None of us had been to this place before and there was some discussion about the best route to take - walking along the main road with lorries juddering past is not the most pleasant experience, so we opted for the back route, without knowing if it would actually get us there or not. This gave us an opportunity to admire the Christmas decorations of Chorey and in particular, the Santa Claus figures who seemed determined to break and enter each house in a different way. At one house, a red-clad figure was was hammering at a window, at another there was one abseiling down a front door, etc.
After about a 10 minute walk, a building which we thought was the hotel came into view and we made our way down the unpromising-looking cul de sac towards it. Fortunately there was a back gate which opened, and we crossed the lawn rather furtively as we were still not absolutely sure this was the right place. We went up some steps at the side and discovered the sweeping gravel-covered drive and the main entrance, so all was well.
We were shown into a large dining room in which only one table was occupied. It felt very 70s and there was some tinny bad music playing softly in the background. But the food was great. We went for the 46 euro menu which was three courses plus cheese. To start with AM had pike and pancetta while ACC and I went for poached duck liver with truffles. Then for mains we had young partridge, with a lovely sauce. The cheese trolley was magnificent, and had a great variety of local and other French cheeses, including AM's favourite, Epoisses, and a rather fabulous Delice de Pommard, a mild soft cheese covered in mustard seeds. For pud we had some sort of chocolate thing (I really should have taken notes at the time!) which I don't think was quite as good as the assiette from Ciboulette the night before.
The main topic of conversation during lunch was whether our waiter was English or not. He spoke to us sometimes in English and had a distinctly northern accent, not something you expect from your average Frenchman. He also had his fringe combed forward in the style that was fashionable a few years ago. We came to the conclusion that he must have spent a year or two in Manchester.
As regards wine, ACC had established that the Ermitage did corkage for 10 euros a bottle, so the previous night we'd bought a couple of things in Mon Millesime: a 1992 white Beaune, which was a fabulous golden colour, and really rather wonderful, and a 1990 Volnay Clos des Chenes. It was fantastic to drink mature burgundy in such a setting without having to pay ridiculous prices, and they decanted them for us and, when asked, left them on the table so we could serve ourselves - thereby avoiding the vexed issue of the selective refill which is guaranteed to wind me up!
Afterwards, we walked back to the gite along the main road which took about 15 minutes. Staying in Chorey one has to get a taxi to go anywhere, so this place was a real discovery close to home.