A few days in the champagne region is a great break. Whether a barge cruise on the Marne, a train from Paris or Strasbourg. Reims is the commercial centre of champagne. A big town with city hotels and small houses. An easy centre to stay at. See our film for the way to pronounce it. There are a couple of religious buildings but look at the film before you decide to visit. I am not sure the faces of anyone we saw inside were screaming that they were glad they visited.
In Reims, you will find many houses including Mumm and Taittinger. The restaurant in the film was great, the ones we did not film in the main street were not ones we would visit again.
Epernay is about 35 mins from Reims by train. A smaller town, but the centre of champagne with the rather special Avenue de Champagne. You should try and find time to get to Hautviller, also in the film.
We know others who saw some even smaller producers than we recorded and saw farms and vineyards. Planning is essential. Booking tours in advance is strongly advised.
Hautviller – a perfect small village with bundles to offer.
Epernay – claims to be the champagne capital. It is a fair-sized town with some wonderful small boutique shops, but also bigger commercial shops and traffic wardens! It sports the very trendy Champagne Avenue.
Planning is required. It is best to both book your tours in advance, and get the right order. They are different. Some are commercial with headphones, others are small group family house tours. We did three and in the perfect order. Taittinger, G.H. Mumm, then Leclerc Briant in Epernay. The best for us was Leclerc. The best eat out lunch was in Hautviller. The best evening meal was in a small back street restaurant – see film.
And book your restaurants. The restaurants in the main street in Reims are bulk and fast, we were disappointed both times we ate there. However, in the back streets of Reims, good restaurants can be found. Here, once again it is best to plan and book. See our film on Reims for a good dining option. Tell them we sent you – they won’t have a clue who Doris is, but then who does?
CHAT GROUPS – a fantastic way to help others and a place to find answers. We run Facebook Groups for cruisers – see the list in black boxes after the ships and fleets listed above. CHAT RIVER CRUISING HERE – FRIENDLY FACEBOOK GROUP