Notre petite soiree–our little party

28 Octobre, Riorges

Ce soir nous avons fêtés la fin de la cours de cuisine et pour la plupart de nous, la fin de nos courses de la belle langue française ici à l’Ecole Trois Ponts. Pour le soirée, les étudiants de cuisine ont préparés les petites et très élégantes hors d’œuvres servi sur la belle table.

Hors d'Oeuvres - Par les etudiants de Cuisine   Plus d'hors d'oeuvres

La représentative des professeurs était la toujours élégante Geneviève. Comme d’habitude, Mickael, notre chef était là, accueillant tous les mondes dans sa cuisine.

Chef MikaelProf Genevieve

René, le directeur de l’école, a apporté une très fine bouteille du Champagne à l’honneur de l’occasion. Terry, un étudiant d’Australie qui a fait de visite l’école pour la septième fois, a eu l’honneur d’ouvrir la Champagne. Nous avons portes les toasts à la bonne semaine qui a passé, et à notre santé, bonnes voyages, et que notre progrès de parler française va continuer.

Terry a l'honneurGenevieve et Moi

Il y avait aussi une petite ceremonie.

Graduation Ceremony

Kiss Kiss

C’était une heureuse occasion, mais un peu triste aussi. Tous les expériences ici étaient plus que ce qui j’avais espéré. Je souhaite que je puisse rester ici une semaine plus. Je sais déjà que je voudrais revenir. Le staff et les étudiants étaient tous agréables. Et bien que nous étudiions beaucoup chaque jour, notre temps ensemble etaient pleine d’amusement. J’ai appris une bonne nouvelle expression lorsque j’écoutais d’une de mes podcastsla semaine dernière. C’est à-propos de l’atmosphère à l’école cette semaine, je pense. La courant était bien passe entre nous.

Notre Bonne Groupe

J’espéré que nous pouvons rejoindre à l’avenir, peut être ici.

Merci à René, Valérie, Mickael, Geneviève, Adeline, Nadia, et Terry aussi. Vous êtes superbes! A tous les autres étudiants – bonne voyages, bons continuations des études, et bon sante !

A bientôt tous les mondes.

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Tonight we celebrated the end of the cooking course and for most of us, the end of our French language studies at L’Ecole Trois Ponts. For our soiree, the cooking students prepared beautiful little appetizers laid out beautifully on the serving table.

Representing the teachers was the always stylish Genevieve. As usual, Mikael our chef was there welcoming everyone in his kitchen.

Rene, the director of the school, brought a very fine bottle of Champagne in honor of the occasion and Terry, an Australian student who visited the school for the 7th time, had the honor of opening the Champagne. We also had a little ceremony.

We toasted a great week, our health, wished each other bon voyage and that we would continue to progress in our French speaking ability.

Tonight we celebrated the end of the cooking class and for the better part of the group, the end of our studies in the beautiful French language.

It was a happy occasion, but a little sad also. All the experiences here were more than I had hoped for. I wish that I could stay here another week. I already know that I want to come again. And although we study a lot each day, our time together is really fun. I learned a neat expression while listening to one of my language podcasts last week. It’s a good description of the atmosphere here. Literally – the current passed well between us – or more simply, we really got along.

I hope that we can meet again in the future, perhaps here.

Thank you René, Valérie, Mikael, Geneviève, Adeline, Nadia, and Terry too. To all the other students, smooth and safe journeys, continuation of your studies and good health!

See you soon everyone.

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Le Tour de Vin (in English)

My loyal readers know that I have already written a bit about my experience with wine in France, which is to say, I don’t have much experience, but the wine was good and the tastings quite interesting.

Wednesday was once again the day for students to kick back in the afternoon. My primary activity was an exhilarating if not death-defying bike ride around Riorges, Roanne and environs (for another story), but there was another activity early evening before dinner. The students this had week decided against the local village excursion and opted instead for a French wine course and tasting session. There were three students strongly opting for the course so I helped out by joining the required foursome. The two-hour course held here at the school in one of the classrooms. I won’t bore you with the technical details of the class, but this experience was fun and on my French
wine tour so far, the people have turned out to be interesting as well.

The other students in the class included two directors of finance for global companies one working in Paris, the other in Geneva. The last student was a retiree from Australia with a gourmet streak and long experience with French language and wine. Our instructor was Gerard Willenbucher, oenologist and professor of wine (link to his blog here). Gerard studies and teaches the art of winemaking, and we recently sampled one of his roses as an aperitif on Sunday night when the new students arrived. If there is such a thing, this guy is a true wine geek. The art has been in his family on his mother’s side since the mid 1800’s but he didn’t have any of the pretension of the Burgundy
vintners I had the privilege to meet. Gerard was a regular guy with dirty hands
and a passion for wine. Gerard’s son, Vincent, is a local vintner of the Cote
Roannais, at age 32 is quite well-known around here.

Gerard doesn’t speak English and taught the course entirely in French (normal for activities here at L’Ecole).  He used many technical terms relating to the art and science of wine, drew helpful pictures as well, and for the first 90 minutes we didn’t drink any alcohol, so comprehension was pretty high among the group. We learned about French winemaking in general, the history and the economics included. And we focused on three regions – Champagne, Bourgogne and Bordeaux. I used some of my knowledge gained in Puligny and Aloxe-Cortone to help with some of the translation. After the explanation for each region, we sampled a very good bottle from the same origin.

Pommard from Burgundy - been there, tasted that 🙂

This was not like the winemaker’s lunch which was very long and interspersed with six courses of fine gastronomy. It was five people drinking a bottle “gadammit”. At 64 inches and let’s say a hundred some-odd pounds, I was not about to have an even split with les beaux, fortes hommes in the class. As for the wine, I wanted to get a good taste of these bad boys, so I had my share. I know my limit, but let’s just say that for me, and really for everyone who shared our leftover Grand Cru, dinner was very relaxed afterwards.

First Pour - Champagne

First Pour - Champagne Laurent Perrier

Off to another fine dinner at l’Ecoole. I plan to write a new French post with tales of biking and wine-tasting later on. For now, a toute a l’heures.

Vive le weekend

24 Octobre, Riorges

Après une semaine pleine d’indécision, j’ai décidé Vendredi après midi que Clermont-Ferrand serait la destination pour le weekend excursion. C’est le ville principal de la région Auvergne et le meilleur point de départ pour visiter le sommet de Puy-de-Dôme. Je suis tellement reconnaisante. J’ai eu de la chance ! Le weekend Samedi et Dimanche le temps était très agréable, non, plus que ça, magnifique, et mes projets se sont passés parfaitement.

Après avoir retrouvé le voiture d’Europcar (‘aka’ la voiture la plus énorme…une autre histoire), j’ai quitté Riorges à dix heure et demi. L’excursion à travers le paysage Roannais était exceptionnel – les couleurs d’automne, les vaches blanches, et le brouillard épais (even I had to look that one up). Et, tout ça, avant d’arriver à l’Autoroute !

En arrivant à Clermont-Ferrand, 80 minutes plus tard, j’ai visité le quartier historique des Templiers dans lequel le Musée d’Art Roger Quillot est situé. Le quartier était pratiquement vide, mais charmant. Et la collection au musée raconte une bonne histoire de Clermont via art et artefacts.

Clermont-Ferrand Historic Quarter and MARQ

Après le déjeuner et une petite visite au centre avec l’église énorme, « La Cathédrale Noire », j’ai pri la direction de Chamalieres où j’ai réservé une bonne chambre à Le Radio. Ma chambre était parfait ! Elle donne sur la ville avec la grande cathédrale au centre. Là, j’ai changé mes vêtements, laissè les bagages et après ça j’ai conduit en bas du Puy-de-Dôme.

View from Le Radio onto la Cathedrale Noir

La route de Chamalieres m’a offert beaucoup de belles vues et j’ai souri tout le trajet. Il fait tellement beau, même les vaches blanches souriaient Smile

Puy-de-Dome la basse

Pour monter le puy, c’est nécessaire suivre le « Chemin de Muletiers ». Ce n’est pas une petite ballade ; il y a des « switchbacks » (les virages) et la côte est quelquefois sévère. Mais juste après chaque virage, une autre vue. Et chaque nouvelle vue est meilleure que la dernière. Sans aucun doute ça vaut le peine.

Hangliders at Puy-de-Dome   Moi aussi

Plus tard, j’ai fêté dans la grand restaurant à Le Radio. Le repas était superb, et un peu cher aussi, mais ça, aussi, était valait le peine.

Hotel Le Radio at Chamalieres

La vie en fromage

21 Octobre, Riorges

Combien de ces fromages pouvez-vous reconnaitre ?

· Fourme d’Ambert

· Morbier

· Selles-sur-Cher

· Munster

· Reblochon

· Roquefort

· Gaperon a l’Ail

· Comte

· Camembert de Normandie

· Epoisses

· Pouligny-Saint-Pierre

· Beaufort

·Mont d’Or

· Le Tome de Bois Noir

· Brie de Meaux

· Cantal

· Saint-Nectaire

Si vous-êtres comme moi, pas beaucoup. Peut-être, comme moi, vous n’aimez pas l’odeur ou le gout de la plupart les fromages. Mais cette semaine, je suis devenu un amateur de fromage et j’ai gouté tous des fromages et plus.

Chaque soir a l’école, les étudiants et quelques de staff dînent ensemble à la salle à manger à cotè de la cuisine du Chef, Mikael.

Dinner at L'Ecole

Après l’entrée et le plat du jour, Mikael fait une présentation de quatre fromages. C’est la responsabilité d’un étudiant de tenir une carte de la France (couper du bois comme le puzzle d’enfant). Mikael explique chaque fromage, indiquant la région et le département d’origine, le type du lait (vache, chèvre, brebis) et comment chaque fromage est préparé. L’étudiant que tend la carte montre la région, il lève la pièce de puzzle, et montre le département.

Presentation de la Carte Fromage

Le plus important, Mikael nous apprend la méthode correcte pour couper le fromage. La coupage  incorrecte est interdit (par exemple, n’êtes jamais coupez le nez du fromage).

Après nous avoir gouttés tous les fromages, Mikael nous sert du dessert. Le dernier vendredi soir il fait l’expérience d’un nouveau dessert. Donc, il a mangé avec nous pour la deguster.

Bon Appetit Chef!

C’ette semaine, je pense que j’ai gouté plus de fromages que j’ai jamais  goutés en ma vie.

Un Excursion à les villages Roannais cette après midi

19 Octobre, Riorges

(Une article simple aujourd’hui pour pratiquer les expressions d’identification, de description, et de quantité exacte, inexacte, de préférence et de négation.)

En France c’est normal que le Mercredi après midi, tous les écoles est ferme et tous les élèves sont libres. Alors, c’est la même pour l’Ecole Trois Ponts. Au lieu des études, les quatre nouveaux étudiants ont accompagnés une de notre profs, Geneviève, à trois petits et vieux villages de le paysage Roannais pas trop loin de Riorges.

Le premier village s’appelle Le Crozet. C’est village médiéval est situé à la colline et, sauf pour le temps variable aujourd’hui, a une vue fantastique.

Historic Villlage of Le Crozet

La vieille partie du village est sur la liste historique et les résidents ne sont pas permis déranger l’architecture d’origine.

Courtyard well next to tower of Le Crozet

Le deuxième village s’appelle Ambierle. C’est village enrichi par l’industrie de vin de Bourgogne. Il y a une grande église selon le style Bourguignon.

Cathedral and Mairie at Ambierle

Dedans il y a plusieurs de grands vitraux.

Inside the Cathedral at Ambierle

Le dernier village s’appelle St. Haon du Châtel. C’est un de villages à la chemin de St Jaques de Compostelle.

Village House -St Haon du Chatel

C’est pittoresque ici,

Teas Shop - St Haon du Chatel

et la vie continue comme normal.

School's out Wednesday - St Haon du Chatel

C’est toute, j’ai les devoirs 😦

Bienvenue a l’Ecole de Trois Ponts

17 Octobre,  2011 Riorges

Bonjour tous les mondes. C’est ma première poste en français depuis j’ai arrivée a l’Ecole de Trois Ponts hier. La petite école est dans une grande maison de Riorges qui située à cote la grande ville Roanne. Ce n’est pas un hôtel glamoureuse avec trois ou quatre étoiles. C’est modeste mais confortable. Riorges est un village richesse avec beaucoup d’entreprise, et la situation d’école est très prés d’un grand parc, le Parc Beaulieu, parmi le voisinage de Riorges. Hier, après de voyageant deux heurs et demi par train, le directeur de l’école, Rêne, ma cherche a la gare parce que il n’y avait pas de taxi a Dimanche. Rêne m’a montre ma chambre, j’y ai m’installée, et je m’amusée l’après midi par promenant autours de Riorges et le Parc.

"Villa Beaulieu" la maison de L'Ecole de Trois Ponts

Quand j’ai retournée à la villa, je me rencontrée un autre étudiant qui s’appelle, Terry. Terry est en retraite, habite en Australie, et il y a deux semaine depuis il arrive a l’école.
C’est le septième fois que Terry visite ici, donc il a la voix d’expérience. Un peu comme « Richard from Texas » si vous qu’avons lu la livre d’Elizabeth Gilbert « Eat, Pray, Love ». Le mieux est que la voix est très sympa, exactement comme les maniérismes et le sonne comme la voix de mon bel-père, Bill. Malheureusement, Bill est mort le mai dernier. C’est le même mois que Terry est en retraite.

Chateau Beaulieu - centre de la ville de Riorges dan le Parc Beaulieu

À sept heures, le groupe des étudiants qui séjournent dans l’Ecole, ont se rencontres pour l’orientation de la Maison et programme. Nous nous avons rencontres le chef, Mikael, qui nous servi un menu complet avec des choix des fromages de quatre départements françaises différents. La présentation du fromage a accompagnée par une carte interactive que montre chaque région et département d’origine chaque fromage. Nous avons discutée en française par beaucoup des choses et faites des introductions aussi.

La vue de ma chambre - view from my room

Ce matin, le cours commence. Dans ma classe il y a une autre étudiante, Julie, une Canadienne. Notre prof, Valérie a beaucoup d’expérience parce qu’elle travaille à l’école depuis quatorze ans. Maintenant c’est l’après midi et il fait très, très beau. Je dois arrêter l’écrivant et profiter de cette bonne après midi.

À bientôt mes amies

(Et je remercie le Microsoft Word 2010 pour les beaux symboles grammatiques)

Le Tour Stage II: Les ventes et les vins (the wind and the wines)

15 October 2011

The sun was shining all day yesterday and the light on the vineyards was, borrowing a page from mom-in-law Sherry, glorious. I knew I was to ride on the “velo route” and that I was to arrive no later that 11:20 for a wine tour and tasting lunch in Puligny-Montrachet. I also knew that despite  impeccable directions I was likely to get lost, so I set off early. I was directed to start looking for green and white signs indicating the bike route  along Parc de la Bouzaize but it took my old eyes three trips past to see the one very small sign with a bicycle and arrow. Having righted myself I followed the road out of Beaune an arrived at the portal to the velo route through vineyards, this sign could not be missed.

At the Portal to the Route de Velo

The sky was crystal clear and there was some wind, so I kept  the jacket on until the heat from the climbs through the villages and the push of the wind and uneven path got me sweating a bit. As the path was near  the slope of the hills, I knew from my learning yesterday that I was among  grapes vines of distinction. I could also tell that the bike route was taking  the long way through these towns, but the scenery and relative lack of cars was  worth it. Yes, this road was shared with cars attempting the narrow way as well  – some tourists and some local workers.

Velo route through the vineyards of Pommard, Mersault, Volnay and Puligny-Montrachet

I arrived at Puligny to what appeared to be a deserted town  square. It was eerily quiet, except for the wind whistling coldly through the  piles of leaves on the war memorial. Then I located le Maison d’Olivier  Leflaivre where I was to meet my tour, and the warmth began. I was greeted by  Charles, the English-speaking sommelier who looked so familiar (I just figured  it out – clean shaven version of character actor David Krumholtz for TV  fans who followed the series Numb3rs on CBS ) who recognized me as the bike tourist  and let me know that he would be guiding my wine tasting later on.

Table D'Hotes de Maison Olivier Leflaive, my hosts for the afternoon

Just then a  group started gathering in the foyer and I was greeted by Patrick Leflaivre, older brother and partner of the 68 year old Olivier who runs  the winery as a spinoff to the age-old Domaine Leflaivre still maintained by  his cousin, Anne Claude Leflaivre. Patrick was a charming silver-haired dynamo –  describing himself as the one who gets to fly around the world doing the  business of the winery – full of jokes that delighted the Englishman in our  group who snorted and chortled his way along with us before hauling three cases  of wine to the boot of his car bound for the channel crossing later on.

The winery (or “cuverie” for, winemaking or conservation) tour  was quite interesting and I learned tons more than from the wineries I’ve  visited in Woodinville in Sonoma. Patrick explained the process and philosophy  of the winemaking operation which itself cannot be a “Domaine” because only  some of the wines are made from grapes on the family lands. He discussed the  motivation for the business and the relationship with importers and  distributors, the difference in process between white and red winemaking (did  you know that most Burgundy is actually white wine?), how the barrels are  cleaned and prepared, of course how the grapes are cultivated and harvested, and  how to make Rose by pressing the juice from Pinot Noir (rose is not a tradition in Burgundy but recent popularity in the UK is driving demand).

Les Tonneau (barrels) at the winery

As promised, Charles le sommelier guided me through what  turned out to be a 3 ½ hour lunch with 7 five courses and seven wines. The  portions were small but delightful including tuna terrine, smoked salmon,  tapenade stuffed chicken, and six different cheeses. The wines began at village quality and worked up to grand cru. Alas no tastings of Le Montrachet, the  crown jewel of this area, but the Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru was delightful  and had a wonderful smell. The terms he used to describe the differences  between the wine included words like straight, round, long, short, explosive,  all adjectives I hadn’t thought of in regards to wine. I couldn’t identify all  these concepts during the tastings, but I could distinguish among the wines which  were all very good. I finished with chocolate mousse and a red Pommard, which  was wonderful, and much richer than the Aloxe-Cortone from yesterday up at  Compte-Senard. Am I becoming a bit of a wine snob after all?

Tasting Lunch setting

By the way, I spoke French with the staff as much as  possible, and Charles commented that my accent was getting very good, he especially  liked my ‘r’ sound. I explained to him and to Patrick that I would be in  language school soon and hoped to improve. Charles wished me bonne chance and  directed me to a “short cut” back to Mersault by bike, which was welcome  considering my ride home was directly into a headwind and felt like uphill even  on the flats. Of course arriving at Mersault I then had to ride truly uphill to  rejoin the bike route and find my way back to Beaune.  It was a gorgeous day and a great ride.

Arriving back at my Hotel around 5:30pm, I felt energized  and refreshed, even a little worldly. So much so, I found a Japanese restaurant  outside the city walls, and then attended a concert of Burgundian era collegium musicum inside ‘la sale des povres’ in the Hotel Dieu in central Beaune. The music was soothing, and sleep-inducing, but well-played and sung by three serious  musicians from Paris.

Live concert in la salle de povres inside l'Hotel Dieu

Off now to the Beaune Saturday market and then to Dijon. A  bientot!

To Beaune and back Part II

13 October 9:00pm Beaune

Today I became a cyclist on a tour of France. Due to the planned routes, and even minor mechanical issues that needed attendance, and for my own amusement, I’ll just refer to it as the first stage of Le Tour.

Cycle team robingo raises arms at Savigny les Beaune

Today’s route meandered purposefully through the vineyards and winemaking villages just north of Beaune. The ride was mostly flat with some ups and downs and an “optional” climb to a panoramic view that I just had to try. Along the way I saw few other riders, and cars only on the main roads for the most part. The directions guided me onto narrow paved roads through the vineyards, residential neighborhoods and town squares of Chorey Les Beaune, Savigny Les Beaune, Pernand-Vergolesses, Aloxe-Corton and Ladoix. You wine aficionados can  probably recognize some of these “appellations”.

Virgin Mary's panorama towards Pernand-Vergolesses

As I rode and paused to make photographs, I didn’t need the plentiful notes I was given to see that almost everything around here is about wine. And it is serious. Apart from the residences, sparse shops and lodgings, almost every other building, old and new had a sign that began with the word “Domaine…” followed by the name of the winemaker or winemaking family. Each village surrounded by vineyards, had many of these, and also a large château where the village’s first and largest winemaking operations are still in use for the most part.

Burgundian style Chateau at Aloxe-Corton

Most of the vineyards have been recently harvested and it is a very busy time. In Pernand, which is built into a hill, about a third of the way up the winding road was the French equivalent of a teamster loading bottles onto palettes from one of les Domaines. In a tasting room (chambre degustation) at Domaine Compte Senard in Aloxe-Cortone, there were businessmen eating lunch and I overheard an American discussing with his French colleague the possibility of Burgundy vineyards being entered into the UNESCO world heritage list. The American had something to do with the wine business, perhaps importing, and was asking many questions about the process. And on the way down to Ladoix, there were many people and vehicles in one of the fields, which was being harvested or cultivated in some way.

Vineyards with cabottes that used to house the field workers

It was cool to see the actual vineyards where the wine I tasted came from. In the tasting room, along with the wine list was a map of the fields in Aloxe-Corton. The young man who poured for me showed me exactly which field my wine came from. The higher up the hill, the smaller the plot, the higher the designation. Premier Cru, and Grand Cru appellations each included the name of the field in their label. Grand Cru is the most exclusive. All of the wines I tasted were from 2008. It was explained to me that these were still fairly immature, that 8-9 years from bottling is a better time to drink. I noticed that all of the appellations had vintages in the shop going back to 2002, so these must have been perfect.

Tasting room at Domaine Compte Senard

As for the non-drinking portion of my day, though the villages were sleepy, they were charming and picturesque. Les châteaux were old, each church unique, and more Burgundian tile roofs were on display. The sun came and went behind clouds that at home would be threateningly dark, but Sarah was right, no rain at all. Lovely views possible from the Virgin Mary’s perch above Pernand-Vergolesse (she always gets the best view, doesn’t she?). I even saw some grapes in the fields and un chateau owned by an actual Prince.

Mote at Ladoix alongside the Chateau de Prince Merode

I shall try to get some rest now as Le Tour continues in the morning with Stage 2 to the south.

To Beaune and back, Part I

13 October 8:30pm Beaune

On the TGV ride down to Dijon I remembered why I really like watching the Tour de France. It has nothing to do with the sprint on the Champs-Elysees nor the cute guys in tights (well maybe they have a little to do with it). It’s those helicopter shots every so often where Phil, the announcer, tells you about some old Chateau or the history of the town the riders are passing through, or the local farmers have carved a pattern into their field congratulating the arrival of the tour. The country part of this country is freakin’ beautiful, and really, really old.

Dijon station was nothing special, and I stayed put with my luggage this time, but I did have to wait an extra 30 minutes or so due to train delay. Luckily, when I called my bike tour organizers, they offered to pick me up at the station. I was greeted by Sarah, a Canadian with two kids who’s been living here for the last 22 years (you can see her picture and her husband’s on the detours-in-france website). I could tell she was not French the moment she said hello. I could also tell by looking at her that she was a passionate bike rider. We drove to the hotel and I was given the rundown of my three-day self-guided tour, complete with maps, directions, voucher for wine tasting lunch, and a purple Gitane hybrid bike. Sarah assured me that the darkish thick clouds probably did not indicate rain – we are in a micro-climate within a micro-climate – she said. If you read about wine from the Burgundy region where Beaune is located, that is the part of the magic.

Typical buildings and streets in Beaune

Equipped with knowledge, gear, and an urge to stay awake for a reasonable amount of time, I set off on a walking tour of Beaune. I learned that Beaune has an intact rampart wall surrounding it and that it wasn’t all about protection of the town. It was as much about protection of the money and reputation. Since wine from Beaune, from very early on (did you know that winemaking has been going on here for almost 2000 years?) was sold at a premium, the duke at the time the wall was built (14th-15th century or so) wanted to guarantee it’s quality by carefully guarding and taxing the grapes coming in and the barrels going out. I won’t bore you with a crash course on Beaune’s history, but the as for these walls, they are among the few still standing after the French revolution due to the tenacity of the city’s winemakers who bought them at auction after the revolutionaries took over city property and buildings throughout the country. Wine makers still own each of the bastions and towers of the walls due to their perfect cellar-like conditions.

Powder tower on the ramparts of Beaune

Schoolyard play area near Beaune ramparts

The rest of the very small city of Beaune reminds me in some ways of other old French towns with modern shops and restaurants tucked into medieval houses and structures, old and amazing churches and other historically interesting buildings, squares and monuments.

Town square, Place Cardot

Old bell tower in Beaune

The centerpiece of the town is the Hostel Dieu or Hospice of Beaune (my best photo of was featured in the banner of the blog, but since that is changing, here is a link). A former hospital for the poor, built in 1443, it is a master work of Burgundian architecture, with slate tiled roof with colored tiles and spires reaching for the sky, and perfectly conserved inside and out. There is also housed in it an extraordinary painting, a ‘polyptic’ (with multiple panels), the Last Judgment by Roger Van der Wyden.

Dinner last night was at a traditional Burgundian restaurant called le Gourmandin. I was exhausted, but I had to have my escargot! It goes without saying j’ai dormi comme une roche (go look that one up, though I expect this English expression has a more colorful equivalent in French).