Veuve Clicquot’s Mansion in Verzy

I was out and about with my dog today, so I took three short videos on the lovely mansion here in Verzy, built by Mme Clicquot in the mid 1800s for entertaining her very important clients from the European aristocracy. It’s still used to today to entertain VIP clients, by invitation only. Take a look at the videos here… Enjoy!

Sexual confusion in the vineyards

This is a short video about how the grape farmers stop the rot caused by two particular butterflies.  They attach small brown plastic pods to the wires which support the vines, inside of which is the sexual hormones of the female butterflies.  The emission of the hormones confuses the male butterflies and so they can’t find the eggs to fertilise!  I thought that was so clever when it was explained to me by Isabelle Corbeaux of Champagne Pierre Deville and Veronique Lallement of Champagne Lallement, two lovely French ladies who are part of my English class here in Verzy. 

You can see what I’m talking about in this video below.

Enjoy!

Out and about in Reims

Today was such a glorious day again, I decided to shoot some video of Reims.  The new Tramway is now operational, and transporting people around this historic city, easily and smoothly.  The cathedral looks fantastic having just been cleaned (well some of it, at least) and so I wanted to showcase the city here.  

Reims is the only place in the world to have three UNESCO World Heritage sites, the magnificent gothic cathedral, the Palais du Tau and the Basilique St. Remi.  

The cathedral was first constructed in 1097 and was used to crown the Kings of France, before they did away with all that during the French Revolution! 

It was originally a Roman town, and when they began excavations for the tramway, the work was considerably delayed due to archeologists having to be informed whenever an artefact was discovered, and there were many! 

If you’ve been to Reims in the last few years, you’ll know how disruptive the works were, but now it’s all done, I hope you’ll agree that it was worth it.  The city looks lovely now and well worth a visit.   

I hope you enjoy these videos.  Please do leave a comment and let me know what you think of Reims.

More reasons to visit Champagne

Since returning to Champagne just over a year ago, I have been surprised at the amount of development that’s been going on in the region.  Reims is expanding, growing and bringing itself into the 21st century with style and elegance, and it’s a joy to watch. 

First the arrival of the high speed train TGV in 2007, then a new southern bypass around the city, and then lots of new businesses springing up and the opening of  IKEA.  Next is the official inauguration of the smart new tramway in the city centre on the 16th April.

It’s buzzing, thriving and upbeat.  A refreshing change from other recession-hit areas. 

Take a look at this great article in the Guardian, then come on down and see for yourself.

Enjoy!

Festivals in Champagne

Last Sunday, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, so we headed off to the nearby village of Ay, which was more prominent than Epernay back in the days of Henri IV.  He favoured many of the champagne houses there, especially Bollinger.  So every other year, even numbers only, the residents of Ay hold a festival in his honour.  Here are some pictures of the day.

It was quite warm, but thankfully someone thought to give the horses some shade under the parasol!

Many of the champagne houses opened their doors to the tourists, and here at Bollinger, there was al fresco dining to the tune of a small group of musicians.

And lunch at Champagne Ed. Brun was very lively with a fantastic jazz band playing while we ate.

Put it in your diary for 2012, it’s a great day out

Walking in the forest

It was such a beautiful day yesterday, that I decided to take my dog up into the forest and take some pictures of ‘Les Faux’ the twisted beech trees that only grow here in Verzy, near Hanover in Germany and near Malmo in Sweden.  Hope you like the pictures.  I took some video too, and once I figure out how to upload it, I’ll do it!   Just one of the great things we can do here in Verzy.