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

  • Early morning coach to 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


  • 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).

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 selected hotel
  • Evening free

Day 3 – Monday 23 October

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Rhone tastings (to be arranged)

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.)

Day 5 – Wednesday 25 October

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Coach to Reims
  • Overnight Hotel de la Paix (Privilege Class rooms)
  • Evening free

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
  • 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.

The Group

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


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

In Reims, Buying Champagne 

Last updated 15 June 2017