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1st time in Burgundy

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Hi all, my first post in chow :) First, want to thank you guys for giving so much info in the board.

My husband and I will be on holiday in Paris for a week in early Nov mainly to eat (more on that later), with a side trip to Burgundy - our first time in wine country in France.

Unfortunately we can only afford one night stay in Beaune, near train station (so 2 days actually as we will only leave end of day on Day 2).

Foodwise, we wish to go to Ma Cuisine for dinner and Comte Senard for lunch. We also wish to visit La Cave de l'Ange Gardien as we read great reviews on Tripadvisor. Last but not least, of course we want to visit wineries. We cannot really afford a private tour but we may be able to join in a group tour, say for half or even a day, and perhaps give up something from our must-dos.

Question:
1) Is it too much if we eat at Comte Senard and Ma cuisine on same day?
2) If we do not join any tours, but visit Maison Louis Jadot and Maison Joseph Drouhin for tastings (I believe both are walkable within Beaune) and then together with Comte Senard for lunch.. would it be sufficient for an overall 1st burgundy wine experience?
3) Say if we really join a group tour, which one would you recommend, and whch wineries shd we be looking out for?

My husband and I love wine, and admittedly not experts, but Tres excited! Looking forward to any kind of advice.

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  1. I'll try to answer your questions.
    1. I've not been to Comte Senard, but I'd say too much food with Ma Cuisine for dinner. You won't want to ruin one of the most splendid meals in the area.
    2. I know neither Jadot nor J. Drouhin have walk-ins. If you want to tour/taste there, you will need to set that up in advance. Your local wine merchant should be able to do that through the distributor. However, BIVB - Burgundy Wine Bureau - has a wonderful program. You can sign up for a half day or a whole day, and they take you to some really good places, with a very knowledgeable guide.
    3. Are you staying inside Beaune itself? Most of those hotels are quite pricy. We stay in a small hotel outside the periphery that is much more reasonable...

    9 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      thanks chefJune. After consideration, yes I am of the opinion too that having both meals on the same day could potentially ruin dinner at Ma Cuisine. We are staying near the train station and seems most things are walkable - though we will be travelling in chilly november. Also, thanks for the BIVB recommendation, do you sign up ad-hoc on the day of arrival, or do you recommend booking a place online? however I don't seem to find the right links on their website

      1. re: grovina

        I would reserve with the BIVB ahead of time. You can email them if you don't find a form on line, or call them. There are quite a number of English speakers on staff.

        Last year, we also walked in at Chateau de Pommard and had a lovely tasting. They have tours you can sign up for a la minute. A pretty place with a restaurant, too (we didn't eat there) -- and very historic. We enjoyed the wines. I brought a bottle home, and also of their Marc de Bourgogne.

        1. re: ChefJune

          Wonderful. I will be dropping them an email to see what's up in november, though I am fairly annoyed I just read my dates miss the Hospices de Beaune festival just narrowly. If not, it would've been a great experience.

          1. re: grovina

            If you had tried for those days, you likely would have unable to book anything. It's a very popular (and invitational) event.

      2. re: ChefJune

        Hi ChefJune
        Would you mind let me know which hotel you stay outside of Beaune.
        We will be going for our first Burgundy trip in a few weeks an the amount of hotels and choices are overwhelming.
        We have enjoyed your recommendations in the past so I thought I would ask. Much thanks in advance.

        1. re: javi777

          Try Château de Mélin, a beautiful small castle with a few very beautifully decorated, very large rooms, and a cellar where you can taste the owner's crus. Every morning for breakfast the landlady also makes her own fresh croissat. The breakfast jams are also made by her using fruits from the garden's fruit trees. O I forgot, beautiful garden.
          It is also just down the road from all the most pretigious wine villages like Auxey-Duresse, Volnay, Meursault.
          And don't be intimidated by the word Château. The rooms are not expensive.

          1. re: Parigi

            Thanks Parigi.
            Always so thoughtful and detailed. Will contact them cause your description sounds like heaven

            1. re: javi777

              It's a pleasure to share.
              http://www.chateaudemelin.com/

          2. re: javi777

            Parigi's suggestion sounds fantastic! In addition here are some other options in Beaune proper on the less expensive side: Hotel de la Paix and the Ibis (typically wouldn't recommend a chain, but it's not bad and good location in town.)

            You could also consider an apartment. If available, Appart du LuLu is peppy cheap (www.appart-de-lulu.fr).

        2. We had the wine lunch at Comte Senard and I wouldn't say that the meal is gut busting filling. It was good, not earth shattering-best-food-ever-good, but good; we had the ubiquitous jambon persille followed by chicken epoisses, if I recall, It's lovely, a nice tour of the vineyard and a real education about the wines, which were excellent btw. We really enjoyed it and I would recommend it.

          Can you do the lunch on the day you leave? That way you could do some tastings on the day you get there (maybe the half day tour), have lunch some place like Carnot or Part des Anges, go to Ma Cuisine for dinner (a must!), then do the wine lunch the next day....we didn't do any tours so I can't answer that part. We just wandered around the various villages and found places to taste )

          I think you could do both Comte Sendard and Ma Cuisine if you had to, as long as you walk it off after. We took an hour long walk around Aloxe Corton after our lunch...we were ready to go at it by the evening! :)

          5 Replies
          1. re: sistereurope

            SisterEurope,
            A couple posts ago you mentioned Volnaysien in where else but Volnay We haven't been there in 8 years, when we went liked the setting, and the food, but since then it has fallen off the Michellin bib list

            Have you been there recently and what did you think of the food?
            BlueOx

            1. re: BlueOx

              Hi Blue Ox,
              We found ourselves in Volnay at lunch time this past October and stumbled upon Le Volnaysien by accident, We were pleasantly surprised. We had a lovely Volnay with the basic menu and thought that the food was very good,,,I think I had the chicken in epoisses (I could eat that every day) and as I recall we found it to be a great value for the cost. Plus the setting was lovely and the service was perfect. We were surrounded by locals who also seemed happy. I usually plan most meals but always leave some room for adventure so this was an even better find. I hope that helps, and that they still offer such a value...

            2. re: sistereurope

              hey sistereurope, did you opt for the 4/6/8 wine menu at comte senard? I spotted a "special menu: « 6 Prestigious Grands Crus » is possible for € 70" on their website. did you come across this option when u were there?

              1. re: grovina

                Hi Grovina,
                We went for the 8 wine menu, of course! No, there was no option for the 6 Prestigious Grands Crus. We aren't professional wine experts by any means but we do feel that we know something about wine (mostly because we are pretty experienced at drinking it :) and we really liked their wines - In our eyes were great examples of the traditional light yet full burgundies that we love. So it might be worth it just for that. Plus, the setting is beautiful.

                1. re: sistereurope

                  getting so excited just reading your post. we are so going there. Good hearing about Le Volnaysien, will bookmark that. Anyone here ate at this place called La Table de Guigone? we are looking at that too coz it's convenient to our hotel.

            3. Hi grovina, depending on your constitution two meals in a day in Burgundy is very doable. Ma Cuisine is a terrific option and I have not eaten at Senard but would perhaps recommend Bissoh as your second meal option. It is in Beaune and is Japanese fusion food with a lightness of hand. The wine list is really good and well priced.

              As far as tours go I have no suggestions as we always hire a car and organise appointments before we go but you can catch a train from Beaune to various villages. In Nuits-St-Georges you could go too the Imaginarium and try the Jean-Claude Boisset wines. In Beaune Bouchard Pere et Fils is open to the public and the wines are excellent. In Puligny Olivier Leflaive have an option where you pay to taste a dozen or so wines including a couple of Grand Crus.

              Have fun.
              Best Regards
              Jeremy

              1 Reply
              1. re: jeremyholmes

                Cheers Jeremy. Never thought of having japanese in beaune but me and my husband are always open (and love) trying out food not found in the country of origin of the cuisine. For lack of a better example, we always found the best dim sum to be in australia actually. But I digress.... lol. Thanks for the great info on which wineries to look out for. Will be hunting down a tour still, but i believe there are no really "bad" wineries out there (hopefully of course).

              2. If you can manage to get to nearby Chagny, don't miss the chance to eat at Lameloise. We've had several wonderful meals there, although the most recent one was about 8 years ago.

                1. Here is an out of the way place on the Rully town square that has always been wonderfully, especially if you can dine out front on the terrace, Le Vendangerot. Of course it is in Rully and they have some interesting Rully and Mercurey pinot noirs of their list.