After a few unusual, tiring days with Poppy (my Wonder Weeks iPhone app said it was a growth spurt period), Steve and I were looking for a place to chill for a couple of days. In our ACSI camping site guide I found La Forge: a five star campsite! They said they were in the “heart of the Champagne region” and had “100 per cent wifi coverage”! Perfect! So we headed there.
It turned out that the part about being in the heart of the region was a bit of a lie, but La Forge was a beautiful camping ground with historic stone buildings, a lake, water feature, live music, a jacuzzi, pool, bar and restaurant. I had the most delicious duck with fig compot at their restaurant and Poppy loved her swimming lessons from us in the indoor, heated pool. Steve loved getting groped and picked up by oldies at the bar too!
The next day, we drove through the more famous champagne area and looked for a France Passion vineyard to stay at. We drove into the stunning Champagne A. Lete vineyard in Damery, but unfortunately they were full! Our France Passion option number two, Champagne J. Charpentier, in Villers Sous Chatillon, turned out to be someone’s rather boring looking concrete home, not a pretty vineyard location, so we ended up staying at an aire by the pretty park with lakes in it at Villers Sous Chatillon. It was right across the road from the house of Champagne Robert Alliat , so we had to go in for a tasting. We bought a couple of bottles of their Brut Reserve, the cheapest but nicest champagne they had, and had a bottle that night overlooking the park.
It was very fitting that we heard about the birth of our friends’ daughter, Mathilde, in the Champagne region. Her mum, Meri, loves the bubbly stuff and was the one who bought us our invaluable shatterproof champagne glasses for our trip. We celebrated by raising a glass (or two) to all three of them. Poppy toasted them too (see the photo).