Just a stone’s throw from some of the most famous vineyards in the world and in the heart of a region renowned for its cuisine, the recently opened and historic Abbaye de la Bussière is hoping to be an ideal base in Burgundy for wine tours and gastronomic getaways. The Abbaye offers exclusive wine tasting packages and, in the future, will feature top wine producers from Burgundy presenting their vintages in the hotel’s 14th century “pressoir.”
Founded by the English abbot Etienne Harding in 1131, the original Abbaye de la Bussière was a Cistercian monastery until the French Revolution. In 2005, it was purchased by Joy and Martin Cummings, proprietors of the highly-regarded Amberley Castle country house hotel in the south of England (West Sussex). Over the past year, the Cummings family has lovingly restored the 900 year-old property into a ten-room luxury hotel that exudes intimate sophistication combined with unabashed luxury and charming warmth.
The fully updated 12th century chateau is nestled on 15 acres of parkland - complete with lakes, canals, apple trees, and rose gardens. There are eight buildings in the park, but the principal ones, which formed part of the original Abbey, contain the restaurants, lounges, and suites. The 14th century cellar where the monks made their sacramental wines still exist. A crypt in the Abbey grounds provides a peaceful sanctuary.
In the hands of local artisans, the restoration reflects the region’s cultural and architectural history. Abbaye de la Bussière’s ten luxurious guest suites are all beautifully decorated to reflect the style of the surrounding Burgundy region. Each suite has a view of the park and lake and has its own individual character so that every stay in the beautifully-appointed rooms will be unique.
Abbaye de la Bussière has opened two restaurants in the very heart of the Abbey beneath a breathtaking cloister. With both taking maximum advantage of Burgundy’s abundance of fresh produce and wines and the incomparable standards of French culinary tradition, one offers a more casual bistro atmosphere for lunches while the other is an exemplary gourmet dining experience in the evening.