Birthday? Crack open a bottle of champagne. New job, promotion? Get out the champagne! New baby? More champagne! A weekend lunch with friends and family? Champagne, please… Only the sparkling wine from the Champagne region in France can be called champagne.
Not reserved just for weddings and New Years, champagne is usually served as an aperitif with a selection of hor d’œuvres: foie gras, smoked salmon, tapenade, flavoured crackers, cheese cubes, and the list goes on… I like having stuffed olives for its savoury kick.
It was a 4-day weekend, so we decided that a visite des caves & dégustation in Reims was in order.
This was both inspiration and aspiration!
Reims is a short 45-minute train ride away from Paris and we toured 2 houses – the widely popular Taittinger, which produces one of my preferred cuvées, and a lesser-known one, G.H. Martel & Cie. They were about a 20-minute walk away from the train station.
Montluçon is built around a medieval town from the 11th century
I came here for a fascinating session on the French administration and definitely did not expect to find this beauty in the heart of the city.
Les beaux-parents (the in-laws) have been talking forever about a surprise in the French countryside that they will be bringing me to before I head back to Paris… They’ve heard of ‘the place’, have passed by, but have never visited, and I will see ‘it’ when I get there.
I’m not good with waiting for surprises so it was a little discomforting that they were not giving any clues away!
So the GPS was set one day for ‘une promenade‘ somewhere: “We don’t know where, as we have never been either but it’s about 30 minutes away.”
Oh, the suspense!!
We drove in a direction I wasn’t familiar with and as we got closer, I saw a Shinto-like structure as we enter the town.
I see a buddhist monk just seconds later but still had no clue – c’est vraiment curieux!