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Thursday Treat: Veuve Clicquot Roadtrip


My very first sip of champagne ever was from a glass of Veuve Clicquot. As my daddy told me: ‘Always take this champagne as a reference for quality’. 

You can imagine that when an invitation for a roadtrip to this classy champagne house’s cradle in Reims landed in my mailbox, I immediately accepted. Add the fact that we would be driving new MINI’s to our destination, and I was in heaven (I am a huge MINI fan!).VC_28

My fellow travelers Janine from Prêt-a-Pregnant/Prêt-a-Mama, Jan-Willem from B4Men, Jet from Amayzine, the lovely PR manager Sylvia and Veuve Clicquot Brand Manager Florian and I gathered at the Amstel Hotel to start this journey in style.

A cup of tea to get the engine running and we were off! It’s about a 5 hour drive to Reims -the capital of the champagne region- and our fab orange-yellow MINI Cooper was a delight to drive in. The Amstel Hotel equipped us with a tasty ‘on-the-road’ lunch and delicious pastries, what else could a girl ask for?

Upon arrival we had a short tour of the impressive 24 km (!) long underground corridor of chalk cellars and some background information about the house and its founder Madame Clicquot Ponsardin, who was the first woman in history to ever stand at the helm of a champagne house. She was a true pioneer at the time, and introduced many innovations in the champagne producing industry. The brand established as a premium product favored by nobility and royalty under her leadership.

She was also very generous. In 1822 she purchased a piece of land with the intention of installing cellars, but she decided to donate it to her loyal business partner Edouard Werlé. He lived there with his family until he passed away in 1884. The magnificent residence -named Hôtel du Marc- underwent a complete renovation from 2007 to 2011. Now it is solely used to welcome guests on invitation of Veuve Clicquot.

You can probably guess where we were staying…exactly, Hôtel du Marc. My room was an absolute dream in taupe, grey-ish hues and a large marble bathroom. The whole of the residence was amazing, but let the images speak for themselves. Luckily, unlike Cinderella, my spell didn’t break at midnight.

After some relaxation and a little dress up we had an aperitif in the lounge, and then seated for dinner with host Olivier. The resident chef prepared a lovely menu paired with the liquid gold (as champagne is often referred to). Read what we were served below:

A thin tarte with Fera du lac Leman fish, young leek and summer truffle
Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004

Main Course
Duck breast with caramelized peach and Arabica jus
Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé 2004

A plate of refined cheeses
Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé 2004

Vanilla Breton shortbread, roasted apricot with verbena
Veuve Clicquot Demi-sec from the carafe

Post-dinner it was time to watch the World Cup game, enjoying a herbal tea (a little more champagne) and some friandises. The idea of a comfy bed was luring and I decided to turn in early for my beauty sleep. There was a long drive ahead the next day!

The smell of coffee and fresh croissants was a good starter for a tour of the vineyards which we took the next morning. Afterwards we hit the road again, back to Amsterdam. And back to reality.


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