Monday, May 28, 2012

Beaujolais, France - Even More Wine and Food

Next up after our journey around Beaune was the Beaujolais region, about a 3 hour drive South.  We stopped along little towns along the way, some of which were really teeny tiny.  Each town has its own distinct character, and I'm pleased to say some of my good memories of the trip were just from wandering around and soaking in the beauty of the region.

Putt, putt, putting along the way in our round European car...

We started our morning off making a detour to the town Chagny, where there was a lovely market in the middle of town.  It was here where we saw rows of chacuterie, fresh bread, flowers, cheeses, and vibrant fresh vegetables and fruits.  Locals were milling around carrying baskets or tote bags full of goods.

Impressive assortment of cured meats

Fresh vegetables
Glistening rotisserie
Bread baked fresh on-site

Back in the car, we had a lovely drive through the countryside...

 And even made some friends!

But our favorite little town turned out to be Chapaize.  It is by far the smallest village I've seen (it seemed like it was just a street long!), but also one of the most charming.  We stumbled into Le Saint Martin for lunch, and this turned out to be the most unexpected good meal of the trip.  You don't normally assume such advanced food would come out of such an undeveloped village, but the meal was absolutely delicious and the experience was so enjoyable.

A tiny little restaurant in the teeny tiny village of Chapaize
Pate en croute
Shrimp with Thai sauce
Meatballs with a runny egg.  This dish has a surprising Moroccan element to it, delicious and unique!
Across the street from Le Saint Martin is a charming little church which was built in 1543.  Isn't that amazing?? The walls and ceilings were all brick, the floor was old stone tiles, and the pews were aged wood.  It was beautiful.  I had the church all to myself for a few minutes, so I said a very special prayer for some very special angels. 

Further on down the road, we took another detour to visit Cluny where we literally drove into an equestrian competition!  Since we had never been to one before, we figured now was as good a time as ever to cross that off our list (was it ever on it in the first place?).

Finally, we reached our destination - the town of Villie Morgon, where we were spending the next two nights at a Chateau!  Chateau de Bellevue is owned and run by the Jean Loron Estates and is a charming 19th century residence.  There are also grape vines on the estate, along with a function vatting room and underground cellar.

Chateau de Bellevue, a 19th century residence
Our view in the morning... I think I would be a much happier person if I woke up to this everyday!
In true B&B fashion, this was the impressive spread prepared for us each morning at the Chateau.  It can't get much better than this: eggs, croissants, cheese, a baguette, yogurt, fresh orange juice, coffee, jams and granola. Wow!

We were lucky enough (again, all thanks to Jack at Trufflepig!) to be given a tour around the Beaujolais region and also the Chateau de Bellevue by none other than the lady of the house, Madame Francoise Barbet.  Our day with her was truly unique and special, but that will have to wait til next time!  Be sure to check back!

Au revoir, mes amis!

Piggy KL

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