To stay in Burgundy is to stay in one of the best parts of France, rich in history and tradition but also home to some of the best food and wine you will find anywhere in the world. Here you will find famous wines like Chablis, Meursault, Macon, Beaujolais, Gevrey Chamertin, and many others. And you can’t go further into the heart of Burgundy than to visit Beaune, the principal city of the Côte d’Or, its major wine area.
It’s such a beautiful and elegant city; the architecture quintessentially French – you couldn’t be anywhere else. To simply walk round it is a delight. But for the foodie and wine lover it’s a paradise. You walk past wonderful food shops with incredible displays of charcuterie, patisserie and cheese. We went into the cheese shop. I wished I had my car and a few ice boxes to load up.
In the heat it was fairly quiet everywhere. Di and Tam said the Saturday market is wonderful but we were here on a Thursday. But there was still plenty to see.
One of Beaune’s main attractions is the 15th century Hotel-Dieu, a hospital founded in 1443. Famous vineyards donated plots of vines to the hospital and the wine was auctioned to provide money to run it.
It’s a really stunning building.
Inside there’s a museum and you can see all kinds of things from pharmacy jars to the box beds where patients slept and were cared for.
I really enjoyed the visit. When we came out, it was time to head to Corpeau, about half an hour’s drive away, where we’d booked to have lunch.
The Auberge du Vieux Vigneron was a typical and very nice restaurant. We asked for a table on the terrace but then decided it was far too hot (37 C) to sit outside. It was cooler inside but also attractive. There was a fixed menu du jour for just €15 but with no choice. We decided to go for the €27 menu.
Di said eggs poached in wine was a local specialty and we all ordered Oeufs poches au vin blanc creme et pleurotes – eggs poached with white wine, cream and oyster mushrooms.
It was spectacularly good; absolutely delicious. The eggs were poached to perfection – the white cooked but the yolk gorgeously runny.
Di and I had brill fish with a Noilly Prat cream sauce and shrimps with seasonal vegetables as our main. This was delicious too.
Tam meanwhile had an excellent chicken dish.
Our dessert was Coupe Vigneronne – blackcurrant sorbet with creme de cassis and Marc de Bourgogne. This too was excellent.
We drank a local wine with the meal; wine from the vineyards of the restaurant. It was a great place; friendly service and good food.
We drove out into the vineyards, acres and acres of vines rolling across fields and hills before us. Every so often we passed recognisable names like Chateau de Meursault. For this wine lover, it was quite exciting, like finding yourself in a really special place – which I had!!
We found somewhere for a quiet coffee and post-lunch rest before going in search of wine to taste and buy. Di and Tam wanted to go to a vineyard in Puligny-Montrachet but it turned out to be closed. However, just round the corner we spied an alternative – Domain Jomain – and this turned out to be an excellent chance discovery.
One of the owners, Philippe Jomain, soon appeared and we were led down to the cellar and offered a wine tasting.
It was wonderful wine and a lovely experience as we sat sampling and talking wine with Philippe. At the end we of course had to buy some! Not because Philippe made us feel we should – he didn’t – but because we couldn’t resist. And this is just the nicest way to buy wine. I’ll have to wait a bit for mine as I’m not going to try flying back to London with it; not when Di and Tam are happy to bring it back to UK in their car in a couple of months time for me. It will be a great treat to look forward to – and a great memory of a happy and wonderful day.