It is all about the bubbles

Posted: June 28, 2017 in Honeymooners
Tags: , , ,

26 June 2017

At home at Taittinger’s

It was out with the full noise ‘bonjours’ again over the weekend when we took the car on the train to Reims and Epernay. This part of the world is famous for just the one thing….Champagne!  The first day was on the train at some ridiculous hour before breakfast and 30 mins later, we were driving off in Gloria the Golf heading to a large Supermarket in Calais.  They do cheap booze and wonderful French food.  No other reason.

Arriving in Reims (pronounced with a Gallic throat clearance at the beginning) and the house of Taittinger where we indulged in a champagne or two and also squeezed in a tour of the caves.  Veuve Clicquot, and a reckless 30 minute downhill walk to find food in a typical bistro before a small Champagne house near where we parked called Martel beckoned and was answered.  Whilst we had consumed baguettes by this point, we had not purchased one despite the temptation on most corners.

Then it was in the Gloria and off for the half an hour to Epernay (pronounced in an outrageous French accent … ep  PEAR  nay.  Pretend you are Renee from ‘Hello Hello’, it comes naturally). After circulating the town several times trying to find the hotel parking and this after checking in and receiving instructions, we could settle her in her accom for the night.  Parking and hotels being adjacent is a foreign concept here.  Epernay was ours to explore all arvo but Saturday after lunch means most things are closed until this evening if at all. Dinner was sourced at a typical restaurant on a busy roundabout within spitting distance of Moet and Chandon’s ‘house’.  On the menu along with all the normal French fare was horse meat. I let this opportunity go as much as I despise Cheval and chose to munch on bobby calf and V dined on pasta. V told us she liked this ‘Franch’ food…her first public attempt at speaking French whilst under the influence.  She has now ordered many things and purchased much in the country now, relying on lots of gesticulative movements and what she can read.  We re now at the same level!

With a little bit of wee leaking out, the morning saw us pacing up and down Avenue de Champagne waiting for our appointment at Moet and Chandon at 8.45am. Perrier and Jouet and Pol Roger are neighbours and we could have continued but just seeing them just cements the street dripped with my kinda class. The French accent what not as strong as the man yesterday and therefore V was able to understand more of the process on the tour even having the courage and knowledge to answer a couple of the questions… with confidence.  Mind you, the subject was Rose Champagne and V has been paying attention.

We then headed for Dunkirk.  A place I am drawn to for no personal reason but for the history and the significance of the place.  We arrived early afternoon and set about finding parking in a town where restricted access was the order of the day. A stroll up the promenade with restaurants, cafes and carnies in front of some magnificent beach homes that had survived the war on one side and tacky beach huts on the other side, blocking the view of the sea.  Fat and tanned retirees were spread out at the back of the huts, sheltering from the wind just made my thoughts of the place so, so wrong.  My ideals were shattered.  This was not a memorial, a sanctuary to all those that lost their lives, this was a cheap and shoddy ‘Hi De Hi holiday camp’.  Disappointed but happy that the place was heaving with people and fucking dogs, we stopped at a waterfront café for Moules et frites (Mussels and chips) and V had a Salmon Lasagne.  I’m glad we made the effort, I just couldn’t imagine how different it must have been back then.  We’ll have to wait for the movie which is due out next month.


Bonjournee …. V and Me


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