France; Uzes to Dijon

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Only 20 minutes walk from town, our Italian-style hotel le Saint Genies in Uzes, was absolutely stunning, apart from the grumpy owner!. It was so nice to relax by the pool before exploring the town late afternoon. We hit an international cycle race en route which was fun as was the fantastic live street music. I did expect a bit more though, as Peta Mathias raved about this town. I acquired an obsession with French doors so I actually managed to find a few nice shots here. I also found the most perfect Italian restaurant for dinner; Le Zanelli.  It was gorgeous and hidden behind the church and main square. They opened at 715pm so after an obligatory aperol spritz we arrived early and were surprised by a big queue. GULP. There was no way I was not eating here, so I quickly eased my way in politely and  everyone got a table in the courtyard. It was full within 5 mins. I ate an eggplant involtorni and it was to die for and hubby had the veal saltimbocca. Our wine was sensational as was the service and it was great for people-watching.

We arrived in beautiful Lyon on a Monday, so of course shops were shut along with the famous Les Halles market. Doh! That was our lunch venue. Fortunately we found this gorgeous outside cafe where we had the most amazing Caesar and Niçoise salads. Our hotel room at the Mercure was ready early too which was a bonus and it was excellent on all counts.

The old town was stunning and we hiked to the top of the hill to the Basilica and the view was to die for. There was an amazing fine dining restaurant there too and cool gift shop. We had a lovely dinner near the hotel and had yummy chicken liver salad and salami for starters and cooked our own main at a BBQ at our table. Novelty! Walking back we discovered some beautiful sights. It was magic.

Chalon-sur-Saone, a touristy barge stop was ok but nothing spesh really, surprisingly. It was very Strasbourg-like and old-fashioned. Hubby bought me a gold/white pair of Conversey-looking sneakers on sale so boom I guess it was worth a quick stop.

Beaune was adoringly beautiful and I was glad for a few days here. We loved it from the moment we arrived. We ditched the car at our fab Hotel Henry 11 and headed into town for lunch. I didn’t muck around as I knew instantly Café Le Monge was our lunch stop. It was sensational as was the wine and service. The espresso was served in the most stunning cup! It was so good and reasonable we returned the following night for dinner for snails, pizza and salad.

We did a side trip to Chablis which was a tiny village but adorable, pretty, and we bought a bottle of obligatory Chablis, bien sur! Vezelay was also a cute hilltop town also and I have never seen so many nuns at once outside Italy. We had a nice lunch at Auberge de la Coquille- thanks tripadvisor and I did a spot of shopping. Dinner back in Beaune was at La Grilladine. We had the fixed menu of three course and it was sensational, reasonable and service fantastic.

Sadly but excitedly we headed to Dijon; this was our last stop before departing from Paris. Dijon was lovely and our hotel was fantastic Shopping here was fantastic and we also purchased about 8 wee jars of  different flavoured French mustards and nougats. Our hotel Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge was amazing. We so enjoyed being car-less and just exploring everything on foot. It was a nice mix of old and new. Dinner at Marco Polo on our last night was just fab. It was close to the hotel in a hidden area. Food was amazing and we finished off with a special French Coffee. Sante!

We TGV’ed it back to Paris on our journey home and that was a nice finish to our sensational trip. I hope you’re enjoyed my posts as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you. I was a bit over zealous with the photos but couldn’t bear you to miss out on the experience. Next week back to the lovely Wellington restaurants. Au revoir.

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