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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another Trip to Champagne: La Semaine du Gout en Champagne

So this last week was "La Semaine du Gout en Champagne" which means the week of tasting french gastronomic treats and drinking lot and lots of free small producer Champagne. Basically about 20 small local producers had a week of free tasting paired with french gastromonic delights. I'm talking Champagne with foie gras, escargots, pate en croute, local honey, chocolates, etc all paired with Champagne to match. Sounds incredible, right? Well it was...

We chose to go to Chatillon which is a small beautiful country town in the Marne Valley made up of 195 inhabintants. The village has a history from the french revolution and is surrounded by rolling hills, woods and lots of vineyards. We planned the aggressive bike route mode of transport and our idea was to take the 45 minute 25 euro train to Epernay, bike 13 kilometers through beautiful champagne vineyards (which mind you are currently changing colors from green to red) and make our way to Champagne J Charpentier in Chatillons http://www.jcharpentier.com/index.php . The only problem was I stayed up a bit too late hanging out in the Bastille and when we woke up it was 6 degrees celcius which= ummm no I will not bike and quiver at the same time. We decided to veto the biking (which was a bit of a disappointment b/c I was thrilled about the adventure and had so much fun planning). Instead, we picked up a car in Reims and drove.

Our first stop was this beautiful viewpoint and this amazing looking Chateau. I have to recommend people to stay here for a peaceful and tranquil setting and BEAUTIFUL view!

I mean a view like this when you get back to your hotel? I think it would be pretty pretty incredible!!

As we approach Champagne J Charpentier we quickly realized Semaine du Gout en Champagne is not a secret b/c the place was swimming with lots of local frenchies...

And the food begins...Pate en Crout below (Basically beef, veal, pork, rabbit, red wine, onions all ground up and covered in puffed pastry)

The Primier Cuvee

Some private villas just up the street

This chateau below-Chateau Villers is a must for the next visit

Warm escarot brought to the table. Actually the shells here were puffed pastry so you could eat the whole thing. Ahh parsely, butter, garlic and a little snail. Really it is delicious

Finally.. the menu! Feuillete de Saint Pierre a l'oseille (Filet of fish inside puffed pastry), Farci de canard forestier suace ratafia (Duck with a brown sauce), Garnitures de Legumes (shredded and baked vegetables), Mesclun de salades (Mesclun salad always after the main) with Chaource de Troyes cheese, Champenois avec son gateau aux biscuit (Regional flan dessert with Reims regional rose biscuits).

The Reims Biscuit Rose specialities of the region

The food was good but didn't knock my socks off but the ambience was amazing. I also really enjoyed the Champagne and it was comforting to sit next to a french couple who had come every year for the past 6 years to buy the Brut. They said the quality stayed the same from year to year which is nice to hear.

Next time, new house, new food, new adventure!

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