Witnessing the wine harvest is a must for any real wine lover. Here at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge we won't force you into the fields to pick any grapes, but book accommodation for the Burgundy grape harvest with us with us, and whether you're watching the pickers from our terrace, or of walking in the vines, we guarantee you'll experience the true nature of this important annual event first hand.Read More
It is with a huge amount of pleasure and just a healthy portion of pride that I can announce that The Hungry Cyclist Lodge, is open. A comfortable corner of the world from where you can enjoy the very best, food, wine and cycling in Burgundy.Read More
There is something optimistic about eating salad at the end of February. The days are noticeably longer, furry buds gather on fruit trees and a salad feels like an early taste of the balmy days to come. In the garden at this time of year only a few proud towers of sprouts remain. After the heavy frosts the mini cabbages that cling to the stalks are extra sweet and even more so when braised with some smoked pork rib.Read More
Walking in Burgundy in the winter you have to take care. From September to February when the temperature descends and the days shorten, Burgundian men like nothing more than to get together, drink plenty of wine, eat well and hunt wild boar.Read More
Hardy plants, branches, watering cans, forgotten garden tools. Nothing is sparred from the sharp crystals of frost that cling to everything. The clear night sky makes way to the bluish hue of morning. A few hungry birds chatter in the bitter cold and heavy blanket of white cold is revealed.Read More
The local classic that the region puts its name to is of course 'Boeuf Bourguignon'. First mentioned in cookbooks in 1903, by chef Auguste Escoffier, whose decedents still live in Beaune, it is likely this hearty, wine-soaked dish has it roots much deeper in regional history.Read More
Every year on the third weekend in January, a Burgundian wine-making village welcomes the La Saint Vincent Tournante, one of the most historic bacchanalian festivals of the world. Organised by the famous Brotherhood of the Knights of Tastevin, La Saint Vincent Tournante, embodies the spirit of wine making in Burgundy.Read More
We have plenty of tarragon here in the garden at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge and what isn't used to infuse vinegar is eaten in salads. Beetroot also grow well and provide a good burst of colour in the depths of winter.Read More
This culinary tool kit of ingredients make up the famed French dish Choucroute (cooked cabbage). A Sunday lunch special in these cold winter months it hails from the proud mountain region of the Alscase. In this corner of France the pig is king and every morcel is utilised.Read More
Winter in Burgundy is a time of heavy hearty food. There is plenty to do in the garden stripping ivy, cutting logs and digging beds and what energy isn't used on work is burnt trying to keep warm. While I hope the mill will be cool in the summer, at this time of year it is freezing cold. A fire in the evening and plenty of woollen layers help but coming in at noon it is a hard earned lunch that warms the soul.Read More
We don't much go for the endive in England. The spear-shaped member of the chicory family perhaps getting over shadowed by the air-puffed bags of salad that stuff our shelves. The French however can't get enough of this bitter cluster of crunchy leaves . A native of Belgium, unlike most salads the endive can be grown all year round, including throughout the winter.Read More
I ate the last courgettes from my garden last night. Lovingly wrapped in newspaper, and lined up like nuclear warheads, they were delicious and a fond memory of late summer. My first year in the vegetable garden here at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge has been a success.Read More
Whoever discovered you could eat an artichoke? So well defended is the artichoke it’s baffling to imagine how we humans ever discovered they were edible. These armour-plated member of the thistle family look more suited to a medieval torture chamber than our dinner plates, yet get beyond their aggressive exterior pleasure await.Read More
On any Hungry Cyclist cycling holiday excellent food is guaranteed. Whether you are dinning in Michelin starred restaurants, tasting cheese and truffles at a local market or eating amongst the locals in a popular café, I make sure my guests get to enjoy the very best cuisine Burgundy has to offer.Read More
Celeriac is not a pretty vegetable. Resembling the shruken-heads of some jungle tribe, they sit a little neglected on the green grocers shelves in England. Many customers are either put off by their unaesthetic appearance while others are just baffled with what to do with this chunky pale root. But ignore the celeriac at your peril because under its ugly surface lurks a flesh that is crispy when raw, silky smooth when cooked and that has a delicate taste which suggests the flavours of celery of which brows above ground if allowed.Read More
The summer is over. The evening light now hangs low over tight bunches of grapes and leaves rustle and whisper against a cool wind that will soon be their downfall. Wine makers wear their heavier clothes, last seen in April, and the faint odour of burning wood is just recognisable in the dampening evening air.Read More
Short days. long nights, deep mists and damp air. Winter in Burgundy has its downsides but one of the benefits of the arrival of this new season is the abundance of good shellfish at the local market in Beaune.Read More
After a glorious morning cycling in Burgundy, you arrive at your picnic spot and it's time for lunch. A rug is laid out on the ground, crusty bread is cut and the cork is pulled from an excellent bottle of wine. In the shade of of a tree you rest the legs, enjoy the view and refuel on healthy salads and local produce.
The best cycling picnics are made from the best seasonal ingredients and are prepared in minutes. In the late summer in Burgundy succulent figs hang on their branches and it is a crime not to enjoy them. These jammy-sweet sacks of goodness, pair perfectly with a well -aged Comte from the mountains of the Jura, that lie to the east of Burgundy.
Good Comté should have a nutty flavor, which becomes more pronounced the older it gets. Most Comtés are sold having been aged a minimum of four months, and those that fall between six and twelve months have a milkier, creamier flavour than the older, slightly dried cheeses. For this salad I like to use a cheese that has been aged for at least eighteen months. It breaks up easily and the nutty 'twang' of the cheese pairs with the super-sweet flavour of the figs and the salt of the ham.
- Four ripe figs.
- 200g of 18 month aged Comte.
- Eight thin slices of local cured ham.
- Bag of mixed salad leaves.
- Olive oil, lemon juice and chardonnay wine vinegar.
1. Add the salad leaves to a shallow bowl. Add a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a cap full of vinegar and turn through with your hands,
2. Cut the figs into quarters and place on top of the salad.
3. Loosely tear up the ham in your fingers and add to the salad, making sure to discard any chewy pieces of rind.
4. With a sharp knife whittle away at the cheese so that thin slices fall over the salad.
Another cycling tour here in Burgundy and this week I am lucky enough to have a couple of vegans cycling and tasting wine with me. On first inspection the Burgundian regime might not be the first choice for our animal-loving friends but one thing Burgundians do get right is growing first-class produce.Read More