Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This morning we said goodbye to the Loire Valley and hello to the Burgundy wine country. Our hotel for two nights in the outskirts of Beaune will be Château de Challanges www.chateaudechallanges.com. We agreed with Millie that our travel time would be around 3-1/2 hours for the 400 kilometers/240 miles, set the course, topped of the tank, and headed out. At the halfway mark we stopped in the small village of Courtenay for lunch. We tried two restaurants in the village square, but both were finished serving, so we ended up at Restaurant La Gaîeté, which turned out to be a delightful twist of fate. We met and chatted with the cordial chef/owner Charles Meneec. Charles delighted in telling us that Gaîeté has been a restaurant since 1922, and that his grandfather bought the restaurant in 1944. His granddad, a GI, came rolling through the village in either a big truck or tank, met his grandmother, and got married. Charles also owns two Harley’s, a yellow 1991 and a white 1973 model, and is an avid rider around the countryside. He also has a 40 kilo dog named Vodka (equivalent to about 10 Lucys!) Lunch was excellent, Charles a wonderful host, and the experience tops. We took photos, said our goodbye and got back on the road to our hotel.
We arrived at the chateau late in the afternoon, unpacked and got ready to go out for dinner. The hotel is a charming 19th century chateau, a bit tired, but oozing charm and character. It sits on extensive grounds just a few kilometers east of Beaune near the golfing suburb of Levernois. The charming young lady who welcomed us recommended a restaurant in Beaune, La Part des Anges – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for dinner. We had a lovely dinner at La Part despite a small hiccup with a bottle of Meursault that was “off” and undrinkable. We strolled through Beaune, had an after dinner drink, and headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep after a long day.