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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 6 Châteaus in the Champagne Area

So whenever I have a client for http://www.tastysidetolifetours.com come into town I give them a list of about 6 different châteaus to stay in. A lot of people love that Champagne is only 45 minutes from Paris. Yet, because it's so close, they theorize that they can easily see the region in a speedy little day trip and then jet set on back to Paris. Like a quick trip from San Francisco to Silicon Valley, right? The 1 day Champagne wonder is totally doable and a glorious little side treat from a Parisian trip BUT I think you miss out on a chunk of the region if you "partir" after only a 10 hr day.

One of the best parts about the region is the handful of incredible 17th century Chateaus full of history, incredible decor and talented chefs. Really it takes a good 3 day trip to fully appreciate the different regions of Champagne, taste a little from each, visit a few farms, a number of daily markets and taste your heart away. This way, in a weekend, you can truly discover your favorites and walk away with real gems for 13 euro a bottle.

Here is a list below of my favorite châteaus:

Les Crayeres- ***** Number 1 Hotel in the World in 2002. Built in 1885 by Mrs Pommery of Pommery Champagne, then partially destroyed by the German forces in WWI. In 1940's the Royal Air Force occupied the castle, followed by the American army and then Count Charles of Colignac. Finally in 1980 the Castle was purchased and renovated. The restaurant is famous for head Chef Gerad Boyer who received 3 Michelin Stars. Since 2010 Phillipe Mille is chef who is the winner of the 2009 Boucuse de Bronze and has taken over both Kitchens. City: Reims Rates: 300-700/ night. http://www.lescrayeres.com/uk.html

Les Crayeres- *****

Hotel L'Assiette Champenoise **** In the Hotel and Chateau collection The Assiette Champenoise is modern and set within a peaceful 4 acre park. It has 55 rooms and a gourmet restaurant with 2 Michelin Stars. Menu is 55-155 euro. City: Tinqueux (5 mins from Reims) Rates: 330-760/night http://www.assiettechampenoise.com/

Hotel L'Assiette Champenoise ****

Les Aulnois- **** One of my favorite B & B's in town that is a restored ancient Chateau. It is close to Les Crayeres in terms of quality of rooms and 1/5th the price. It's beautifully decorated with magnificient gardens. The owners family owns a Chamapagne business and she serves her Champagne to lucky guests. The property is a table d'hotes with breakfast prepared daily and a delicious dinner if requested of course paired with Champagne. City: Pierry (30 mins from Reims but 5 mins from the 2nd largest city in Champagne Eperany) Rates: 150-280/night. http://lesaulnois.fr/default.aspx

Les Aulnois- ****

Hostellerie La Briqueterie- **** Member of the Relais and Chateau collection this hotel is surrounded by beautiful grounds (including a rose garden, a huge vegetable garden and acres of land with views of the rolling hills and vineyards). It is located just 10 minutes outside Epernay and has a sauna, heated pool (which opens onto the patio) and a spa. The hotel is attached to a gourmet 1 Michelin star restaurant with a recent new head chef, Michael Nizzero who brings classic cooking techniques to a modern audience creating dishes with superb flavors, colors and textures. The restaurant uses fresh herbs from their garden and regional products. Their also is a terrific and cozy bar with a fireplace during winter.   City: Vinay Rates: 180-380/ night. http://www.lescrayeres.com/uk.html

Chateau de Fere **** Chateau de Fere is a beautiful Chateau overlooked by incredible ruins of a 12th century castle. It lies in a park of 70 hectares. It was built in 1206 by Robert de Dreux, grandson of Louis VI. There are actually two castles on the grounds. One, the Chateau de Fere now lays in ruins, it serves as the backdrop of the newer 16th century castle, the Hostellerie du Chateau. Recommended by JP Moser Hotel & Chateau Guide 2010. Restaurant is head by Dominique Quay, Maitre Cuisiner de France and Chef for over 10 yrs. Tasting menu at 90 Euro. City: Village of Fere en Tardenois- 40 mins from Reims- 30 mins from tasting. Middle of the country. Rates: 180-450/ night. http://chateaudefere.com/blog/

Chateau de Fere ****

Chateau De Courcelles **** Chateau de Courcelles was built in 1690 and occupied by Germans in WWI. Christain Dior organized parties here in the 1940's. It's a charming 4 star hotel with a gourmet restaurant and is a member of the Relais and Chateau. This luxury hotel has a park, a terrace with views over the surrounding countryside, a tennis court and a pool. It's gourmet restaurant has many distinctions and offers a 50 euro and 90 euro tasting menu. City: Aisne from Reims/ 45-50 From Champagne tasting Rates: 240-395/ night. http://www.chateau-de-courcelles.fr/

Chateau De Courcelles ****

I plan trips to small producers where you sit in the living room with producers, taste lots of different cuvees, visit farms, markets and eat Michelin star meals all in the middle of the rolling vineyards of Champagne. Email me if you're interested in a trip: Tastysidetolifetours@gmail.com and check out the websitewww.Tastysidetolifetours.com

If you're interested in a trip please email:

Tasty Side To Life Tours
Attn: Sydney Krueger
15 Rue Conservatoire 75009 Paris France

Email: tastysidetolifetours@gmail.com or sydneykrueger@gmail.com

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