The Champagne Region, France

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 3 weeks since I last posted! I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even had a chance to think about blogging. I’m home for Christmas now so hopefully, I will have more time to post. I’m sat here with a Lemsip, hot water bottle and lots of blankets so what better than to do a post about one of my favourite summer destinations: the Champagne region in France! I’ve been to the Champagne region about three or four times now and I just can’t get enough of it. 

The beautiful Aupres de L’Eglise!

One of my favourite things about staying in the Champagne region is the Aupres de L’Eglise which is in Oyes, a small rural village. After staying there once, we felt like we had been friends with Glynis and Mike for years and now it just feels like a home away from home. Not only this, but it’s such a beautiful, rural setting where you can get away from any hustle and bustle without missing out on all that the region has to offer. All of their rooms are so unique and interesting, you can spend hours looking around all the books and the bits and pieces that they’ve collected. Not only this, but the food is truly to die for. Breakfast is usually included, but you can also opt to have an evening meal which I could not recommend enough. All the meals we’ve had there have been incredible as well as a great opportunity to meet the other people who are staying in the other rooms. 

You cannot go to the Champagne region without trying one (or ten!) glasses of Champagne. If it is your first time visiting the area, then I would advise doing a combination of some independent houses and some more well-known ones. The first place to head is Épernay where you’ll find the Avenue de Champagne. This is often deemed the capital of the Champagne region and is the best place to go if you don’t really know where to start. The Avenue de Champagne is home to all of the most well known Champagne houses such as Moët et Chandon, Bollinger and Veuve Clicquot. Many of these houses offer tours and tastings which are interesting but often understandably touristy. I would say that my favourite is Mercier, where the tour involves riding on a train around their caves and, of course, trying a glass of their classic bubbles. 

Photograph of the sign for Mercier caves
Visiting the Mercier caves

I would really, really suggest going to one or two independent houses if you get a chance. They are so interesting and less commercialised so you can really get the true essence of what it’s like to be a Champagne producer. Quite a lot of the time, they will give you a private tour of their facilities and caves which is so interesting and, as there will be fewer tourists, you get the opportunities to ask any questions you like. You also get to try and a wider variety of different types of Champagne which is always great. Personally, I prefer this champagne than the ones from bigger houses and they’re always the ones that we go back to. My two personal favourites are Nominé-Renard and Lysiane Moncourant. Now, we always order our boxes in advance from them so that we can just pick them up and stock up back at home! 

Some traditional buildings in Troyes, in case you need to get away from the Champagne

There are obviously other things to do when visiting the Champagne Region, but these are just a few of my suggestions. If alcohol is not your thing, then I would definitely suggest visiting the nearby town of Troyes as it is so beautiful and has a very interesting history.  It is such a nice area of France to visit as it feels more rural and traditional compared to some of the bigger areas. It is also not too difficult to get to from the EuroStar, or from Paris, so gives you a feel for rural France while also being not too far away from everything. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed another travel blog as I haven’t done one in a while.

Bethan x 

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