Experience culture and enjoy champagne.
Reims is located in the north-east of France and is only 130 kilometres from Paris. From Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, you can get to Reims in a flash - the direct connection takes 31 minutes - by TGV. The Champagne wine-growing region extends around the city, and many Champagne houses have their headquarters, cellars and tasting rooms in and around the center. If you want to discover the Champagne region outside Reims, you should rent a car. Champagne is a rural area, comparable to Burgundy. About 300,000 people live in the greater Reims area - very manageable. A leisurely stroll through Reims is perfect to see the main sights.
From Place de la République, take Rue de Mars and walk towards the cathedral. Right at the beginning, you will find the market hall "Les Halles/Marché du Boulingrin" on Rue de Mars, which has been an integral part of the city since it opened in 1929. The market hall is open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It is the ideal place for gourmet shopping: poultry, butchers, cheesemakers, wine merchants, the finest food and flowers.
After the market hall, continue your walk on Rue de Mars, pass the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), cross straight ahead the Place du Forum and the Place Royale to reach the cathedral. Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral is one of the most architecturally important Gothic churches in France. It was the coronation church of the French kings from the 12th to the 19th century and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991 - together with the Palais du Tau and the Basilica Saint-Remi. The Palais du Tau is located right next to the cathedral and is well worth a visit. From the Palais du Tau, walk northwest on Rue de Trésor - after five minutes, this is a sweet stop: At the traditional Fossier shop in Cours Jean-Baptiste Langlet, you have to taste the "Biscuits roses de Reims". After the sweet refreshment, it's time for champagne! At the bar "Trésors de Champagne: La Boutique" next to the market halls, the champagne heart beats twice as fast.
The bar opens at 2pm - if you like, you can also enjoy the first glass of champagne right after the market halls. The hotel "Les Crayères" is a wonderful place to stay, enjoy and feast. It has two restaurants: the brasserie "Le Jardin" and the gourmet restaurant "Le Parc". The brasserie offers classic dishes such as bouillabaisse, salmon in herb coat or tarte au citron. In the 2-star restaurant "Le Parc" seasonal menus are served - if desired with wine accompaniment - or you can compose your own menu à la carte. The best way to round off the evening is with a glass of champagne in the bar "La Rotonde".
Explore the Champagne region by car.
To truly grasp the Champagne wine region, you have to experience the landscape live. For the fanciest Champagne paraphernalia, head to Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin's visitor center in Reims; it pays to make a quick stop. If you'd like to see the cellars, you can book one of the public tours on site.
Continue by car to Hautvillers: the secret capital of Champagne is located about 30 minutes south of Reims. The Abbaye Saint-Pierre d'Hautvillers houses the remains of Dom Pérignon and Dom Ruinart. The small church now belongs to the champagne house Moët & Chandon. After the short visit to the church, continue south to Épernay, the second most important town in Champagne. Walking through the town, you can admire some champagne houses from the outside and shop in the shops for beautiful champagne accessories such as Dom Pérignon cufflinks. The drive continues south to Avize to the hotel, restaurant and famous champagne house "Jacques Selosse": the ideal place for lunch. The menus in the restaurant are changed every day. At lunch, you have three courses and enjoy the rare champagnes of the house.
After the wonderful meal, head northeast for an unforgettable walk in the Faux de Verzy. In this forest, amazing trees grow in unusual formations, each tree is a work of art of nature. The forest trail stretches for three kilometers. Have you ever drunk champagne in the treetops? If not, it's about time! In the "Perching Bar" in the Forêt de Brise Charrette near Verzy, this is possible in fine weather. The most beautiful view of the Champagne countryside can be enjoyed from the lighthouse (Le Phare de Verzenay) in Verzenay, about ten minutes by car from the Faux de Verzy to the north. The lighthouse houses a wine museum. Climb 101 steps and you will have an unforgettable and unique panoramic view over the vineyards of Champagne. Close to the lighthouse are the famous windmills of Verzenay. Unfortunately, the listed buildings cannot be visited inside, but the view from the top of the hill is breathtaking.
After all these unique impressions, it's time for an unforgettable dinner at the three-star restaurant "Assiette Champenoise" in Reims. Arnaud Lallement runs his parents' business - hotel and restaurant - together with his wife Magali and sister-in-law Mélanie. The menu is adapted to the seasons and Arnaud Lallement always tries to express the quintessence of the product.
From the church to an elaborate champagne cellar to Japan in Reims.
The Saint-Remi Basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just like the cathedral. It is smaller than the famous cathedral, hardly frequented by tourists and impresses with its wonderful architecture. A wonderful Sunday walk leads through the Parc de la Butte Saint-Nicaise to the champagne house Pommery. The cellar vaults with the changing art exhibitions are a must - experiencing art twelve metres underground is unique! Hundreds of thousands of champagne bottles are stored in the kilometer-long corridors, waiting for the moment of enjoyment. The interesting visit and guided tour lasts about an hour, at the end you are rewarded with a glass of champagne.
On Sunday, many restaurants in Reims are closed. One of the few exceptions is the restaurant "Racine", which is open at lunchtime. From Japan to Reims, that was the path of Kazuyuki Tanaka, the owner of the restaurant. He combines Japanese and French culinary arts in his aromatic dishes.
IN Falstaff Sparkling Special 2019