especially liked Vézelay and visiting the Château de Bazoches and the little village church nearby.
MaineGG is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 07:15 AM
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>>>and of course trying the amazing food<<<

Food in Bourgogne is amazing indeed. There is no need to drive long distances to a restaurant - practically everywhere in Bourgogne you will find restaurants with outstanding food.

For restaurant search, the red Michelin guide gives always good advice. Particularly recommendable are the restaurants marked with a "Bib Gourmand" (the little red Michelin Man head). The cuisine is almost star-level but less expensive. Red set of cutlery is always good, even it is just one set of cutlery. The guide is available online: http://restaurant.michelin.fr/

You may not eat three meals a day in restaurants. Instead of time-consuming lunch, you may have a picknick. You will find many picknick tables along the roads. Just buy your supplies in a grocery store and have a picknick of fresh bread, fish terrine, foie gras and other goodies, accompanied by a bottle of wine. It is totally acceptable to drink wine in public, supposed it is at least an appellation controllée and you drink from proper glasses. In many grocery stores, charcuteries, wine shops and even in bakeries, you may buy white wines from the refrigerator.

Tip: for picknicks, pack a universal knife, cutlery, plastic plates and a corkscrew!
traveller1959 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 07:42 AM
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Don't miss the owl tour in Dijon! Pick up the map for a few euros from the tourist office and enjoy! Dijon is lovely!!!
jamikins is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 01:05 PM
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If you drive into Dijon pick up a few liters of the mustard. There is a store downtown. That mustard is much better than the American version.

Ditto the recommendation to use the Michelin Green Guide. On your drives be on the lookout for degustation signs. You can taste and buy wine en vrac and bottle it at home. Ask for labels, buy bottles, corks, and a corker tool. Try the passetoutgrains, a blend of pinot noir and gamay. A nice white is aligote.
spaarne is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Wow, thanks so much for all the wonderful suggestions! I certainly have a lot of ideas now to plan our time there
ReneeLJ is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 09:32 PM
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We spent 2 weeks in the Burgundy region of France about 4 years ago. Here are some restaurant comments:

Top 3 restaurants

Stephane Derbord in Dijon – one of the top 5 meals of all time in France (we dine out about 40 times per year in France)
Michelin 1 star

First round of Amuse Bouches
Bite sized squares of Croque Monsieurs
Carp mousse with black & white sesame seeds
Parmesan chip and a bite sized tomato “truffle” with a semi-liquid center
Second round of Amuse Bouches
Sushi (California roll) with cockle, with Asian spices & bean sprouts
Potato puree
Leek Mousse with green beans
55E menu
-Smoked sander – thin rolls stuffed with finely julienned vegetables served with tart greens (incl dandelion greens) topped with paper thin lengthwise sliced carrots. The plate was edged with a piping of honey mustard and crumbled hazelnuts
-Perch with a wild mushrooms and green beans served in a deep plate with a “soup de poisons” reduction sauce
-cheese chariot
-Poached , pealed pear with a red wine sauce in pain epice with sage ice cream – all very refreshing

65E menu
-Sauteed scallops, each served on a cucumber “coin” with a topping of lemon cream & caviar, with julienned apples & dandelion greens
-Sandre on a bed of spinach with a butter sauce accompanied by a small tomato stuffed with diced cepes on a squash “coin”
-Filet of Cerf, served with berries & a dark berry reduced sauce with green beans & wild mushrooms with a ‘grain” of some sort
-Cheese chariot
-pre-dessert refresher
-Chocolate fondant – top & bottom layers of dark chocolate “sandwiching” lighter chocolate mousse with dark chocolate wafers & vanilla ice cream
-Post-dessert refresher

Hostellerie du Vieux Moulin in Bouilland, just north of Beaune
Also a hotel
Michelin 1 star

Amuse Bouches
Skewered rolled duck breast slice, with mustard dollop
Homard tartare “confit”
Arugula sorbet with whipped cream top layer & balsamic drizzle (in a glass cylinder)
39E menu
-Seared tuna with fennel sorbet and a side of pickled vegetables
-Supreme de Pintade thinly sliced in a “spiral” presentation on a bed of herbed crushed potatoes, with vegetables in a side casserole
-Excellent cheese chariot
-Seasonal fresh fruit with pepper-flecked yoghurt ice cream

65E menu
-Daurade with vegetables a la Pistou
-Rougets with a confit of fennel and a bouillabaisse reduction with macadamia nuts
-Pigeon with polenta and zucchini “packet” stuffed with caviar d’aubergine and a rich reduction sauce
-Cheese chariot
-Poached plum with amaretto cream and puff pastry triangles

-Post dessert of Marc de Bourgogne ice and assorted sweets

Charlemagne in Pernand-Vergelesses just north of Beaune
Slight Asian twist
Michelin 1 star

37E menu
Six amuse bouches which arrived on a Plexiglas “cube” with holes & shelves to present the various items
California rolls with a “crisp”, held in place by a teeny wooden clothes pin
Fish mousse on a cracker
Parmesan pastry palmier
Pickled fish filling wrapped in a won ton wrapper on a skewer
Marble sized savory (no idea what it was)
Small piece of spiced pork on a bone
Second Amuse Bouche course
Glass of creamy smoked fish puree (to drink)
A herb-crusted langoustine
-Bread presentation – 3 different breads stacked on a skewer, with a wooden base into which a recess had been routed to hold a corked vial with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which were to be shaken before pouring onto your bread plate as a dipping sauce
-Tuna ceveche served at the bottom of a glass with a smoked tomato cream, slivered green onions, and a dot of washabi cream
-Cabillaud a la vapeur with a vanilla/olive oil drizzle, layered with wild mushrooms, served with a pork bun with a crustacean filling, on a bed of cucumber-wrapped ratatouille. This was not your grandmother’s cabillaud recipe
-Strawberry/red berry gazpacho – heavenly creamy/frothy served in a slanted glass with a brochette of halved strawberries and strawberry marshmallow cubes

45E menu
Same Amuse Bouche courses
-California rolls with snails and langoustines speckled with black and white sesame seeds
-Lisettes (small mackerel) served atop a bone marrow tube filled with spinach & julienned carrots tossed in Asian spices
-Porc cotolet (cutlet/loin) served with artichoke mousse, drizzled with peanut butter with a cluster of small wild mushrooms in tempura
-Pyramid of chocolate with other sweets

Other restaurants – all were excellent
Le Jardin des Remparts in Beaune. We dined here several years ago, and it was one of our top 5 of all time then. It didn’t “wow” us as much this visit. Michelin 1 star.

La Rotisserie du Chambertin in Gevrey Chambertin. It has an upstairs Bistro, and a downstairs restaurant in a wine cave, with animated winemaking scenes as you descend into the cave. We dined downstairs.

Le Montrachet in Puligny Montrachet. It was “complet” the first few times we tried to reserve. Obviously very popular. My St Pierre was overcooked. Lovely setting.

Relais de la Diligence in Meursault. Excellent value. It was the “sleeper” of the group

Les Gourmets in Marsannay la Cote. Michelin 1 star. Very nice

One day we took an overnight trip to Troyes, and dined there. On another occasion, we met some friends at a Michelin 1 star restaurant in Macon – which is not in Burgundy. We also spent 2 weeks in Beaujolais

We “checked out’ about 10 other restaurants in Burgundy (including 1 stars) and the menus did not seem interesting enough to make us choose them over the ones we selected. There’s a lot of Charollais beef on menus in this region. I have not experienced any beef in France that’s as good as the beef we have in the US, or beef I’ve tasted in Italy (one exception may be Aubrec beef). Bresse chicken is also a very popular item on menus. I’ve tried this several times in other areas of France & thought it wasn’t really that much better than a good farm-raised chicken.

Stu Dudley
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