48 hours in Burgundy (Gourmet Chick in France)

Vin rouge, vin blanc, whichever way you like your vin, the wine in Burgundy is legendary.  Around the world wine country is always beautiful and Burgundy is no exception with its gently rolling hills of vineyards and golden leaved vines just starting to colour for Autumn.  We discovered the food was equally as stunning as the surroundings although probably our best meal of the trip was a picnic lunch of baguette, cheese and saucisson eaten by the side of a vineyard after a morning spent cycling through the region.  For once we had actually “earned” our meal and cycling also meant no arguments between MTV boyfriend and me about who was designated driver during the wine tastings.

View of the vineyards from our hotel, Villa Louise

Brasserie le Béléna
In a recurring theme of this trip which may relate somewhat to a certain amount of “spontaneity” (read disorganisation) our preferred restaurant in Beaune was fully booked for Monday lunch so we decamped to the closest reasonably full restaurant.  The decor at Brasserie le Béléna was stuck somewhat in the 1980s but it did offer a menu for €21 featuring Burgundy classics.  Burgundy escargot, were served in their shells, dripping with garlic and parsley butter.  They were fat and juicy and lived up to their name as the Rolls Royce of the snail world.

Burgundy escargot

However the other signature Burgundy dish, Beef Bourguignon, disappointed with a grey gluey sauce and an absence of fried lardons and shallots.  Desserts of chocolate fondant and apple tart fulfilled my sweet tooth cravings but were not particularly well executed.

Beef bourguignon

Details: Brasserie le Béléna, Place Madeleine 1, 21200 Beaune,  France (Ph 03 80 22 12 25)
Damage: Reasonable

La Ciboulette
A decent restaurant open on a Sunday night is something of a godsend in Burgundy and so we booked in as soon as we could to La Ciboulette on the basis of a glowing recommendation from American in London.  A simple Michelin Bib Gourmand place, La Ciboulette nevertheless delivers well cooked, classic food.  Jamon Persille Maison, a meaty terrine flecked with parsley, kicked off the €26.50 menu.    Slow cooked leg of rabbit was tender and teamed with a rich, creamy sauce while salmon fillet was served on a cloud of fluffy mash with an assortment of local vegetables.  The menu included a trio of local cheeses and a dessert of Iles flotantte, a chunk of feather light meringue floating on a pool of Créme Anglaise and flecked with nuts.

Jamon Persille Maison at La Ciboulette

Our waitress recommended and excellent bottle of Roux Pére & Fils Santenay from the epic wine list, proving that in Burgundy even when the food is homely and basic the wine is anything but.


Details: 69 Rue Lorraine 21200 Beaune, France (Ph 03 80 24 70 72)
Damage: Reasonable

L’Oree De Bois
During our stay at the amazing Abbaye de la Bussiere we spent a day cycling to the picturesque town of Chateauneuf perched on a hilltop in the heart of Burgundy.  A simple lunch of a charcuterie board (€12.50) complete with local cheeses, terrine and cornichons was a veritable feast while the Ardechoise salad (€8.80) topped with crusty baguette bearing oozing goat cheese was revelatory.  Eaten outside in the sunshine and teamed with a glass of crisp sauvignon blanc (€5) it was the sort of simple lunch that you look back on as a highlight of the whole trip.

Ardechoise salad at L’Oree De Bois

Details: 21320 Chateauneuf, France (Ph 03 80 49 2532)
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve.  Our bill for two with wine came to €30.

Our room at Villa Louise

Gourmet Travel Tips

  • You can catch the Eurostar from St Pancras International to Dijon in 4h40 mins. Eurostar offers return fares to Dijon from London from £89 return. We drove which is not quite as environmentally friendly (or as stress free!).  
  • Accomodation does not get better than Abbaye de la Bussiere which I reviewed earlier but for those on a tighter budget Villa Louise in the village of Aloxe Corton just 5 minutes drive from Beaune is a great option.  The hotel backs right onto the vineyards and is great value with a swimming pool and a boutique feel to the place right down to the fluffy dressing gowns in the rooms.  

Details: Villa Louise, 9 Rue Franche, 21420 Aloxe-Corton, France (Ph 03 80 26 46 70) Damage: Reasonable.  Rooms from €110 a night.  8/10.

Wine tasting at Couvent des Cordeliers €8 to drink from lots of bottles worth €79 – bargain! 
  • We particularly loved the tasting at Couvent des Cordeliers in Beaune which is €8 and includes four glasses of excellent wine and an engraved glass.  You can have a look in their cellar and the setting is lovely in a convent just down the road from Beaune’s famous Hospices.  
  • We spent a day cycling around the vineyards and hired bikes through Detours in France/ Bourgogne Radonnées.  They drew up a route for us and told us where to buy picnic supplies and which chateaus were worth visiting.  

Details: Avenue du 8 Septembre, 21200 Beaune, France (Ph 03 80 22 06 03)

Damage:  Reasonable. €18 for a day’s bike hire.  


  1. What a great trip! Especially the lunch in Chateauneuf seemed wonderful!

  2. Bliss. No arguments about designated drivers; baguettes, snails, cheese, burgundy. Doesn’t get much better in my opinion. Stonkingly jealous.

  3. What a blissful trip! I can’t think of anything better than baguette, cheese, saucisson and good wine…all in the vicinity of a vineyard…perfect 🙂

  4. What a lovely trip you have made”! I love France!Thanks for the great reviews of the restaurants! Lovely pictures too!

  5. Your writing and photos are great, I have only just discovered your blog but I shall read regularly from now on.

    It is such a shame your meal in Beaune didn’t live up to the region’s normally high standards – I lived in Dijon for a year and I was rarely disappointed – I visited Beaune a couple of times though and it is a beautiful little town.

  6. Matarkivet – It was a highlight for sure. Simple but great.

    The Little Loaf – I agree – all those ingredients make for a perfect day.

    Sophies Food Files – Thanks very much I love France as well.

    Just a Chef – I hope you do! It is hard when you are just travelling sometimes to get a full impression I am sure living there you had a much better feel for where the good places to eat were.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *