Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

On the Road to Lyon; Bryan Pirolli Takes a Trip through Wine Country to France's Culinary Capital

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

On the Road to Lyon; Bryan Pirolli Takes a Trip through Wine Country to France's Culinary Capital

Article excerpt

Byline: Bryan Piroll

When ferrying from the UK to France, it's tempting to stay close to the Channel, to coast through Normandy or hook west to Brittany. The joy of driving off the ferry at Calais or Dunkirk, however, is that all of France is just hours away. So why not consider heading south to discover Lyon, the city that claims French culinary supremacy? Overlooked by big sister Paris, Lyon has its fair share of culture, charm, and leisurely waterfront promenades. Getting there from the ferry port is easy, and numerous stops along the way can break up the journey.

So many champagne cellars, so little time Skip any temptation to stop in Paris or Lille and head first for Reims. This city, synonymous with champagne, is famously where the kings of France were crowned. Today its cathedral still soars over the skyline, despite nearly facing doom during the First World War.

After a quick dose of history, be sure to take a tour of one of the champagne houses for a bit of bubbly, and walk away with a bottle (or case) as a souvenir. Visits of major houses such as Pomeroy and Veuve Clicquot are best reserved in advance to book an English guide.

A taste of Burgundy A few hours south will lead you through the Burgundy region, also famous for its coveted wines. Get a dose of provincial charm in tiny Beaune with its fantastic medieval hospital, the Hospices de Beaune. Dating from the 15th century, this stunning complex is speckled with coloured tiles across its rooftops.

As part of the Burgundy region, a wine tasting or two in one of its many vaulted cellars is de rigueur. Or instead, pair a glass with the region's signature dish, boeuf bourguignon, which has been revisited by chefs such as Escoffier in France and Julia Child in the US over the centuries.

Weighted down with a boot full of bottles, continue to Lyon. …

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