On the way back home from Reims, we decided to stay in Dijon overnight. It was a Sunday so most shops are closed, but it’s still definitely worth a stopover.
We are more familiar with Dijon as another popular kind of mustard, thanks to Maille! Yet, Dijon is also one of the most appealing cities in France. This city is filled with refine Capetian, Gothic and Renaissance buildings, primarily because Dijon was the capital of the Dukes of Burgundy, which were powerful and influential during the 14th and 15th centuries. On top of that, these historical buildings were also kept intact and not heavily damaged during the world war. So it’s wonderful for strolling, while again for us, enjoying excellent French food and fine Burgundy wines!
From afar, we passed by Porte Guillaume at Place Garcy. Built in the late 18th century on the site of an old medieval door wall, it was initially constructed as a memorial to the Prince of Conde, governor of Burgundy. During the French Revolution, the gate took the name of Porte de la Liberté, then later on it was named after St. William of Volpiano, an Italian monastic reformer and architect who served most of his life as an abbot in Dijon.
As we expected, the oldest Maille mustard shop was closed on that day. At present, there are only 3 Maille boutiques in the world and this is one of them. The rest are in Paris and London. I heard about the fancy porcelain pumps used for dispensing mustard into earthenware jars. Because of that, it piqued my interest to visit this store; unfortunately the store’s not opened when we’re in Dijon.
Actually here in Europe, in general, Sunday’s really no good as a day for shopping. You can find very few though, like this little store selling mustards, cheeses, chocolates and other French delights. Somehow it made me glad because I was able to buy artisanal mustards in Dijon.
“And Maille? We easily buy them at the supermarket anyway,” my hubby convinced me. Well then…
Around Dijon’s city hall are majestic chateaus and here you find the Palais Ducal (Duke’s Palace) and Palais des Etats de Bourgogne (Burgundy Palace).
Since there was no other option that day, we ended up having dinner at our hotel’s restaurant. Well, it turned out pretty good anyway – I was happy with my first taste of beef bourguignon, sips of delectable Burgundy wine and cheese platter delights.