Tag Archives: Champagne

VIP Tours at Renowned Champagne Houses

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This insightful observation from the renowned American writer is behind the latest luxury VIP Champagne Cruise.

With over 40 years’ experience, European Waterways operate the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. The all inclusive, boutique luxury experience focuses on local culture, history, fine wine and gourmet cuisine. Guests are transported through intimate inland waterways, whilst experiencing an impeccable level of service.

Raising The Bar

Panache, the luxury 12 passenger hotel barge, already visits well known wineries and Champagne houses such as Maison Pannier. Now they have added exclusive VIP experiences at prestigious Moët & Chandon and Henriot champagne houses.

Champagne House Maison Pannier

“European Waterways’ Panache hotel barge offers some of the most diverse programmes in our fleet, with Tulip cruises through Holland in the spring, Champagne Cruises in May and June, and a beautiful route across Alsace & Lorraine through the summer and into the Autumn,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “These new VIP excursions reflect our continuing focus on providing luxurious, memorable experiences with a real difference.

More Moët

Founded in 1743, the Moët & Chandon brand is one of the best-known and most exclusive in the world.  Located on the famed Avenue de Champagne in the city of Epernay, in France’s Champagne region, the domaine features 200-year-old tunnels carved out of the area’s white chalk stone and spreading for 17 miles under the city.  They provide the perfect temperature and humidity necessary for the slowly maturing process of the famous wines.

Image By Palauenc05 of Orangerie de Moët & Chandon on Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, France

On a Panache Champagne Cruise, European Waterways’ guests enjoy a private tour of Moët & Chandon’s vast underground cellar and its much-admired, bubbly treasure. This is followed by an exclusive tasting of some of their renowned vintages, which takes place in an elegant private salon, hosted by an experienced cellar master.

The Panache Champagne Cruises also includes a visit to the domaine of Champagne Henriot. Guests can tour the vineyard and discover the fine art of grape production and selection. There is also a visit to the nearby village of Pierry for a private tour of the winery’s 18th century Château Les Aulnois. Guests will then enjoy an exclusive tasting of various Henriot Champagnes in the Chateau’s dining room, followed by a gastronomic lunch.

A trip to La Maison Pannier is another integral part of the upgraded itinerary for Panache. Founded in 1899, it is the largest Champagne house in the valley.  Following the tour of its medieval labyrinth-like cellars, guests will be treated to a private tasting.

Double Bubble

“After these exclusive tastings, the Champagne flows freely aboard the hotel barge, too, where we don’t spare the bubbly!” said Banks. “Our guests are also treated to the finest gastronomic experiences onboard, with meals prepared by the chef using regionally-sourced ingredients, such as Champagne’s creamy, crumbly Chaource cheese.”

These six-night Champagne cruise fares have a 20 % discount on the May 26, June 16 and June 30 cruise departures this season, and includes;

  • local, private, chauffeured transfers;
  • comfortable, air-conditioned accommodation;
  • all gourmet meals;
  • fine wines – indigenous to the cruise region;
  • an open bar;
  • daily excursions and admittance fees;
  • use of barge facilities, including bicycles and hot tub.

Restrictions apply. Please visit www.europeanwaterways.com for information;

Follow European Waterways on Facebook and Twitter and view the YouTube channel.

The Spirit of Christmas Fair – London 2016

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

So on entering the Spirit of Christmas Fair, the first place we came to was the food hall. Healthy chocolate, fine wine, quince gin and toffee vodka were just some of the delightful samples on offer.

Each stall offered generous tasting of their products and I took advantage of this.  Joshua had the sweets and I had the wine, gin and cheese.

Typically British

One particular product that really stood out to me in the drink department, was the Gun Dog Gin.  The bottles were tall and slim which led me to enquire the recommended way to consume it.

The lovely gentleman enlightened me and recommended to add to champagne.  That certainly caught my attention. I asked which one he thought I should try?  “All of them” he replied. So off I went on a little Gun Dog Gin taster session trying a sip of each one (without the champagne I might add).

They were all very sweet which is why you would only add a dash to a glass of your favourite champagne or prosecco.  My favourite by far was the Quince. I love the British element of the product as well with the union jack incorporated into the label.  As well as a great way to add something special to your christmas drinks. these would make great gifts.  You can buy their products at their online store.

Healthy Chocolate

Yes, you read it right. This chocolate has “good stuff” in it. You know like Yakult, only it’s chocolate. Now I don’t really need an excuse to indulge in some chocolate, but now I have a reason to eat it everyday.

I didn’t buy any at the show, but I took a leaflet and bought mine later using their online shop.  Their packs of 14 are great value for money.  They are great stocking fillers, so I ordered a big box of these.

Be A Naked Angel

The Spirit of Christmas was certainly flowing thanks to Naked Wines.  After trying a fair few varieties of wine, I ordered a case for myself.  The wines are reasonably priced and are made by independent winemakers who are able to produce their wines thanks to the Naked Wines funding scheme.  Although you don’t have to join the scheme to purchase a wine at the show, you do get the opportunity to become an ‘Angel’.  Since when did drinking wine make me an angel? Just about the same time that chocolate became good for you. Are you starting to see why I love this show?

My favourite was this Australian Chardonnay ‘The Butterfly Effect’ by winemaker Sam Plunkett.  For more information on the scheme visit Naked Wines

Main Hall

We spent so much time enjoying the food hall.  I met one couple who had just spent £1000 on wine. Clearly veterans of the show, they gave me a tip.  In order to get the most from the show, the couple recommended focusing on a couple of items that you need and bypassing the rest.  For example, they said they had come to get wine, cheese and a Douro River Cruise.

If I’d have known this before, I would probably have had time to visit the main hall properly.  However, as we had already spent alot of time at the Luxury Travel Fair and then in the food hall at the Spirit of Christmas Fair, we were both flagging.

Buy Tickets

Don’t miss the next Spirit of Christmas Fair. Whether you are looking for a serious advantage on your Christmas shopping, or just fancy a day out you can get your tickets here

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