A FoodFamily trip to Switzerland and France … (Part 2)

Switzerland France

…and as promised, here the story of our recent FoodFamily vacation continues. Inspired by what we had heard about Burgundy from our friends, and given that it was only a couples of hours away, we decided to head off in that direction and spend the next 2-3 days there. A nice plan, especially given that we had left the kids in the safe hands of my mother and Heinz in Walchwil a couple of days ago!

Day 5 – Beaune

Already on the way to Beaune, we realized we were quite unprepared… but thanks to our smartphones we had at least booked a nice central hotel by the time we arrived, and selected a shortlist of potential restaurants for dinner. Yes, whilst other people are probably consulting  on travel guides for culture and sight-seeing tips, our first online destination was the Michelin guide website 😉 But still, we had enough time for a nice walk around the beautiful city of Beaune. We admired the famous “Hospice de Beaune” and beautiful gothic architecture of the old town, before having lunch in the sun. Later we went to a wine cellar to taste some wines of the region. The Beaune region is main known for its red wines, and Pinot Noir is the main grape. But we also tasted some nice white wines (Chardonnay) – not bad either. abbaye de maizièreWe realized that we should have made a little detour in the morning to stop close to Macon to buy some Puilly Fuissé, but that happens when you travel without a plan… And regarding the wines – I definitely learned a bit about the wines of Burgundy, but Marc (who we visited the night before) is a true expert and has courageously offered to write a post. So I will remind him of that and hopefully you get to read it soon.

For the evening, we had made a reservation in the quite new restaurant “Table de Cédric Burtin”, where we enjoyed a great french menu with a creative twist in a fantastic atmosphere – definitely a place to recommend.

Day 6 – Truffles, Dijon and Mulhouse

We woke up and realized that the good weather was gone. It was pouring with rain. We had planned to take the “Route des Grand Crus” towards Dijon and stop at some vineyards for wine-tasting and took off towards Nuits-Saint-Georges. As it wasn’t really peak season any more and due to the weather, the villages were all quite deserted. We didn’t really know where to stop and followed the route from one village to the other. At one stage, we took a turn and ended up in the middle of the vineyard. A bit frustrated by our own plan-less-ness and the fog around us, we continued the road trough the mud and suddenly saw a small sign “Truffles”. boutique or des valoisIt didn’t need a lot to convince us to follow the sign and the road got smaller and rougher as we went. Suddenly, a huge castle appeared in front of us – it looked quite deserted. But yes, there was the Truffles sign again, pointing towards a small (and open!) door. I must say that this was our highlight in Burgundy! Even though we were a few minutes too late to join a group who had left to search for truffles with the dogs of the Chateau (next time!), we had the pleasure to get an introduction to truffles, the shop’s broad range of truffle products and also to taste some of their products. We carefully chose two of the black truffles and I was very curious to hear about the price when the shop owner put them on the scale. 70g…. and we paid – 22€! We left with our vacuumed truffles – happy one the one hand, but also a bit suspicious, because we had expected a much higher price. We kept our treasure safe and cool in the glove compartment and were looking forward to taste them when back at  my mother’s place the next day. But if you ever get to Burgundy, make sure to visit the Chateau d’Entre-deux-Monts for truffle hunting and some shopping! And if you are interested in more details and information about Truffles, I can only recommend you to read the blogpost from Juliane from “Schöner Tag noch!”– she has just written about her visit of the Truffle Fair in Alba including a lot of useful information (e.g. how do you check the quality and freshness of a Truffle).

We continued straight to Dijon, and had lunch (the sun had reappeared) with a nice glass of wine. Had a walk around town (bought some mustard, of course) and decided to drive on to Mulhouse to have a shorter trip back to Zug the next day.

Quite routined ad ad-hoc travel planning by then, I went straight online when we were in the car and searched for restaurants and hotel. I found a last-minute offer for a small Boutique Hotel called Peonia at Home which sounded very charming and was not far from the city center of Mulhouse. We followed the GPS and found ourselves in front of an impressive Villa in a residential area. Soon, the owner Tony opened the door and welcomed us. peonia at homeWhat a nice place! Owned by Tony (who also works as an architect from there) and his wife Andrea, who had spent the last 10 years renovating the villa step by step and since 1 1/2 years, after their kids had moved out, they turned 5 rooms into large, luxurious and very beautiful suites, a different theme and design each of them. We really felt at home, enjoyed the good and personal service (and dinner recommendations). In the evening, we walked into town and immediately decided that we have to come back with more time. A beautiful city, lots of small restaurants and many nice-looking shops. We had a good french dinner and slowly walked back to the hotel.

Day 7 – Impressive breakfast… and Truffles for Dinner (Walchwil)

We slept very well in our nice hotel room and woke up to enjoy a great  breakfast the next morning. We were invited to share their beautifully decorated dining table with the other hotel guests and enjoyed a 100% home-made breakfast, including fresh yoghurt, Brioche, fruit salad, 6 different jams and a delicious Alsatian Gugelhupf. A day cannot start better!

culinary souvenirsLast stop in France was a Carrefour store, where we spent a good hour strolling through the aisles, buying French delicacies and all we would need for a good dinner with my mother, Heinz and the kids in the evening. Of course we had the truffles which we were planning to eat with fresh pasta, but couldn’t resist to buy some foie gras, a selection cheeses and fondant au chocolat for dessert. Some good wine, not to forget Cremant d’Alsace… and off we went. Thank god no check at the border to Switzerland 😉

In the afternoon, we were back – as nice as it was to spend a few days without the kids, it was great to see them again. We revealed our treasures from the trip and soon started to prepare the dinner. And it was great! My biggest relief was that the truffles were really good. Fresh, aromatic, firm, I could tick all the boxes of the quality “checklist” from Juliane :). The recipe for the pasta dish will follow in a separate post, so stay tuned.

Days 8 & 9 – Food, Family and Friends

The coming two days were easy-going. We stayed in Walchwil, enjoyed the great weather (whilst it had been raining continuously back home in Copenhagen for the past days) and spent time with some old friends who came and visited us. More food of course – a “simple” (don’t believe it) BBQ, Apple Cake, cheese from France… I was so used to great food by then that I even forgot to take pictures!

But I must admit – after 10 days of true FoodFamily vacation, even I am saturated! We came home to Copenhagen determined to stick with soup and tea for dinner… and we stuck to it, at least for a few days!

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