The Tourism Office of Lyon reckons it will take you two days to fully appreciate all the facets of this historic and modern city. It is a cross road from Paris to Marseile but also from Geneva and the Alps to the Massif Central.
Lugdunum, as it was called by the Romans or Lugodunon by the Gauls andv means the Fort of Ligh, thas been there a long time and has transformed itself many a time. It was the capital of Gaul for centuries.
Silk weavers are (mostly...) gone and have been replaced by heavy and high tech industries alike.
The TGV and the new airport and industrial complex of Isle d'Abeau on the eastern outskirts of the city have revitalised Lyon which is the second biggest agglomeration of France with 1.5 million people generating over 60 billion euros. It is famous for its culture - Opera by Jean Nouvel - and cultural heritage - many historical monuments and churches - as well as its gastronomy with one of its most famous chefs being Paul Bocuse. Lyon is also very close to two wine regions, the Cotes-du-Rhone we have discussed on its South and the world-famous Beaujolais to the North. Burgundy is not that far away either. The Bresse region to the East is famous for producing the best chickens - see Les Saveurs du Palais film for details. Charolais to the North for its beef and obviously all the fruits and vegetables grown in the Rhone Valley and further afield in Provence.
Paul Bocuse - L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges - 3 Michelin stars since 1965!!!
I have never had the pleasure to dine chez Paul Bocuse, but this blog being squarely focused on food and wine, I cannot not mention this world renowned institution. You will have to reserve months in advance and be prepared for spending at least 300 euros per person for the degustation menu and a decent bottle of wine!
Our own Tetsuya in Sydney charges only 210$ per person, so you should rush there and save on the flights...lol!
And a recent review of it on TripAdvisor:
"I had been looking at the menu for months before going and had high expectations. From the moment we arrived until we pulled out of the parking lot, every expectation was exceeded! Bocuse provided the dining experience of a lifetime. It was like a seamless concerto with every aspect performed to perfection. If there was an error or a lapse somewhere I certainly couldn't detect it. The food, service and place were spectacular. A highlight among many was the 82 euro truffle soup that I could have continued to eat forever."
Lyon - Pierre Orsi
Well, I have been there with my wife and colleagues from HP, both of them ended up being the godfathers of my children! It is certainly in the same league as Bocuse and it is in the city centre and certainly more affordable.
We went there because a good friend, Christopher Koetke, has been doing some work experience there as a pastry Chef and ended up doing the sauces - the most difficult part in the kitchen symphony.
Pierre Orsi told us that Christopher would end up very famous and he did! He ended up in the best restaurant in his native Chicago, is now doing a TV cooking show called "Let's Dish" and is the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts Vice President there, the most famous school in the US! Christopher also finished third in the U.S. finals of the Bocuse d'Or culinary competition.
Pierre Orsi is my favourite gastronomic restaurant in Lyon and at 115 euros for the degustation menu, you certainly can plan that in your travel budget. The cellar contains about 20,000 bottles!
By the way, Pierre has a brother in Toulouse, Laurent, whose cuisine I tried during that same business trip.
He used to be the Chef at Les Jardins de l'Opera, and still runs his "Bouchon Lyonnais" there
Lyon - the "new' Opera by Jean Nouvel
Lyon - Tourist Office Video - 2 Days in Lyon
Well, I have given you my take on this fabulous city. The video below commissioned by the Tourist Office is a romantic take on what you can do during a week-end before attending a convention in Lyon. Enjoy!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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