Abbaye de la Bussiere
In the heart of Bourgogne (Burgundy), Abbaye de la Bussière is an ideal base from where to discover and taste wines along the famous Route des Grands Crus wine trail. Just half an hour’s drive from Dijon, the luxury Relais & Chateaux hotel is also perfectly situated as an ideal stopping point on the road between London and the south of France. After driving 7+ hours from Valbonne on our way to the UK, we were ready for an evening of peace and tranquillity along with local wine, a great meal, and a comfortable bed.
Driving through the gates of Abbaye de la Bussière felt like entering into a 12th-century fairy tale filled with history and elegance. The hotel, once a Cistercian abbey, was founded in 1131 to establish a peaceful refuge for prayer, reflection, and work. With a respect for history and architecture, the abbey buildings have been restored along with the surrounding 17-acre park. Today, the abbey houses 20 remarkable bedrooms, the Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant, Le 1131, and Le Bistrot des Moines.
As the Abbaye de la Bussière was never intended as a hotel, the rooms and suites are each unique and somewhat different in style. All of the abbey rooms and have been designed individually to provide the greatest comfort and are decorated with ornate, antique woodwork and rich fabrics. The en-suite bathrooms have beautiful, modern fittings and whirlpool baths.
My wife and I stayed in a luxurious Standard Room (which was anything, but standard), with our dog, Pascal, who lived like a royal and was pampered throughout our stay by the accommodating staff. Pascal became fast friends with a local Bouvier Bernois and became noticeably upset when we forced him to leave the posh bedroom and lush, tranquil surroundings for another nine hours in the backseat of a car.
In our typical style, we booked the hotel last minute during the busy summer season, so we were lucky enough to find a room that would allow a small dog, but not a table at the prestigious, Michelin-starred restaurant Le 1131. We did however manage to get a table at the Bistro des Moines and opted to eat outside during a comfortable summer evening. The Bistro offered a reasonably priced Formula for dinner with an impressive wine list.
Our stay at Abbaye de la Bussièr was short, but it was the perfect, peaceful stay in the middle of a long road trip that made the drive so much more enjoyable. Next stop Epernay, exploring Champagne, and then onto Cambridge.