One more post to round out my France travelogue! I wanted to highlight some of the amazing food and wine we enjoyed in and around the Champagne region outside of our visits to Henri Giraud and Moet & Chandon.
While I wouldn’t necessarily go back to Champagne, I did enjoy the 24 hours we spent there. I just felt that Epernay and Reims were lacking the small town charm of other wine villages in France, and they felt like more industrial, working cities. That combined with an overall lack in hospitality and ease of wine tasting makes it rank a bit lower on my France favorite places list.
That being said, we ate some fabulous wine and drank some delicious Champagne. For dinner in Epernay we went to the top-rated Chez Max. I’m pretty sure we ordered half the menu because we wanted to taste it all! Highlights were the steak tartare made tableside (the owner makes over 1000 steak tartares per year), roasted duck breast, and a cheese plate with local cheeses. They also have a great selection of wines by the half bottle, so we were able to course our meal with a self-selected wine pairing. We started with the Cuvee du Cinquantenaire Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) from Veuve J. Lanaud.
Our other wine choices for the evening included the 2014 Sancerre Les Charmes from Domaine Andre Vatan and a Cabernet Franc from Les Echaillons in the Loire Valley.
In Reims, we had lunch at Le Jardin Brasserie at the Domaine Les Crayeres hotel. This is the more casual restaurant associated with the 2-star Le Parc also on property. The room was absolutely gorgeous. We were a bit rushed to catch our train so we didn’t take advantage of the price-fixed lunch, but we enjoyed a beautiful beet carpaccio with prosciutto and Parmesan as well as a grilled fish. They also served some of the best bread of the trip!
After lunch before our train we quickly toured the Reims Cathedral. This was worth coming to this town for. Absolutely gorgeous with Chagall stained glass windows.
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