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Reims for under £100 a night: A budget guide to the capital of the Champagne region

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Explore Reims, the capital of the Champagne region, on a budget

Could the capital of the Champagne region really be anything other than credit card-scorchingly expensive? The glorious answer is ‘oui’. 

Many of Reims’s Champagne houses have surprisingly affordable tours and tastings and in the best local ‘caves a vin’ you can pick up outstanding value bottles made by one of the staggering 19,000 producers. 

The town is a demure charmer too, replete with art deco architecture, chic brasseries and spruce gardens. All this joie de vivre is just four hours from London via Paris on the Eurostar and SNCF.

Where to stay

Hotel Azur

With a sun-trap of a courtyard to have your petit dejeuner, this white-washed, discreet hotel is superb value. Rooms are small but impeccably decorated in soothing shades of blue and turquoise. Quirky touches abound too; look out for the bedside lights made from teapots.

B&B doubles from £59.50 (hotel-azur-reims.com)

La Closerie des Sacres

Fifteen minutes’ drive from the centre of Reims, these converted stables still have their straw mangers but have been beautifully refitted with open fires, wrought iron chairs and leather sofas. There’s a kitchen to prepare your own picnic and a boules set in the garden.

B&B doubles from £91 (closerie-des-sacres.com)

Appart’City Confort

Appart’City Confort has 'simple but comfy' doubles (above) from £69

Appart’City Confort has ‘simple but comfy’ doubles (above) from £69

It’s not particularly flashy, but the Appart’City Confort has everything you need. The location is convenient too as the hotel is just 500 yards from Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral and the Automobile Museum is nearby too. Rooms are simple but comfy with kitchenettes equipped with microwave, stovetop and fridge.

Doubles from £69 (appartcity.com)

Le Clos des Roys

With just two rooms (Clovis I and Charles VII), this former fabric trading house is as intimate as guest houses come. Both are gorgeous, whitewashed retreats but the Charles VII room is superior thanks to its free-standing bath. Breakfasts are huge with pancakes and waffles offered alongside the baguettes and café au lait.

B&B doubles from £88 (leclosdesroys.fr)

What to see and do

Let’s get fizz-ical

Head to Maison Collet in nearby Ay for a Champagne cellar tour - you can try three glasses of their fizz for £24.50. Above is a view of Ay's vineyards

Head to Maison Collet in nearby Ay for a Champagne cellar tour – you can try three glasses of their fizz for £24.50. Above is a view of Ay’s vineyards

Mumm, Taittinger, and all the big Champagne hitters have cellar tours and tastings, but better value can be had by heading to smaller growers. Maison Collet in nearby Ay, is more generous than most; after the tour you can try three glasses of their fizz for £24.50 (citeduchampagnecolletcogevi.com).

Cathedral magnifique

If you only see one cathedral in France there’s a strong argument that it should be the gargantuan Notre-Dame de Reims. 33 kings have been crowned here, some of the stained glass windows were designed by Marc Chagall and the Gothic nave is the size of a football pitch (cathedrale-reims.com).

Above is Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral, which has a Gothic nave the size of a football pitch

Above is Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral, which has a Gothic nave the size of a football pitch

Market share

The aromas of cheese and ham draw you automatically on Saturday mornings to Rue de Mars where the stall holders of Les Halles du Boulingrin (marcheduboulingrin.fr) display their produce under a huge, white concrete arc. Find little known champagnes and wines at excellent prices at Vino Degust and feather-light cakes and pastries at A la Brioche Feuilletee.

The final front

At 2:41am on May 7, 1945, a tiny school room was where, in front of General Eisenhower, General Alfred Jodl signed the German surrender. Now known as the Musee de la Reddition, it has been very well preserved. The table on which the documents were signed remains, alongside ashtrays and campaign maps (£4.40, musees-reims.fr).

Where to eat

A L’Ere du Temps

Meaning ‘in the era of time’, the muted tones and blonde wood décor of this stylish little restaurant complements the house specialty of crepes, both savoury and sweet. The Celtique is a wonderful creation, stuffed with creamed mushrooms, eggs, emmenthal and ham for just £7.90. (aleredutemps.com)

Brasserie Excelsior

Brasserie Excelsior, pictured, offers a £17 weekday express lunch option

Brasserie Excelsior, pictured, offers a £17 weekday express lunch option 

Wood panelled and with a timeless feel, this is everything you’d want from a classic Gallic brasserie, but without the high prices if you choose the £17 weekday express lunch option. This gets you a main course, dessert, coffee, and glass of wine. Expect sautéed veal with mushrooms and bacon while gazing out over the plush greenery of the Les Hautes Promenades. (excelsior-reims.fr)

Le Bocal

There’s something reassuring about a seafood restaurant with an ever-changing menu. It means a chef who’s thinking on their feet and championing the freshest dishes. This is true of Le Bocal, which bills itself as a fishmonger and seafood bar, pairing everything with, as you’d expect, the finest wines. It’s a simple place but often the best food comes from humble surroundings. (restaurantlebocal.fr)

How to get there

Eurostar has return trains from St Pancras to Paris from £58 (eurostar.com). SNCF runs connecting trains to Reims from £53 return (en.oui.sncf).


Explore Reims, the capital of the Champagne region, on a budget

Could the capital of the Champagne region really be anything other than credit card-scorchingly expensive? The glorious answer is ‘oui’. 

Many of Reims’s Champagne houses have surprisingly affordable tours and tastings and in the best local ‘caves a vin’ you can pick up outstanding value bottles made by one of the staggering 19,000 producers. 

The town is a demure charmer too, replete with art deco architecture, chic brasseries and spruce gardens. All this joie de vivre is just four hours from London via Paris on the Eurostar and SNCF.

Where to stay

Hotel Azur

With a sun-trap of a courtyard to have your petit dejeuner, this white-washed, discreet hotel is superb value. Rooms are small but impeccably decorated in soothing shades of blue and turquoise. Quirky touches abound too; look out for the bedside lights made from teapots.

B&B doubles from £59.50 (hotel-azur-reims.com)

La Closerie des Sacres

Fifteen minutes’ drive from the centre of Reims, these converted stables still have their straw mangers but have been beautifully refitted with open fires, wrought iron chairs and leather sofas. There’s a kitchen to prepare your own picnic and a boules set in the garden.

B&B doubles from £91 (closerie-des-sacres.com)

Appart’City Confort

Appart’City Confort has 'simple but comfy' doubles (above) from £69

Appart’City Confort has ‘simple but comfy’ doubles (above) from £69

It’s not particularly flashy, but the Appart’City Confort has everything you need. The location is convenient too as the hotel is just 500 yards from Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral and the Automobile Museum is nearby too. Rooms are simple but comfy with kitchenettes equipped with microwave, stovetop and fridge.

Doubles from £69 (appartcity.com)

Le Clos des Roys

With just two rooms (Clovis I and Charles VII), this former fabric trading house is as intimate as guest houses come. Both are gorgeous, whitewashed retreats but the Charles VII room is superior thanks to its free-standing bath. Breakfasts are huge with pancakes and waffles offered alongside the baguettes and café au lait.

B&B doubles from £88 (leclosdesroys.fr)

What to see and do

Let’s get fizz-ical

Head to Maison Collet in nearby Ay for a Champagne cellar tour - you can try three glasses of their fizz for £24.50. Above is a view of Ay's vineyards

Head to Maison Collet in nearby Ay for a Champagne cellar tour – you can try three glasses of their fizz for £24.50. Above is a view of Ay’s vineyards

Mumm, Taittinger, and all the big Champagne hitters have cellar tours and tastings, but better value can be had by heading to smaller growers. Maison Collet in nearby Ay, is more generous than most; after the tour you can try three glasses of their fizz for £24.50 (citeduchampagnecolletcogevi.com).

Cathedral magnifique

If you only see one cathedral in France there’s a strong argument that it should be the gargantuan Notre-Dame de Reims. 33 kings have been crowned here, some of the stained glass windows were designed by Marc Chagall and the Gothic nave is the size of a football pitch (cathedrale-reims.com).

Above is Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral, which has a Gothic nave the size of a football pitch

Above is Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral, which has a Gothic nave the size of a football pitch

Market share

The aromas of cheese and ham draw you automatically on Saturday mornings to Rue de Mars where the stall holders of Les Halles du Boulingrin (marcheduboulingrin.fr) display their produce under a huge, white concrete arc. Find little known champagnes and wines at excellent prices at Vino Degust and feather-light cakes and pastries at A la Brioche Feuilletee.

The final front

At 2:41am on May 7, 1945, a tiny school room was where, in front of General Eisenhower, General Alfred Jodl signed the German surrender. Now known as the Musee de la Reddition, it has been very well preserved. The table on which the documents were signed remains, alongside ashtrays and campaign maps (£4.40, musees-reims.fr).

Where to eat

A L’Ere du Temps

Meaning ‘in the era of time’, the muted tones and blonde wood décor of this stylish little restaurant complements the house specialty of crepes, both savoury and sweet. The Celtique is a wonderful creation, stuffed with creamed mushrooms, eggs, emmenthal and ham for just £7.90. (aleredutemps.com)

Brasserie Excelsior

Brasserie Excelsior, pictured, offers a £17 weekday express lunch option

Brasserie Excelsior, pictured, offers a £17 weekday express lunch option 

Wood panelled and with a timeless feel, this is everything you’d want from a classic Gallic brasserie, but without the high prices if you choose the £17 weekday express lunch option. This gets you a main course, dessert, coffee, and glass of wine. Expect sautéed veal with mushrooms and bacon while gazing out over the plush greenery of the Les Hautes Promenades. (excelsior-reims.fr)

Le Bocal

There’s something reassuring about a seafood restaurant with an ever-changing menu. It means a chef who’s thinking on their feet and championing the freshest dishes. This is true of Le Bocal, which bills itself as a fishmonger and seafood bar, pairing everything with, as you’d expect, the finest wines. It’s a simple place but often the best food comes from humble surroundings. (restaurantlebocal.fr)

How to get there

Eurostar has return trains from St Pancras to Paris from £58 (eurostar.com). SNCF runs connecting trains to Reims from £53 return (en.oui.sncf).

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