He had made a cordial introduction during our meal at La Fontaignotte and I made a mental note that he had formerly worked in the film industry and a mention, en passant, of script writing – a storyline to follow up in due course.
It’s not until later that I realise I must be the only person in France who is unaware of Charles Gassot’s achievements and his prominence over several decades of making films – a gaffe I am sure he won’t hold against me.
And I would certainly make a point of booking a return visit to La Fontaignotte when next in picturesque Semur-en-Auxois. It ticks all the boxes.
On arrival it’s impossible not to want to take in the breathtaking views from the private terraces (you can see La Fontaignotte on our photograph of the town above – just make a straight line up from the bridge).
The food is every bit as outstanding and the menu is crammed with local specialities and fine Burgundy wines.
It was during a visit to Semur-en-Auxoois to promote a film, The Octopus, that Charles was captivated by the place and then fell for La Fontaignotte, a building dating back to the 1600s and which had seen better days.
Here was a new challenge and a script with a difference to write, and, with Charles Gassot directing things it’s hardly surprising that La Fontaignotte was a success story in the making.
He’s now the proud owner of a chic B&B and top class restaurant. The guest house is a charming mix of the classic and the contemporary with five en-suite rooms. Both are warmly recommended to those planning a visit to this beautiful region.
4 Place Notre-Dame, 21140 Semur-en-Auxois
+ 00 33 (0)3 80 89 86 26