Sunday, 22 May 2011

La Bourgogne an incredible landscape and a remarkable hotel

In April I drove back down memory lane across the Bourgogne in central France.  It was one of those unexpected days.  I had no plans to be there but was and it was wonderful.  The fields were full of colourful rape seed and the countryside lay out in front of me like a regulated carpet.  I could not believe the intensity of the landscape and the depth of my feelings.  The yellows and greens in the brilliant sunshine were without parallel.  France has it all.

  I had been here 20 years before drilling an unsuccessful exploratory oil well.  On the edge of the Champagne district.  And here I was again driving thorough visiting my old haunts and reliving how beautiful and rich this part of France is.  It is a paradise of agriculture and alcohol and when I was here in in 1989 they were celebrating 200 years of Republic.  I stopped at the Champagne hotel and the Maitre D agreed with me that it is paradise but it is a tough time in France.  Delivering the promise is no longer guaranteed. 

The night before I stayed in the Grand Hotel Terminus Reine in Chaumont.  It was one of those places you visit that is unforgettable.  For two reasons.  The owner was a hunter and in the middle of all the richness of decor and flowers and leopard skin upholstery there were these fabulous animal heads protruding everywhere from the walls and from all over the world. When I went upstairs it was completely transformed with bold colours, blue walls and orange doors and fabulous wall art.  And why?  Because this is the town that hosts the world poster competition - of course why didn't I know.

Grand Hotel Terminus Reine Chaumont - Heads and posters

Grand Hotel - Leopard skin furniture and stuffed pig

Room 64

Bourbon Stairwell

Rape Seed and Pylons

La Bourgogne at it's best - amazing empty roads and vistas

Country Roads

Maitre D Champagne Hotel - Would only serve a 5 course meal at 3 in the afternoon - where else?