Monday, July 21, 2014

Le Tour de France: Beaune

Thursday, June 26
From the Loire Valley, it was a long drive to Burgundy. Finally we made it to Beaune and found le Verger du Sausset, just outside the city center. Our top floor room was huge! Our host Pascal had built the place himself. We explored the property, which has many fruit trees, and I sampled more raspberries. After doing some laundry and a short nap, we walked into town and had dinner alfresco at Dame Tartine, by the Hotel-Dieu. We saw a hot air balloon float by! After dinner, we walked around town and tried unsuccessfully to see the Hotel-Dieu courtyard.

Hot air balloon 

Hôtel-Dieu

Friday, June 27
After breakfast on the patio with our hosts and two Belgian families, I met Sirus, the resident Labrador chocolate, and gave him belly rubs. What a cutie. Then we walked to Hotel-Dieu, a charity hospital that is now a museum. We followed the audioguide, which is informative and not overly long. The patterned tile rooftops are so pretty, and I enjoyed seeing the kitchen (I always do), especially the rotisserie turner. After we finished touring the museum, we saw and heard a large construction vehicle in the courtyard and watched a person get carried up to the steeple and check on the metal flags, which spin in the wind. [Also, the restrooms at the Hotel-Dieu are very nice.]

Courtyard

Kitchen

Courtyard
 
Steeple visit 

We walked around town, and picked up some charcuterie and salads for lunch. I also went into a chocolate shop. I saw a lady with bread, and managed to ask and find out where the boulangerie was, where we got a baguette. We walked back to the B&B and had a lovely lunch on the patio. Pascal made an espresso for me after lunch, which I enjoyed with some of the chocolates.

Charcuterie 

Posing with baguette

After playing with Sirus, we borrowed bikes from the B&B and we were off to find the bike path through the vineyards. After a few wrong turns, we found it! I loved riding through the vineyards. So pretty.

Vineyards

On the bike path

Clouds

Grape vines

We reached Pommard, the first town on the bike wine route, and considered riding farther, but the path was steep and the gears did not shift on my bike, so we parked the bikes and wandered around town. We watched chocolate being made at Appellation Chocolat, sampled several chocolates and got some house-made sorbet, then tasted wines at Patrick Clemencet, which Pascal had recommended. I think we tasted almost 10 Pinot Noirs, but they were all different. Different terroirs, he said. We bought two bottles (couldn't carry more by bike, and anyway only allowed one bottle each to take home).

Tasting room

Pommard

We rode back to the B&B and dipped our toes in the above-ground swimming pool, but it didn't seem hot enough for a swim. After a nap, we walked back to town for dinner alfresco at le P'tit Paradis. I finally ordered Charolais steak, the white French cows we had seen on the drives. Delicious. We also enjoyed the wine I ordered based on name, heh heh. Dan reminded me to take a photo so we would remember. And another hot air balloon floated by! A few raindrops fell during dessert, but luckily it didn't turn into real rain since the restaurant was full inside. The couple sitting next to us were visiting from Lyon, where they were staying for the summer. They shared restaurant recommendations since we were going to Lyon in a few days. 

Saturday, June 28
It was raining in the morning, so we had breakfast in the dining room. Pascal told us about the Saturday market in Beaune, so we decided to walk there, where we bought saucisson sec, bread (sold by weight), cucumber, cherries and a few other things. I remembered too late that one should not touch the produce, but ask the vendor first. Oops! We returned to the B&B, said goodbye, and drove toward Provence!

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