Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

WHERE TO STAY: Ho­tel Jean Moet, Eper­nay. This charm­ing prop­erty has 11 guest rooms in an 18th-cen­tury build­ing. Hotel­jean­moet. com. La Mai­son de Rhodes, Troyes. Nes­tled in the shad­ows of the cathe­dral and Bishop’s Palace, it dates back to the 12th cen­tury and once be­longed to the Knights Tem­plar Or­der of Malta. Has 21st-cen­tury ameni­ties. Maison­der­hodes. com. Ho­tel Kep­pler, Paris. A short walk from the Champs-El­y­sees, this for­mer aris­to­crat’s town­house is pep­pered with lit­tle nooks and cran­nies where you can re­lax with a good book or a glass of wine. Kep­pler. fr. cel­lar mas­ter, and St pa­tron saint of wine.

Hautvillers is one leg of the so­called Cham­pagne Tri­an­gle, which in­cludes Reims and Eper­nay.

Even with­out the cham­pagne, Reims is a city well worth a visit, pri­mar­ily be­cause of the im­por­tance of its Cathe­drale Notre Dame de Reims and the Saint-Remi Basil­ica.

The cathe­dral could be de­scribed as France’s ver­sion of Eng­land’s West­min­ster Abbey – the tra­di­tional corona­tion site of all French kings.

The 13th-cen­tury cathe­dral is a mas­ter­piece of Gothic ar­chi­tec­ture, with its rose win­dow; its statue of Clo­vis, the 6th-cen­tury Frank­ish king cred­ited with uni­fy­ing France; a n d p a i n t i n g s b y T i n t o r e t t o , Poussin and Cha­gall.


The basil­ica, a short walk from the cathe­dral, con­serves the relics of Saint Remi, the bishop of Reims w h o c o n v e r t e d C l o v i s t o Chris­tian­ity.

But Reims does have the cham­pagne: the fa­mous houses of Louis Ro e d e r e r , T a i t t i n g e r , Mumm, Krug, Piper-Hei­d­sieck, Pom­mery a n d V e u v e C l i c q u o t a r e a l l head­quar­tered here, with their bot­tles age­ing in the miles of cav­erns and tun­nels be­low the city cen­tre.

Most are open for tours and tast­ings, but if you have time for only one, I sug­gest Veuve Clic­quot, ‘‘ the cham­pagne of roy­alty’’.

Dur­ing the Napoleonic Wars, Madame Clic­quot, some­thing of a mar­ket­ing guru, made her wine in­dis­pens­able in the royal courts through­out Europe.

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