Exploring Burgundy: A weekend getaway to Lyon
The South of France is one of the most popular destinations for holiday makers during the summer months. While many people choose to fly to Nice Airport, others enjoy making their way down by car.
Lyon is the perfect place for an overnight stop for those driving from Britain, but it is also a wonderful weekend destination. There is plenty to explore within the city and some of the most famous vineyards in the world are only a short distance away.
After visiting Bordeaux during last year’s harvest, I was keen to experience the Burgundy region and decided that a trip to Lyon and the surrounding area would be a lovely pre-summer holiday.
There are few places that can rival France when it comes to a wine getaway and the country also allows you to combine a city and rural break, thanks to the close proximity of the rolling rows of vines to some of the major cities.
The best part of Lyon is the old town area that is located a short walk away from the Hotel Carlton Lyon. It hosts plenty of original wine bars and traditional French restaurants within an area of pretty French streets. The hotel also maintains a sense of tradition, despite having been entirely refurbished only a couple of years ago.
A rich red theme is prevalent throughout the property and instantly creates a sense of lavishness with features such as the old fashioned lift providing individuality. There are also plenty of contemporary touches and the beds in particular are incredibly comfortable, which means you are guaranteed a deep sleep despite being located right in the heart of a vibrant city.
The Carlton Lyon provides visitors to the city with a great base and many of the main tourist attractions are near to this hotel. While you can begin your evening with a drink in the residents bar by sampling the signature cocktail known as Rouge Carlton, a visit to the old town is vital while you are staying in Lyon and it is within easy walking of this particular venue.
While there are many restaurants that boast excellent local cuisine and even better local wine, the Restaurant La Nef des Fous is particularly notable. The distinctive décor, which includes a fish tank in the form of a bath, is complemented by an extensive wine list and a menu packed full of French favourites.
If you are only popping into Lyon for a quick overnight stop then this is the way to spend your stay. However, for those who want to base themselves in the city for an entire weekend, a hire car is worthwhile for a day trip when exploring Burgundy and visiting Beaune in particular.
Beaune is a very enchanting and calm place. It is considered to be the wine capital of Burgundy and it is only about an hour and a half away from Lyon. The best plan of action is to set off in the morning and take a detour through some of the renowned wine producers. Driving through Puligny Montrachet is a must and you can enjoy tasting various vintages at Le Montrachet.
Within Beaune there are plenty of pretty restaurants and cafes that offer great food and most of these have terraces or overlook a square. You should certainly make the most of trying different styles of wine and I discovered a new favourite that is produced in the commune of Saint-Aubin in Côte de Beaune of Burgundy.
Beaune is also definitely a place to go shopping, especially if you enjoy collecting chic accessories for your home. Magnificent decanters, playful corkscrews and striking paintings are aplenty with Boutique Addict also offering some incredible French fashion designs.
On your return to Lyon you will notice the lively atmosphere and find the ambiance invigorating. The contrast is welcome and adds extra variety to a weekend away.
Lyon is a great place to visit for exploring Burgundy. After all, there are few places where you can combine the best of city life with countryside delights all within the same day, with the added advantages of outstanding wine and similarly impressive cuisine.
The Hotel Carlon Lyon is part of the MGallery Collection and more information can be found here: http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-2950-hotel-carlton-lyon-mgallery-collection/index.shtml Reservations can also be made by telephoning (+33) 4 / 78425651 Read more about La Nef Des Fous here: http://www.la-nef-des-fous.com/