Gastronomic stay in Dijon

OUR TRIP: 2 days from 30 May to 1 June 2022

WHERE ? In Dijon, Côte d'Or

HOW TO GET THERE: From Paris, it takes 1h30 by train. The advantage of this option: the station is a 5-minute walk from the town centre.

WHEN TO GO? In spring all the gardens are in bloom and the vines are a brilliant green. In autumn, they take on the golden hues that gave the department its name.

WHY GO THERE? Whether you are a history or gastronomy buff, you are bound to find something to suit you in Dijon. The owl trail, the Cité de la Gastronomie et du Vin... everything you need to spend a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities!

ACCESSIBILITY : Find all our addresses on our map Mapstr !

A few days before the beginning of the summer we went to discover two regions we did not know, one in France and the other in Germany. 

Throughout the trip, we are accompanied by Kim (find her on her Instagram account @wheeliewanderlust) and Lorenz from Germany to share our vision of wheelchair travel.

For this first stage we stop in Dijon, capital of Burgundy Franche Comté. This is an opportunity for us to visit a city on a human scale with both a historical and gastronomic heritage!

A city steeped in history

You only need to walk a few metres in the centre of Dijon to be won over. Redeveloped a few years ago, it has been entirely pedestrianised to allow everyone to walk without risk. Wheelchair users can move around easily thanks to the smooth surface, and when there are still cobblestones, you can quickly find flat passages to avoid shaking!

Our tour begins in Darcy Park, where we find the famous statue of theBear created by the sculptor Pompon.

We continue by passing under the Porte Guillaume, erected in the 18th century in honour of the Dukes of Burgundy, marking the western entrance to the town. This is where the route of the Owl, the city's emblem, begins. If you look at the ground, you will not be able to miss these small golden triangles which will guide you through the centuries. The origin of this symbol comes from a statue in the shape of an owl carved on the north side of theNotre-Dame church which, according to legend, brings good luck if you touch it! As you walk past, look up to see the Jacquemart family. He and his wife strike the hours while their children strike the quarter hours!

Dijon is also home to many private mansions built over the centuries. Most of them are privately owned, but some have opened their doors for a closer look. This is the case of the 17th centuryHôtel de Vogüé, recognisable by its glazed tiles laid out like a mosaic.

Walk along the half-timbered houses of the Rue de la Liberté, the main axis of the town centre, to reach the Halles. It is the ideal place to shop on market days or simply to have a drink on one of the terraces. At its end, the Place de la Libération, a former royal square, highlights the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy and the Tower of Philippe le Bon. You won't be able to miss it, from the top of its 45 metres high, it overlooks the city!

Between the two, stop at the Place du Bareuzai. This is not its official name but the people of Dijon have renamed it this way because of the statue on the fountain. It represents a winegrower in white stockings crushing the grapes with his feet and obviously this activity is not done without tasks! This is how the winegrower's rosé stockings came to be known as Bareuzai. If you have children, they will be delighted to take a tour of the carousel dedicated to Gustave Eiffel. Although he was originally from Dijon, following a dispute with the elected officials of the time, none of his works were ever built in the region!

In the heart of the Dukes' Palace, the Fine Arts Museum first opened its doors at the end of the 18th century. No less than 1,500 works of art, exhibited in 50 rooms, tell the story of the city. The masterpiece is the tomb of the dukes, located in a huge room decorated with an extraordinary fireplace!

Gastronomy in the heart of the city

Dijon's specialities

Gastronomy is very important in Burgundy and Dijon is no exception. We discovered 3 specialities, one of which we did not expect!

Who among you has never seen a jar of Dijon mustard on the supermarket shelves? It's one of those condiments that gets up your nose in a few seconds if you take too much at once! 

Mustard appeared in the Middle Ages on the table of modest families to replace pepper. It was not until the 18th century that it arrived on the table of the richest people as a quality dish synonymous with wealth.

The only drawback is that Dijon mustard can be produced anywhere in the world because its name is not protected. This is why many mustard factories, including the Fallot mustard factoryThis is why a number of mustard factories, including Dijon, have joined forces to create Burgundy mustard. It is made using the traditional method of grinding the seeds on a stone millstone.

Crème de cassis is the second speciality of Dijon. Dijon's production of this berry is one of the most important in France. It is used in particular to prepare the Kir, 9cl of white wine and 1cl of crème de cassis. This cocktail owes its name to the mayor of Dijon, Félix Kir, who in the 1950s could not go a day without drinking one! Stop by the Duchy of Burgundy to taste one from one of the 4 Dijon houses: Lejay-Lagoute, L'Héritier-Guyot, Briottet and Gabriel Boudie!

The last speciality is gingerbread! We were convinced that it had arrived in France via Alsace. For more than 220 years the Mulot & Petitjean house has been the last to make this honey and spice based cake by hand. It comes in many forms, the best known being the plain cake that can weigh several kilos and the jam-filled nonnettes! A delight not to be missed!

The kingdom of wine

The quickest way to reach it from the city centre is through the Parc de l'Arquebuse. This unique place in France brings together a museum focused on biodiversity, a planetarium and a botanical garden. In the latter, there is a magnificent rose garden with more than 230 varieties!

We had the chance to discover the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin, which opened at the beginning of May. Built on the site of a former hospital, the different areas have been designed to bring together amateurs and enthusiasts.

The visit begins with an exhibition on the favourite dishes of the French and the 1204 centre which retraces the history of Dijon since the Middle Ages. The experience continues with theGastronomic Village , which includes a few carefully selected shops: butcher, fishmonger, mustard shop, market gardener, etc. A little further on, one of the courtyards houses the Sainte-Croix de Jérusalem chapel, built in 1459, the last vestige of the medieval hospital, which has been entirely restored for the occasion.

The highlight of the visit is certainly the Cave de la Cité. No less than 3000 references, including 300 Grands Crus, are available for tasting! The 5 wine regions of Burgundy (Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and Chablis) so don't deprive yourself! To taste nothing could be simpler: a prepaid card allows you to choose your wine and the desired quantity (between 3 and 12cl). Be careful not to make a mistake, the glass of certain Grands Crus are close to 160€...

Just before leaving, stop by the Comptoir de la Cité, one of the 3 restaurants of the Cité located under theFerrandi cooking school. Under the direction ofÉric Pras, 3 Michelin-starred chef of the restaurant Maison Lameloise, the great classics of Burgundian cuisine are revisited for your delight: snails, beef bourguignon, Gaston Gérard-style chicken... it's all there!

Wine is not only to be tasted in the Cité Gastronomique. There are many wine cellars in the city centre, including one that lives up to its name: La Source des Vins. We are welcomed in the cellar by Alain, a fine connoisseur, and Jean-Paul, a great wine lover who will act as translator for Kim and Lorenz. During nearly 2 hours, we are transported on the Burgundy wine road with a Marsannay, a Mâconnais and a Nuits-Saint-Georges. When you think of wine, you think of cheese! To accompany them, Alain has selected 3 cheeses: Cîteaux, Chambolle and Comté. This is an opportunity to combine the subtleties of each cheese with the wines to find the perfect match.

Hotel Océania Le Jura: Located between the city centre and the train station, this hotel offers all the services to have a good time. The breakfast is good and copious! Rates : from 95€ for a classic room. There are different categories. You have to call the reception(03 80 41 61 12) to book one of the PMR rooms. Accessibility: The common areas are well equipped for wheelchair users. The gym is not wheelchair accessible and the swimming pool does not have a system for getting into the water. The sleeping area of the PRM room is spacious, but the bathroom is not necessarily optimal. The bar next to the toilet is quite short and may prevent you from having enough support when transferring. The shower door is narrow and may not allow all wheelchairs to pass and there is no seat in the shower. You can ask the hotel for a seat on the terrace but if you are alone, the only way to place it properly is with your back to the shower column. Feel free to ask them for photos of the bathroom if you need to before booking.

Café Gourmand : On the Place de la Libération, there is no shortage of addresses, but it is the Café Gourmand that wins out. The dishes are delicious and the setting makes you want to enjoy the terrace for longer. Prices: from 8€ for starters and from 14€ for main courses. You can find their menu here. Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible, the toilets are also adapted.

Château Bourgogne : Although away from the city centre, this restaurant is nestled at the foot of the Mercure Dijon Centre Clémenceau hotel. In a warm setting, you can eat local and refined dishes. Not to be missed! Prices: from €12 for starters and from €26 for main courses. You can find their entire menu here. Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible. The PRM toilets are located on the 1st floor next to the meeting rooms. 

Le Comptoir de la Cité : Under the Ferrandi cooking school, come and taste dishes concocted under the direction of Éric Pras, 3 Michelin stars! Prices: 9€ for starters and 13€ for main courses. You can find their entire menu here. Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible. The PRM toilets are located at the entrance of the restaurant.

Brasserie des Loges : If you want to discover the Burgundian gastronomy, you will be served! Prices: from 7€ for starters and from 13€ for main courses. You can find their entire menu here. Accessibility: Entirely accessible by wheelchair, the toilets are also accessible.

Musée des Beaux-Arts : In the heart of the entirely renovated Dukes' Palace, browse through the various rooms to immerse yourself in Dijon's medieval past. Admission fees: Access to the permanent collection is free for all. Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible. Access to the different floors and toilets is by lift.

La Source des Vins : A caring team welcomes you to take you on a journey through Burgundy! Prices: from 15€ for 3 glasses of wine and 3 cheeses. Find here all the information to book your tasting. Accessibility: There is unfortunately a step to access the shop. Access to the cellar is via the lift in the adjoining building (there is also a step). The team will be happy to offer assistance to access the interior. On our advice, they should get a ramp.

Cité de la Gastronomie et du Vin : Freshly opened, stroll through this new place dedicated to gastronomy! Pleasure guaranteed! Prices: €13 per person to access all exhibition areas. Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible (toilets too).

Jardin de l'Arquebuse : Take a walk in this park to escape the city for a while. Accessibility: the park is fully wheelchair accessible.

This first stage in Dijon sets the tone for this Franco-German stay and it is with our taste buds awake that we take the train towards Landau in the Palatinate region! Read our article just here !

This trip was realized in collaboration with Atout France and theDijon tourist office. Find here other information on accessible places in Dijon.

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