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A Day in Beaune France

We spent a busy day in Beaune France where we ate great food, drank great wine and toured the city.

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We began our first travel day in Burgundy just like we began our drive to Annecy – on the Autoroute.

The French Autoroute system is very much like the U.S. highway system with two exceptions – the white roadside cows and the astronomical tolls. After driving by hoards of White Charolais cows dotting the roadside, we paid a €21 (about 28 dollars US – ouch!) toll bill at the exit for the city of Beaune.

City Grape Vines in Beaune Burgundy France
City Grape Vines
Window Vines in Beaune Burgundy France
Window Vines
Window Shopping in Beaune Burgundy France
Window Shopping

We had resolved to save our appetites since we had a reservation for a three-star Michelin dinner that evening. The problem with that strategy soon bit us as we walked through the quaint central town of the Cote D’or at midday, where we found everything closed for lunch except for restaurants.

We could not control our curiosity or hunger, so we wandered, reservationless, into lunch at Ma Cuisine, located on the northern outskirts of the city. Fortuitously, there was one available table for two.

Daryl in front of Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Daryl in front of Ma Cuisine

Ma Cuisine generally serves local and Provençal food to a mixture of tourists and businesspeople in a convivial atmosphere that celebrates the wine of Bourgogne and elsewhere. Reservations are usually a must, as is typical in France, so it was meant to be for us to have lunch there and then.

Simple menu items such as house-made Pâté, Sardines and Duck Confit provided a simple yet hearty meal option upon our entrance to the Medieval wine town. Not to mention our desserts – Epoisses cheese and crème caramel.

Daryl at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Daryl at Ma Cuisine
Condiments at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Condiments
Bread Basket at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Bread Basket
Pate at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Pate
Sardines at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Sardines
Duck Confit with Crispy Potatoes at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Duck Confit with Crispy Potatoes
Foamy Seafood Stew at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Foamy Seafood Stew
Creme Caramel at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Creme Caramel
Epoisses Cheese at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Epoisses

And the wine? We enjoyed an excellent White Bourgogne Village from Joseph Faively that proved shockingly elegant for its pedigree. It was as if the Good Wine Witch of France was saying “Daryl and Mindi, you’re not in Philadelphia anymore.”

Wine at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
French Wine
Mindi Enjoying the Wine at Ma Cuisine in Beaune Burgundy France
Mindi Enjoying the Wine at Ma Cuisine

After lunch we headed over to L’Hotel-Dieu to tour the centuries-old hospice. Since there was a blue-haired tour group entering the building, we detoured across the street to the Marche aux Vins in the former Cordeliers church.

For €10 each, we were able to taste about ten local wines, plus liqueurs, out of tastevins as we ambled through the dark passages of the ancient building said to have been built in the 14th or 15th century.

Marche aux Vins in Beaune Burgundy France
Marche Aux Vins
Wine Bottles in Beaune Burgundy France
Shiny Bottles
Mindi and Wine Bottles in Beaune Burgundy France
Mindi and the Wine Barrels
Tasting Station in Beaune Burgundy France
Tasting Station
Daryl Drinks out of a Tastevin in Beaune Burgundy France
Daryl Drinks out of a Tastevin
Cassis Bottles
Cassis!

After trying a solid selection of reds and whites, villages and crus, we toured L’Hotel-Dieu without the blue hairs. We stood in the courtyard, awed by the stunning colorful tiled roof.

We then entered the hospice that was built for the poor in 1443 and were struck by the row of hospital beds where people lay sick or wounded as far back as the Hundred Year’s War and as recently as the late 20th century.

L'Hotel-Dieu in Beaune Burgundy France
L’Hotel-Dieu
Roof Tiles in Beaune Burgundy France
Roof Tiles Up Close
Sick beds in Beaune Burgundy France
Sick Beds

We learned that the local Sisters took care of the sick and dying patients for centuries. Religious art and artifacts still adorn the rows of red beds. In addition to checking out the sick ward where the destitute patients were treated during the Plague, we explored the chapel, the kitchen and the apothecary. We were impressed by the paintings and tapestries throughout the facility.

Painting of Sister Healing a Patient in Beaune Burgundy France
Painting of Sister Healing a Patient
Chapel Window in Beaune Burgundy France
Chapel Window
Painting of a Patient with Visitors in Beaune Burgundy France
Painting of a Patient with Visitors
Horse Tapestry in Beaune Burgundy France
Tapestry

Once our afternoon in Beaune came to an end, we drove through vine-laced roads to our charming Bed and Breakfast in nearby Chaudenay. Then, after a quick check-in and showers, we were on our way to Chagny for a monumental meal at Maison Lameloise

Red Beach Selfie in Santorini

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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the drunken cyclist

Tuesday 23rd of October 2012

Great photos! I used to lead bike trips through France and Beaune was one of my all time favorites! La Marché aux Vins was always a fun stop!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Monday 29th of October 2012

Thanks for your comment. It's nice to "meet" somebody from Philly who loves travel, food and wine!

Holly Rosen Fink

Monday 15th of October 2012

My wanderlust is kicking in.

Linda Rosen

Tuesday 9th of October 2012

All this fun and all in one day. I'm so happy because you both loook so happy, and had such a wonderful trip.