We just got back from Reims, the land of champagne! It is only about 45 minutes by train from Paris. If you are looking for a foodie adventure, Reims is a wonderful place to visit. We were looking for fabulous eats and fun food experiences, not far from Paris, to enjoy 2 romantic days à deux. Reims was a great choice. Keep reading to discover our recommended restaurants and food experiences if you have 2 days in Reims…
(All practical information : addresses + phone numbers + websites at the end of this post.)
When to book your trip
We left Paris on Sunday morning and stayed until Monday evening. Sunday and Monday are the quietest days in Reims. Pretty much all stores are closed on Sunday and some on Monday too. Lots of restaurants are closed one or both days as well. Don’t let this deter you from booking a fabulous 2 days in Reims – even if those days are also Sunday and Monday. We loved every moment of our trip. We were able to stroll the streets very comfortably because there were fewer people than usual and we were able to visit everything we wanted to visit at our leisure.
We arrived in Reims at approximately 10:30 am on Sunday. We checked into our hotel, dropped off our (small) suitcase for 2 and hit the road running for a day of exploring and eating.
Our first stop was the famous cathedral of Reims where several kings were crowned. It is more amazing than you can imagine from photos and paintings featuring the beautiful cathedral. It reminds me of the style of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and it certainly shares the majesty of Notre Dame. We arrived just before 11 as the bells began to ring and families were arriving for mass. We stayed for about 15 minutes of the mass (in the back rows so that we could sneak out early). We were very happy to experience a bit of the mass, although we could not stay for all of it if we were to have enough time to do everything on our list! We wanted to get the most out of our 2 days in Reims!
A visit to the Pommery Champagne caves + the Villa Demoiselle
A visit to Reims would not be complete without tasting some Champagne. We knew we wanted to visit Champagne caves during our visit. There are several options for your visit : Ruinart, Taittinger, Pommery and Veuve Cliquot to name a few…
We decided to visit the Pommery caves because they offered both a tour of their Champagne caves and their Villa Demoiselle across the street. The Villa Demoiselle is a beautiful, Art Deco style manor house also owned by the Champagne group. It is best to reserve in advance. It costs 35€ per person to visit both the caves and the Villa Demoiselle. This price also includes 2 glasses of Champagne per person (1 brut + 1 rosé). You can also choose different packages to enjoy more Champagne and the price of the visit varies depending on the number of glasses and the quality of Champagne you choose.
Pommery Champagne Caves
We loved our visit of the Champagne caves. Our tour guide was lovely and taught us a lot about Champagne production and storing. The Pommery Caves have an interesting story behind them. Started by Mr. Pommery in the 1850s, it was Mrs. Pommery who took over the domain just a few years later after her husband’s death. She ran the business until her death and it is due to her creativity and courage that Pommery grew and grew to eventually become what it is today.
We learned that at the time that Pommery began producing Champagne, about 75% of bottles were lost in the caves because they exploded!
Visitors of the caves at that time were invited to wear fencing masks quite simply to protect their heads and faces from exploding Champagne bottles in the caves!
We descended down many, many steps to reach the Champagne caves.
We got to see one of the oldest bottles of Champagne that still exists today, a prestigious “Louise” from 1874.
The corridors of the caves are named after specific people and places such as the “Principauté de Monaco” passage. There are so many bottles of Champagne!
It was unfortunately quite difficult to take photos during this part of the visit because it is very dark in the caves and we cannot use flashes to photograph as they risk damaging the quality of the Champagne by exposing the bottles to light. You will just have to visit for yourself to see these stunning caves in person!
La Villa Demoiselle
(Photo from the Pommery website)
The Villa Demoiselle is a gorgeous manor house in the Art Deco style. Before the Pommery domain and house were purchased by the couple Vraken, the house was abandoned and squatted. Apparently, the sqauttors destroyed the walls and floors and burned all of the furniture. Therefore, very little of the interior of the house is original unfortunately. It has been restored to it’s former glory and the owners and have tried to be as faithful to the original look and design of the house as possible.
One of the only parts of the house that it entirely original, is the floor in this central room in front of the grand staircase. All of the original parquet that survived in various parts of the home was gathered and put together in this hall.
Champagne and its culture is represented all over the manor house.
I loved this collection of drawings of 1930s clothing styles.
At the end of the visit, we enjoyed a glass of brut Champagne as well as a glass of rosé. Our favorite was the rosé (featured on the right).
Dining experiences (aka. the restaurants we recommend you book NOW)
We did not book any restaurants in advance. Although, we often decide which food experiences we want to have in a place before we arrive so we can reach out and connect, in this case, we did not plan our dining experiences in advance. (We did, however, plan all of our food tours and visits before arriving in Reims and we recommend you do too.) 2 days in Reims is enough time to try some fantastic eats!
Le Comptoir de Boeuf
We enjoyed Saturday lunch at the Comptoir du Boeuf. I ordered an “œuf meurette” (a poached egg cooked in red wine and onions). Hugo chose “les lentillons de la Champagne”, a dish of lentils from the Champagne region prepared in a creamy sauce that is a local treat.
As a main course, Hugo had an andouillette sausage and I enjoyed guinea fowl with mashed potatoes.
For dessert, we shared a layered lemon curd crumble which was sweet and sour and divine.
Our lunch meal was approximately 60€.
La Brasserie FLO
On Sunday night, we went out for a very romantic dinner at La Brasserie Flo, in the very heart of Reims. The restaurant is all lit up for Christmas and it is really lovely.
This time, I ordered “les lentillons” as a starter and Hugo had the foie gras.
As a main course, I had salmon cooked in a creamy leek sauce and Hugo ordered steak tartare.
We did not get dessert because we just did not have any room left after a whole day of eating! Everything was delicious!
We found an offer on Trip Advisor for Brasserie Flo which gave us 20% off of our entire meal on Sunday evening. The total for our meak was about 60€ after the 20% reduction.
We absolutely loved our dining experience here. We searched on Trip Advisor to find restaurants that were open for lunch on Monday and came across Le Riad. We are passionate about all kinds of food and thought why not enjoy a couscous and Moroccan sweets in Reims?! Clearly, this is not a traditional French lunch choice if you have 2 days in Reims, but we had already eaten more traditional French food for both of our large meals on Sunday and were excited to try a restaurant a little off the beaten track.
Although Moroccan lunch may not be what you expect during 2 days in Reims, we were not disappointed! On the contrary, we discovered a gem of a restaurant, in the heart of Reims, that serves really delicious and authentic Moroccan food. They offer different menus : starter/main course or main course/dessert or for larger appetites, those of you who would be called “gourmands” in France, you can have the 3 course starter/main course/dessert menu.
We shared a platter of mixed starters, each ordered a main dish and shared a dessert and we were pretty stuffed when we left!
Hugo ordered a classic vegetable couscous which is his absolute favorite Moroccan dish. It was filled with fresh vegetables. Everything is homemade and bursting with flavor.
I ordered a chicken and cinammon poached pear tagine. I had never enjoyed the combination of chicken and poached pears and it was a real treat. The combination was delightful.
For dessert, we shared a Moroccan pastilla filled with cream and fleur d’oranger. It was Heavenly.
We booked Le Riad through Trip Advisor/ La Fourchette (or The Fork) which are now one and were offered a 30 % discount for doing so. With the reduction, there are a couple of guidelines you have to follow for ordering. Each person must order at least a starter and a main course or a main course and a dessert. Drinks are excluded from the reduction.
With our 30% reduction, we spent about 55€ for a very good lunch including a tasty bottle of red Moroccan wine.
Pink biscuits from Reims
We were also very excited to visit the Fossier factory during our visit to see first-hand how those darling little pink biscuits from Reims are made. We will be writing a whole seperate article about our experience and sharing some recipes made with these delicious biscuits with you over the next few weeks!
Saved for our next visit ( or what to do for our next 2 days in Reims!)
Every time we travel with my family, my mom always says we need to save some things to see next time… This ensures we always go back to our favorite places to discover more. This is such a beautiful concept. Plan your next trip before this trip is even finished. Love it!
We discovered a gorgeous “halles” – covered market in the city center of Reims. Unfortunately, 2 days in Reim were not enough to discover all of it’s foodie glory! We walked over to discover the market but it was closed. On Fridays there is an organic market with live food demonstrations which we would love to see next time.
Pommery + the Villa Demoiselle
Reserve your visits on the Pommery Website or by telephone at 03 26 61 62 56.
Le Comptoir du Boeuf :
38 rue des Elus – 51100 Reims
Tel : 03 26 40 05 85
Brasserie FLO :
96, Place Drouet d’Erlon – 51100 Reims
Tel : 03 26 91 40 50
Le Riad :
12 rue de Tambour – 51100 Reims
Tel : 03 26 89 60 26
You can book these restaurants and discover an additional selection of restaurants and hotels on Trip Advisor.
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