I have been following @thecooksatelier Instagram account since 2016. Through the magic of social media I felt a strong connection to this family and enjoyed experiencing a taste of daily life in Beaune, France with the beautiful images featured in each post. After reading the description of âA Day in Burgundy / Market Tour and Cooking Classâ on The Cookâs Atelier website ((289) 797-1927) I knew I had to go. So in January this year, I started making plans for a trip to Beaune, France.
The initial plan was for my husband to come with me, but due to work commitments he was unable to go. I didnât want to delay the trip because springtime seemed like an ideal time for a visit. As things worked out, my daughter, Sara, was able to join me. This turn of events was quite apropos considering that the Cookâs Atelier was founded by the mother-daughter team of American expats, Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini. So the mother-daughter duo from Texas prepared to meet the mother-daughter duo in Beaune.
Our trip was scheduled for mid-April. After all the planning (we even took a few French lessons), packing and anticipation, our departure day was finally here. We had a teeny scare about almost missing our flight, but once we boarded the rest of the flight went smoothly. When we arrived in Paris, the weather was perfectly cool and sunny with most days in the 60s-70s (a treat for us!). The first two days in Paris were exhausting, but exciting as this was Saraâs first trip to France.
Our very first night we toured the Eiffel Tower! Due to some good luck and a bit of planning we didnât have to wait in the dreaded long lines. A bit of champagne at the top and the gorgeous views helped draw us in to the enchantment of the city. It was a magical first evening in Paris!
The next day we went on a walking tour of Montmarte and then we explored the hip Canal St Martin neighborhood where our AirBnB apartment was located (and one of the loveliest boulangeries). Although our time in Paris was coming to a close, we felt ready to get out of the boisterous city and head to Beaune.
The excitement started to build the next morning when we took the train from Paris to Dijon. Upon arrival in Dijon, we learned that our train to Beaune had been cancelled (pesky train strikes!), but there was a later train that we could catch. Since we had a limited timeline, we opted to take a taxi to Beaune. It was a bit expensive, but at this point I wasnât planning to let anything stop us from getting to Beaune. We did get a discount on the taxi fare as Sara expertly negotiated a lower fare. The ride to Beaune was beautiful as we passed field after field of vivid yellow flowering Canola. Our taxi driver, Phillipe, was entertaining as we tried to converse without knowing much of each otherâs language. He insisted that we must try wine from the Chambolle-Musigny Village. He wrote it on a piece of paper along with a smiley face to make sure we understood.
When we arrived at our apartment in Beaune, we were instantly in love. The apartment was on a cobblestone street in a charming old stone building with a winding staircase. The apartment was spacious with all the comforts of home â even a washer and dryer. We settled in and then ventured out to explore Beaune. First on our list was to walk by The Cookâs Atelier. I will have to say when I first saw the storefront, it looked exactly like all the beautiful Instagram photos. This was a pinch me moment! It was hard to believe that we were actually standing there and seeing it in person. The Cookâs Atelier was closed for the evening so we enjoyed just peeking in the windows and seeing the gleaming copper pots, rows of wine and the Julia Child quote on the front door.
Sara and I had a lovely evening walking around Beaune and exploring up and down the cobblestone streets. After a while we had worked up an appetite and decided to eat dinner at a restaurant that our B&B hosts, Franck Germain and Laura Bradbury (more about Franck and Laura in an upcoming post) recommended. We were seated at a table by the open front window so we could enjoy people watching as we savored our first meal in Beaune. The food was simple, but good so we were delighted with our first evening.
That night I was so excited about the cooking school that I couldnât sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I wasnât even worried about the lack of sleep. The special day that I had been waiting for was finally here!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Part II in an upcoming post.
Have a wonderful weekend!