What a treat to go back from the USA to France for a wedding. The festivities had to take place somewhere very special, thus la Cote d’or. My father, my step mother, and I did a 3 hour road trip from Switzerland to Dijon. I knew while agreeing on driving with them that I had signed up for a ton of laughter and arguments about what directions to take while questioning the GPS! I love my family! The directions and the roads in France are and always have been confusing. In the USA, we direct ourselves based on North/South/East/West (which was confusing for me when I moved here too) but in Europe it’s about knowing the name of the place you are going to and what is the most known city nearby and head towards it. In France, it’s also about hoping for signs.

The GPS told us to save time by taking the scenic road, so we did. The landscapes were just beautiful with some nice patches of snow here and there. We were excited to celebrate the glamorous bride and groom; excited about our adventure;  and looking forward to the succulent food we were about to eat!

Candid video montage made by moi.

Burgundy region and its specialties

Burgundy counts an incredible amount of specialties that most of us already know about without especially knowing how to place their origins on a map.

Its wine for example; Chablis; Côte de Nuits; Côte de Beaune; Côte Chalonnaise; Mâconnais (not including Beaujolais and Châtillonnais) all come from this region. This wine is pretty old as the history behind it started about about 200 million years ago, the region was part of a vast, tropical sea which created limestone soils, the secret behind the zesty minerality that’s a hallmark of Burgundy wines.

Its famous Dijon Mustard takes its name after the city of Dijon located on the European spice route in the medieval days, it became famous for its mustard. The region still makes the majority of France’s production in a variety of flavors.

Its cheese; Comté; Mont d’or; Morbier; Bleu de Gex; Chaource, Epoisses and the Abbaye de la Pierre-qui-Vire are the most famous cheeses in Burgundy; Comté, Morbier, Mont d’Or and Bleu de Gex in Franche-Comté. In the USA, we are very familiar with the Comté. Say cheese!

Blackcurrants (cassis) grown in abundance, feature in sauces, mousses and sorbets. Crème de cassis is added to white wine or champagne to make the popular apéritif Kir. Cheers!

Burgundians are passionate about both their food and their wine. Escargots à la Bourgogne, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Coq au Vin are just three of the famous regional dishes. There are so many more!

The ‘Green’ movement is gathering strength in Burgundy as specialist producers turn to ‘bio’ or organic production. As we know, the food not only tastes better but there are health benefits too.

Abbaye de la Bussière – a Former Cistercian Abbey

My family and I got the chance to spend a whimsical weekend at Abbaye de la Bussière. It is an absolutely gorgeous Relais & Chateaux in an old Cistercian Abbey.

As we arrived it was fun to hear the crackling of the tires on the gravel. For me this is “la vie de chateau” 21st century style! We arrived and were assigned our suites. Mine was so romantic! I thank my sister for choosing it for me. All in blue with a canopy bed, a Jacuzzi bathtub… I felt like a princess! The French windows were facing the park and there was a blue currants pie awaiting me on the coffee table. The owners of the place are British and they’ve done a fantastic job in making sure that everywhere is the perfect place to have a cup of tea.

The place is an absolute must even if you only have the time to try out its gastronomic restaurant installed beneath the vaulted arches of the former cloister, a unique setting. It was granted a Michelin® star in 2007.

Its Chef de Cuisine Guillaume Royer, was nominated for the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2015, he orchestrates the 2 restaurants Le 1131 and Le Bistrot des Moines. The entire staff is friendly and more than on top of its game.

In 2008, the Abbaye de la Bussière received the title of “Hideaway of the Year 2008”, a prestigious distinction awarded by the American journalist, Andrew Harper.

Useful sites:

Official Burgundy Tourism website

http://www.burgundy-tourism.com/

Abbaye de la Bussière

http://www.abbayedelabussiere.fr/en/history.html

Source Internet: Burgundy Specialities

 

 

 

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