2017 Champagne Tour

Reims cathedral from Hotel de la Paix

Reims cathedral from Hotel de la Paix

A week’s wine tour in Champagne and the Rhone for members of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society in October 2017 is being arranged


  • Dates: Saturday 21 – Sunday 29 October
  • Coach from Harrogate (Britannia Travel 49 seater coach with 2 drivers)
  • Outwards Dover – Calais crossing (Club Class) and inbound Zeebrugge-Hull overnight ferry crossing with outside special cabins, dinner and breakfast. Upgrade to Club Class cabins and A La Carte restaurant is possible
  • 3 nights in the Rhone with tastings
  • 3 nights in Reims (Hotel de la Paix) with tastings
  • The estimated cost is £1260 pp double/twin sharing. This includes coach travel, ferry crossings as listed, drivers’ expenses, accommodation with breakfast and tastings but not other meals (except those on the Zeebrugge-Hull ferry) and any Grand Champagne Dinners
  • Single Supplements: Hotel de la Paix – Euro 47 per day, P&O Ferries – £37 per night

Provisional Itinerary

Day 1 – Saturday 21 October

  • 07.00 Coach departs for Dover. (Own packed breakfast & alcoholic beverages en route. Complimentary tea and coffee will be available. Britannia Tours have G&T for sale on the coach.  Distance 275 miles. Driving time ~5 hrs.)
  • 13.55: Dover – Calais ferry (Club Lounge)
  • Drive to Arras (Distance 111 km. Driving time ~90 mts)
  • Overnight Hotel d’Univers in Arras. www.najeti.fr
  • Evening free

Day 2 – Sunday 22 October

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Drive to Lyon with picnic lunch en route (Distance 665 km. Driving time ~7 hrs. Members should purchase in Arras food items for lunch. It would not be possible to make a stop at a motorway station for lunch because of driving distance)
  • Check in to Hôtel Best Western Charlemagne **** 23 Cours Charlemagne, 69002, Lyon, Tel: +33(0)472777000
  • Evening free

Day 3 –Monday 23 October

View of Saone river in Lyon city at evening, France

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Optional, private, guided walking tour of Lyon. (“A First Discovery of Historical Lyon” – A 3 hr. walking tour. Click here to see details. Cost Euro 230 for 10 people)
  • 13.00: Coach to Tain L’Hermitage
  • 14.30: Vineyard visit and tasting of 6 wines with a sommelier in a private at Michel Chapoutier (1. “Les Granilites” Saint-Joseph blanc, 2. “Invitare” Condrieu, 3. “La Bernardine” Châteauneuf-du-Pape rouge, 4. “Les Arènes” Cornas, 5. “Les Bécasses” Côte-Rôtie, 6. “Monier de la Sizeranne” Hermitage rouge). Any wines purchased after the tasting will attract a 20% discount. Price list is available
  • Return to Lyon
  • Evening free

Day 4 – Tuesday 24 October


  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • 09.00: Drive to Ampuis (34 km. ~1 hr)
  • 10.00: Visit & tasting at Guigal (~2 hrs.)
  • Free time for lunch
  • Afternoon free in Lyon
  • 20.00: Optional Dinner at Paul Bocuse
  • Return to Hotel

Day 5 – Wednesday 25 October

This is going to be a long day with an early start, a lot of driving, 3 tastings and a lunch! See ‘Notes’ below for the wine lists for the tasting and four course lunch at Bouchard Pére & Fils.

Day 6 – Thursday 26 October

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • 08.15: Coach to Epernay (Distance 30 km. Driving time ~ 45 mts.)
  • 09.00: Visit & tasting at Pol Roger
  • Free time for a quick lunch in Epernay
  • Drive to Mesnil-sur-Oger
  • 16.00: Visit & Tasting at Champagne Vergnon
  • Return to Reims. Overnight Hotel de la Paix
  • Evening free

Day 7 – Friday 27 October

Didier Gimonnet

Didier Gimonnet

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • 9.30: Coach to Cuis (35 km. ~1 hr)
  • 10.30: Visit, tasting and light lunch at Champagne Pierre-Gimonnet
  • Overnight Hotel de la Paix
  • Evening free

Day 8 – Saturday 28 October

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Optional visit to Reims market
  • 11.00: Drive to Zeebrugge with picnic lunch en route. (292 kms. ~3 hrs. driving. Please bring a packed lunch)
  • Overnight P&O ferry to Hull. Outside special cabins and dinner arranged

Day 9 – Sunday 29 October

  • Breakfast on ferry
  • Arrive Hull and disembark
  • Coach to Harrogate



Arras’ central squares, the Place des Héros and colossal Grand Place, are reason alone to visit the city. They are lined with rows of harmonious, arcaded stone and brick buildings in Flemish baroque style, topped by bull’s-eye windows and curvaceous, shell-shaped gables. Try to be there for a market day – Wednesday or Saturday – when the squares are at their most animated and look their best. (Place des Héros serves as a car park on other days.) Arras was near the front line in the First World War and photographs in the town hall show the squares reduced to rubble; what you see now is a miraculous reconstruction. The best place to learn more about Arras’ wartime history is at La Carrière Wellington on the city’s outskirts. The underground chalk quarry where 24,000 soldiers holed up before a surprise attack on the German line in 1917 has recently been opened for informative and moving hi-tech tours. Of the other nearby First World War sites, perhaps the most memorable is Vimy Ridge, seven miles north of Arras. Thousands of Canadians died taking the strategically important site, and this foreign field that is forever part of Canada is marked by a colossal limestone monument and sanitised trenches set in the cratered landscape.


  • Le Between Terre et Mer (03 2173 5779) is a classy, modern restaurant in a cellar on rue de la Taillerie, between the two main squares. My foie gras layered with slices of apple, and sea bream served with roasted nectarine chunks, was the best food on my trip; menus are good value at £27.
  • In fine weather, consider bagging a table on the terrace of the traditional La Clef des Sens (03 2151 0050) on place des Héros: the £23 menu includes substantial local dishes such as andouillettes (chitterlings).

Optional Paul Bocuse Dinner Menus & Wine Lists


Amuse-bouche de l’Auberge

Casserole of lobster à l’Armoricaine

Filet of beef Rossini, Périgueux sauce

Selection of fresh and matured cheese from ‘La Mère Richard’

Delicacies and Temptations

( Assortment of desserts, fresh fruits and ice cream)

Fantasies and Chocolates

(170 € per person. Single choice of dishes and drinks for all the guests. Other suggestions may be prepared according to season and market availability. Prices valid until 20/09/2017. Tax and service included)


Amuse-bouche de l’Auberge

Scallop of foie gras, pan-cooked, passion fruit sauce

Casserole of lobster à l’armoricaine

Beaujolais winemakers’sherbet Rack of lamb roasted with thyme

Selection of fresh and matured cheese from ‘La Mère Richard’

Delicacies and Temptations

( Assortment of desserts, fresh fruits and ice cream)

Fantasies and Chocolates

(230€ per person. Single choice of dishes and drinks for all the guests. Other suggestions may be prepared according to season and market availability. Prices valid until 20/09/2017 Tax and service included)


Apéritif Maison

Crozes-Hermitage «La Mule Blanche» – Jaboulet

Chassagne-Montrachet – Lamy-Pillot

Eaux minérales & café
60 € per person



Coupe de Champagne

Condrieu – Perret

Côte-Rôtie – Burgaud

Sauternes – Château Villefranche

Eaux minérales & café
83 € per person

The red wine of both packages can be replaced, at your request, by a selection of the restaurant’s wine waiter. Each package includes: One Apéritif, A bottle of white wine for 4 people, A bottle of red wine for 4 people, Mineral water & coffee


Tasting Lunch At Bouchard Pére & Fils in Beaune

Tasting List

  1. Bourgogne Pinot La Vignée
  2. Beaune du Chateau
  3. Beaune Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus
  4. Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
  5. Le Corton
  6. Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Cailles
  7. Bourgogne Chardonnay La Vignée
  8. Pouilly-Fuissé
  9. Meursault Les Clous
  10. Beaune du Chateau
  11. Meursault Genevrières
  12. Corton-Charlemagne

Wines With Lunch

  1. Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs
  2. Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er Cru 2011
  3. Beaune Clos de la Mousse 1er Cru 2013
  4. Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot 1er Cru 2009




  1. Armstrong, John (1&2)
  2. Bent, Gail (1& 2)
  3. Butcher, Roy (1+?)
  4. Dias, Bernard
  5. Dias, Ramani
  6. Joslin, Ann (1+?)
  7. Joslin, Charles (1+?)
  8. Lyles, Jackie (1+?)
  9. Murphy, Peter (?)
  10. Murphy, Carol (?)
  11. Preston, Lynne (1+?)
  12. Stewart, A (1+?)
  13. Stewart, E (1+?)
  14. Stables, Joan (1&?)
  15. Stanier, Tony (1+?)
  16. Wood, Carole (1&?)


  1. Armstrong, John
  2. Benson, Renna
  3. Bent, Gail
  4. Dias, Bernard
  5. Dias, Ramani
  6. Joslin, Ann
  7. Joslin, Charles
  8. Lee, Tony
  9. Murphy, C
  10. Murphy, P
  11. Stewart, Alisdair

The Tour Group

  1. Armstrong, J
  2. Bent, G
  3. Benson, R
  4. Dias, Bernard
  5. Dias, Ramani
  6. Buckley, R
  7. Buckley, P
  8. Lee, T
  9. Lyles, J
  10. Murphy, P
  11. Murphy, C
  12. McFarlane, D
  13. McFarlane, G
  14. Preston, L
  15. Preston guest (Roy) 
  16. Stanier, T
  17. Stables, J
  18. Stewart, A
  19. Stewart, E
  20. Trewhella, J
  21. Wood, C
  22. Wilson, L
  23. Wilson, M

Table Reservations on the Coach

  1. Table 1: Murphy (2), C.Wood, J. Stables
  2. Table 2: L. Preston & Roy, T. Stanier, J. Lyles
  3. Table 3: L & M. Wilson, D. & G. McFarlane
  4. Table 4: Stewart (2)


  • The Society is negotiating with Britannia Travel in Otley for a 49-seater coach (22 November 2016)
  • 6th January 2017: Jonathan Smails contacted again re Grand Champagne Dinner at Pol Roger. E-mailed Pierre-Gimonnet for an appointment on Friday 27 October. Hotel de la Paix contacted for room reservation. Champagne Thienot contacted re tasting dinner
  • 25 January 2017: Offer from a Lyon 5 Star hotel received
  • 15 May 2017: Hotel reservations (Arras & Lyon) confirmed
  • 16 May 2017: Euro 200 pp for hotel deposits requested from members

Useful Links

  1. Ten Of The Best Restaurants In Lyon – Chosen By Experts
  2. In Reims, Buying Champagne 


  • “Just back from France via Chablis and Champagne. The frosts of 2016 (and 2017) have clearly had a big impact on pricing of 2014/15 wines. Not helped by post referendum exchange rates. At Long-Depaquit you are looking typically at 28 and 48 euros respectively for Premier and Grand Cru. For Clos Beru the price is 48 euros for the 2014/15 vintages. There was no 2016 vintage at all at Beru. We got to have a long chat with Andre Drappier and a rather briefer one with Michel – busy as ever. Michel is looking forward to our visit in October. He did suggest that as I had been there so many times that I could give a guided tour and talk – but relax, Michel has always had a keen sense of humour.” – Rob Buckley, 18 August
I went online to remind myself of the map of Lyon, amongst other things, and found these two articles, which may be of interest.
From 2017:
– Jane Trewhella


Last updated 18 September 2017