We stayed at a very cute house near Epernay, so nice to not be in a hotel room and buy some local produce to cook with. Staying with a couple of friends taking it in turn to cook dinner. We picked up some beautiful local produce, great way to enjoy the region. My turn was a little Coq a vin with braised lentils.
The region has a great selection of restaurants offering fantastic regional food, catering mainly for the locals, not tourists!!
A highlight of the trip was being picked up on the first day by Charles Heidsieck and taken to their champagne house in Reims. Taking a steep walk down the chalk cellars and underground tunnels we were given a private tour of the Gallo-Roman Caves. They are one of only 5 champagne houses to have these amazing caves/cellars. Inside the caves there will be millions of champagne bottles stored at the perfect, consistent temperature in these cellars. After the caves we were given a tasting of 8 Piper & Charles Heidsieck champagnes from non-vintage to beautiful bottles of Rare, Rose and back vintages. Not stopping at 8 tastings Sophie our host cracked a dusty old bottle we picked up on the tour of a 1985 vintage, wow this is something to remember.
One champagne house offer tours to the Gallo-Roman Caves is Champagne Ruinart, the oldest champagne house founded in 1729. Book well in advance for the tour, I highly recommend it. Ruinart offers a great selection of premium champagnes. I will be looking out for a local supplier to add them to our wine list!!
and, then to Paris….
I really found it amazing how many French restaurants and cafes had burgers and pizzas on the menu, where is the great French food I came here looking for…. Move away from the tourist strips and you will discover much better restaurants!
We found a little restaurant called Le Bouldoir, beautiful French cuisine, the chef uses seasonal ingredients creatively, great flavours, textures and good presentation. The restaurant manager was lovely, she was very informative and welcoming.
The last night in Paris we did the dinner & show at Moulin Rouge. The package included a ½ bottle of Mumm champagne each, the food was simple French fare. All in all it’s a must while visiting Paris, great night out.
Looking forward to seeing you all back at JAM Corner.