It’s not quite Friday but I dug out this “Flashback Friday” from a few years ago. The recent snowfall in Virginia made me remember a magical snowy day in France many years ago…
Beaune and the Hotel Le Cep definitely rank as one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever spent Thanksgiving:
As we drove from Germany towards the Burgundy region in France, it started to snow and by the time we arrived in Beaune, it was blanketed with a fresh dusting of snow ~ it looked magical. We splurged and stayed at the Hotel Le Cep which the Lonely Planet guidebook referred to as “Quite simply, this is one of France’s very finest hotels.” How could we pass up staying there after that kind of recommendation!?! We weren’t disappointed ~ the hotel was fabulous and the staff wonderful.
Originally, we were suppose to visit in early November but the riots were happening all over France and we didn’t want to take a chance since we were traveling with our young daughter. When I called to reschedule our reservations, the hotel was so accommodating and understanding about why we were changing our dates. Upon our arrival, we found they had upgraded us to one of their largest suites. It’s a great joy for me when I find I’ve been upgraded at a hotel.
One of the most interesting sights in Beaune is the Gothic Hotel-Dieu which was founded in 1443 and was considered a “celebrity rated” charity hospital. For its time, I’m sure it was state of the art but those blood letting instruments and the closeness of the hospital beds made me a little queasy. There was also an 18th century pharmacy with flasks once filled with things such as vomit-nut powder.
After touring the hospital, we made our way to the Marché aux Vins wine cellars and went underground to the dusty wine-bottle lined caves. We had a personal tour guide and, after a history lesson on the winery and about the region, we were given a flat, metal, shiny cup to taste the wines we encountered as we self-toured the caves. Marché aux Vins, established in 1239, is one of the larger wine cellars in Beaune and the caves are lined with thousands of wine bottles. As we navigated through the cave, we stopped at each of the 13 candle-lit wine barrels to taste the wine which was a open bottle ~ we could’ve drank the entire bottle if we wanted. I love the whole French attitude towards wine, food and living life in beauty.
Enjoying the cozy, warm fireplace which was so welcomed after our cold walks around town.