Yes, reward yourself with Champagne ~ a trip to the Champagne region of France, where you can drink Champagne, tour a Champagne house and then drink more Champagne.
It’s easy to get to the Champagne region from Paris. You can take the train to Épernay or Reims or, as we did, rent a car for the two-hour drive. Once you get there, you can stay in Épernay, the center of the Champagne region, or in Reims, as we did.
Take a guided tour of Champagne
Regardless of where you stay, take a guided tour of Champagne. Why? A guided tour led by a local greatly enhances your understanding of a place. Also, taking a guided tour in Champagne means that someone else drives while you drink.
Our one-day guided tour consisted of 8 people: 2 French, 2 Australians, 2 South Africans plus us. We visited Hautvillers, the resting place of Dom Pérignon, and two Champagne houses: Taittinger and Moët & Chandon. Read more about the vintage v non-vintage Champagnes we sampled on the tour in this post.
Do a self-guided driving tour of Champagne
The guided tour only scratched the surface of the region, so for a better view we did our own driving tour the next day. There are three suggested tourist routes of varying length. We chose the one that went around the eastern part of the region.
When we got back to the hotel, we were inspired to drink Champagne, so we ordered take-out Chinese and washed it down with a 2009 rosé Champagne.
And after the Champagne?
There’s much more to do in Champagne than just drink Champagne. For instance, the cathedral in Reims is where all the French kings were crowned. Or, if you prefer more recent history, many WWI battlefields, such as Verdun, are within an hours drive. For shoppers, Reims has many high-end stores plus bakeries that specialize in biscuits rose, the signature cookie of Reims. The best part, though, is that when you finish visiting the cathedral or any other historic sites, you can kick back and end your day with Champagne.