Photo: Giuseppe Moscato / Flickr.com
Today we will go to France, or rather, along the route “Paris – Champagne”. Of course, such a trip cannot be boring and pale, quite the contrary – everything around will sing and sparkle, and your mood will constantly skyrocket.
In Paris, I highly recommend staying at the Hotel de Crillon. In the city center, on the Place de la Concorde, you are greeted by a majestic building of the 18th century, with impressive columns of the Corinthian order. Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin, Madonna – this is not a complete list of those celebrities who spent their glorious nights in this cozy palace. And from one of the terraces, the view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower is so wonderful that even a person with the strongest psyche needs to be vigilant in order to keep himself from some inappropriate strange exclamation that marks a mixture of surprise and delight.
The hotel’s Ambassadeurs restaurant is recognized by the Michelin guide as one of the best in Paris.
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As a worthy alternative, I propose to consider the designer hotel Le Bellechasse.
The creators claim that their brainchild is nothing more than a “journey within a journey”, and I am quite ready to agree with this. Each room is nothing like the other (there are 34 of them in total), and each has an amazing design – you will be met there by beautiful butterflies, distant planets, ladies with burning eyes and gentlemen from unrealistic past times. And you will see all this on the walls of the rooms.
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Dinner in Paris is, in addition to the Ambassador mentioned above, in the Tour d’Argent. “Silver Tower” (as the name of this restaurant is translated) is a historical place. The establishment is over 400 years old! It is known for certain that King Henry IV (1553-1610) liked to dine here. They say he ordered duck here. Which one? It’s hard to say now, because the Towers menu has 20 duck options. And with pistachios, and with oysters, and with peaches, and with mushrooms. Classical music is playing, and Notre Dame is visible from the windows.
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Well, after that, you can already go straight to Champagne. For starters – in the main city of this famous province, in Reims. You should stop there at Chateau Les Crayeres. Hotel-fairy tale, hotel-dream. It is believed that he is generally one of the most-most in all of Europe. This fairy tale-dream was arranged not just anywhere, but in the palace of Polignac, Prince of Monaco. And, in fact, since the last time the prince visited these chambers, nothing much has changed here – everything breathes with calmness and aristocracy.
Actually, take a look at the hotel website (link a little higher), turn on the sound and feel the spirit of the place. And imagine that even if their site is such a pleasant attraction, then what is it like to live there for several days in real time. The hotel has a wonderful restaurant – French cuisine in its most exquisite manifestations.
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Reims, however, is too touristy, and it makes no sense to stay here for a long time. Therefore, I wish you to quickly move from there to Coursay-sur-Vesle. This village is the heart of Champagne. Once Napoleon and the daughter of the Austrian emperor Marie-Louise met here. A pastoral place, real France as you might not know it yet if you’ve only been in cities. From here it is very convenient to visit the surrounding champagne vineyards, where (if you like wine) you will find a lot of delights. Stay here at the medieval Chateau de Courcelles, a hotel steeped in antiques, somewhat ponderous but delightfully comfortable. Here were Racine, Dumas the father, Dumas the son and the magnificent genius Jean Cocteau. Later there was a moment when Chateau de Courcelles became literally a fashionable place. The fact is that Christian Dior himself became the godfather of the daughter of the then owner of this castle. Who began to arrange exclusive evenings-shows here. Only for their own. The most trump characters of the fashion world of those years came. In a word, a place of prayer …
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The crown of the Champagne trip should certainly be the village of Hauteville. According to legend, this is where champagne was invented. You need to live, however, not in Hauteville itself, but a few kilometers from here, in the Royal Champagne hotel.
There was once a post station here, where Emperor Napoleon often changed horses on the way to Reims. I dined here on the veranda, admired the view of the valley of the Marne River and did not know that someday some Russians, like you and me, would sit on the same veranda, among the completely unchanged rural France, choosing champagne from more than 300 items and … enjoy a life full of grace, taste and beauty.