Circled by a ring road defined by ancient ramparts, the city of Beaune is a welcoming town in the heart of Burgundy that embraces both its long history and modern reality. Surrounded by acres upon acres of vines to the north and south, Beaune is a center of wine appreciation that draws visitors from around the globe to sample the vintages of the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits regions. A short walk from the center of town, just outside of the ring road at the end of a small street, is a quiet and sophisticated house that looks out on some of those acres of vines. The views from Maison des Teurons are impressive and calming. A lunch on the broad terrace is destined to run long, with passing clouds casting different shadows on the orderly rows of vines while the wine swirls in your glass.
Adjacent to the property is a small park with a natural spring and keyhole-shaped stone basin which have served Beaune since Roman times. It would be easy to pass by the discreet gate and stone wall that sits back from the small road. But what a mistake that would be, for inside the perimeter is a lush garden, parking for several cars and a broad staircase that leads to the main entrance of Maison des Teurons. The pool and lawn are on the back side of the house, and beyond the rear wall are vines as far as the eye can see. The mature landscaping of the garden and tall trees on the property (and lining the small road) conceal a traditionally constructed house with spacious and finely furnished common rooms and four excellent bedrooms.
A bright entry hall with authentic tomettes floor tiles opens to the handsome wood staircase, the salon, and an anteroom to the ground-floor bedroom. The salon is a long room, with a comfortable sofa and armchairs at one end, and the dining area with its round table for five or six at the other. The white sofa and its matching armchairs surround a wooden coffee table with a shelf below and are in perfect proportion with the room. A bureau holds a TV with DVD player and satellite reception, including CNN and BBC. A small collection of DVDs is provided, and music comes from a Sony boombox in the dining area. The round dining table is complemented by a handsome armoire lining one wall with innumerable wine glasses and an array of serving dishes and platters. A narrow buffet lines the adjacent wall and holds coffee mugs and more place settings. Beamed ceilings add a traditional feeling to the room, and a fireplace adds literal and figurative warmth. French doors open from the salon to the side terrace, where there is a built-in grill. There is a guest lavatory off the foyer.
The kitchen can be accessed from the dining area and also from the foyer. The kitchen makes the most of its space and is cheerfully illuminated; there are also French doors here to the terrace to make dining al fresco easy for any meal of the day. A butcher block island provides a handy work space and a spot for breakfast with two sets of stools. Kitchen equipment includes a four-burner gas stove and electric oven, dishwasher, microwave, coffeemaker, toaster, electric kettle, two-door fridge with ice maker and double stainless sink. Additional kitchen tools include a blender and a block of knives. The laundry room with a washer and separate dryer are downstairs.
The anteroom off the foyer is a great place to store luggage, stage shopping bags or cases of wine to be shipped or set up your mobile office. There is an armchair, ottoman, wide closet, small desk and a cradle for the cordless phone. With wi-fi access, you are not limited to surfing the internet from this office, but this room provides less distraction than the vineyard views from the terrace.
The anteroom opens to a medium-sized bedroom with queen-sized bed, two dressers and two bedside tables with nice lighting. French doors open to the rear terrace and pool, making this an ideal room for someone who has trouble with steps or likes an early morning swim. An ensuite bathroom one small step up has a roomy stall shower with curtain, single sink with glass shelves above and WC.
The dignified wooden staircase leads to three further bedrooms and two baths upstairs. The master bedroom is the largest of the three and features a king-sized bed, double in-wall closet, a rolltop desk and two dormer windows giving on to the vines. This large room has wood floors with oriental area rugs, a fan and a Sony TV with satellite reception. An A/C unit can be hooked up in this room upon request. The brand-new ensuite bathroom has similarly generous proportions and is done throughout in beige tumbled marble over the same wood floors. A gorgeous tub with hand-held shower sprayer is complemented by a deep walk-in shower with glass door. Built-in shelves line one wall. A wide marble vanity top has a single basin and the WC is tucked behind a door next to the shower.
The second upstairs bedroom has a queen-sized bed with toile duvet and pillow shams. Pretty night tables, a light wood dresser and double in-wall closet make this an attractive and practical room. The fourth bedroom has twin beds and another great double closet. It looks over the front garden and has a sea grass rug. Off the landing, shared by these two bedrooms, is a most unusual bathroom. The blue-tiled room has a tub and wall shower with half glass door and the WC is separate: the bathroom is notable for the stupendous view of the vineyard from the picture window above the vanity with double sinks. It is hard to imagine a more captivating thing to look at while you are brushing your teeth!
All of the bedrooms have night tables with bedside lamps as well as ample light from ceiling fixtures or floor lamps. Each room has a different and subtle color scheme and is fully decorated, with mirrors, wall hangings and strategically placed chairs or tables. Maison des Teurons struck us throughout for its consistently high level of furnishings together with a rare feature: a feeling of being properly finished and presented, with no hodge podge pieces of furniture or decoration.
The back terrace lines the rear façade of the house and includes a teak table with seating for six. Pots of boxwoods dot the terrace and a retractable awning gives shade when desired. Several steps lead down to the rear garden, planted with herbs and flowering bushes, with open lawn space and a flagstone deck lining the 15’ X 30’ pool. The pool has a semi-circle cut out at the near end with steps leading down, and there is an additional seating area here. The outdoor area is perfectly quiet and the vineyards form a panoramic natural vista whose colors change with the season.
The city of Beaune offers myriad activities for guests who wish to stay close to home. The center of town can easily be reached on foot in about 10 minutes. Along the way are all the necessities of daily commerce, including a bakery and grocery store. The town center has innumerable restaurants and cafes, including two Michelin-starred restaurants . The 15th-Century Hôtel-Dieu (hospital) is perhaps the most-photographed symbol of Beaune. With its steeply pitched multi-colored tile roof interrupted by dormer windows, it is a splendid sight and has an interesting museum, open daily, with several important artworks. Nearby wine-related excursions include Aloxe-Corton, Nuits Saint-Georges, Pommard and Puligny-Montrachet. A group staying at Maison des Teurons will face two decisions on each day trip: which of the dozens of wine villages to visit and who will be the designated driver for the ride back home.
Getting to Maison des Teurons is as easy as living there. The drive from Paris to Beaune is 3 hours. You can also take the TGV from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport or Gare de Lyon to Beaune via Dijon, rent a car at the station and drive to the house. It is now possible to fly into Lyon from New York’s JFK airport and transfer to the Lyon Part Dieu train station for a short train ride to Beaune. The house is also about 2 hours and 15 minutes by car from the Geneva airport.
With its convenient location within walking distance to the town center, its uninterrupted vineyard views and its splendid furnishings, Maison des Teurons is a home that will delight all who enter.