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Is a trip to Reims worth it in March, or should we stay with Epernay?

Is a trip to Reims worth it in March, or should we stay with Epernay?

Old Mar 16th, 2008, 04:30 PM
  #21  
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 311
Alas, France's windy, cold wet weather last week did us in temporarily, and my wife spent the day we were ticketed to Reims in the bed, fighting something that knocked her flat.

Regardless of the weather, you can do Paris. Ducking in and out of Metro stations kept us out of the rain for the most part, and the museums are dry inside. We did successfully do one field trip: down to Chartres on a semi-dry day.

Wish I could report something on the Reims outing, but, alas, I have nothing but unused train tickets to show for it.

Now, if you want to hear about airline adventures trying to get back, I'm your man, but that's another posting....

Jim
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 10:01 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Follow up... we had a lovely, albeit slower paced, Wednesday in Epernay. Were going to go to Reims, too, but I also came down with something after a few days of walking around in Paris ice rain- still a great trip, though, just paying for it now

Caught the 8:30 train out of Gare de l'Est and got to Epernay around 10. Walked around the town, had coffee and a croissant, and toured Moet Chandon. We had made reservations a couple weeks in advance and loved the tour- not too big or small, good pace, very informative, excellent opportunity to learn more about the champagne making process. Can choose from different level of tasting at end- we opted for one vintage ($25 Eu) and one blend ($20 Eu) and shared/compared.

Leisurely plat du jour lunch at the bar-like place up the street away from the square on Avenue Champagne- starter, entree, cheese course (6 or 7 options!), dessert, water and table wine- $12 Eu each.

Took the tour at Mercier in the afternoon. Fiance said it was like the Disneyworld of Champagne tours. Much more marketing, tram, and an entertaining glass elevator ride with scenes from the early 1900s. Some kids on the tour- all seemed content, gave parents a chance for a tour. Tasting at end was either for 1 glass ($8Eu) or 3 ($15Eu)- we had one of each and shared.

Took the 4:30 train back to Paris, so all in all a nice day trip. We preferred the Moet tour to the Mercier tour. Personally, I wouldn't do more than 2 tours in a day- overlap of information.

There were a couple of other houses available, wine bars, and a very helpful tourist office across from Moet Chandon that gave us other suggestions.

Bought a couple of bottles and already consumed our souvenirs- and increased our love of champagne!
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 07:18 AM
  #23  
 
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Topped for Yellowrose. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2009, 02:22 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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While staying for a March week in Paris we took a day trip to Reims. Since our favorite champagne is Lanson (not a big seller in the US) we had arranged for a tour on the Friday we visited Reims. We got lost trying to walk there and luckily happened upon a cab who got us there in time for our tour. We rang the bell at the gate, gave our names and were buzzed in. We walked up to the main door and into a huge foyer which was deserted. After about 5 minutes a woman came down the staircase and told us that the facility was closed on Fridays in March but that she would be giving us our tour. So it was the three of us going through the deserted facility. She (and I wish I could remember her name but she was really a delight) took us places that are not on the usual tour due to safety issues. At the end of the tour she opened a 750ml bottle of their Black Label which we did our best to demolish. We bought several bottles of Lanson varieties we had never seen before. She called us a cab which took us to Les Crayeres where we had made a reservation for lunch.
When we arrived at Le Crayeres they asked if we would like to have an aperitif in the conservatory. We agreed and were led to a sunny glass room off of their very British wood paneled bar. After we took seats on the sofa, we were offered a selection from the trolley with many bottles of Champagne from a variety of houses. Since we started with Lanson we proceeded with a Lanson rose champagne. The staff offered menus and then brought amuse bouche (an asparagus soup-YUM). After we made our selections and relaxed for a period of time we were led into the dining room. We had an excellent luncheon the highlight of which was a hot smoked salmon appetizer. We still can smell the salmon and wood smoke that rose from the dish when they lifted the cover. After lunch we staggered (only slightly) down the street to view the cathedral which is magnificent. Then found a city bus which took us back to the train station and on to Paris. It was an excellent day and I highly recommend a visit to Reims in March. My only problem is that I cannot pronounce 'Reims'!!! After I say the name I then have to clarify that I mean the Champagne town.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:23 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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hi AGM,

you sound like my sort of gal.

regards, ann

ps - how is it pronounced then?
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:32 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I enjoyed Reims for itself and the main sites aren't really related to the weather, but I'm not into champagne, so I guess if that is the main goal, it wouldn't be the same thing. I just don't even like it.

I think Reims is fairly easy to pronounce, roughly like "rance" would be in English (eg, as in the word trance without the t, but the n more nasalized like they do in French, not an obvious English n). It's just a lot of people who don't know French at all just have know idea how those letters would be pronounced. English people stick an h in it for some reason I don't understand (ie, spell it Rheims).
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