Celebrate Christmas with Champagne
It’s Christmas so let’s open the bubbly, or to be more precise the Champagne. If you take the cross channel ferry to France the drive to the Champagne region will take you about 2hrs 30 minutes. Once you leave the ferry terminal at Calais you’ll find it’s a pleasant drive through very beautiful countryside so the journey should be treated as part of the experience.
The Champagne region is probably the most famous ‘wine’ region in the world with other countries trying to emulate the way in which it’s produced – countries like Spain produce Cava by the ‘Champagne method’, but of course there’s nothing like the real thing. And this is especially true at Christmas time, so why not enjoy a weekend break in this lovely area, take in the stunning scenery, indulge in some delicious food and wine, find a great place to stay and visit some of the main towns and cities that produce a drink that’s enjoyed around the world.
You can choose to stay in one of the main cities, such as Epernay or Reims, or you can look for accommodation in the heart of Champagne country. If you’re travelling with family it’ll be a fun-filled weekend, if it’s just the two of you it’ll be truly romantic.
Of course much of the surrounding countryside is made up of acre after acre of vineyards but this will just get you in the mood to do some tasting and here are some of the places you should visit in order to do this.
Home to some really famous Champagne Houses there’s a choice of cellars to visit and some great architecture from stunning chateaux to old roman churches.
But the Avenue de Champagne is where the Champagne Houses can be found and you’ll find they offer tours and tastings – the Moët & Chandon cellars are a good example of this.
While you’re there visit Notre Dame for its Renaissance splendour from the stained glass windows to the paintings and sculptures.
Reims is not just famous for Champagne but also its magnificent cathedral, museums, parks and palaces. Check out the maze of cellars then visit some of the city’s other historic attractions.
This is also a great place to shop – so maybe you could do some Christmas shopping – having taken the car ferry to France you’ll have ensured you have enough room for presents as well as Champagne and wine! Then discover the totally modern shopping malls alongside more traditional markets that are especially beautiful at Christmas time.
This mediaeval town is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site and dates back to 996 when St. Ayoul’s remains were found there. With almost 60 listed monuments you can certainly see why it has been so acclaimed by UNESCO.
The timber built houses, churches and fortifications are a definite must for lovers of history as well as those who just love admiring old architecture at its best.
Troyes was once the ancient capital of the Champagne region and, like Provins, it has old timber framed houses built around narrow streets that have been well preserved making this a very lovely town that’s full of history. Visit the stunning Gothic cathedral, churches and 16th century courtyards.
But let’s end where we started, talking about Champagne. The boulevards of Troyes are actually shaped to form a Champagne cork and, apart from Champagne, there are also excellent shops, including luxury brand factory outlets. It is also here that you can find amazing guitar center chicago deals. So, fill your boot, take the car ferry to England and fill your Christmas stocking!