The Champagne region, as I like to tell anyone who will listen, is a great place to visit. While I come for the great wines, the fantastic food, great accommodations and many other attractions would be well worth a trip without a drop of bubbles. Today, I am writing from the small village of Crugny, where Cinnamon and I have rented Gite La Grange with two other couples. It is a converted farmhouse, and could not be any nicer, with four bedrooms, and a generous living space with an open kitchen and a backyard with outdoor seating and a grill.
Last night we cooked a good dinner of rabbit in Dijon sauce, vegetables from the farm stand next door and sausages, with a cucumber salad, generous cheese plate from La Cave aux Fromages at 12 Place du Forum in Reims and chocolates from Vincent Dallet in Epernay. Today I got on my bike to work it all off!
In this north-western corner of Champagne, it is very easy to get a good work out on a bike. While the terrain is not mountainous, there is scarcely a kilometer of flat, and many of the small climbs are quite steep. On my ride I tackled a chalk cobble climb to the chicken farm that we were buying eggs from, where I was welcomed by the farmer’s dog, who chased me until I sprayed him with my water bottle! I also saw a chevreuil (a small deer), a red fox and to many birds to count.
Yes- the eggs were fantastic!
The ancient churches were also too numerous to count, and riding by the Abbaye Notre Dame d’Igny was spectacular- even if their famous chocolate shop was closed- again! I ended up riding for about 2 hours, taking in numerous gorgeous villages, including my favorite: Brouillet. Brouillet is home to Champagne Aspasie… A destination in itself!
A toast to you!