Travel with me Thursday is here again! Today I take you to Beaune, France, smack in the center of the Burgundy region, where there are more wineries than there are blades of grass. Seriously. Hotel Le Cep proved to be the perfect location – walking distance from all the quiet town had to offer, luxuriously historical accommodations, comfy couches in front of roaring fires that served everything from Champagne to Cassis, and right next door to its sister restaurant Loiseau des Vignes where we enjoyed one of the most intelligently structured, tasty tasting menu I’ve probably ever had, to include my very first encounter with Squab (yes, that means Pigeon). And many, many desserts. Some of them pictured below.
The town itself had a small church Basilique Notre-Dame de Beaune (I say small, but truly it also featured flying buttresses and soaring ceilings) with parts dating from the 13th Century, tons of history (one of the more famous landmarks was the Hospices de Beaune) and multiple tasting rooms. The weather, as was the case for most of the trip, delivered one rainy day and one sunny day at every location. On the rainy day we actually traveled outside the city limits to some of the wineries that surrounded the town. On the sunny day, we walked the city and explored the cobbled streets, narrow walkways, and a truly authentic tiny French town. One of the highlights of this stop (yes, it is food related) was a chance encounter with a pastry called a Bichon au Citron, which is described as a turnover, but unlike any turnover I have ever had. See, in France, it starts with the butter. And more butter. And then it becomes pastry. And is baked to golden, crisp perfection with just that right amount of caramelized chew that happens when fruit and sugar come together perfectly. My fruit of choice was apricot. And it was heavenly. My only regret is that I didn’t photograph it before I devoured it.
Below you’ll find the journey, in photographs, through Beaune. Starting with the evening we arrived, when the rain stopped long enough for the glow of dusk and lights from the shops to reflect warmly off the wet streets. Continuing the photojourney as dusk turned to dark, the city lit up in a way only old cities can – no people, just the quiet streets below and stars twinkling ever so faintly overhead. It ends when the sun finally came out long enough to warm my face and dust the buildings and spring-blooms with golden light.
For more on France than I could ever tell you, head over to Lonely Planet and research their guide books! I still love buying or downloading guide books because I feel like they have sooooo many options in just one place!
Hotel le Cep drinks with aforementioned roaring fire and SNACKIES. I love a bar with snackies. It’s one of my little joys.
And the sun came out on the very next day!
Basilique Notre-Dame de Beaune
The Hospices de Beaune