Belmond barge cruises include transfers to and from Paris, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to strike out into the countryside. I never tire of driving along the back roads of France, and I find the sculpted landscapes of Burgundy especially appealing. Allées of poplars and plane trees give way to well-tended pastures and views to distant castles and compact villages. Burgundy’s most famous department, the Côte d’Or, is home to some of the world’s most coveted wines, and I currently recommend several hotels in the region. But Burgundy stretches far beyond the “slope of gold,” so I set out to see what other hideaways I could discover.
La Borde, Leugny
Some of Burgundy’s best wines come from Chablis. I love the region’s forceful whites, and because they lack the cachet of those from the Côte d’Or, these wines usually offer excellent value for the money. But Chablis draws fewer visitors, and the town itself lacks a distinguished hotel. However, luxury lies 45 minutes to the southwest at La Borde, a rural estate with just five suites, four of which are Junior Suites, tucked deep in the pastoral heart of Burgundy.