Instead of “R&D”, I engage in considerable “Research & Planning“, when developing our travel plans – feeds my curiosity and whets my appetite for discovering the area under study. Previously, I noted transportation options in mapping out a weekend getaway from Paris with our friends. Destination: Champagne country. This magnificent land of gentle hills and soft Champagne bubbles delivers a delightful balance of history, stunning architecture, lively tasting rooms and sprawling landscapes.
Where to stay uncovers myriad choices accompanied by tough decisions. I tend toward moderate pricing – neither too basic nor too grand – that allows for lots of pleasant dining and de rigeur shopping. The lodging selections in the Champagne region range from lifetime-memory-bucket-list estates and Relais & Chateaux luxury properties to mid-range hotels and vacation rental or B&B options. One of my mantras – you can’t , make good decisions without all the information needed, so let’s take a quick look at the high-end possibilities and follow in a later posting with the moderate selections.
With several villages and cities from which to choose, I think the most appealing and appropriate accommodations may be the deciding factor in determining our ‘home base’ for the weekend. Two stellar properties, naturally with Michelin-starred fine dining, lead the bucket-list options: Les Crayères, the former Pommery family mansion turned boutique hotel in Reims, and La Briqueterie, also a 5-star luxury property in the countryside on the outskirts of Epernay.
The former sits directly across the street from the Pommery champagne house and offers a stunning selection of 20 rooms in a tranquil garden setting. One package for two people offered by Les Crayères includes accommodation for 1 night, continental breakfast and dinner for 2 in their gourmet Le Parc or Brasserie Le Jarden restaurants for 400 to 500 Euros.
La Briqueterie, located just outside the smaller Epernay town, presents 40, individually-decorated rooms ranging from 25 to 60 m², with rates from 210 to 480 Euros. Both properties exude elegance and would live up to any discerning guest’s expectations.
If this is indeed your dream weekend, simply imagine strolling in the vast Pommery gardens or in the peaceful La Briqueterie setting in the heart of the Champagne vineyards. Could life be better, one must wonder!
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