Direction Beaune for a gourmet weekend, combining gastronomy, culture, architecture and a touch of mustard.
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The Hospices de Beaune, the must-see
Of course, you can’t talk about this city without mentioning its hospices, a real architectural jewel. They are also the vibrant heart of the city and the sale of its wines at annual auctions still feeds charities today. For 11 euros, you get an audio guide (in English) which is particularly well designed. Supported Carried by voice actors, you are immersed in the soul of the place, at a time when the large cold room still resounded with the footsteps of the nuns taking turns at the bedside of the ill people.
Beaune, on the wine route
The town is world famous for being at the crossroads of the Burgundy wine route. Grand Cru de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Romanée Conti…just the mention of these names makes your taste buds salivate. Beaune is full of cellars and houses where you can taste and buy Burgundy wines. One of the most interesting visits is to the maison Patriarche. For 18 euros per person, you will spend about 1 hour in the maze of cellars, following a self-guided tour. Art will dot your visit. Two major stops will mark your visit: the tasting of 3 white wines (Auxey-Duresses, Rully 1er Cru, Meursault) then three red wines (Santenay, Beaune 1er Cru, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru), hosted by the charming sommeliers. You will leave with a glass as a souvenir. Remember to book online or by phone as places are limited.
Beaune, capital of Burgundian gastronomy
The city is also a gourmet’s paradise. Again, be sure to book your restaurant, as the tourists are as ravenous as you are. Burgundian menus usually include the famous jambon persillé, bœuf bourguignon, escargots (with a preference for croquilles, which can be eaten), eggs en meurette, and delicious cheeses, including my favourite one, the Epoisses cheese. I tried the Restaurant du Cheval Noir, which offers a Burgundian menu at 34 euros and a wine and food pairing at 24 euros, which is quite interesting. Finally, Beaune is a stone’s throw from Dijon, hence the Moutarde (mustard). You can book a visit to the Fallot mustard factory, or if you haven’t thought of it in time, you can fall back on a tasting at the mustard bar. I particularly liked the tarragon mustard.
Dijon, culture as a standard
15 minutes by TER de Beaune, we find the stronghold of mustard, aka Dijon. This charming town made of old stones can be discovered on foot by following the route of the owl, emblem of the city. This course is even more beautiful at night, all illuminated. Gridded with restaurants, the city hosts gourmet halls in its center. If art is often invited on the walls of the city, it finds its altar in the Museum of Fine Arts. We are impressed by the richness of its collections, mixing impressionism, pointillism, animal sculptures with the famous bear of Pompon, African art or even medieval. We are even more impressed by the price, since the museum is free all year round. The good plan in Dijon to stay is the Ibis Budget Clémenceau, which despite the low price, offers a location and services worthy of a 3 star.
Beaune, here we come!
* Music: Bourvil, le Petit Bal perdu *
Train Paris – Beaune: 2h by TGV with a connection in Dijon or 3h30 by direct TER – Reservations