Champagne, France | Hôtel du Marc: The Private Estate of Veuve Clicquot

Sunday, July 20, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

A bit belated….

…but better late than never, no? 

The Veuve Clicquot cellars are located in Reims (a 45-minute TGV ride from Paris). It’s open to the public (and worth a visit if you’re in the area…make sure to stop by Le Jardin at Les Crayères afterwards for lunch). 

A 15-minute drive away from the champagne cellars is Hôtel du Marc, the label’s private estate.

Visits are by invitation only (though open to the public for one weekend each year) and I was lucky enough to take a peek inside the other month…

…come see!

Guests are greeted in the library room, which houses books from travels and tokens from past and current collaborations.

The name might say Hôtel, but it’s very much a private home (Madame Clicquot herself once lived here).

There are five guest rooms – one for each season of the year, and the fifth to represent harvest. 

How about this bathroom? Can you imagine bubble baths and company? Oh, the conversations!

The variation in color of the carpeting and walls leading up to the second floor emulate the three main grapes of Champagne: chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier, in addition to the chalky soils of the region. 

There are many mysterious halls and rooms to wander (include one that’s filled with curiosities)…

…and in the end, it’s all about the champagne. Ahhhh ^_^

Reims, Champagne, France | Château Les Crayères

Saturday, May 24, 2014 1 No tags Permalink 0

Today we move from L’Assiette Champenoise to…Les Crayères!

Both hotels are located in Reims and just a ten-minute cab ride apart.

But whereas L’Assiette Champenoise is a modern property…

…Les Crayères is straight-up château. 

They’ve got two in-château restaurants. 

The more casual one is called Le Jardin…

We went here for a lunch of sweetbreads sautéed with wine and butter. Best accompanied by champagne ^_^

And for dessert, boozy banana tiramisu. 

The more formal restaurant is Le Parc. Let’s eat! Foie, salmon, asparagus, and cheese.

And then more foie gras…this time with strawberries. 

A velvety cream of spring vegetables…

…and sole with peas, mint, and corn. 

Magret de canard! With radishes and morels. 

And then the cheese cart…

…which I could only narrow down to four. 

A palate cleaner of strawberries and champagne followed by…

…variations on pineapple…

…and a pear soufflé.

Mignardises at midnight. A pistachio and pineapple tart, chocolate-caramel lollipop, peanut butter and jelly bonbon, and whipped soft cheese with citron. 

Happy weekend ^-^

Reims, Champagne, France | Arnaud Lallement and L’Assiette Champenoise

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1 No tags Permalink 0

Today…

…we head to Champagne! It’s just 45-minutes north of Paris on the TGV ^-^

We divided our stay between L’Assiette Champenoise and Les Crayères. Both properties have in-hotel restaurants we were excited to check out.

Let’s take a look at L’Assiette Champenoise first (and then we can go to Les Crayères tomorrow).

Arnaud Lallement is located on the second floor of the property, right off the lobby. Ready for dinner? 

We’ll start with canapés, cauliflower and smoked sturgeon…

…followed by green asparagus, yellow wine, and morels.

Salmon, leeks, turnips, and….matcha!!!!!!

There was bar line with peas, celery and oregano…

…followed by pigeon with pink, red, and green radishes. 

Then came the cheese trolley! Which I could not refuse.

Along with dessert. He had raspberries…

…and I went with green rhubarb.

A parade of sweets…

…put me down for a half-dozen canelés.

As well as a heady anise tisane. 

Till next time ^-^

Paris! Champagne! Monaco!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

Aloha from France!

We’ve been in Paris and Champagne for the last week…

…and tomorrow we head out to Monaco. 

A few fun highlights (left to right, top to bottom):

  • Ispahan from Pierre Hermé (Paris)
  • Château Les Crayères (Reims, Champagne) 
  • Oolongs and pu’erhs at Maison des Trois Thés (Paris)
  • Foie gras and strawberries at Le Parc (Reims, Champagne)
  • Hôtel du Marc, the private estate of Veuve Clicquot (Reims, Champagne)
  • Dinner at Spring (Paris)

I post photos on instagram daily (and sometimes a lot more than daily ;) so that’s the best way to stay updated on day to day adventures. More posts coming soon, but hope you enjoy these photos in the meantime ^_^