Ian Weightman

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A Good Address

The Belgians have a wonderful question.

“Do you have a good address?”

Whether it’s asked in Flemish, French or English, it only ever has one meaning: “Have you got any good tips on places to eat, or stay?”

Well, just about everyone visiting the Champagne-Ardenne department of France, will already know of at least one address in Épernay - the spectacular Avenue de Champagne.  A street which stands comparison with some of the most iconic avenues and boulevards in the world, punctuated - as it is - with the names of Caves Moët & Chandon, Champagne Perrier-Jouët, Champagne de Venoge and the Caves Mercier.

But there’s another address that visitors to Epernay should also jot down.  And that’s 9 Rue Jean Thévenin, 51200 Épernay, France.  The home of the Famille Buezelin; and the location of Les Chambres d'hôtes Les Epicuriens. The perfect example of “a good address”.

Situated half way up a quiet side street, and just around the corner from yet another of Épernay’s many champagne caves, this unassuming house now opens its doors in welcome to visitors from all corners of the globe.  You only need to look through their Visitor Book to find that out for yourself - and to discover their universal approval of the place, its owner, the food, the drink, and the experience on offer.

Guests staying here have the choice of just two rooms.  Both are located on the ground floor, and everyone tends to keep themselves very much to themselves.  But then, why would you want to go very far at all when you have a lounge, bedroom, bathroom and outside patio to enjoy?

And why go to all that bother of dressing-up for dinner, and heading back into town, when this opportunity (quite literally) knocks?

Tap-tap.  Open the door, and Laure brings you a glass of vintage champagne to enjoy with some home made nibbles.  Tap-tap.  It’s your starter - accompanied by a full bottle of champagne.  Tap-tap.  Main course….and the speciality of the house: the finest veal dumplings you’ll ever taste in your life.  Tap-tap.  Space for some local cheeses?  “The blue goes especially well with the champagne”.  Tap-tap.  Dessert - a melt-in-your-mouth crumble topped off with the famous pink Biscuit Fossier.  Tap-tap.  “I’ll take everything away now.  Good night.  Sleep well.  What time would you like me to deliver your breakfast in the morning?”

It’s a genuine taste of Champagne.  All locally sourced, home made, and introduced with a little anecdote from Laure about the man who runs the cheese stall in the town market, and an invitation to join her on a tour of a nearby champagne cave the next day.

That’s right.  She knows “a good address”…!

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