3 Day Getaways / International Travel

How to Spend a Day in Épernay, France

Nestled among vine covered rolling hills in France’s picturesque Champagne Region is the quaint town of Épernay. It is home to many of the world’s most famed champagne houses along Avenue de Champagne. If you are a fan of Dom Perignon, Moët et Chandon, or Perrier-Jouët, spending time in Épernay is a must visit destination.

Where is Épernay

It is on the bank of the Marne River in the heart of champagne region in northeast France. Épernay is an easy 1.5 hour train ride from the main station in Paris or about 2 hours by car from the airport. It is very easy to take a train directly from Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Where to Stay

For the ultimate champagne region experience, stay at the uber luxurious Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa. The five star resort has a breathtaking panoramic view of the valley. Hôtel Jean Moët is a wonderful and more budget friendly yet still elegant option if you want to stay in downtown Épernay. There are also some fabulous apartments in the champagne houses you can find on Airbnb.

View from Royal Champagne

Champagne Houses to Visit

I was there to celebrate one of my best friend’s over the top 60th birthday. Our first full day in the Champagne Region was a Sunday Funday sipping bubbly in some of the most celebrated champagne houses. We started at Moët et Chandon founded in 1743. You can take of tour of the cellars in the largest champagne house in the world, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was a gorgeous day so we opted to enjoy the iconic champagne with a tasting on the lovely patio of the neo-classical style mansion. We ordered three bottles for our group to sip and compare as we relaxed for about an hour.

Our next stop was Perrier-Jouët. The champagne house dates back to 1811. Our group split up to sit at tables in the garden and pergola filled patio. Sipping Perrier-Jouët rose on an absolute stellar Sunday afternoon was pure bliss.

Our third stop was Leclerc Briant, a champagne I wasn’t familiar with. That’s the fun thing about Épernay. You can enjoy the well-known brands you love and discover some new ones to you. This was a fun stop as we all entered the tipsy realm. Interesting tidbit – this is the champagne placed in rooms at Royal Champagne.

Dinner – Reservations Recommended

After an afternoon of sipping champagne, we were famished. Somehow our group of 16 was able to get in at Le Sardigne, probably because it was 5pm-ish. The next night three of us were not so lucky as we tried to get into 5 different places in Épernay without reservations. Best advice is to make dinner reservations while in Épernay. We sat outside at Le Sardigne and devoured wood-fired pizzas. The margherita pizza I went for with tomato, mozzarella di Buffala, olives, olive oil, and basil was especially delicious. It was a fabulous end to a Sunday Funday in Épernay!

Author Jennifer Broome has visited France multiple times. For another day experience in a French wine region, check out post Sunday in Provence.