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We arrived at CDG where our friends picked us up, and we stopped in Chablis for lunch at a funky Café named Relais de Chablis.
It was very busy with workers having lunch. We enjoyed a glass of Chablis and a plate of lamb chops a la bouk served with vegetables and fresh fettuccine noodles.
Then on to Pommard to locate our rental apartment for the next two nights.
This became a saga as we were meeting a third couple who were to be our benefactors for our lodging in Valreas.
We had contact information but no address and a limited ability to use the phone system, due to our inability to understand the numbers that we needed to dial.
Nevertheless, we were persistent and successful in finding our apartment.
It turned out to be a wonderful rental, large and accommodating, 4 bedrooms, each with its own bath, a large industrial kitchen, sitting rooms and a dining room plus many other amenities including a courtyard for parking and a garden with chairs and a table.
Pommard is a picture perfect small village, immaculate, picturesque with everything one needs: boulangerie, charcuterie, 3 restaurants, a bar, many wine stores and a small market.
And it’s all within a walking distance of two or three blocks. This is where you should stay when visiting Burgundy.
Our 10+ room apartment was located in the center of town. The town bar is on the main road where they had let us use their computer and helped us find our apartment.
We returned for a beer after unloading our luggage and visiting the town market where we purchased some local wine.
At the charcuterie we bought some Dijon for the pate that Cousin Dale had purveyed. Dinner was a half block away to a small café named Le Pommard where we had the 19 e menu and a bottle of local vin.
Day Two: After a sound night’s rest we arose to a sunlit fall day, and walked to the boulangerie to pick up croissants and coffee.
Then we were off to Beaune where we got a terrific parking place a couple of blocks from the main square. It took a committee to figure out how to pay for our parking.
Dee and I tried to change US dollars at a bank, but they do not do that in banks in Beaune. The friendly non-banker suggested that we try the Post Office where they indeed did change money.
Our friends were touring the Hospice de Beaune - Daily: 9 AM-6:30 PM, The Hospices de Beaune or Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a former charitable almshouse. It was founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, as a hospital for the poor.
Near the large ward is the Chapel. The place for the chapel was chosen to allow the bedridden to attend Mass from their beds.
The hospice possesses many artistic treasures, among them the mural paintings of the 17th century in the Salle St Hugues including the Beaune Alterpiece painted by Rogier van der Weyden.
A wine auction is held annually to benefit the Hospice. It’s a three day event that begins on the third Sunday in November.
We walked about Beaune checking out the restaurants and cafes to report to our fellow travelers.
We all decided on moules/frites and went to La Belena – L & D: Daily, 1 Place Madeleine, 33 3 80 22 12 25.
It was very tasty with a reasonably priced wine list and very good service. On the way back to our apartment in Pommard, we stopped at Carrefour to pick up groceries and wine for dinner.
We had fresh vegetables, roasted potatoes and three different types of sausage. Lots of leftovers which we repurposed for breakfast.
Day Three: Cousin Dale whipped up a great ham and cheese omelet, turned the leftover potatoes into home fries and sautéed the vegetables.
What a plate! Forgot to mention the croissants from the local boulangerie/patisserie.
We then had another leisurely walk around Pommard, marveling at the estates of the vineyard owners.
Then we went back to Beaune for the Saturday market. Wow!
We picked up olives, artichokes and chicken (none of the truffles shown above) for dinner, and then got on A 6 south toward Valreas.
For lunch we ended up stopping at a gas reststop, and some bread and hard sausage washed down with water.
Onward to Valreas where we arrived at our lodging for the next five nights. This was thanks to a house swap that Cousins Dale & Renate made for their house in San Miguel de Allende.
We went to Le Clerc to purchase a few additions for dinner. Some of our wine purchases included: ’13 Mercury, ’12 Vacqueyras, ’11 Crozes Hermitage, ’12 Moulin Vent, ’13 La Bouvaude, ’12 Cote de Brouilly and ’12 Gigondan.
Dinner was the chicken from Beaune, olives, salad, green beans and mashed garlic potatoes.
Day Four: Breakfast was muesli with yogurt, croissants and coffee. We caught up on our reading and internet chores, and then drove to Grigan, a 12th century walled city with lots of interesting shops but little parking.
The Sarl L’Etable – 13 Place jeu de Ballon, Grignon was our lunch spot.
It was delicious. Several people had the magret canard, and I had the planche-gourmand which was a charcuterie with pommes frites. We shared a 50cl carafe of Cote de Rhone.
After lunch we stopped at Domaine Gigondan, and tasted several Cotes du Rhone wines and bought a few.
Then we drove a bit further to another vineyard - Bouvaude.
The vines were heavy with grapes and harvest was in full throttle.
Dinner was back at our Chateau.
Day Five: Breakfast was our usual. After internet activities and chit chat, we were off to visit the goats.
This is where you will find the best goat cheese in the area. Who knows how many goats are here, but everything is done on premise. The Ferme De Saint-Amans is your place – route de Clansayes, 26130 Montsegur sur Lauzen.
Next we were off to find the market in Tulette which wasn’t that easy to find from the goat yard. A postal worker got us on the right track, and we arrived just as they were breaking down the market.
We picked up petits peches, garlic, potatoes and pork, tapenade that was different from my recipe, but excellent, lemons, olives , tomatoes, nectarines and other perishables.
One last stop at the super market to pick up a few essentials such as wine, mayo and other essentials.
Then back to the house for lunch.
We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon that included reading and bridge.
Dinner was on the terrace. We enjoyed roast pork, petit peches, potatoes, tomatoes and local wines.
Day Six: The focus today was the market and ruins at Vaison-la-Romaine.
Vaison-la-Romaine was already inhabited at the end of the 4th century BC. The Gallo-Roman influence made the city one of the richest cities in the area featuring geometric mosaic pavements and a theater.
In the 5th century the benches were reused as Christian tombstones, and in 527 it became a part of Provence.
During the Middle Ages the population moved to the “upper town” to be under the protection of a strong castle.
By the 18th century people had moved back down to the river area. A flood struck on September 22, 1992 destroying most of the town, but it has recovered.
This is a major market stretching for several blocks and side streets on Tuesdays. There are many choices for dry goods such as belts, hats and caps, table clothes, dish towels, pottery, etc.
There are vegetables, olives, sausages and much more. We purchased a boar sausage, a hard cheese and a dish towel.
We happened upon a group of musicians playing Dixieland jazz.
Then we drove to Seguret for lunch at Cote Terrace. It was perched on the top of a hill town dating from the 13th century. This sculpture was above a gate to the village.
We dined outside but had dessert inside because of a few sprinkles. The town and ambience were tres bon
Back to the house for more bridge and dinner.
Day Six: Today we drove to Dieulefit which was a charming pottery and art center. It had a walking street with many boutiques and galleries.
Lunch was at Restaurant Le Quartier where we enjoyed the menu du jour which included salad, Sheppard’s pie plus dessert with a carafe of house red.
The proprietor and his wife shown above were very efficient, generous and kind to take our photo.
Dinner was leftovers back at the chateau.
And that was our journey to Burgundy & Provence.
Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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