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L'Hotel Dieu

Beaune – Our Gateway to Burgundy

In Food Travel by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch4 Comments

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

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 the €21 (about 28 dollars US – ouch!) toll bill at the exit for the city of Beaune.

City Grape Vines Beaune Burgundy France

City Grape Vines

Window Vines Beaune Burgundy France

Window Vines

Window Shopping 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 the city.  Fortuitously, there was one available table for two.

Daryl in front of Ma Cuisine 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, 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 Beaune Burgundy France

Daryl at Ma Cuisine

Condiments Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France


Bread Basket Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France

Bread Basket

Pate Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France


Sardines Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France


Duck Confit with Crispy Potatoes Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France

Duck Confit with Crispy Potatoes

Foamy Seafood Stew Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France

Foamy Seafood Stew

Creme Caramel Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France

Creme Caramel

Epoisses Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France


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 Pennsylvania anymore.”

Delicious Wine Ma Cuisine Beaune Burgundy France

Delicious Wine

Mindi Enjoying the Wine at Ma Cuisine 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 Cordelliers 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 Beaune Burgundy France

Marche Aux Vins

Shiny Bottles Beaune Burgundy France

Shiny Bottles

Mindi and Wine Bottles Beaune Burgundy France

Mindi and the Wine Barrels

Tasting Station Beaune Burgundy France

Tasting Station

Daryl Drinks out of a Tastevin Beaune Burgundy France

Daryl Drinks out of a Tastevin

Cassis Beaune Burgundy France


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 Beaune Burgundy France


Roof Tiles Up Close Beaune Burgundy France

Roof Tiles Up Close

Sick beds 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 Beaune Burgundy France

Painting of Sister Healing a Patient

Chapel Window Beaune Burgundy France

Chapel Window

Painting of a Patient with Visitors Beaune Burgundy France

Painting of a Patient with Visitors

Tapestry Beaune Burgundy France


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

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

    1. Thanks for your comment. It’s nice to “meet” somebody from Philly who loves travel, food and wine!

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