Having just got back from a cycling holiday in Burgundy I was extremely pleased I packed this well-written and informative guide.
Not only did Downie recommend superb places to eat in the towns we visited, but also gave us enough background into the food and wine of this beautiful region of France to be able to appreciate what we saw on our plates.
So enticing are the descriptions that we are keen to re-visit the region to visit towns that weren't on the itinerary this time around.
After a day's cycling we didn't want to eat in formal dining rooms. Those are described, of course, but so are the types of places we felt more comfortable last week - the grills and bistrots where you can find great charolais steak and good quality, good value local wines.
The author's style is authoritative and amusing - and for those who don't know what a "bobo" is, it is explained in the text...read on, and enjoy!
We used this very substantive guide to plan a week's trip to Burgundy and it served us very well. Author David Downie knows the region and provides very comprehensive information about the hotel and restaurant possibilities even in the smallest of villages. He provides a lot of information about the substance of wine and cuisine that makes a good meal more interesting (and maybe more tasty for the knowledge of how it comes together, who's in the kitchen, etc. We found that his recommendations for restaurants in the smaller villages were spot on. Downie steps lightly--appropriately so--when talking about wines; there are many, many good ones in Burgundy, but how they go down is often a function of individual taste. For example, we sampled three labels of Saint Romain at one dinner, and only one bottle pleased all four of us equally. That's a bit into the weeds of the matter, but I liked Downies measured approach.
The guide also has good info on historic places, local history and regional culture.
The only drawback to this guide--if there is one at all--is the peculiar narrow shape of the book which makes it a bit hard to read and leads to some creasing of the cover and spine. But given the content, this isn't much to complain about. This is a fine guide to one of France's most interesting regions. Recommandation--read through this guide before you travel to get the most out of it.
It seems Mr Downie scornfully disregards any cuisine other than classic Bourgogne fare. Heaven help you if you wish to serve "scallop carpaccio" or other non-indigenous stuff. And for Pete's sake, don't be a "bobo", whatever that is. Nevertheless, this book is obviously heavily researched and, apparently, fairly comprehensive. It certainly beats anything else I've seen on the subject of food and wine options in Burgundy. I'm sure I can overcome Mr Downie's prejudices and I look forward to testing the book out on my upcoming visit to the region. What the devil is a "bobo"?
Fascinating and full of detailed information about where to eat and sources for buying wine. This is well written , covers an area which we know well yet has information which is completely novel. I look forward to putting things into motion when we get there.
An excellent guide to the foods and wines of Burgundy, an area with which Downie and Harris must be intimately familiar. Read this first if you are thinking of visiting the region because it is an absolute must for any traveller there.