Burgundy, Loire, and Champagne

Picnic view towards Chablis Gand Cru vineyards

This year’s one week tour of France took in:

Burgundy - 2 days

The upper Loire valley - ½ day

Champagne - 2½ days

Itinerary, Dinner and Accommodation

Sunday 16 May – Travel from UK to Beaune

Le Charlemagne

Le Charlemagne

Le Charlemagne menu

Le Charlemagne menu

Dinner - le Charlemagne *; Pernand Vergelesses; T 03 80 21 51 45.  We resolved to ask for the menu of any restaurant that did a really good meal.  We were lucky to start with a meal that warranted asking for the menu.  There is a Japanese influence on the French cooking and the way the food is presented definitely follows the Japanese style – very impressive.

Accommodation - Hotel Alesia; 32, rue Verrerie; Baune; T 03 80 60 09 60.  Near dual carriageway exit on road into town.  Recently renovated and quite pleasant.

Monday 17 May – Tasting north of Beaune

Le Benaton

Le Benaton

Menu at Le Benaton

Menu at Le Benaton - unfortunately missing the best dish

Dinner - Le Benaton *; Baune.  An outstanding *.  The amuse bouche was excellent.  The egg / mushroom / asparagus dish was the outstanding dish of the tour.  Overall good enough to ask for the menu.  Two menus in two days?  Are we just too impressed?

Tuesday 18 May – Tasting south of Beaune, travel to Sancerre and taste at Chavignol.

Le d'Antan Sancerrois

Le d'Antan Sancerrois, Bourges

le Cedre Bleau

le Cedre Bleau, Bourges

Accommodation - Le Cedre  Blue; 14, rue Volyaire; Bourges; T 02 48 25 07 37. A great B&B.

Wednesday 19 May – Taste Menetou-Salon, travel to Chablis and taste there

Dinner - La Cote Saint Jacques ***; BP 197, Joigny; T 03 86 62 09 70. Very good ***

Accommodation - Le  Paris Nice; Joigny; T 03 86 62 06 72

Thursday 20 May – Travel to Champagne and taste there

Dinner - Hostellerie La Briqueterie *; 4, route de Sexanne, Vinay; T 03 26 59 99 99.  Dinner was consistent with its rating.  A great garden to sit out in the evening sun for an aperitief.

Accommodation - Aubege Champenoise; route de Sexanne, Moussy; T 03 26 54 03 48.  Not the best place we have stayed at.

Friday 21 May – Taste Champagne

Dinner - Les Berceaux *; 13, rue des Berceaux, Epernay; T 03 26 55 28 84.  Interesting way in building the meal.  Arrive at a table set with a water glass and a napkin.  Glasses, cutlery etc arrive as you order and progress through the menu.  One of the three restaurants on the trip that we though was sufficiently good to ask for a copy of the menu.  The white asparagus starter was simple and stunning.

Saturday 22 May Taste Champagne (until just after noon when the whole place seemed to have closed down)

L'Assiette Champenoise

L'Assiette Champenoise, Reims

Dinner - L’Assiette Champenoise **; 40, ave Paul-Vaillant-Couturier, Tinqueux (Reims); T 03 26 84 64 64.  Very nice house and outside terrace.  Asparagus vert starter was outstanding; a very good meal.  We splashed out on a Ramonet Puligny Montrachet 2004 that was outstanding and a Henri Gouges 2004 Nuits Saint Georges 1er cru Les Pruliers which was good but had a green grape taste that spoiled it somewhat.

Accommodation - Tip Top Hotel; 1, ave d’A, Tinquex (neat Reims); T 03 26 83 84 85.  Clean and served its purpose.

Sunday 23 May – Return to UK