Let me just begin by saying that I had never heard of Beaune, France before this trip, but it is now high on my list of favorite cities in the world. Beaune is in the heart of the Burgundy wine region and it is a charming cobble stoned town, filled with shops, restaurants, and wine caves. This is a must visit for food lovers and wine lovers, and this trip has made me fall so much in love with France.
Hospices de Beaune
One of my favorite things in Beaune was surprisingly not related to food or wine. The Hospices de Beaune, or the Hotel Dieu, was created as a hospital and refuge for the poor in the 15th century. Now, it is known for two things: its gorgeous tiled roof and its annual Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction. I highly recommend touring the place! Entrance to the Hospices was around 11 Euro and includes an audiotour of the area.
Eat Amazing Food
Beaune is home to a number of Michelin Star restaurants, if you’re into that sort of thing (which we totally are). But, we actually didn’t eat at any of them, and we had some of the most amazing French meals nonetheless. We stayed at the Abbaye de Maizieres (an old Abbey) and ate in their restaurant our first night there. The restaurant, Le Castrum Cafe, is in a Romanesque cellar and has only four candle-lit tables. It was a beautiful space, and the food was perfect. I did the four course meal, and had escargot, Gaston Gerard chicken (a traditional Burgundy dish), a cheese plate and creme brulee. Viola! Heaven.
We also ate at Au Coq Bleu, a true *trouvailles* because we accidentally stumbled upon it. This French brasserie had the best croque monsieur, french fries (seriously), and burgers I think I’ve ever had. My stomach is growling thinking about it. This is also where we were introduced to Edmond Fallot mustard, and my life will never be the same.
For every boutique in Beaune there is probably an equivalent number of wine caves. Basically, wine heaven. We went to Joseph Drouhin, which is one of the oldest negociants in Burgundy. Their cellar is under the streets of Beaune and cover approximately one hectare, and in the past belonged to the Canons of Beaune, Dukes of Burgundy, and a King of France. The tour of their wine cellar was great, and included a lot of history, tons of bottles of wine, and a really delicious tasting at the end.
One of my favorite things about France is that so far, no matter how big or small the town, the shopping has been impeccable. From antiques to designer brands, cashmere, fur coats, shoes, etc., I could have spent an entire day strolling through the shops and boutiques. There is an amazing cheese shop called Alain Hess Fromagerie. The Fromagerie has a wine cellar below, and the main floor is filled with meats, foie gras, crackers, chocolate and of course cheese. Head there for a one-stop shop for a unique French cheese board before dinner (try the Columbier with crackers and honey). They also do tastings.
My husband and his dad are two of the biggest wine lovers I know, so of course we went all in on our wine tour of Cote de Nuits & Cote de Beaune. From learning about the concept of terroir, to finally understanding the classification of the wines, to the diverse tastings, the Grand Crus, the winemakers lunch…we had the best time and I can’t recommend enough Burgundy Wine Tours. For wine lovers looking to fully understand and appreciate Burgundy wines, this tour is for you!
More on our wine tour, coming soon. For now, au revoir!