My Insiders’ Guide to Champagne blog series is born out of experience. If you want to travel in Champagne, it’s hard to know where to start. Exactly how do you decide where to go and what to do and where to stay and how BEST to use your limited time? I remember from my first trip, I had no idea what I was doing.
But now that I have been a few times and have some great local contacts, I am sharing all my insider’s tips with you. For free (you’re welcome!)
Catch up on:
- Part One… with Valentin from Sparkling Tour (a guys perspective which includes watching football)
- Part Two.. with Isabélle Rousseaux, from Aÿ-Champagne Experience (who specialises in Aÿ-Champagne and the surrounding area… possibly the most beautiful part of Champagne)
(I am writing my own guide – as an outside insider lol – but you’ll have to wait for Part Five to hear from me)
Part Three of my Insiders’ Guide to Champagne is from Rachel and Alexis from Champagne Wafflart-Briet.
Wafflart Briet Champagne (known as WB to their friends, like me.. and now you) is a fifth generation boutique family champagne house. It’s based in Sacy (which is pronounced sassy… so cool and appropriate for Rachel who is all champagne sass!) about a 15 minute drive from Reims.
I spent a fab and fun morning with Rachel touring her vineyards, production facilities, and hanging out drinking champagne on her back deck. Rachel is originally from England and spent a semester in Reims studying where she met and fell in love with Alexis.
There will be more details about Champagne Wafflart-Briet coming soon but this story is all about doing Champagne the way the locals do it.
Of course the first thing Rachel will recommend is booking a tour and tasting with her at WB Champagne. She offers some really authentic, small village experiences. After spending a morning with her in Sacy, I got a really intimate insight into the different ways to look at Champagne Cooperatives. Sacy is a village cooperative with a shared press, but Rachel and Alexis bottle and store their own wine under their own label.
Over to Rachel and Alexis for their tips to travel in Champagne …
Insiders’ Guide to Champagne Part III
What are your top five things to do in Champagne as a local?
- Boulingrin food market in Reims
- Lunch at Le Comptoir à Bulles in Sacy
- Les Faux de Verzy – a walk through the forest on a Sunday afternoon with a stop at The Perching Bar
- We like to watch Epernay Rugby club play on Sundays
- A meal or a drink in one of the lovely restaurants in Place du Forum in Reims
(I can vouch for the food at Le Comptoir à Bulles in Sacy… check out that burger!)
What are your tips for the top five places for anyone visiting Champagne to visit?
- Sacy – of course we love our village!
- Wafflart-Briet Champagne for a tour and a tasting (yes, we are probably biased)
- Chateau de Sacy to stay (you can see it from our back deck) and Le Comptoir à Bulles for dinner
- Hautvillers viewpoint and village where some small producers are open for tastings
- Lanson Champagne House for a tour
- Chateau de Rilly (in Rilly-la-Montagne) is also beautiful
Our extra hot tip is to use Airbnb for local authentic accommodation experiences!
(This is me out the back of Rachel and Alexis’ with Chateau de Sacy in the background.)
What’s your favourite time of year in Champagne and why?
September – easy! Harvest time and the weather is still nice usually.
Other than Sacy, do you have a favourite village/town/place in Champagne?
Gueux is a village not far from Sacy. It is an incredibly pretty small town and the Bistrot du Circuit restaurant is a great spot for lunch and champagne (of course!).
And what are your top tips for planning a trip to Champagne based on all the feedback you hear from your guests?
We’d recommend a mixed trip between Reims and Epernay. If possible a couple of nights in Reims, a couple in Epernay, and a couple in a village. That way they get to experience everything. If you don’t have that much time, then we’d say stay in Reims but do a tour out to the vineyards and a day trip on the train to Epernay.
Where in France (outside Champagne) is your favourite place to go on holidays and why?
We love Burgundy! Visit Beaune if you can!!! It’s stunning and way more ‘tourist friendly’ for wine tasting than Champagne! So many good restaurants too.
We also love the city of Montpellier, it’s a beautiful city to visit.
And that’s a wrap from Rachel and Alexis for their Insiders’ Guide to Champagne.
All these insiders’ tips are making my trip planning for the next time I travel in Champagne easier by the minute.
Have you been to Champagne and have some tips? Share your top things to do in Champagne in the comments below or post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute #happychampers on facebook and instagram.
Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country.