Need info on smoking in Dijon area

Nov 28th, 2013, 05:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Need info on smoking in Dijon area

We will be visiting around Dijon and the Burgundy area for a few days in the summer of 2014, and I am trying to plan far in advance because I am extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke, and I know that this may present some challenges. All the info I can find on smoking in France is about Paris, and thus I don't know if the situation is as bad outside of Paris.

I know the basic laws, but need some specifics- any info is very, very welcome!

- Obviously, we will have to find enclosed dining, since we won't be able to sit outside. How difficult is it to find restaurants that, in the summer, *don't* have windows or open doors that open on to a smoking terrace? Is it at all common to find restaurants that are totally enclosed or do not have windows that open into smoking areas?

- In smaller villages, are the "no smoking" laws often openly flouted?

- Does the Les Halles covered market in Dijon prohibit smoking?

- Do tours that are primarily in outdoor areas (like castles or caves) typically prohibit smoking?

- Any tips about restaurants or other areas that are reliably smoke-free will be greatly appreciated!
crisw is offline  
Nov 28th, 2013, 07:10 PM
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Best for you to stay at home in your comfort zone and watch a video of Dijon and Burgundy. Think Rick Steves has one.
Bedar is offline  
Nov 28th, 2013, 09:20 PM
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I spent a good portion of this summer in the French countryside in smaller villages in Bourgogne and I did not see any more flouting of the smoking rules than I saw in Paris. The ban on smoking in public places is a national one. I am not sensitive to smoke so I may not have noticed but I spent a morning in Les Halles in Dijon and do not recall smelling cigarette smoke or seeing anyone smoking. Also, looking back and comparing it to Paris, I feel like I saw much less smoking in the area than in Paris but again although I do not smoke I am not really bothered by smoking and so may not have noticed. Are you sensitive to smoke as in you do not like it or sensitive to smoke as in smoke triggers allergy like reactions or an asthma attack? That distinction, I think, could really make a difference in the places that you could visit during this trip.
JAMH is offline  
Nov 28th, 2013, 09:26 PM
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Hello crisw

Welcome to Fodors, and please ignore that most unhelpful advice given above!

We've travelled reasonably extensively in French rural areas, and while neither of us have a major health problem with cigarette smoke, my husband refuses to sit anywhere where smoke can be detected.

It's only been on very rare occasions that we've walked into then straight out of an eating place; nor have we always had to sit in an enclosed place.

I've never come across smokers in any of the Halles we've visited.

Thankfully eateries in Europe in general are becoming a lot more conscious of the need to separate smoking and eating. I hope there are some locals who can give you some more specific advice, Di
di2315 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 02:21 AM
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No matter how well you pre-plan your trip, you won't get a 100pct guarantee for a zero emission environment.

In every day life, I saw no difference in compliance with the indoors smoking ban in Paris versus the "rest" of France.

But you should not expect something like outdoor smoking areas miles away from the restaurants' doors or windows. When people want to smoke, they go outside. Sometimes further, sometimes closer to the doors.
If you want to generalize it, it's more or less like in many parts of the US. Or at least those States I know, like GA, NC, TN vs. those which also regulate how far away from entrances you may smoke.

I'm not quite sure I understand the question regarding castle, caves, or tours in general.
Obviously, you cannot smoke inside a castle or a cave. Whether or not you can smoke on the premises is (probably) individually regulated (to be honest, I have not thought about that much).
But whenever the tour guide walks with you from, e.g. the castle's parking lot to the castle, obviously anyone can smoke as long as they are in an outdoor space or not yet on a property which bans smoking.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Nov 29th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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I'm sensitive to smoke, and we spend 2 months in France most years. I don't think I've even encountered smoke in Les Halles, castles, caves, museums, etc. In outside "lingering" areas, the few places where I could smell smoke I just walked a few paces away from it. In nice restaurants, the inside was well insulated from it. Below is the list of restaurants where we dined in Burgundy. The only time I sniffed any smoke was walking through the outside dining area to get to the inside dining area in small informal cafes. Of course, you'll have to be very selective where you sit at outside cafes.

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

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Nov 29th, 2013, 07:02 AM
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Just stepped inside les Halles in Dijon this afternoon, too late to shop, and saw the sign, "Espace non fumeur."

Granted, it's November, so the tourist influence is minimized, but we haven't noticed much smoking: two men at the restaurant at lunchtime who stepped outside between courses, one or two young people walking on the seems there are fewer young people smoking here than in Paris and Lyon.
k_marie is online now  
Nov 29th, 2013, 07:25 AM
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I would watch out for perfume strength. I have had to walk out of two restaurants in france due to the strength of perfume.

On the other hand it's many years since I saw a dog on a table in france.

Smoking in restaurants, no, though I think it is mandatory in Montreal ;-)
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 08:31 AM
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Wow, I did not think that I was unhelpful and certainly did not mean to be.
JAMH is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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JAMH: >>Wow, I did not think that I was unhelpful and certainly did not mean to be.<<

I'm pretty sure (positive even) that comment was not directed at your post but at Bedar's . . .
janisj is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Bilbo - maybe not dogs on the table but certainly at the table. Just love the scene in Midnight in Paris where they are dining in le Grand Vefour and there is a sweet terrier at the table just behind them.
Bedar is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Thanks, all who actually offered assistance! Very helpful.

JAMH- I presume that di2315 was referring to Bedar, who was definitely non-helpful in telling us to stay home.
crisw is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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Bedar, dogs go in bars not restaurants....

A sweet terrier, not something I've ever met.
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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I've been in many French restaurants with dogs - usually laying under the tables. Agree about terriers, but that one looked sweet. Will have to get out that movie again for another look.
Bedar is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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crisw - yes, I was referring to Bedar; JAMH's post wasn't there when I opened the thread. I must have taken too long composing my message! Di
di2315 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2013, 01:25 AM
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Rather sorry we left our visit to les Halles in Dijon 'till our last day! Produce, seafood, meats, cheeses, breads! All indoors in a bright, well-lit space. No smoking at all inside the building. There are many vendors (foods, clothing, shoes, small leather goods, etc.) immediately outside the building and in the nearby streets and, yes, we did see a few smokers there.
k_marie is online now  
Nov 30th, 2013, 01:48 AM
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Better late than never k_marie. Must be nice in the sun today
cocofromdijon is offline  
Nov 30th, 2013, 03:43 AM
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I sympathize. Both of us are sensitive to smoke and perfumes, my husband much more so than I am. The irrelevant comment above was from somebody who thinks avoiding smoke is merely a preference.

You sometimes have to run the gauntlet of smokers to get into and out of a restaurant, but we just hold our breath and move quickly.

We were surprised to see how many teenagers smoke in France, more than in the US, at least where we live. If we drove by a school at lunch break, there were always young crowds on the sidewalk, smoking.
Coquelicot is online now  
Dec 1st, 2013, 03:25 AM
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Youth smoking is indeed a problem in France and is on the rise. However, there is much less binge drinking (even though it is also on the rise) than in the Nordic or Anglo countries. French youth are also the #1 cannabis users of Western Europe.
kerouac is offline  
Dec 6th, 2013, 09:29 AM
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OK, the dog in Midnight in Paris is terrier-like with a two color face. It sits on its owner's lap while he kisses it while Gil's prospective FIL keeps turning around in disgust at a dog in a restaurant.
Bedar is offline  

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