Go on a wine tour & tasting at Veuve Clicquot (60 mins) at 10 am – Start your visit in this charming city of Reims by taking an hour-long cellar tour + wine tasting tour of Veuve Clicquot, one of the world’s most famous champagne houses. This woman-led enterprise was taken over by Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin after her founder-husband Philippe Clicquot died. The business was eventually bought by luxury powerhouse LVMH in 1986. Cost of the tour is Eu 30/pp at this popular wine-tasting tour (other tours in Reims include Pommery, Taittinger and Moet & Chandon champagne houses). English-language tours are typically at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm (the 2 pm and 4 pm tours are in French). Some level of fitness involved as climbing down stairs is involved. And it’s suggested to bring along a jacket as cellar temperatures are cool and can reach 10 degrees Celsius (or 50 degrees F). Make sure to book specific tour time (in this case 10 am as it’s your first stop) at the Veuve Clicquot website – https://www.veuveclicquot.com/
Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral (20 mins) + Palace du Tao (40 mins) at 11:30 am – Now that you’ve had your fill of delightful bubbly, it’s time to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral. Owned by the French state since 1905 but used exclusively by the Catholic church, it was the coronation site of the French monarchs for 900 years from AD 990 to 1825. Spend half an hour here before going to the Palace du Tau next door, which serves as the official residence of the Archbishop of Reims. The Tau Palace once served as the venue for the kings of France to be dressed for their coronation and to attend their post-coronation banquets. The Tau also contains the Musée de l’Oeuvre which features a large selection of tapestries, reliquaries, statuary, and cathedral treasury artifacts. Today, it serves as a venue for cultural events and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Be mindful of the time that you spend here so that you can make it to your 1 pm lunch reservation at two Michelin-star Restaurant Le Parc at Hotel Les Crayeres.
Cap off your half-day visit with lunch at Restaurant Le Parc at Hotel Les Crayeres (or Le Jardin) at 1:00 pm – You can take the 24 minute walk (or 10 minute uber ride) from Palace du Tau to get to this highly regarded dining establishment. Helmed by head chef Philippe Mille, Restaurant Le Parc is a 2- Michelin starred restaurant in a 5-star hotel (the Hotel Les Crayeres) that has been included in the ‘200 Best Restaurants in the World’ list for 2022 compiled by Paris-based rating agency, ‘La Liste’. For a sumptuous dining experience, sample their 4-course “Expression du Terroir” menu at Eu 115 pp, which includes a starter, main course, cheese and dessert (wines are extra). It’s a popular lunch option only offered between Wednesday to Friday (excluding public holidays). Make sure to take a stroll in the gardens around the hotel (Les Crayeres) after your meal to burn off those calories amidst a lush park-like setting. Make sure to book a table at https://lescrayeres.com/fr/restaurant-le-parc.html before going. Lunch seatings are from 12:00 noon. Last booking is at 1:00 pm. If you prefer something more casual and not as elaborate there is the more casual brasserie Le Jardin, also run by Philippe Mille at the same location which is also highly rated. Tables can be booked at https://lescrayeres.com/en/brasserie-le-jardin.html. Seating times are at 12, 12:30, 1, and 1:30 pm. The 1:30 pm booking will certainly give you more time in the morning to enjoy the surrounding attractions in Reims rather than going at a hurried pace.
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