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Decanter travel guide: Champagne, France

Apart from the famous wines, this region is rich with world heritage sites, history and art. Giles Fallowfield bases himself in Reims for a busy long weekend. Read the full guide to Champagne, including the best houses to visit, plus top places to stay, eat, shop and relax.

Champagne travel guide: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax


Les Avisés
This elegant 19th-century house in Avize is a new venture for Anselme Selosse. It’s a stylish, modern hotel with 10 rooms, plus a restaurant run by Stéphane Rossillon. www.selosse-lesavises.com

Royale Champagne
On the hillside above Epernay, its rooms and restaurant enjoy superb views over the Champillon vineyards. www.relaischateaux.com/royalchampagne

Villa Eugène
A decent walk from Epernay town centre, this former home of the founder of Mercier Champagne has comfortable, high-ceilinged, period rooms. www.villa-eugene.com

Bars and restaurants

Brasserie du Boulingrin
Opposite the newly renovated market in Reims, this is a local institution, with its buzzing atmosphere and art deco interior. www.boulingrin.fr

Le Café du Palais
Opposite the Reims law courts, this is a lively, ’30s-built bistro stuffed with pictures and antique curios. Great for relaxed lunchtime dining. www.cafedupalais.fr

Grillade Gourmande
Friendly, bustling restaurant in Epernay, popular at lunchtime. Chef-patron Christophe Bernard has worked with famous chefs Paul Bocuse and Alain Ducasse. lagrilladegourmande.com

Les Berceaux
Michelin-starred restaurant, bistro and hotel in Epernay with some of the best food in Champagne, both in the main restaurant and Bistrot Le 7. The 29 bedrooms have all been upgraded and refurbished. lesberceaux.com


Le Four à Bois
Reims baker with a big range of traditional breads and patisserie. le-four-a-bois.fr

L’Epicérie au Bon Manger
Tiny Reims delicatessen with two tables selling organic Champagnes and wine, plus carefully sourced meats, fish, cheeses and other fine foods. aubonmanger.fr

Maison Fossier
Fossier is the place to buy the famous biscuits rosés de Reims – crisp, pink sponge finger biscuits. An acquired taste but great for dipping in tea. fossier.fr

A wine shop and bar in Avize where you can buy 300 different Champagnes mostly from small houses, co-ops and growerproducers, and enjoy a glass over a selection of local cheeses and cold meats. c-comme.fr

La Fine Bulle
Across the road from C-Comme there is a similar set-up, with a Champagne bar and tasting rooms but more of the major houses represented. You can even buy sabres. la-finebulle.com

520 Champagne et Vins d’Auteurs
This new shop in Avize run by Pierre-Yves Cainjo has a hard-tobeat collection of many of the leading grower-producers in Champagne in its range of 400 cuvées from 115 houses and growers. www.le520.fr


Jour de Vendange
Some growers organise special grape-picking trips during the harvest, typically in early September. Lists of growers offering such days are available from the Marne Tourist Board Tel: +33 (0)3 26 68 37 52

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