Our Life in Burgundy

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May 27, 2015

Cortambert, notre Patrimoine

Filed under: Events,People,Places,Village Life — Tags: , , — Mary @ 13:33

Yet another thriving local association is Cortambert, notre patrimoine. It was set up in 2009 by Raymond in conjunction with FAPPAH,  the Federation of Associations of Art and History between Tournus and Cluny. It studies, preserves and highlights the culture, architecture and archeology of this area. It has enabled the restoration of the Church windows. Every year it holds a very successful Fête de l’Huître and, last year, the Fête des Lavoirs. We have been on walks to discover the old medieval fishponds and to find old roman roads with the aid of divining rods.

In the last year the group has opened up two ancient footpaths for walkers. The first was the Chemin du Clou in Varanges. Recently work parties have cleared parts of the Chemin Romain in the forest between Toury and Merzé. Our mission yesterday was to put up the signposts.

Many thanks to Marie Antoinette for the photos.

A good team of workers


Chris’s quad was useful in the forest

Of course there are always some that fool around!

Pascale, keep your head down!

Raymond and Patrick position a sign

When we came away we were surprised to find it was a bright sunny evening. As you can see in the photos it was very dark in the forest. In the future Chris will be able to use the paths for the Cortambert randonnées.  I’m sure that lots of walkers will find these trails and enjoy their treks through the forest.

May 24, 2015

Two weeks to go until the Randonnée des Roses

Filed under: Places,Village Life — Tags: , — Mary @ 21:13

We are gearing up for our yearly Randonnée des Roses which will take place on Sunday 7th June. The weather promises to be good so we are hoping for a large turnout. Chris has planned the routes of the four circuits and the best places to offer refreshments along the way. Posters are going up in local villages, and Pascale, Claire and Marie Antoinette are joining other villages’ randonnées to hand out flyers.

Our group today

This morning we tried out the 8km circuit, the shortest walk with probably the best views. We set off from Cortambert and followed the grassy tracks to Toury where we turned right to tackle the steep climb to Bray.

The Romanesque church at Bray


There were lovely views over the valley

Chris pointing out Taizé

After another steep climb through the vineyards we were glad to find ourselves in the shade of the woods along the ridge….


before coming down through the meadows and heading for home.


Cortambert in sight

It’s a fairly easy walk with lovely views and we hope the less serious walkers will enjoy it. So remember, the Randonnée des Roses on Sunday 7th June starting at Cortambert Foyer Rural.  A warm welcome and lots of refreshments are guaranteed. We’re working on the sunshine.


May 22, 2015

A lesson in fine dining

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , — Mary @ 12:28

Last night Pascale took us all out for a real dining experience at the Lycée Alexandre Dumaine* in Mâcon. Here students take courses to obtain their baccalaureats in all aspects of the catering and hotel trade. Of course they need to practise their skills so during the term they regularly invite the public to partake of lunch or dinner.


Our merry group from Cortambert

Last night was Europe night. We were treated to a banquet of dishes from several different countries. The Italian starter is shown below.


Then came numerous courses, risotto from Italy, bacalhau à bras (salted cod) from Portugal, moussaka from Greece, Irish stew (!), and a sort of Black Forest gateau to finish. Each course was complimented by the best of Burgundy wines.


The waitresses were very attentive. Empty dishes and glasses were efficiently whipped away. It was a nice touch when the chefs came out at the end of the meal to meet the diners.

What amazed me was the number of plates, glasses and knives and forks we managed to use as we had fresh ones for each course.  The washer-up certainly deserved his baccalaureat last night.

*Alexandre Dumaine was a famous chef with three Michelin stars. His restaurant in the Côte d’Or was a convenient stopping off point on the way from Paris to the French Riviera. Its clientele included many of the rich and famous, ranging from Prince Rainier of Monaco and King Alfonso of Spain to Charlie Chaplin, Edith Piaf and Salvador Dali. He was known as the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings.

May 17, 2015

Update on the Equivallée

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , — Mary @ 18:54

A week after the fire the Equivallée continues with its schedule of events. This weekend saw the Frédéric Merigoux de Van Dyck competition which had an entry of 650 amateurs with horses aged 4-6 years. The organiser, Frédéric Merigoux, breeds and trains horses in the Rhône Alps, and the competitors were from Switzerland, the Rhône Alps and Burgundy.


The Equivallée jumps had been completely destroyed in the fire last Sunday so the ones we saw today were on loan.

 The burned out remains of the obstacle store

The combination of amateurs and young horses produced many thrill and spills. The jumps were big and some of the horses did not like the look of them and would refuse. One competitor retired after the first obstacle.



However many competitors did very well. I am always amazed how a young girl can control a horse weighing ten times as much. It is just as well that horses are not of murderous intent (although Chris in his riding days used to think that they were and still has the scars to prove it!).

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