Burgundy (part 5: Beaune)

Tuesday

Because we stayed up so late the previous night, everyone took advantage of being on vacation to sleep in. So we spent the morning in as people stirred over the course of a few hours. Two pots of coffee and pastries from the local boulangerie served us all very well.

We then drove into Beaune to have lunch and walk around. We ate at Le Jardin des Remparts, which offers exactly that — outdoor dining in a garden by the old city wall. Three (and in some cases four) courses, with two bottles of a Rully blanc, made us all very happy and full. The food and service certainly lived up to its Michelin star rating.

(It’s worth noting that meals in general are leisurely affairs, often taking about two hours for lunch and longer for dinner. France also has a fairly set schedule of 12-2pm for lunch, when most other businesses are closed.)

IMG_3397
Sadly, no longer in service.
After lunch, we decided to move the cars to avoid further parking charges. So Virginia and I drove a short distance to the Fallot mustard factory while the others walked over. We toured the factory, which was a lot of fun and involved plenty of tasting (including a try of our own concoctions). We all enjoyed the different flavors and made several purchases before leaving. By the time we were done, Doug and Kristen wanted to go to Gare de Beaune to print train tickets for the next day. At the same time, Virginia wanted to take care of feeding the kittens in case we ended up in Beaune late. So she headed off and the rest of us got the train tickets printed (with the help of an accommodating agent) and walked back into the town center. After some meandering, we found a wine bar — Les Mille et Une Vignes — and sat back with a bottle of Beaune rouge to wait for Virginia to return. After she joined us and we finished the bottle, we resumed our stroll and found an amazing wine shop — La Cave des Hospices — just off the Place Carnot. What makes it amazing is its collection of old vintages. Now, this is definitely “buyer beware,” as no provenance is given and the buyer wouldn’t know how the wine was stored or preserved. We took two gambles. The first was on a 1976 Chateau Corton-Andre grand cru, and the second was on a Sandeman Finest Old Port, which the shop owner believed was from the 1970s (there’s nothing on the label to indicate age).

IMG_3402
What a bottle.
We took both home and both paid off! The Corton grand cru was drinking beautifully, with dried fruit and almost meaty characteristics. The port was similarly great. We had these with a substantial charcuterie and cheese plate in the house cave, and then stayed there to play Cutthroat Caverns before calling it a night.

Wednesday

We arose early the next day so we could drive Kristen, Doug, April, and Jeff to Gare de Beaune for their trip to Paris. After saying goodbye, we decided to try to return our secondary car early. I reviewed my paperwork for the address and found only a street name. Looking online got me no more information, so we ended up driving up and down the avenue until we found a sign connected to a gas station. Sure enough, they have one register for car rentals. Thankfully, it was easy to return once I figured out where to be (and they even took money off for the early return!).

Now just the two of us, we decided to stay in Beaune for a while. We had lunch at Le Conty just off the main square and enjoyed their Menu la Bourgogne. (Who can turn down a dozen escargots? Not us.) We also had nice on/off conversation with the couple next to us, who were from the UK and worked in Burgundy. Naturally the discussion included Brexit, but it didn’t stop anyone from truly enjoying the food and weather (we were all sitting outside). They suggested we check out The Cook’s Atelier, a shop and cooking school founded almost ten years ago by a British mother-daughter duo. We stopped in after lunch and purchased a bottle of wine and some good salt before walking back to the car to head home.

Dinner was leftover chicken and mushroom gravy with a micro greens salad, using the balsamic vinaigrette Jeff previously made, with a glass of a low-key Bourgogne blanc. After dinner, we walked around the vineyards for a while, up to the Montrachet grand cru vineyard before turning around and calling it a day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s