All our Champagne collections:
The romance of the fizzy elixir lends romance to the region. But originally the name was derived, less romantically, from 'Campania': land of plains. That's very much an understatement, this landscape isn't just plains. There are also undulating hillsides on which grow the perfectly romantic rows of vines; and rest the 300 charming Champagne villages. If you know which of these you want to stay in go straight to our guru's list. Otherwise here are some good reasons to visit, and some of the best places to stay in Champagne to enjoy them (if you'd prefer a holiday cottage or apartment, we recommend the selection with our online partner, booking.com).
The romance of the drink must come in part from the magical story of its 'invention' by Benedictine Monk, Dom Perignon. Sparkling wine starts life as still wine, in the case of Champagne, mostly thin, acidic blends of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes. Champagne is then fermented in the bottle. When the yeast breaks down the sugars produce the carbon dioxide sparkle. Many people will tell you that when you taste Champagne before the fermentation process has occurred you’ll be able to see why it’s so important to the region, so make sure you try some.
The Champagne Route is the most common way to traverse the region, taking quaffers and connoisseurs from one beautiful village to the next. Many vineyards are passed along the way. Most of the big producers don't grow their own grapes, but the ones who do are obviously the most interesting to visit. It's worth remembering that much of the region's best bubbly is produced in the 5,000 or so small scale vignerons. So make sure you make time to visit some of them. Many are happy to welcome visitors.
Premium champagne grapes are grown on the gentle slopes of the Montagne de Reims, where many of the big names in champagne are based. Including Pommery, Krug, Taittinger and Roederer.
Taittinger is one of the few major champagne houses you can tour without a booking. Once a church, the cellars of this 'house' go down several levels, to those cut into the chalk in Roman times. Don't be put off by the famous name, it's worth visiting Tattinger because it's one of the few champagne houses which still turns its bottles by hand.
25kms south of Reims, Épernay is the true wine capital of Champagne. Situated in the heart of the vineyards, ninety per cent of this town's population work in wine. And Épernay has 37 Champagne houses - Reims has eight. Épernay is also one of the wealthiest towns in the Champagne region. Partly because this is where Moët et Chandon have their cellar. But many of the smaller producers within walking distance of Moët are also well worth a visit.
Épernay is also famous for the vast underground cellars lying directly below its streets. There are approximately 110kms worth, holding 200 million bottles of fizz.
Beautiful and unchanging Troyes is the second historic capital of the Champagne region, though, unlike Reims, it doesn't have any champagne houses. It does have some wonderful half-timbered medieval ones though - thought of as some of the best preserved in Europe. And some very fine Gothic architecture as well. It also has some excellent museums. And probably the most famous outlet mall in France.
Les Riceys, Champagne
A charming little hotel in the heart of the Champagne region. A traditional stone building with green shutters, beautiful rooms and family suites, and a large restaurant set in the original Champagne cellar. An authentic spot perfect for local exploring and lots of wine tasting.
These former stables provide an authentic French farmhouse feel with the comforts of a charming B&B. Breakfast is included and there are plenty of games and activities for kids on site. With access to the kitchen and BBQ, a perfect spot for families or groups to relax and explore the local area.
Quaint former coaching inn metres from the village of Colombey-les-deux-Eglises, just off the Champagne trail. Stone walls and wooden beams make for cosy traditional rooms, most of which overlook the pretty garden. Come for good French food, local exploring and welcoming hosts.
Signy L'Abbaye, Champagne
Charming chambre d'hôtes in the centre of pretty Signy l'Abbaye, just right for a short break or as a base while exploring Champagne and the Ardennes. Four double rooms (only one en-suite) and a family suite sleeping five. Simple, traditional and very comfortable, with a gourmet breakfast included.
Family run hotel in Epernay, the heart of the Champagne region. The world's most famous champagne houses in the Avenue de Champagne are close by. Les Berceaux is all about the cuisine with two restaurants - the Michelin starred Michelon and the Bistrot 7.
A charming restaurant with rooms in a pear tree garden. Traditional rooms have romantic wallpapers, fireplaces and antique furniture. Superb French cuisine, a garden and terrace in which to relax. Elegant, peaceful and enchanting.
A stately chateau surrounded by vineyards and parklands. Opulent bedrooms have four poster beds, fireplaces, parquet floors, and high ceilings. An excellent spa and wellness centre and Orangery restaurant. Fit for a King.
A charming, beam-clad bed and breakfast with a large, tranquil garden. Bedrooms are very comfortable and stylishly decorated in pretty, neutral tones. Enjoy a delicious fresh continental breakfast and then explore the historic city of Troyes and the Champagne region.
A beautiful medieval house B&B in a UNESCO listed village. Traditional interiors are full of charm with their big open fireplaces, stone walls, tiled floors, and large wooden beams. Rooms, suites, and two cottages are individually decorated and ideal for couples, families, or groups of friends.
A fabulous chateau set in stunning parkland. Elegant rooms are individually styled with traditional fabrics and wallpaper yet the feel is still modern and clean. Excellent regional cuisine. Tennis courts and stables in the grounds. A romantic country retreat and great value.
An attractive chateau on the edge of a Nature Reserve and at the foot of the Montagne de Reims. Chic and spacious rooms in creams and yellows, excellent restaurant, and a spa with all the works. A luxurious spot.
A highly sophisticated and very luxurious city spot that once belonged to the Mercier family. Seamless bedrooms and suites decorated in chic creams with parquet floors and fireplaces. An elegant conservatory bar looks onto a pool and the gardens.
A fabulous timber townhouse renovation, previously owned by the Knights of Malta. Sleek contemporary bedrooms and suites retain elements of the old for aesthetic effect. Wonderful organic restaurant and swimming pool in one of the gardens. A sophisticated hotel.
Exceptional boutique hotel. Just five discreetly modern bedrooms - high end design elements accompanied by classical furniture and antiques. An excellent restaurant serves gourmet cuisine and an extensive wine list. Romantic and indulgent.
An extremely sleek boutique hotel. High design, all the mod cons, and real attention to detail. Bedrooms and suites with open fires, dark wood, and slate bathrooms. An excellent gourmet restaurant and terrace. Very sophisticated for a country escape.
A beautiful 15th century medieval renovation in central Troyes. Stone and timber facade, leafy courtyard, light and airy interiors. Its gourmet restaurant is even more reason to stay here.
A traditional looking timbered house with uber modern interiors. Excellent restaurant serves gourmet cuisine and has an extensive wine list. Huge rooms and suites with private balconies and jacuzzi bath tubs.
Recently renovated country house hotel on a vineyard just a stone's throw from Epernay. Luxurious rooms are indivdually designed with interesting fabrics and bold wallpapers. Sit out on the terrace and enjoy views over gardens, fountains and pool, or head in for fabulously pampering spa treatments.
Located in Champagne, France's famous wine region, plus a famous restaurant headed by Michelin star awarded chef Rossillon, this property is a must for foodies. The chateau is 19th century with modern interiors. Rooms feature cow skin rugs, retro furnishings, original art and expansive bathrooms.
An exceptional Five Star chateau with a Michelin star chef and beautiful rooms. Luxury, romance, and the finest attention to detail throughout. Classical furniture and sumptuous fabrics. With 400 Champagne labels it's a very sophisticated hotel.