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.
We drove from London to Belgium, crossing Essex, the southeast of England, a fair amount of France and then accidentally slipped over the border to Mons, Belgium.
As a reprobate island dweller (all the way from New Zealand to Grande Britannia) I still delight at how easy it is to slip between countries in Europe, so we took full advantage of this when spending a few days in France.
This month for the travel linkup we’re talking all things take-aways; souvenirs, lessons, that sort of metaphysical meandering. But, I’m going to go a little more literal. Travel Takeaways.
As in actual foods, usually found in cartons, that have been spoilt by visiting their country of origin or somewhere that really surprised us. It’s the gourmet equivalent of meeting your heroes, and once you start travelling you’ll always look back on amazing food that you probably can’t quite recreate genuinely enough.