Delicious discoveries at 3 Michelin Lameloise hotel and restaurant, Burgundy

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Lameloise

Most people have probably never heard of this beautiful hotel set in the heart of Burgundy’s finest Grand Cru Vineyards, even if you are an ardent foodie like myself. There are some very famous places in France. Pierre Gagnaire and Bras are ones that stick in my mind. France has twenty six 3 Michelin Star restaurants as opposed to our 4. I have found though that even the restaurants that don’t have any Michelin credentials really do excel. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed on some evenings that all I had been served was some beautiful home cooking!

Lameloise, was incarnated in 1921. Mr Lameloise bought the old post office and gained his first Michelin Star in 1926, it has held it ever since. The business has passed down through three generations of Lameloise until 2008 when Eric Pras ( trained by Pierre Gagnaire) took over the reigns.

One thing that the French are brilliant at is their hospitality, they treat you as if you are one of the family. As you would expect from a place like this, when my wife and I arrived after a day on our bikes, we were made to feel like we were getting into a ready filled warm bath. The town of Chagny, where it is located, is typically French with Lameloise set in a beautiful square with a giant Cockerel sculpture. We were taken to our rooms, where some delightful fresh petit fours had been laid out for us. The room I would describe as comfortable luxury. It was tastefully decorated, with every amenity you could need, plus a free mini bar!

The dining room room is separated into three sections, all open, but I have to admit, it seems that there was definitely a room for the better dressed people shall we say! Those that still had jeans and trainers on were sat in an enclave shall we say. It is a delight to watch the full service in flow, with all the waiters and sommeliers running around trying to be as discreet as possible. We began with a glass of champagne, a Vintage Deutz. Smooth and succulent with pear and stone fruit aromas. All enveloped in the deep buttery finish you would expect from a vintage. We were given canapés  plus an amuse bouche of whipped marscapone on a bed of confit onions with aged fillet wrapped in serrano ham.

We were having the €110 Discovery menu which gave us a choice of two starters, mains, then the pick of the dessert menu. We both chose the Cured Smoked Grayling  (French Baby Trout) with Foie Gras, Artichokes, crayfish and quinoa. After playing with my home cured beetroot salmon, I was keen to taste how the experts really do it. In all honesty the fish was nothing more than I expected, delightful but not over smoked. The highlight were the little squares of foie gras with glace cherries. The more I played with it in my mouth the more flavour it gave back, like a good wine I guess. The side of artichokes, crayfish and quinoa was terrible. It was extremely cold, so the flavours were dumbed down a little and just not particularly appetising. It would have been fine as an amuse bouche, but this dish costs €50 on the a la carte. I just thought it was an afterthought gone wrong. Onto our mains, I elected to have a slow cooked Bresse Chicken. I have heard chef’s waxing lyrical about these things, so it was put to the test. It was served with a celeriac and potato “risotto” lime scented jus, confited leg topped with Creme Legere (whipped mash). My wife had a slow cooked cod with a coconut marinere sauce, truffle jus and a squid ink crisp.

Neither dish looking anything extraordinary, but were beautiful and each mouthful was packed full of flavour. Quite simply the Bresse chicken was well worth the wait and every bit as good as people say. I can't recommend it enough. If ever you get the chance, choose it over a steak any day. With our mains we shared a Premier Cru Chablis from one of the local Domaines. After a brief interlude, the cheese trolley was enticed in front of us.

To me, the sight of a fresh local cheese board is like a child getting their presents on Christmas Day. After this, we were treated to a selection of petit fours and a peach sorbet palate cleanser. Then our beautiful desserts arrived. I chose a meringue filled with a lemon cake, citrus mousse and liquorice ice cream. The ice cream would probably put a lot of people off, but it tasted as if someone had dropped a star anise into the cream by accident. A very subtle anise kick to it, which was a nice compliment to the citrus. My wife went for the strawberry and lemon verbena ensemble. A white chocolate mousse topped with jelly and an apple and lemon verbena sorbet. We then retired to the bar for a digestif. This was a bit of a let down. The room looked like it was drawn up just to say they have a bar. It had a cold feel to it and as we were the only ones there. It certainly lacked atmosphere, we would have been much better off sat at the table. 

All in all, our dinners were €110 each plus drinks. Accomodation was €165 per night. For a three Michelin star experience this was fantastic. I have no complaints about the food, only to say, I don’t think its worthy of three stars. We have eaten at Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir, and this was very much on a par, with Raymond slightly edging it as his country estate house and gardens are amazing. I was hoping three michelin star was going to be in accordance with the rating. Something out of this world, off the scale that no-one else is doing. Think of The Fat Duck or Noma. This was just to an excellent standard, which is what I believe you get one star for.