Épernay, the self-proclaimed capitale du Champagne was pretty magical. No, scratch that, really rather magical. We visited as Epernay, Champagne as guests of the Agence Regionale du Tourisme Grand Est but all enjoyment was very much our own.
A good friend of ours had visited Èpernay on a ladies weekend, and had told us of the beautiful champagne houses, the rolling countryside laden with grapevines and the blush stone Avenue de Champagne, which only served to fuel our excitement.
Over a dozen years ago, my Mum and I visited Reims as a day trip from Paris – our first sip of the fabled Champagne region. I can’t tell you how excited I was to visit Reims again as a guest of the Régionale du Tourisme Grand-Est but all thoughts are very much my own.
With train trips as quick as 45 minutes from Paris, Reims (or Rheims as the city is also known) is the perfect gateway to the rest of the Champagne region – and you don’t really need a car to explore the best of the city. As both my lovely friend and I are foodies, our plans consisted mostly of exploring the gastronomic offerings, with the occasional foray into the beautiful cultural history.
On this trip to Rheims, instead of simply visiting as a day trip from Paris, we stayed overnight in the Continental Hotel, a very short walk through beautiful gardens from the train station. I was a guest of the Régionale du Tourisme Grand-Est and I would 100% stay in this beautiful hotel again on my own. Where to stay in Rheims
We wheeled our suitcases straight from the train station – so fresh from Paris you could practically smell our breakfast baguettes – and through the gardens to our home for the evening – the Continental Hotel.
Over the years I’ve bagged a fair few bargain flights; £20pp return to Italy, £33pp return to Valencia, a cracking package deal including a flights & 5-star hotel in Vienna for almost the same cost as just flights. I also realised that I’ve never written a post on just how to book cheap flights, even with the trips I’ve done over the years and tips that I’ve picked up.
Flying business or first class is lovely, don’t get me wrong. But until I win the lottery or my cat becomes famous, with all of the travelling I like to do, it just isn’t possible all of the time. Enter stage left the joy of picking up a cheap – usually economy – flight (which inevitably leads to an extra glass or two of something bubbly once we arrive.)
You know how sometimes you have those moments that you want to hold onto, and make last forever? Sipping Dom Perignon in the summer sunshine with Angie and Binny was definitely one of those recently. We were enjoying the newly unveiled L’Azure iteration of the Four Seasons terrace, and it was a perfect summer day, made better by the soft sound of honeysuckle fronds rustling on the pergola.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the Four Seasons but my (very many) thoughts are only ever mine – repeat visits on my own dime (and shoefies as proof) attest to simply how much I enjoy the je ne sais quoi of the Four Seasons.
L’Azure, tucked away at the end of Amarato’s sophisticated restaurant is the perfect kind of London hideaway.