Things to do
A country retreat in Champagne wouldn’t be complete without sampling a flute or two of the region’s famous fizz. One of the best ways to do this is to book a private tour of a champagne house. Learn about how the very best white wines are carefully fermented, and take in the awe-inspiring sight of cavernous cellars that house millions of bottles. Tours tend to finish with the chance to sample the house’s personal vintage.
Champagne offers plenty of opportunities to get out and stretch your legs. Explore gentle walking trails through the region’s vineyards, stopping off to enjoy views of traditional hilltop farmhouses as you go. Or, if you have a day to spare, you could travel to the Ardennes, where Champagne borders Belgium. This wild landscape of hills and forests has a secluded atmosphere, and plenty of opportunities for boating and cycling.
Champagne’s history is entwined with its most famous product. The Romans began growing vines here, with their capital at Reims. The town’s cellars, many of which are carved into Roman quarries, are reminders of this ancient heritage. Another important historical centre is Troyes – the medieval capital of Champagne. Stroll through winding streets lined with half-timber houses, and pay a visit to the intriguing St. Pantaleon Church. This pretty gothic building houses a collection of statues from the 1500s, hidden here during the Revolution to protect them from damage.