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Jul 29, 2012 08:17 AM

Reims and Beaune in August - is anywhere open?

Hi guys, I posted this on the Europe board by mistake - thanks Harters for noticing!

We are heading to France for 10 days in August. We are staying in Reims on the nights of Thurs 16, Fri 17th Sat 18th then going to Beaune on Sunday 19th till Thursday 23, then a night in Lille on Friday 24th before getting the Eurostar home.

We are staying centrally in all locations and I have had a search on the boards for recommendations, but I am unsure as to the openings of restaurants in August...

In BeauneI know Caves Madeline are closed for August - I thought that Ma Cuisine was open, but I am sure I read somewhere else that is was actually shut.

Can anyone advise on best bets to go in August in both Reims and Beaune. We love all food and wine but would love to savour the flavours of the regions. We would rather not have to drive, though we are hiring a car, but we would be happy to cycle somewhere when staying in Beaune.

Many thanks for the recommendations

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  1. Just came back from Beaune. Ma Cuisine closed as of yesterday for vacation and will not be open in August.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sderham

      ARRRGGGHH!!! Thanks sderham.

      Do you have any suggestions as to where will be open? We are happy going for a couple of pricey places but the the rest hopefully really good, local, but a bit less expensive. I know that there are tons of threads about Beaune, but I guess nobody goes in August - it was the only time OH and I could take vacation together....

      1. re: alisonk

        Have never been in August, but Beaune has an excellent tourism office (I'm betting Reims does too) & they'll be able to tell you who is open. You might even be able to email ahead of time with your query.

    2. I'm going to be there at almost the same time as you (August 23 to 26) and have spent a lot of time calling and emailing restaurants the past few weeks. Unfortunately, most of the ones I wanted to eat at are closed while we're there. Here's what I found:

      Closed: Ma Cusine, Caveau de Arches, Le P'tit Paradis, Le Comptoir des Tontons. Haven't confirmed that Caves Madeline is closed, as you say, but the fact they aren't answering the phone makes me believe they are. I believe La Ciboulette is also closed.

      We have reservations at Le Conty and L'Ecusson, and have yet to decide on the third dinner. I'll probably wait until we're there and see what's open and looks good. I believe L'auberge bourguignonne and L'Incontournable are open, but based on what I've read here and at other places, I'm not sure how good they are. (If people have been to either of those places and have thoughts on whether they're worth going to, please chime in.)

      14 Replies
      1. re: DC Wine Fan

        Hey that is uncanny!! We have a reservation for L'Ecusson on 23rd for lunch so will let you know how that goes. The hostess of our B and B says that the Caves are indeed closed. We are going to try to play it a bit by ear. We will have a wander around the town when we arrive to see what looks good then try to make some more reservations. I am hoping to get le benaton but we don't necessarily want to commit to two super fancy meals. I am going to ask our hostess for more recommendations when we arrive. We are hoping to buy lots of wine and have a couple of balmy evenings sitting in the garden with some wine, bread and cheese!!

        Other places I was thinking of was le regelade (sp?); le bistro de l'hotel dela poste for lunch; cafe de france; part des anges... if anyone has any info on these then that would be great.

        1. re: alisonk

          The food, wine and hospitality at Part des Anges was all excellent when we were there in early December. I would recommend it.

          1. re: ChefJune

            Thanks. Coming from you, I really trust the recommendation. I read a number of your posts and your blog planning our trip, and they were quite helpful.

            1. re: ChefJune

              I will definitely check out Part des Anges then! Thanks for the input!

            2. re: alisonk

              Same here. Only want to do one Michelin type meal in Beaune, and L'Ecusson seems like it might be more enjoyable than Benaton. We try to do only one big meal a day, so we might have a big lunch while out wine-tasting one day and then just have a small dinner at a wine bar in town. Either Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin or the wine lunch at Comte Senard. Don't know if you've seen it, but it looks fun:

              Now if I could just find some place good in Aix for the end of our trip.

              1. re: DC Wine Fan

                With you DC - I can't deal with 10 days of constant eating out. One big meal a day is about our limit. Comte Senard looks good - think we are going to do a wine tasting day with bikes so can have a boozy lunch!!

                1. re: alisonk

                  "I can't deal with 10 days of constant eating out. One big meal a day is about our limit."

                  Completely agree. Anything more is just not enjoyable.

            3. re: DC Wine Fan

              We will be in Beaune 8/29,30,31 and are beginning to worry about what else will be closed. There are plenty of restos in the general area, but are the Hospices, le Marché aux Vins, and other attractions also on vacation? Do you have any info on other restos in Beaune itself - e.g., La Part des Anges, l'Oiseau des Vignes, or other shops (e.g., Fromagerie Hess)?

              1. re: CJT

                I am really not sure about anywhere else, but I am sure that there will be places open. I have seen no mention on the fromagerie's website that they will be closed. If anyone else can chip it it would be much appreciated!

                1. re: alisonk

                  The Moutarderie of Edmond Fallot is open for tours in Beaune. Here's the link. It's really interesting. They make (imho) the best mustard available.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    So a really quick post because we are in the middle of the trip! Arrived in Beaune quite late on Sunday and it was soooo hot - high 30s if not, touching 40. We were going to try to sneak into Le Benaton, but we did NOT want a huge fancy meal - the thought of putting on formal clothes made us sweat even more so we took the recommendation of the people we were staying with and ate at L'auberge bourguignonne. Had the bourgonne menu for 25 euro each with a couple of good wines by the glass - well to our tastes they were good... Meal was OK - would have been better value for lunch and I would not have wanted to pay for the equivalent from the ala carte menu. I had snails - my first time so nothing to compare against, but they were a bit chewy.. is that how they are meant to be? I felt that perhaps like some clams when they are not cooked perfectly then they are not great - the sauce was very rich too. OH had the ouefs menuirette (sp) they were good . We both had the beef bourginoun for mains - was OK - nothing to write home about - then the cheese, quite a small plate but 5 cheeses and a couple we hadn't tried before.

                    Lunch today at the Bistro de la poste - again, good - very tasty in fact and quite reasonable - 26 for three courses and I must say that portion sizes were very generous, in fact I didn't finish the potatoes from my main nor the my fromage blanc desert.

                    We also had icecreams/sorbets at bouche. Well worth it - really yummy.

                    For lunch tomorrow - we were thinking part des anges but then saw La table de Guigone so not sure. We feel that both here and Reims we have had a few meals at the 90 euro for two mark, and left feeling a bit underwhelmed. Not that it wasn't good, but that for about £35pp, with a glass of wine, not a bottle, we should have been able to get much better (though this probably has to do with lots of places being closed)

                    We will probably also do some wine tastings tomorrow ... if anyone has any recommendations of a few places where to get either the best variety of wines and also the best variety of quality of wine then please let me know - you could spend all week just deciding where to go!!

                    We are going to do a bike ride on wednesday so will probably pack a picnic of the remainder of the cheese we bought from Hess - fantastic shop, and the guy said he could vacuum pack some cheese for us to take home to the UK - and will just stop in a cafe for ice cream somewhere. We need to figure where to go for dinner that night - somewhere really casual and chill for probably just one course - maybe l'amerone?

                    Lunch on Thursday at L'eccusson then leaving for a night in Lille on Friday before taking the train home.

                    Here are a list of places I know are definitely closed, but some seem to open not long after we leave on the 24th (please forgive my spelling)

                    Ma Cuisine
                    Comptoir du tonton
                    Creperie Au Crep'Ange
                    Les incournatables
                    Le ciboullete
                    Le goret
                    Caves Madeline
                    The pizza place chef june recommended beside ma cuisine
                    via mokis

                    I must also say that I cannot recommend our hosts highly enough. We are staying at Chez Marie in Beaune - a B and B. I can't remember if it has been mentioned here before but definitely one to watch.

                    If anyone has any recommendations for dinner in Lille after a VERY long day driving then please let us know. Will be staying at the Lille Europe station and wont have the car at that point so anywhere in walking distance would be great.

                    Thanks again and I hope this post hasbeen of some use.

                    We seem to have hit the major heatwave this week, hopefully for anyone arriving later in the week it will be cooler!

                    Might go to the Mustard museum, went to Hospices today. Definitely worth it!

                    1. re: alisonk

                      I like escargot, but not sure how they should be cooked. Even the better ones seem a bit chewy. Aub. Bourg. Is as you mentioned...just good not great.
                      For a good lunch try Le Carnot or Le Gourmandin. Both are good. I'd also lean toward Part des Anges based on Chef June's reco. I thought of trying Table de Guigogne last year. Mentioned to my friend who lives there & got the conversation redirect. I took it as a sign though it might not have been. Another good lunch spot is the Creps Anges near Hotel de la Paix.

                      We stayed with Marie last year. Very nice place with warm hospitality, though our friends' room was a bit smokey. She should be able to give some further thoughts. Give Gaspar (her son) a smile for us. He was always trying for a bit of extra granola from my breakfast bowl.

                      As for the wine tasting, the big caves are without reservation, & of those I prefer Bouchard Pere & Fils if they are open, or Patriarche.

                      1. re: DaTulip

                        ditto on Bouchard Pere et Fils. and if you feel like driving south on the road out of Beaune down toward Pommard, the Chateau du Pommard has a lovely tour and tasting. Their wines are deeeee-licious, and they have a restaurant where you can lunch, if you like. (A great place for photo ops.)

                        1. re: ChefJune

                          So we ended up not going to le part des ange because the weather was so so so hot and our appetites are the first ting to go when it gets too warm. We ended up instead getting a couple of quiches and a couple of tartlettes from Lherbe Michael - they were absolute heaven - possibly my favorite boulangerie so far - and ended up in Parc de la bouzaize in the shade - perfect bliss. We then found some respite from the mid afternoon sun with a tour of La Reine Pedauque. It had been recommended by Marie and also by the tourist office as not too touristy and quite reasonable in price and we were very impressed by the guide - can't remember his name but he was quite young with blond hair. He spoke in French but was very clear in his pronunciation and he did translate when we were stuck! For 13 euro we were there for nearly 2 hours and had 6 VERY generous tastes of wine/cassis - I think the tour officially gives you 3, but we were the end of the day so we were lucky!

                          We bought a bottle from Bouchard pere but didn't do a tour - will save that one for next time as we intend to go back.

                          Wednesday we did a bike ride out to Santenay - totally worth it and easy biking - all on bike paths with only a couple of cars allowed. We cycled through loads of famous villages including Pommard and Mersault and Pulginy Montrachet. Had it not been so hot we would have done some wine tasting - that was the intent - but we were sweating so much and so thirsty that it probably wasn't sensible. We did however have a good meal in Pulginy Montrachet at a very casual estaurant called lestaminet recommended to us by the guide in la Reine. Lots of people who were biking the route and I had a very well composed goats cheese salad. Menus very reasonable around 17 euro for the lunchtime 3 course option, but since we had around 15k back to Beaune in the heat, we opted for a one course lighter option.

                          Dinner was again very light - we split another quiche and a slice of pizza from the boulangeriere and munched on some lovely olives from the Beaune market

                          Today we had a wonderful lunch at l'Eccusson. We were the only ones in for lunch - there are roadworks at the end of the street so the waiter was telling us that it has been quieter than usual. We didn't have the lunch menu but had the menu esteval - really lovely. I had 2 courses with cheese and OH had 2 courses with desert - which we shared of course. It was a bit cooler today so we could handle a slightly more formal meal!!

                          After some lovely canapes - some ham, gradvlax, olive madeline and the local (?) cheesy bread -can't remember the name - we both had the salad with prawns, sorbet and lemon confit. I then had the pollack which was beautifully cooked with vegetables in olive oil. OH had a fillet of Canette with quinoa and a carrot/coriander sauce. We split the mains so had a bit of both - the duck was perfectly cooked - still quite pink as we asked it to be cooked the way the French would have it :-), very very tender and the fat was melt in the mouth. I hate fat, I hate duck fat and this was the first time I have ever ever managed to eat it, let alone enjoy it.

                          cheese - some fresh cheese that didn't taste like goat, but I can't remember what it was called; Tomme de Savoie and Epoisse Dessert - poached figs were simple but so tasty.

                          All in all, a really really solid meal. Washed down by a glass of kir and a half bottle of chablis 1er cru The cooking was great - I thought that there was some innovation, but it was not too fancy - just very very well prepared. The best meal of the trip for sure.

                          Leaving Beaune tomorrow for Lille to get the Eurostar back on Saturday. Will probably have a sandwich with some pave we got from Hess, the rest of the cheese and olives, but if you know of a casual place for a quick pizza near the train station in Lille then please feel free to comment!!

                          Thanks for your advice on this thread - we had a really really awesome trip!

                          Should also give high praise to the tour we took of the Champagne region - Cris Events in Reims. A half day tour with visits to 2 producers, lots of tastings, trip to see the grave of Dom Perignon, a visit, (but not a tour0 to Moet all for 50 euro. If you didn't want to drive but still taste, we thought that this was 4 hours which was excellent value for money. Cris speaks good English but was very happy to let us practice our French on him and he really seems to know his stuff and is truly passionate about champagne. Worth it, especially if you are a bit of a newbie to the art of Champagne making!!