ABC News On Campus roving reporter Nana Duffuor blogs: As a Duke University junior spending the semester abroad in Paris, rarely do I find myself short of things to do. One of the many benefits of living in the City of Light is the easy access to many of France’s lesser known, but equally impressive regions. For those looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Paris, a trip to Burgundy, or, as the French would say, Bourgogne, is the perfect weekend getaway. The region is filled with scenic views of sprawling countryside and green vineyards, awe-inspiring monasteries, and some of the best wine and beef bourguignon in all of France. Burgundy is the perfect place to have the archetypal French experience combining relaxation, great views, and superior food and wine.
There’s plenty to do and see in this culturally rich region, but if you’re only visiting for a short period of time, here are some stops that are worth your while. WHERE TO EAT:
(For Lunch) Piqu’Boeuf in Beaune
Beaune is a picturesque commune in Burgundy with winding cobblestone streets and charming restaurants. Start with a traditional meal at one of Beaune’s many restaurants or boulangeries. Meals can be a bit pricey in Beaune, but Piqu’Boeuf, a cozy restaurant grill, offers a hearty lunch and an extensive selection of local wines at reasonable prices. Enjoy an entree and the plat du jour for just 11 euros, and order a bottle of wine made in Beaune or nearby Cote de Nuits to share with friends. Auberge de la Coquille in Vezelay
For a three- or four-course meal starting at about $18, visit Auberge de la Coquille, a cozy restaurant in Vezelay which boasts attentive service and a meal that’s sure to please. You can’t leave Burgundy without trying the beef bourguignon, and here is the perfect place to do it. Served with tasty entrees, delicious desserts like apple tart and pear cake, and local wines, this is a great place to wind down and enjoy dinner in a congenial atmosphere. Worth noting: Burgundy is also famous for its mustard. Be sure to ask for some with your meal. Even if you’re not a fan of the yellow condiment, you’ll likely have a change of heart. SIGHTS TO SEE:
While in Beaune, stop by Hotel-Dieu, a hospital preserved from the Middle Ages. The hospice was built in 1443 to care for the poor in the wake of the Hundred Years’ War and showcases classic medieval architecture. The courtyard showcases the hospital’s tiled rooftops, a very popular image of tourism in Burgundy. Visitors can explore the Salle des Povres, the room that once housed dozens of sick patients; visit the Hotel-Dieu’s chapel; and marvel at the 16th century tapestries, all housed at this cultural landmark. Wine Tour and Tasting
Enjoy an afternoon of exploring some of the region’s finest wines. Stop by Patriarche Pere et Fils for some wine tasting and a tour of Beaune’s largest wine cave. The cave holds several million bottles and includes vintage wines dating back to 1904. Take a one-hour tour and tasting for about $13. Abbaye de Fontenaye
This breathtaking monastery was founded in 1118 and now remains almost exactly as it did then. Visit during the early afternoon when the sunlight fills the Romanesque church and highlights the beautiful archways. Here, you can visit the Virgin of Fontenay statue. The architecture and style of the abbey is a testament to the monastic vows of poverty and solitude. Its open and spacious, unadorned rooms offer a unique and understated beauty.