Opening 2019 – the brand new five star Marriott Hotel Reims – right opposite the cathedral – part of the Autograph Collection. The hotel, built in what was the old fire station, will have 89 rooms and a spa. Four of the 17 suites will have a view over the Musée de Beaux Arts, which is undergoing a renovation. There will be a brasserie too and three large meeting rooms.
Little of the original Roman town remains except Porte Mars, an ancient gateway to the town and the cryptoportico – a semi-underground gallery dating from the 3rd century.
It is one of three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Reims – along with the Palais de Tau,the former residence of the Archbishop, now the cathedral museum, which includes the Palatine Chapel. The Palais displays the coronation gown of Charles X, the last French king to be crowned here in 1825 – albeit his reign was short lived.
The monastery of the Abbey of St.Remi is today a museum of the history of Reims with a rich collection of artefacts on display. The St Remi Basilica next door houses the relics of its namesake. This is where the special ampoule containing the holy ointment for anointing the new king was kept.
It is a little known fact that the surrender at the end of the Second World War was actually signed in secret in Reims on 7th May 1945 in the map room of the American Army headquarters. This revered place has been preserved and is open to visitors all year round.
The Automobile Museum
Houses over 200 vehicles dating from 1908 to the present day, which include
s rare motorbikes and prestigious vintage cars.
The visits of the cellars of some of the Champagne Houses incorporate the famous ‘crayères’ – giant chalk pits excavated by the Romans to build the first city of Reims. These underground chambers were joined by connecting tunnels over the centuries, developing into an intricate underground network of over 200 km. Used as a shelter for both soldiers and civilians during times of siege, (an underground hospital and school were set up during the First World War), the cellars of Reims, dug deep into the chalk, provided ideal storage conditions for champagne, with a constant cool temperature and high humidity. The Champagne Houses set up their headquarters above the cellars, each one adapting the visit of their cellars to reflect the individual history and heritage of their brand, such as the contemporary art exhibitions at Champagne Pommery.
This champagne bar was created in 1971 to showcase the quality vintages of 27 artisan wine makers, promoting the exceptional character of the wines they produce. If you don’t make it to a champagne house this is an ideal alternative to taste some top champagnes.
Reims City Pass
A 1, 2 or 3-day pass which gives access to more than ten museums plus free public transport in the city and discounts at many of the town shops and restaurants.
A lovely tour of the city sites come rain or shine with commentary by audio-guide.
Le Biscuit Rose de Reims
Was created in the 17th century by a local baker who left his ‘little cakes’ in the oven to use up the heat, turning them to biscuits. Vanilla flowered and coloured pink with natural carmine, the biscuits are very light and crunchy and are also used as an ingredient, especially for desserts. Sold today by the Fossier Biscuit Company in Reims.
The vinegar is created from the yeast sediment disgorged from the champagne before corking which is then aged on oak barrels for a year. The vinegar is mixed with brown mustard seed to create the Reims Mustard which is made with black grapes and an ideal accompaniment to the Reims Ham – a variety of shoulder of park cooked in special stock and with a unique flavour.
If you are planning to write a news piece or feature on Champagne and / or Ardenne, need any further information or simply want to talk through ideas or promotions, please contact either Gillian Green (Gillian@magellan-pr.com / +44 (0) 7515 283 287), Alexandra Pinhorn (Alexandra@magellan-pr.com / +44 (0) 7515 283 040) or Sue Lowry (email@example.com / +44 (0) 7725 997 121). Alternatively, our office numbers are +44 (0) 2392 361 426 / +44 (0)20 7470 8760.
Notes to Editors:
This area in the Grand-Est region of France offers two contrasting destinations – Champagne and the Ardenne.
Champagne is as varied and refined as the famous wine it produces. A land of fact and fables, of kings and counts, of Cistercians and crusaders, of monasteries and masterpieces, artists and philosophers – the history and heritage of Champagne is embedded in that of France and is linked to the present by its recognition as a UNESCO world heritage listing.
To the north-east of Champagne, the Ardenne is a natural and historic region named after the hilly plateau, the ‘Ardenne Massif’ that encompasses parts of Belgium to the north and Luxembourg to the east. Renowned for the natural beauty of its landscapes, such as the valleys of the Meuse and Semoy rivers, thick forests and rocky peaks, the Ardenne is an ideal destination for lovers of the outdoors, nature and activities such as hiking and cycling.
Photo credit thanks: Greg Oxley / Yvonne Rieschke / CRTCA / Carmen Moya / AS Flament / Disko- M.Challe / Disko – H Werp / Les Crayeres / Veuve Clicquot