OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABurgundy’s forests fuelled Paris before the industrial revolution and woodlands still loom large in the life of the region. Whatever the season, sustenance is taken from the forests. From hunting food such as deer, wild boar (sanglier), mushroom, truffle or wild asparagus; to the heating of the home, and indeed the building of it, a Burgundy lifestyle is inextricably linked with its native forests.

A look at the interior of an old Burgundian roof – the cat’s cradle of latticed beams and spars and the delicate artistry of the people who built them – is a real pleasure even for those who are not connoisseurs. Beautiful large chestnut and oak beams hold up the ceilings in older houses. They remain untouched in many roofs and ceilings and the best news is that they are surprisingly often still sound. Those that look rotten, with woodworm holes in abundance, are usually in fact still solid at the core, the bugs having moved on from the soft exterior wood to the easier prey of furniture. Once cleaned and treated (to be on the safe side) these beams are very attractive features.