The town of Hautvillers
Only 30 minutes from Reims, visit the town of Hautvillers, where you are offered a panoramic view of the horizon of vineyards and the charming lanes of a former time. The Association Les Amis d’Hautvillers organizes guided tours of the town for one hour and a half for 5€ a person. After the tour, it is possible to stay and see a small producer of the village (tour 2 hours, 7€ per person).
Reservations: Office of Tourism, Place de la République 51160 Hautvillers / 03.26.57.06.35
The town of Hautviller is home of the magnificent Abbey of Hautvillers. Built in 650 A.D. for Saint Nivard, the abbey is famous for welcoming Dom Pérignon who, according to legend, is the creator of Champagne. Come in September during Heritage Days and visit the abbey for free, not open to visitors except during the Heritage Days in September (free entry).
Rue de l’Eglise / 03 26 57 06 35
The vault of Cumières
umières, seven minutes by car or a thirty-minute walk, welcomes the restaurant Le Caveau whose vaulted-ceiling rooms will charm you. Le Caveau offers a fine dining experience in a vault made from hollowed-out limestone.
44 rue de la Coopérative 51480 Cumières / 03 26 54 83 23
Open Wednesday through Saturday: 9am-10pm
Sunday and Tuesday: 9am-3:30pm
The champagne cellar
This charming restaurant in the heart of Cumières, La cave a champagne will leave you satisfied with their numerous pairings which offer you quality local products accompanied by superior beverages.
139 Rue Jard, 51480 Cumières
03 26 55 50 70
The town of Epernay and Champagne Avenue
Ten minutes from Cumières you will find the town of Epernay, filled with numerous good experiences awaiting you and the famous Champagne Avenue—a historical and essential avenue. Trace the royal route from Paris to Germany on the avenue that was developed in the 18th Century, an avenue which now specializes in the commerce of wine and the Champagne trade. Today, the Grand Mansions of Champagne Avenue cover a hundred kilometers of galleries and thousands of bottles.
Hôtel de Ville Epernay
L’Hôtel de Ville, or Epernay City Hall, formerly a private mansion in the 19th Century, was built for the Auban- Moët family, Champagne merchants, before it became the Marie of Epernay (City Hall) in 1920, inaugurated for the President of the Republic, Raymond Pioncaré.
7Bis Avenue de Champagne
Also referred to as the park of the Moët and Chandon home because one can catch a glimpse of the numerous orange trees in the summer. This magnificent garden can only be viewed from Champagne Avenue, as the park is not open to the public for viewing.
20 Avenue de Champagne
The Perrier Château (Mansion)
The castle was built for the spouse of Perrier in the middle of the 19th Century, with Perrie-Jouët as the house manager. Today the house is closed to the public for renovations and new constructions to eventually welcome the Régional d’Archéologie et du vin de Champagne, or the Champagne Museum of Wine.
13 Avenue de Champagne
Gabrielle Dorzat Theatre
This theatre, built in the Italian style of Louis XV in 1900 and baptized at the end of the 20th Century after the Epernay comedian, Gabrielle Dorzat. It is one of the last theatres that has kept a scene shifter machine intact.
8 Rue de Reims / 03 26 51 15 80
Notre Dame Church
Built in the 19th Century and unlike the old Ursalines convent, the Notre Dame Church of Epernay (l’Eglise Notre Dame d’Epernay) mixes several architectural styles. The church contains numerous treasures of art like the stain glass windows that depict vineyard life. Open from Monday to Friday from 8am-7pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 8am-6pm.
5 Rue Flodoard
Louise de Savoie House
Legend says that Louise de Savoie (1476-1531), mother of François I, lived in this house in Epernay, hence the name. However, the house was constructed around 1540. The house has a noteworthy and sublime frieze, in the heart of the interior courtyard.
7 Rue Dr Verron / 03 26 55 25 72
St Martin Gate
The gate was built around 1540 under François I who left his mark, the salamander. The gate enclosed the St Martin Church before the religious edifice was demolished and the gate, classified as a Historical Monument, was moved to the center of the Hughes-Plomb square where it remains today.
The Maison de la Lune (Moon House), of the Art Nouveau style, was built in 1900 by the architect, Henry Clouet. This mansion, commissioned by a notary, was offered as a token of love to Léonie Pasquier, but she married another man years later. The name of the house particularly insinuates the manner in which the beautiful inherited the manor.
At the intersection of Rue Gallice and Europe Square.
Garden of Horticulture
The gardens were arranged at the beginning of the 20th Century by a gardener of Reims, Baptiste Thomereau. This is the perfect place to appreciate a little calm and fresh air. The park is open everyday from June to September from 7am-8pm.
Enter at Rue Frédéric Plomb.
Only thirty minutes away is the town of Verzy et its luxurious forest. Belonging to the Regional Natural Parks of Reims Mountain, the Verzy forest is composed of Scythe trees and is protected by the National Office of Forests. The Scythe trees have twisted branches. This phenomenon is still a mystery for scientists, and legend has it that is was a divine punishment.
Just five minutes away by car from Verzy, you will find the charming village of Verzenay, and its lighthouse that overhangs the surrounding vineyards and offers a panoramic view of the region. It was built by Joseph Goulet, founder of the Goulet Champagne House. The lighthouse, abandoned until 1987, was bought back by the municipality of Verzenay to establish an eco-museum of vines.
The Lighthouse and the museum are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am-5:30pm. Tours of both cost 9€ per person, and 3€ for tours of the lighthouse only.