Launching an App feels like giving birth….

Finally, the day has arrived when you can now have your own personal network of contacts in Champagne downloaded onto your iphone or ipad!

Champagne Day App is being launched at 12 noon GMT tomorrow and I feel as though I’m going to give birth!

It’s been an exciting few months, contacting old friends, making new ones, gathering information, shooting videos, getting the files ready and then sending everything over to our wonderful appman Simon Williams.  If I’m the mother, Jiles is the father, and Simon is definitely the midwife!

And so the “baby” is about to be born, packed full of exactly what you need to plan and enjoy your Champagne experience.  It will introduce you to and take you to meet and see the people and places you probably wouldn’t find on your own, but where we know for sure you’ll have a great time.

To take a look inside the App, before it’s launched tomorrow, by clicking on the video below.  If you’re not already on the VIP Priority List where you can get your App tomorrow at the special one-day-only price then you’ve only got a few hours left to do that, by clicking here. 

I’m looking forward to meeting you soon in Champagne.  Cheers!

Choosing accommodation for your French vacation

Your destination, France, is decided.  The flights/travel dates are booked.  Now you can turn your attention to where to stay.  How do you decide?

If this is your first visit to La Belle France, then there’s a treat in store.  France is the most visited country in the world.  And no wonder.  With beaches, mountains, unspoilt landscapes, food, drink, culture and heritage to name but a few reasons to choose this fair land, plus a favourite re-location destination for “les anglais”, who can resist?

Choosing a B&B or a hotel.  What’s the difference?

The B&B experience offers a unique opportunity to get an insight into the local way of life.  Many B&B owners are passionate and knowledgeable about their local area, and can direct you to people and places you wouldn’t find on your own.  They will make reservations for you; recommend restaurants based on their own experience (not because they get a commission).

They will spend time talking to you about what you need, and can respond quickly to problems and challenges you may have.  They can be your place of refuge in a foreign land.

You will often become part of their family during the time you stay with them, sometimes meeting other family members and their friends.  Sometimes you’ll have dinner with them and the family, and with the other guests.

Dinner choices are not normally offered, but usually good quality home-cooked food is served in a B&B.  You’ll get to meet other travellers too, and make new friends.  Recipes may be shared, and insights gained.  Childrens’ toys and books may be available for you.  You’ll experience a “home from home” atmosphere, that larger hotels cannot provide.  A truly enriching experience for open-minded travellers.

Hotels on the other hand generally provide higher levels of comfort and amenities.  If you’re looking for 4 or 5 star service, discreet waiting staff to attend to your every whim at all hours of the day and night, then a hotel is probably a better choice for you.

Look for B&Bs (and hotels) with lots of positive reviews from past guests when choosing your place to stay.  Customer reviews are far more reliable than anything the owners, managers or websites say.  Think about your expectations and how you’ll feel if they’re not met.  Know what you need and want, and then choose your accommodation accordingly.

Happy travelling!

Boating in Champagne

On my theme of introducing you to non-champagne activities in Champagne this year, here’s a fun way to pass the time here.

On the River Marne, just on the outskirts of Epernay is the Municipal Camp Site.  If you park your car at the entrance and walk through the campsite, following the signs for Blue Nautic, you’ll reach Christine’s great little boating business, right there on the banks of the river.

Imagine a summer’s day, your picnic in hand, perhaps a bottle of bubbly you picked up the day before when you visited the underground caves of a small champagne producer, and the kids in tow.

Christine will welcome you in English and help you into your life jackets.  You step into your electric boat, take the wheel and you’re off!  Crusing your own little boat down the river.

Over to the right is the famous village of Hautvillers where Dom Perignon the father of champagne, and his monks perfected the art of keeping the bubbles in the bottle by initiating the second fermentation.   You could explore that village tomorrow, and stop by the wonderful Au36, a tasting room and shop dedicated to the smaller, unknown champagnes.  Beyond the hills are more vineyards and pretty villages to discover.  Another “maybe” for the next day, or the next…

You could spot a heron on the river bank, or some swans nesting in the reeds.  Just relaxing on the river, letting the quiet engine sweep you along.

You’re travelling downstream towards Cumieres where they make not only great champagne, but also “Cumiere Rouge”, the red wine used to blend with the white champagne to make rosé.  Maybe you’ll stop off at a small producer there tomorrow and discover another hidden gem.

What could be more relaxing and fun that this?

Imagine this…

You’re planning a special weekend getaway in France with your partner.  You’ve no idea what to expect, so you surf the web looking for answers.  There is so much information on the web, that you’re left feeling bereft and uncertain.  You can’t find what you’re looking for.  Where to stay, where to go, what to see, what to do?  Too many questions remain unanswered, and so you just book the ferry/shuttle and hope for the best.

Sound familiar?  Stressful isn’t it?  And you’re supposed to be on holiday, taking a break…

This is what many of our guests describe when visiting us here at Les Molyneux.  When they arrive with us, they are relieved to find that a) we speak English (in fact we are English) and b) we can help them plan their visit, putting them in touch with people and places they’d never find on their own.  Guests feel like part of the family, and that feeling extends when we introduce them to our personal network of contacts, who are simply waiting to welcome them.  An experience like this is so much more relaxing and enjoyable.

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew about this before you booked your trip?

Well now you can…

“Champagne Day” App is the essential Guide to the Champagne Region, answering questions and providing solutions, not just information.  You can choose your “Day” and know that when you arrive, there’ll be a friendly face just dying to meet you.

We’re launching this App very soon, so to get yours at the special one-day-only price on Launch Day, go here:

See you in Champagne very soon!