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Wine adventure in Janine Marsh traces the route of one of the most popular films ever made in France – to Beaune, wine country extraordinaire… BEAUNE If you’ve ever wondered where French people go on holiday in France, the simple answer is – all over the country, it’s got such a varied offering, there really is something to suit everyone. I can also tell you that many French people dream of visiting Beaune in Burgundy. For the wine, the glorious countryside, history and culture and for another reason that is largely unknown outside of France. Beaune stars in one of France’s most popular films: La Grande Vadrouille (vadrouille means to gad about or gallivant). It’s a comedy that follows the fortunes of some hapless British Airmen (including the moustachioed English actor Terry Thomas) dropped over Paris by parachute during World War II. They lose their way and are aided by a workman, the conductor of the Paris orchestra and a pretty Parisienne puppeteer. Eventually they escape to Burgundy where a nun from the famous Hospices de Beaune joins the gang. The film was released in 1966, and it’s said that the entire population of France over the age of 16 have watched it at least once! Trace the footsteps of the film’s stars in the Côte d’Or department, and enroute discover the most authentic, beautiful and delicious parts of Beaune and its surroundings. This is an unspoiled area, perfect for a road trip, where the folk are friendly, the food is fabulous and the wine is exquisite – and there are many surprises… The Petite Vadrouille I joined a Petite Vadrouille tour which kicked off at the Hospices de Beaune, the famous former hospital for the poor in the heart of the city. Founded in 1443, nursing was provided by nuns called the Hospitalier Soeurs de Beaune. The tour included an exquisite dinner in the King’s Room, originally a bedroom created for Louis XIV. He visited the Hospital in 1658, Hospices de Beaune © Joux Agence RPEvents 54 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 55
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