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Head to Saulieu on a Saturday morning in summer, market day, when there is a buzz in the air. The open air market on the square offers regional fare from Morvan ham to wine tasting, with locals enjoying an early tipple.
Situated on the old N6, now renamed the D906, at a good stopping off point en route from Paris to Lyons, Saulieu has long been famed for its gastronomy. The Relais Bernard Loiseau reigns supreme. If this three star Michelin establishment is beyond the purse, there are a host of other restaurants to choose from in a very small area. As a result of this concentration, some very good food suppliers can be found in the town, notably La Fouchale cheese shop and a recently opened Cadeau Gourmand, offering a good selection of wine and gifts.
Bull Sculpture - François Pompon
Tucked away next to the Basilique de St-Andoche, a rather sombre Romanesque church with fine sculpted capitals, there is the Musée François Pompon. Inside the museum is an eclectic selection ranging from sacred art, farm implements to Bernard Loiseau’s menus, plus the animal sculptures of Pompon. His finest piece however, is in the courtyard entrance to the museum, a magnificent life size bull in bronze.
Soak up the local ambience at the Café Parisien, 4 Rue du Marché. Decorated in art nouveau style, this is the hub of the town, and many a happy hour can be spent watching the world go by.
Saulieu is on the edge of the Morvan Natural Park, an area of woods and pastures, lakes and rivers. Anyone who enjoys walking, cycling, bird watching, fishing or riding will enjoy the unspoilt countryside all around.
Fête du Charolais en Bourgogne, mid August
Cajun Festival, early August
Gastronomic Fair, May
Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com