TRAVEL / CHAMPAGNE FRANCE
i have visited paris (here and more recently here) and the south of france (here), but have never ventured to the champagne area! after a few days in paris, we took a short 45 minute train ride to reims. an adorable town that i had no idea about!
the train station sits conveniently right near the town. it felt like we walked onto a movie set! i can’t believe people really live in these charming little places. we had a guide from the champagne tourism office who took us around everywhere and showed us the sights. in all of the cabins on international air france flights they serve free champagne, so they wanted us to see the origin of where they get their champagne. let’s just say we weren’t complaining about that.
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i loved how peaceful and clean reims felt. and the notre dame cathedral of reims was a masterpiece. i was in AWE of it…just look at the detail! and you can still see where it is being repaired from the war. i definitely recommend reims for a day trip from paris! it was my favorite place to explore.
that night we drove to a nearby town, epernay, and stayed at a cute tiny hotel called le castel jeanson. it had a classic vibe, with a courtyard pool and a few walkable restaurants. the town felt SO quiet at night, it was almost a little eery. we had our tep wireless devices which gave us internet the whole time we were in france, so at least we still felt a little connected to the world!
the next day we woke up bright and early for champagne tasting on the avenue de champagne, which is a famous street in epernay where a lot of the great champagne producers are. and yes, they have champagne at ALL hours over there, not just for celebration! we learned all about how champagne is made and tasted all the different kinds (i had no idea how intense the process was!)
next we visited hautvillers (and had even moooore champagne, lucky us.) this was the home place of the famous dom pérignon, whoes work with wine helped develop champagne. we visited the church where he is buried and walked through the almost surreal town. it felt like we had gone back in time! we also visited the mumm champagne house and went on a tour down in the cellar. it was pretty cool.
that night we drove to troyes and stayed at my favorite hotel in champagne called maison de rhodes. our cozy room was up one flight of winding, rustic wooden stairs. this place had so much character with it’s ivy courtyard and morning church bells. it felt like we were in a tiny castle.
denise and i had a fun night out on the town in troyes. we wandered the glistening streets, listened to music in quaint bars, and had a good time laughing over drinks. i love all of the wood paneling on the houses here, it makes the town feel so special and full of history.
our last night in reims we had a beautiful, fancy dinner at the brasserie le jardin. it was denises last night with me, so i am happy we have this special memory. overlooking lush gardens we had quite the delicious meal. the next morning we took the train back to paris where i said goodbye to denise and headed off to switzerland!
thank you for planning this full itinerary of exciting and new sights for us, atout france! we really had a blast.