Waking up early, we carefully stepped through the cobblestone streets to the Saturday market in Beaune. The city itself still contains remnants of the original medieval walls that contained it’s residents, with towers overlooking the historic center.
As we made our way to the square, various specialty stores began to emerge: chocolatiers, boulangeries, lingeries, and caves du vin. Through glass windows we could see the delicate layers of sugar, chantilly, and icings that have made France so famous for their desserts.
My mouth already started to water with anticipation of our market findings. As we turned through small adjoining streets, the hum of the townspeople began to grow louder. Tables of duck, pork and beef sausages lined the sidewalks; hard cheeses in red wax and rinds graced stands; bress chickens warmed in rotisseries; and citizens queued to buy produce directly from farmers.
We gorged our souvenir dollars on Dijon mustards and honey, then bought a baguette, some Bourgogne terrine, and walked to the city park.
Feasting on fresh sandwiches and the sweetest strawberries ever tasted, we looked on at vineyards, listened to quacking ducks, and enjoyed the peaceful silence of the country.
Strolling back to the center of the city after the closing of the market, a few Flemish inspired homes appeared on a hidden rue de village. Unique in turrets and bright roofs, these gems brightened the country cream stones that made up local architecture.
In the center of town, lies Hotel-Dieu, an early hospice, the epitomizing reflection of this bright roofed trend. It was built in 1443 by the Duke of Burgundy, and is the city’s largest historical attraction… besides wine, of course.
As the afternoon began to fade away, the sommelier and I met with up and coming local wine makers, tasted Champagne, Bourgogne, Saumer Blanc, and so many others that I lost track quickly. I began to realize that I know absolutely nothing about wine… except what I like to drink…. but I will save that for another post.