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Report 766: French Culinary Celebration

By Eurogirl from New York City, Spring 2005

Trip Description: May 27 to June 6, 2005. We embarked on a nine-night, land-based sojourn featuring as much coq au vin, escargots à la Bourguignonne and bottles of Beaujolais as we could afford. Since we’ve been to Paris numerous times, my husband proposed that we kick off the festivities in food-loving Lyon in the Rhône Valley, and then continue to Dijon, to live it up in the heart of Burgundy. I tacked on three nights in choucroute-laden Strasbourg, Alsace, for good measure.

Destinations: Countries - France; Regions/Cities - Alsace, Burgundy, Rhone-Alpes

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Art Trip; Day Tours; Foodie Trip; Opera; Shopping; Sightseeing; Wine Trip; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 4: Introduction

Approaching my birthday, I shared with my husband my dream of celebrating in France, with a spare-no-calories gastronomic fête. Perhaps a culinary package tour, or luxury barge cruise? But when it came time to plan such an indulgence, my inner French housewife’s insistence on "un bon marché" got the better of me—not to mention the thrifty Scot encoded in my DNA.

So we devised our own best-value birthday tour; we’d embark on a nine-night, land-based sojourn featuring as much coq au vin, escargots à la Bourguignonne and bottles of Beaujolais as we could afford. Since we’ve been to Paris numerous times, my husband proposed that we kick off the festivities in food-loving Lyon in the Rhône Valley, and then continue to Dijon, to live it up in the heart of Burgundy. I tacked on three nights in choucroute-laden Strasbourg, Alsace, for good measure.

With the dollar shrinking, we looked for ways to pare our expenses. We reserved moderately priced, centrally located small hotels, with two or three stars. (Who needs a minibar in wine-drenched Burgundy, anyway?) For train travel among our trio of culinary centers, we bought a four-day France SaverPass from Rail Europe, which would allow day trips through the vine-covered countryside, to Beaune and Colmar. As a splurge, we arranged two semi-private wine experiences in Burgundy, plus a van tour of Alsace’s famed Route des Vins.

Other items on our itinerary included an afternoon performance at Jean Nouvel’s strikingly restored Lyon Opera House, and a visit to the Lumière Institute (a mecca for movie fans). And of course, we hoped to experience a full complement of eateries, from the legendary bouchons of Lyon, to the half-timbered winstubs of Alsace. Here are the results of our journey.

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