Sometimes memorable experiences arrive serendipitously. A recommendation for a restaurant from our hotel host became one of our tastiest dinners in France. We had booked our stay at Villa Louise, based on the Internet reviews we had read.
Even though it’s close in proximity, Hotel Villa Louise in Aloxe-Corton is tucked away from the bustle of the Côte d’Or or Burgundy wine route. Aloxe-Corton is a small village, and the Villa is up a hill on the outer edge, surrounded by vineyards. Partially housed in the grand old residence of a wine grower, the lovely hotel is meticulously managed by attentive care-takers. The entry hall, salon and breakfast rooms are not only comfortable but charmingly decorated. There are only eight rooms, but each one is unique and most have views of the spacious garden and vine-covered hills beyond.
Our surprise came when we found out we could walk to the suggested restaurant through the vineyards, about a 20-minute stroll, to the petit neighbouring village of Ladoix-Serrigny. We approached the Restaurant-Hotel les Terrasses de Corton, which appeared to be a nondescript, plaster building on the main route. We were led through the dark, outdated lobby to the back where– to our surprise– a large covered terrace was completely full of amiable clients.
Our repas began with a glass of Crémant de Bourgogne and a plate of light warm pastry hors-d’œuvres from the chef. From the first course to the dessert, each plate was deemed delicious, accompanied by the red and white wines of Ladoix. Later, I discovered the restaurant is recommended by the Michelin Guide as a Bib Gourmand, meaning good value for a fair price. I would have to say excellent value for a modest price, unexpected in this area of Burgundy.
All servers and personnel were professional and helpful. The atmosphere was comfortable and casual. After we paid our bill, the chef came to our table and humbly offered to drive us back to Villa Louise. That was a special moment I’ll never forget. We politely refused, as we immensely enjoyed our vineyard walk to the restaurant and were anticipating the return. The evening was cooling off nicely and the full moon was rising. It would also give us time to savour our remarkable meal and to appreciate this very special evening and home away from home.
Hotel Villa Louise, 9 Rue Franche, 21420 Aloxe-Corton. Tel: +33 (0)3 80 26 46 70. Low season rates from 98 euros/night.
Restaurant-Hotel les Terrasses de Corton, 38 Route de Beaune, 21550 Ladoix-Serrigny. Tel: +33 (0)3 80 26 42 37. Fixed menus from 26 euros.
Jo Anne Marquardt is the author of My Trip Around the Hexagon: Meandering in France and Falling in Love with France, both available at Amazon.com. Her first published book, Falling in Love with France, offers responses to the various questions friends and family have asked her over the years about why she visits France so often. The second book includes illustrations and descriptive notes from her travel journals.
See Jo Anne’s art by visiting her website: www.joannemarquardt.com.