This week it has been lovely to see my sister Carol from Australia who is touring Europe for eight weeks with her husband and a couple of friends.
Independently they have been out and about discovering many interesting places, the Chateau of Cormatin, Taizé, the medieval church at Chapaize, the castle at Brancion, the Abbeys of Cluny and Tournus, the markets….. But we thought it our mission to introduce them to some of the best things about Burgundy, the food and wine.
On Wednesday we enjoyed a winetasting trip around the Beaujolais. We started at ‘Clochemerle’. This village is actually called Vaux-en-Beaujolais and was the setting of the famous novel written in 1934 by Gabriel Chevallier. It is about the arguments over plans to install a new urinal in the main square and the vicious politics of a small village. Unfortunately for Chevallier he changed the name of the village but not the names of the inhabitants. There was such an uproar that questions were asked in Parliament.
Meandering our way back towards Mâcon we partook of a bit of dégustation in Juliénas, whose cave is a converted church, and Fleurie, which is renowned for its huge mural. Chiroubles also produces one of our favourite wines, a very good year being 2009. But the highlight of the day was a visit to a tiny cave in Saint-Amour where we had the best crémant I have ever tasted.
Last night we took them to what we consider to be the best restaurant in the region, La Grange Finot at Bray, not far from Cormatin. Despite it being a holiday for Ascension Day we almost had the place to ourselves. The chef, Serge Curtil, presents the best of local French cuisine and the service is wonderful. www.lagrangefinot.fr
I hope our visitors enjoyed this week as much as we have. Soon they leave for the Alsace en route to Paris via Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Bon Voyage!