CHATEAU DE SAVIGNY LES BEAUNE
Thursday, April 26, 2012
About 8:30 am we were down in the hotel breakfast room enjoying a full breakfast before starting our day. We didn’t have much rain…just enough sprinkles so that we always carried our umbrellas. It was cool but didn’t seem quite as cold as yesterday.
Jim and Terry took the car and headed for Chateau De Savigny Les Beaune; a boy’s adventure to see the fabulous collection Abarth/Fiat sports cars that raced in the 1960’s and 70’s. Plus there were 100 jet airplanes from all the governments of the world. The cars were housed in the barn above where they make the wine…yes…it’s a vineyard! The airplanes were in the fields of the vineyard…among the vines.
Linda and I strolled over to the Village Center and visited the historic Hotel Dieu; a charity hospital built in the fifteenth century by a wealthy man who wanted to “save his soul” and felt that since this was dedicated to God…there is an altar in every room…he would make it to heaven when he died! It was actually used as a hospital until 1971. The best altarpiece was saved from destruction during the revolution because it was sitting, unused, in an attic and was found over twenty-five years after the wars.
We went shopping afterwards at the large grocery store for picnic lunch supplies and desserts. We found the plain wrapper chocolate bars and stocked up on them as you don’t always find them. An inexpensive bottle of wine, a baguette, some paper plates and cups and we were ready for lunch with our leftover cheese and salami.
The boys returned about 1 pm…the energy level was very high as they talked about their adventure this morning. We put things together and climbed into the car…told Daisy aka Fifi… to take us to the Chateau La Rochepot…about half an hour south of Beaune.
When we arrived we enjoyed our picnic in the car…this time we had a tablecloth for each to catch the crumbs…the weather was good enough if we had a table but not having one we made do in the car. When we finished we entered the Burgundian castle known as La Rochepot Castle. It’s a tiny little castle that is picture perfect. Privately owned and tightly controlled…you cross the draw bridge…knock three times…and the keeper opens the door. She sold us our tickets and then also conducted the tour in French….providing us with well written English translations.
By 4:30 pm we were back on the road and driving to Beaune; dropped the car at the hotel and then hot-footed it over to the village center for a wine tasting tour. For ten Euros each we received a Sommerlier’s Tastevin wine tasting cup and the opportunity to taste a selection of about twenty plus different wines as we strolled through a candlelit cave. It was lot of fun and a great way to begin our second evening in Beaune.
We visited a store with mostly things about wine but also a wide variety of tourist temptations and Terry purchased some cardboard models to put together when he gets home. Read all of the menu’s on the restaurant windows as we worked our way back to the hotel. Based on a recommendation by the clerk at the hotel and also Rick Steves; about 7 pm we walked a couple of blocks to a very nice restaurant named Caveau des Arches. All of the seating was in a cave underground and it was definitely a bit above the usual for us. We felt very special as the waiters…all in white shirts, black ties and black pants…provided us with that quiet…elegant service reserved for only the best restaurants. Salmon, duck and chicken graced our plates and Terry and Linda splurged calorie wise with crème brulee and apple tart. We waited for our chocolate bar in the room.
Walked a bit of the Ramparts and then headed for the hotel and Internet time before calling it a day. Linda was still raving about her canard as she rambled off to bed.