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Parva Domus Rimaire
27, avenue de Champagne, 51200 Épernay
Tel. +33 (0)3 26 32 40 74
Located in a superb setting along the Avenue de Champagne, Parva Domus Chambre d’hôtes is a new accommodation choice for tourists to consider. The beautiful house has a handful of very simply but elegantly decorated rooms, offering a homely and peaceful milieu. The couple who run the establishment take good care of their guests and the overnight rate of around € 80 is more than reasonable.
40, rue du Général Leclerc, 51200 Épernay
Tel. +33 (0)3 26 59 50 50
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Situated at the heart of Épernay, by the roundabout at the start of the Avenue de Champagne, La Banque is the latest addition to the city’s restaurant world. Unusually for France, the large establishment has a long champagne bar right by the entrance. The restaurant, with its stylish modern décor, is very comfortable. The terrace out the back is inviting in summer.
The menu is fairly unsurprising, and although the food is good, it is somewhat overpriced. You seem to be paying more for the location and surroundings than for the food. The champagne list follows an unusual concept, comprising a very heterogeneous selection of champagnes from relatively unknown small producers and a couple of larger houses. A few of the choices are rather puzzling. The best thing is the availability of all champagnes by the glass and, it seems, their turnover, as in my experience at least the champagnes have been optimally fresh.
La Grillade Gourmande
16, rue de Reims, 51200 Épernay
Tel. +33 (0)3 26 55 44 22
La Grillade Gourmande has quickly become the place where many champagne houses entertain their guests in Épernay. Christophe Bernard is inspired by local delicacies and French classics, and features them with a personal touch. Many love the restaurant for its excellent fish and meat dishes. The dishes cooked on the open grill are wonderful. Fresh oysters are served all year round. The champagne list is extensive, with a comprehensive selection of wines especially from producers in the Épernay region. The emphasis is on the best-known houses. The price level is reasonable and the service from the hosts is warmly welcoming.
Christophe Bernard of La Grillade Gourmande barbequing delicacies on an open fire
Hôtel La Villa Eugène
82–84, avenue de Champagne, 51200 Épernay
Tel. +33 (0)3 26 32 44 76
Named after the original owner of the villa and the creator of Champagne Mercier, Eugène Mercier, this delightful boutique hotel is right at the end of the Avenue de Champagne. The hotel’s 15 unconventional rooms and suites are decorated in either romantic Louis XIV style or the colonial style. Room prices range from € 129 to € 344. The hotel also has a charming swimming pool.
This picturesque place in the tiny village of Jordan on the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario has it all. It is virtually a small town on its own. There are luxurious rooms for all tastes, both in the Inn but also in their other hotel, Jordan House, down the road.
The Inn has all been built around Cave Spring, a high quality producer making still and sparkling Niagara wines. Adjoined are a gastronomic restaurant of the same name as well as a vinotherapy spa. Sometimes these winery spas can be rather touristic but this one was top class with its Wine Country Wraps being one of the best I’ve experienced.
Additionally, the Main Street, separating the Inn from the winery, is lined with high quality gifts, arts and clothes boutiques. Ideal for a romantic getaway weekend or wine tourism in general.
The island of Mazzorbo, a short sea fare away from Venice, hosts a very special property, the Venissa. It is a brand new venture of the Bisol Prosecco family, who won a tender by the city of Venice to revive the old island property of Venissa. After lengthy studies, the Bisols revived Venetian viticulture by re-introducing the ancient Dorona variety on the island in an idea to make a top quality Venetian wine. The wine is not yet launched but the hotel and restaurant were opened for public in May 2010. The six rooms of the hotel are charming but the real joy of the visit is the Venissa Restaurant, where the famous chef Paola Budel cooks local delicacies.
The Duca di Dolle estate in the 40 inhabitants village of Rolle on the Prosecco hills is owned by the Bisol Prosecco family. It is a charming Relais overlooking the gorgeous steep, green hills of Prosecco in the vicinity of Conegliano. The stylishly renovated property is ambient. Sipping Bisol Prosecco Garnèi DOCG by the poolside is just heavenly.
This traditional and ambient Les Crayères restaurant in Reims recently changed Chef de Cuisine from Didier Elena to Philippe Mille. I am yet to explore the cuisine of the new chef, but that should change in the next week or two. There are two options, the fine dining experience of Le Parc and the Brasserie Le Jardin. The cellar book is a champagne lover’s bible.
The hotel is the finest in the region if not in the whole of France. It used to belong to the Pommery champagne family. The traditional and luxurious environment is peaceful and cosy. Rest assured the staff will cater for all your needs, as there are 80 people working for the 20 room hotel!
The newly opened bar specialises in cocktails and especially the Finnish specialties are worth experimenting. Walking past it, it appears like a private club with its locked door. But ring the door bell, and you’ll get in to this busy cocktail heaven.
Finally, there is a great way of killing time at Helsinki Airport! In fact, it is reason to get to the airport half an hour before usual. The newly launched FINE Wine Bar is a unique concept, made in cooperation with the FINE-magazines. It is the place to taste the 1000 finest wines ever made, selected and published as a book by the Editorial Team of FINE.
In addition to tasting the normal wine bar selection, made by Juha Lihtonen of FINE, you can taste everyday a selection of fine and mature wines by the glass. The rare wines are sourced from the best cellars in the world by Pekka Nuikki. You can experience for example Petrus 1975, Chambertin 1961 and Vintage Port from 1864.
The FINE Wine Bar is open every day 06:00-20:00 at Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport.