We were picked up at our hotel promptly at 8am by Victor and joined another lovely and hilarious couple from Mexico who honestly added even more magic and fun to an already incredible day. Victor kept us safe, entertained and educated. En route to our first stop he had us play a scents game where we guessed the scent of about 12 different vials (ranging from the obvious to the not so recognizable). The scenery was glorious.
Our first stop was Dom Caudron where we enjoyed their museum. a surprisingly well-done movie and delicious tastings. Louis was excellent. It was intimate in that it was only the five of us from the van.
Next, we ventured into Reims – while the cathedral was remarkably busy and there was no parking to be had it was great to see the city sights. On to a tasty lunch at a nearby chateau – we all agreed that the starter of lentils with the most delicious ham was a special treat.
The Taittinger visit was most enjoyed; there was another tour group that joined, but no more than @twenty of us in total. There was a lot to see including the caves which were fascinating, especially the “graffiti” from WW1 and WW2.
Victor had a special surprise for us just prior to sunset. He drove us to a spectacular lookout point from which one could see all of Epernay (our next destination). A sabering of the bottle and another tasting ensued.
The piece de resistance/creme de la creme: we were serendipitously there, in Epernay, for the first night of the Champagne Avenue Christmas Illumination, and it was fabulous. Victor finagled a special entrance (evading the growing queues) and since we were a little early it was especially intimate. It was by far the most elegant illumination we have witnessed – lighting resembling beautiful chandeliers, videos displayed on the edifices of the master champagne houses (the Perrier Toy one was stunning with its floating butterflies). Truly a show with TWO more tastings!
Despite challenging traffic back to Paris (while the five of us slept off our bubbles) Victor got us back to Paris safely and left us with a day we will not forget.