How about a pleasant little escape to the Burgundy countryside in eastern France? As it happens, I have discovered a lovely retreat tucked among all of those appealing Burgundian villages – like Beaune and Vézelay – and delightfully immersed among those many teeming vineyards you discover in one of France’s most famous wine regions.
So, come along to our destination – Les Ursulines, a 17th Century convent-turned-hotel in the village of Autun. With a 4-star rating and 43 rooms, you can expect real French hospitality as well as a gourmet restaurant. To situate you, Autun is just 20 to 25 miles west of Beaune and Chalon-sur-Saône, so the ‘convent’ offers a central location.
If you’ve travelled much in France, you know that a feast awaits you around every bend in the road. A feast, that is, of history, culture, cuisine, markets and scenic vistas. You will not be disappointed with Les Ursulines or its environs.
The hotel overlooks the old Roman ramparts of the village with a rather beautiful view of the Morvan mountains and within walking destination to lovely local sights. Ask for an air-conditioned room looking over sheep-grazing hills, and your old worries will begin to melt away.
Several excellent restaurants are within walking distance and, naturally, you cannot miss the Cathedral Saint-Lazare or the mix of enchanting architecture and two Roman gates. Wander along the narrow, medieval streets until you come across a crêperie or patisserie, so you can enjoy the fresh, local cuisine.
That’s just a tiny taste of the treasures that await you in this eastern area of France. So, begin your “homework” and plan enough time to enjoy the forests, vineyards and sprawling scenic countryside for which Burgundy is known.
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