view of Hautvillers, France
Three day vacation in the Champagne region of France, a two hour drive from Paris. We visited Epernay in 2009 and loved it, more than the larger city of Reims in 2011, so we decided to stay in a small town outside of Epernay called Hautvillers. Dom Perignon (the monk who discovered how to make champagne) is buried in the church in the town. We found an amazing bed and breakfast we highly recommend, Le Clos Des Armoiries. We drove through many small towns, a ton of vineyards, military cemeteries, the forest and mountains of Reims, and of course ate and drank as much as we could. We literally started tasting champagne at Mercier at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and kept going all day! No headaches the next day either. That's some good stuff.
Leaving Paris, lunch at Auberge de l'Omois in Baulne-en-Brie where we were the only patrons, and the chef told us which neighbor supplied which ingredient for the meal. It was probably the best meal we had. Checking into the bed and breakfast chateau in Hautvillers. Drinks in town, then dinner at a fancy restaurant which was not as good as we had hoped. But the wine and cheese were fantastic thank goodness.
Breakfast in the courtyard, touring the Mercier champagne cellars in Epernay, driving through the vineyards, lunch in Ludes, back to Hautvillers to visit the church and tomb of Dom Perignon ( and the bones of a Saint from 650!), another champagne tasting across the street, a walk through town for more tasting and snacks, back to the hotel, more snacks and champagne, then dinner in town at a pop-up bistro.
Breakfast, drive through Champagne route to a botanical garden (Jardin de Presle) where we spent an hour walking through the various gardens, forest, and flowers. Those orange and red berries are poisonous! Then more vineyard touring, stopping at the British war cemetery, lunch at a restaurant in Sarcy which happened to be a motorcycle bar with an American, Harley Davidson, and Jack Daniels theme. Then back to Paris. We were sad to leave the region, but know we will be back soon.