Enjoying the best of French cuisine, famed throughout the world, is an important element of a trip to France, and many visitors like to treat themselves to a fine dining experience as one of the highlights of their stay. Arriving in Reims for a Champagne getaway, just 45 minutes from Paris by high speed train, head for the peace and calm of the Domaine Les Crayères for an immersion in French sophistication and art de vivre that will leave you soothed and relaxed.
Originally built for the daughter of Mme Pommery, of Champagne Pommery fame, this privately owned, 5-star Château-Hotel is a part of the Relais & Châteaux association. Set in beautiful grounds of 7 hectares, the twenty rooms and suites are decorated with the taste and harmony of French classicism.
At the heart of the Château, the gastronomic restaurant, Le Parc , offers an atmosphere of refined elegance with lovely views over the gardens. In this majestic setting, double-starred Michelin Chef, Philippe Mille , along with his dedicated team, concocts dishes that encapsulate the essence of the French art de vivre. Using seasonal products sourced directly from producers, including aromatic plants from the Château’s own herb garden, Chef Mille’s cuisine is careful to respect the base ingredients, yet offers creative originality in the use of flavours, textures and colours.
The Chef also runs a gourmet Brasserie, tucked away into a secluded, wooded corner of the estate and appropriately called Le Jardin . Housed within a contemporary construction created from the former stables, the setting is resolutely modern, combining steel, stone and brick in tribute to the architectural and industrial heritage of Reims. The Brasserie itself is light, bright and open, with a viewing window through to the kitchen and a large, leafy terrace for open air dining. The commitment to using only the finest ingredients to produce flavoursome dishes is at the heart of the Brasserie’s philosophy, and the menu includes a good choice of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
The wine list is also impressive, with over 1,000 references including a vast selection of the finest champagnes, either to enjoy with your meal or whilst relaxing in the cosy bar, La Rotonde . Near the Hotel, a number of prestigious Champagne Houses can be easily reached on foot – Champagne Pommery is just over the road, with Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger, along with others, a short distance away. It is not for nothing that the Domaine les Crayères, an oasis of gourmet delight, has repeatedly won awards from international press.