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On Wednesday 13th September 2017, twelve of our brilliantly talented employees ventured to Champagne in France to visit two of the most famous champagne cellars in the world – Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot. With team members from each of our venues, including Montpeliers, Tigerlily, Candy Bar, Lulu, Rabble and Head Office, the journey was set to be a rather indulgent one!
Upon arriving in the beautiful city of Épernay, our team were treated to a tour of the Moët & Chandon cellars (a full 26 miles worth of hand-carved cellars!) where the history and production process were explained in great detail as they ventured through the incredible cellars stacked with bottles upon bottles of Moët & Chandon and Dom Perignon champagne.
Lunch was an exquisite meal prepared and served in the breath-taking Moët House, each course paired with champagne – of course! Once seated, they were served a 4-course lunch which included an indulging foie gras starter and a Coley main course by their new Head Chef, who had the difficult task of not pairing the drinks with food, but pairing the ingredients and dishes with the already delicate and refined Moët & Chandon champagnes. The Moët house itself, is so exquisitely decorated it blew our team away! The Baroque-era house boasts antique paintings and furniture paired with modern, quirky items like Louis Vuitton suitcases and instruments – it truly was an experience of authentic French luxury.
The afternoon took our team to the Veuve Clicquot cellars where a similar afternoon of champagne tasting and touring took place in their cellars – old chalk mines which were used for shelters during WWII and run beneath the city. An insight to the history of the champagne and the pioneer businesswoman - Madame Clicquot – who defied all odds in 1805 by being the first female in charge of a champagne house in the Western world and changed the landscape of champagne by incorporating modern and innovative techniques and styles which are still evident in Veuve Clicquot today.
Dinner was hosted by Veuve Clicquot, at the Hotel du Marc in Reims that evening. The Hotel du Marc is famous for its arty and modern interior, with many famous artworks hanging on the walls and peculiar items of decoration like a life size ostrich with a Veuve Clicquot saddle! The dinner was held in the dining room on the ground floor, an homage to the Madame Clicquot herself, with walls painted charcoal black and gold detailing. Again, a 4-course dinner was served, where our team wondered if it was possible to eat more rich foie gras (it was most definitely possible!). Each course was paired with a different demi-sec, rose or vintage Veuve Clicquot champagne. After dinner, the group were taken to the exclusive Veuve Clicquot Bar to taste Champagne cocktails and play surprisingly typical pub games, including darts and a football table!
The trip was a fully champagne paired affair transporting our team into a wonderland of French food and the finest bubbles. Their return to Edinburgh was not quite so glamorous as they were greeted upon landing with typical Scottish weather – cold and rain!
An unforgettable time was had by all in this champagne adventure of exquisite discovery, just one of the fantastic trips our teams are lucky to partake in.
And anyway, who wouldn’t love to drink vintage champagne all day long?