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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightFrance

A Bubbly Trip In France

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  • Publish Date: Jan 5, 2010

Paris is a quick jaunt from the East Coast – one hop across the ocean and you’re in the land of baguettes and Bordeaux. But an easy side trip once you’re there, whether you’re in The City of Light for a long weekend or a week, is to the town of Reims for a visit to your favorite Champagne houses and cellars. And it can be done in one day!

A quick 45-minute train ride and about 60 Euros (round-trip) from Gare de l’Est in Paris will get you into Reims in the morning. From there, taxis are as abundant as the bubbles and you can even walk from one winery to the next.

Many, like Taittinger, have very deep cellars dug from the chalk quarries by the Romans where much of the Champagne is still bottled using traditional methods. Reservations are recommended at all of the houses and many include a taste of Champagne in the price of admission.

Some stops to consider:

Taittinger
Champagne Roederer (maker of the luxury bubbly Cristal)
Veuve Cliquot
Pommery
Piper Heidsieck
Krug

Like any good wine trip, food is très important. Just a short uphill walk from Pommery is an exquisite dining experience at the Michelin-rated Chateau Les Crayeres. Another treat at the restaurant is the ability to try champagne like Dom Perignon by the glass.

Reims has a magnificent cathedral worthy of a visit and many wonderful shops and hotels if you plan to stay for more than one day. Visit reims-tourism.com for more information.

Kick off your New Year the right way by planning a trip to Champagne. Salut!

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Free to Be from Brittany
Wines that Rock

Jan 6, 2010
Thanks for some terrific tips. Here are a few more that I can really recommend: Les Crayères, that you've mentioned, is the best restaurant in town but if you're in the centre of the town it may not be very convenient to get to. Instead try Le Foch whose reputation has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Or for something less expensive and with a great bistro style atmosphere, try Le Boulingrin, where the leading figures in the champagne industry often have lunch. A visit to Champagne Ruinart, the oldest champagne house of them all, is also well worth the effort. It's not far from Pommery and Veuve Clicquot BUT their cellars are closed for renovation for most of this year. From next year don't miss it. Their cellars are classified as a historical monument which is something even their more famous neighbours (oops, english spelling) cannot claim If you're in Reims in the 1st weekend of November any year don't miss the Independent Winemakers' Fair where you can try literally hundreds of wines from all over France and meet the people who make them. All for the amazing price of just 5 euros. Held at the city's main exhibition hall (Parc d'expositon) it's a memorable day indeed. Enjoy

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