Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Lyon: The Culinary Capital of France?
Lyon is a fabulous city, well worth a visit on its own substantial merits, and easy to visit in combination with Burgundy or with a trip to the South of France from Paris. Thanks to la Maison de la France I had the delicious opportunity to visit Lyon and the Rhone Alpes region for three days this spring. I was reminded all over again what a delight this town is. Lyon is a city of engaging neighborhoods, characterful 'bouchons' full of piggy delights, a fabulous permanent food market named in honor of legendary Lyonnais chef Paul Bocuse, and, terrific marché volants. There are two well preserved Roman amphitheatres on the Fourviere Hill, both used for concerts, festivals and special events. There is a delightful Renaissance-era quarter. There are top bakers and chocolate makers. The house wines tend to be fruity beaujolais, from the nearby countryside. The city straddles the Rhone and Saone rivers with innumerable pretty bridges and broad quais to stroll. Add to this a palpable joie de vivre and a relaxed spirit that begins to hint of the French south, and you have a lovely city to explore and enjoy.