Category Archives: Burgundy and France Travel Info.

Burgundy Plans 2011 – Part I

For all of you whose plans in 2011 include a trip to Burgundy, here is the first part in an excellent three part series from Epicurious about things to do and see around Dijon and Beaune as well as places to eat and most importantly, winetaste!

Just for the record,Le Bistro des Halles is one of my favorite lunch spots in Dijon and we have been going to La Rose de Vergy since it was located in the modest little village of Reulle-Vergy.   The links to the right in the sidebar are extremely useful – definitely don’t overlook them.   

And a big merci to Franck for sending these links to me.

French Fast Food

Chouette – Franck has started posting his photos now that he is on french soil!  This was taken somewhere in Paris I think. The chain of “Paul” shops all over France sell wonderful breads, sandwiches, pastries, and macaroons for a quick, delicious, inexpensive French meal.

Far more appealing to me than a Coke and a Big Mac! Look for their Green signs next time you are in l’hexagone.

That Time of year

Yes, it is that time of the year again – we’re coming up on the rollicking good time that is Beaune’s annual Vente des Vins (Wine Auction) that takes place the third weekend every November.   It is a weekend of eating, partying, and above all WINETASTING throughout the lovely streets of Beaune. 

Here are some photos that Franck took last November.

Here is the actual wine auction that takes place in the market hall and is run by Christie’s auction house.  Hard to get a seat in here, as it is one of the most important events on the year from French wine.  The auction prices at any given year are said to predict the market for red and white French wines. 

And then here is the party going on in the street outside the auction.


And the winetasting…

And more winetasting…

No winetasting for me back here in Canada, however…to me the third weekend in November means that Franck is leaving on his annual solo trip to France and I will be fending for myself with The Bevy for almost three weeks. Last year we were all just coming of H1N1 and tachycardia (moi).  It was not jolie.  This year, we have all had the flu already so I am praying sure that everything will go smoothly. 

Anyway, if you are lucky enough to be in Burgundy on the weekend on November 19, 20, &21st just click here to find out more about this oh-so-Burgundian celebration.  You can also email me for more info.(about the Vente des Vins or how to handle kids sick with the flu!) at any time.

Villers-la-Faye in The News

Thanks to Lisa K’s great blog, I found out about the riveting fact that our little village of Villers-la-Faye was recently front and centre in the French news.

Click here to watch the (rather long) segment about how the local school spearheaded a project to replant an old garbage depot in the Hautes-Cotes.  If this doesn’t take you to the right segment (after a small ad) click on the upper left hand corner of the page on “lundi a Villers-la-Faye”.

The local school in Villers-la-Faye really does some neat things with their students; things such as this project and also yearly field trips into the vineyards during wine harvest time, to the wonderful museums in Dijon, to visit local potters and violin makers, etc. etc… 

When guests are contemplating a sabbatical in France with their children, I always strongly suggest that they sign them up for a local school such as the one in Villers-la-Faye.  Besides adding some structure to daily life that is often welcome for both parents and children alike, there is no better way to learn French and become integrated into a French village.    

I love seeing many of our fellow villagers on the news clip – many looking rather star-struck – on Villers-la-Faye’s Place du Village where we will be having the big Bastille Day celebration in about three weeks.   There is also our Maire, Pierre Alexandre, who helped us get permission to put skylights in La Maison de la Vieille Vigne and who is remarkably at ease with all this media and PR stuff.     

I also love the sound of a teenager who roars by on a mobylette at the beginning of the clip.  Along with the leaves that unfurl from the trees the students planted, there is no surer sign of the springtime in Burgundy. 

And – hooray! – in less than two weeks we’ll be there ourselves.  I’m not certain if I’m more grateful for that, or the fact that our bevy aren’t quite old enough yet to go roaring off with one of the village boys on the back of his mobylette.

A toss up.

A Burgundian Wedding

My obscenely talented friend Marjorie who is now a full-fledged French resident, cooking teacher, and Citroen 2-Chevaux driver just sent me this link to some photos of the recent marriage of her daughter Kendall and her now-epoux Laurent.

I can tell from the photos that Marjorie, who runs The Cook’s Atelier in Beaune, used her masterful hand in decorating and beautifying her daughter’s special day. 

If you can possibly sign up for one of Marjorie’s wonderful market tours, dinner clubs, or cooking classes for your next trip to Burgundy I highly recommend them. 

Just one glance at any of the photos on the above link will show you why. 

These remind me of my Burgundian wedding with Franck in 1997 – just before the era of digital cameras. 

It was a rainy but amazing day.  Friends and family from France, Canada, the UK and beyond came to join in the procession (accompanied by a roving accordion player) from Franck’s house to our civil ceremony at Le Mairie in Villers-la-Faye.  Then we all drove to our church wedding in the little Roman jewel of a church in the nearby village of Marey-les-Fussey.  Next was a huge festin fueled by even more accordion music, impromptu singing by Franck’s aunt, and liberal doses of kir in the huge stone wine cellars underneath Le Mairie of Nuits-Saint-Georges.  

Franck and I were the last to straggle back to the hotel in Nuits-Saint-Georges well after the sun had come up.  And then only a few short hours later, we were back in the cellar enjoying another epic meal entirely prepared by Franck’s beloved Meme Germain.

Merci for the fabulous photos Marjorie, and felicitations to Kendall and Laurent!

Cancellation Beaune Apartment July 19-30th

I just received a last-minute cancellation at Le Relais du Vieux Beaune from July 19-30th – any takers? The Euro hasn’t been this low in a long time…

Just email me (you can find my email address on our website – I think if I post it here I’ll be spammed to death!) if you have any questions or want to make a booking to enjoy la belle vie in Beaune this summer. 

A Bientot…

Reserve Your Dinner

I forgot to mention that at the Open House at Domaine NaudinFerrand in MagnylesVillers on the weekend of May 8th there is a couscous dinner offered by reservation on the Saturday night for 12 Euros.

During my five years in France Couscous became my ethnic comfort food (not a lot of good Indian or Chinese cuisine to be found) and I am heartsick that I have to miss out this year. There are few things I adore as much as a good couscous.

So whomever is in Burgundy now must go and eat some for me, d’accord?

To reserve, just fill out this form and bring your 12 Euros in cash on Saturday.  And as Julia would say, “Bon Appetit!”

Remaining “Grape Rentals” Spring / Summer / Fall 2010 Availability

We’re getting full – ’tis true. 

However, we still do have some prime weeks and days available at our four lovely vacation rentals in the vineyards of Burgundy.

Thanks to the foundering Greek economy, the exchange rate is awesome for us North Americans at t he moment and it’s starting to be seat sale season. 

Besides, aren’t you feeling like you need a little fix of France like yours truly?

If so, here is what we still have open:

La Maison des Deux Clochers (2 bedrooms – 550 Euros a week)

May 31-June 10th, June 28-July 1st, July 6-13th, July 25-29th, October 11-November 12th

La Maison de la Vieille Vigne (1 bedroom – 600 Euros a week)

July 3-11th, August 10-18th, Sept. 5-19th, October 28-November 13th

La Maison des Chaumes (2-3 bedrooms – 700 Euros a week)

Sept 11-15th, October 7th-November 2nd

Le Relais du Vieux Beaune (2 bedrooms in the heart of Beaune – 700 Euros a week)  

August 8-12th, October 25th-November 12th

If you have any questions or would like me to help you plan the perfect Burgundian getaway, just email me at