Three hundred kilometres from Paris lie the lush farmlands of Burgundy. Culturally and agriculturally rich, the land was fought over by a succession of royal houses who left behind landscapes of incomparable beauty, tiny unspoiled villages and a culinary tradition to die for. But, more of this anon. The sense of sheer bounty overlain with the thread of history is overwhelming. Pilgrims travelled through these places en route to St Jacques de Compostela, Armies were raised for the Crusades and evidence of the Templars is everywhere. The basilica at Vézelay allegedly contains relics of Mary Magdalene and the monastic tradition is carried by the Brothers and Sisters of Jerusalem, a contemplative order with a musical tradition reminiscent of Taizé. Sung Mass was awesome. It's a long way from the desert and not a Starbucks to be found.