Champagne

In the sitting room at Pol Roger
Hubert showing Steve the production records

We spent our first night in the Champagne area in Epernay. It’s a small town with an Ave of famous Champagne Houses – Caves. Accommodation was hard to get and I had tried to get two nights at a charming B&B in nearby Hautvillers. But sadly they could only give us 1 night so we stayed at the the,  not so,  Best Western. Luckily we only arrived there at 8.30 off the flight from Sardinia. We went straight out for dinner to Le Banc. It was very good. Lovely old building , an old bank with wonderful wood work. 
After dinner we walked the Ave de Champagne and marveled at the size and grandeur of the Champagne Houses and thought how lucky we were to have access to Pol Roger. We decided not to go to other houses as we would have such a good private tour. We decided just to sample bubbles  in the restaurants at every opportunity. 
Fell into bed and slept badly in the dipping into the middle bed. I also had to remove the doona from its cover. The Europeans don’t use a top sheet and I find it SO hot under the doona. It’s supposed to be summer! It’s not though…….. with the weather a little overcast. 
We set off the next day on the flower route to see small villages of note. Went to Chalons-en-Chapagne,  a delightful small village. On from there we ended up at Verdan as Steve wanted to see the memorials and sites related to the war. We enjoyed lunch by the river- a rather nice baguette and for me the non driver a glass of rosé
We arrived in our village,  Hautvillers,  to stay in a lovely B&B hosted by Cecile. It was very welcoming with a lovely large room overlooking the vines towards Epernay. Sadly the very good restaurant in the village was not open Sunday for dinner so Cecile booked us a taxi to take us to bistrot  7 in Epernay, a bistrot  with a big reputation. It was really good and we shared a champagne and a lovely red with veal with capers, preserved tomatoes and lemons for Steve and Duck with cherries for me. Delicious. Steve followed with cheese and I had local strawberries. 
The next morning we had a light breakfast before heading into Epernay for our visit to the house of Pol Roger. Hubert de Billy a direct descendant of Pol Roger met us and took us in a very personalized way on a tour of the cave. He was so interesting and funny – not a stuffy rich French man! We finished with a bottle of 2004 Vintage. I learned a lot about the production of Champagne and a few little stories as well!  As the French say….. Magnifique. 

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