By Monica Sabbatucci
Top reasons to visit Les Crayères:
- Located in the heart of Reims - just a few minutes’ walk to Maisons such as Veuve Clicquot, Pommery and Taittinger.
- It is full of rich champagne history – originally built in 1902-1904 for the Pommery family.
- Each of the 20 rooms are uniquely designed – no guest experience is the same.
- Only an hour’s train ride from Paris
- Michelin star restaurant; Le Parc
- The hotel bar – Bar La Rotonde - boasts a wine list of over 600 different drops
- One of the hottest parties of the year - Le Soirée Blanche - is held at the estate every summer.
- There are always different sale offers available on their website so make sure you check those Packages of the Day out here before you visit.
A Grand Chateau
At Emperor Champagne, we often get asked where the best place is to stay when travelling to the Champagne region. Of course, we have the answer!
Built and owned by Madame Pommery herself, this historic palace has been transformed into a chateau style hotel resembling the elegance and decor of Versailles. Once you enter the grounds and see the beautiful architecture you will immediately sense the beauty and history that surrounds the estate.
Les Crayères proves to be extremely popular amongst tourist and champagne enthusiasts who travel here to taste the best drop. With just 20 uniquely designed rooms, it makes staying here even more exclusive.
The noteworthy concierge service upholds Les Crayères’ phenomenal reputation to help you with anything you need. Want to go for a tasting at a nearby cellar? They’ll direct you to the best cellar doors. Want to take a horseback ride through the countryside? They’ll organise the tour to suit you. Whatever you desire, the exceptional concierge will be there with all of your tourism and experience needs.
So, what’s stopping you from experiencing the best there is in Reims? If you want to make the most out of Champagne touring, this is the place for you.
A Brief History of Les Crayères
In 1904 the castle was commissioned by Madame Pommery, a significant figure in the production of champagne as well as innovative business woman acknowledged by the Reims region after her death in 1890.
When Madame Pommery’s youngest child, a daughter named Louise, married into the French royal family, she had Les Crayères built for her and her husband, Prince Guy de Polignac. The chateau would remain in the family until 1978 when it was bought by business man Xavier Gardinier and his sons.
In 1980 it was given new life and underwent renovations in order to transform the estate into a hotel and restaurant. It opened to the public in 1983, with Elyane and Gerard Boyer running it and raising 3 Michelin stars from then until 2003.
In 2009 brasserie Le Jardin opened and Philippe Mille takes over from Gerard Boyer as head chef, obtaining his first Michelin star in 2011 and his second in 2012.
Since its opening, Les Crayères has won many awards of excellence and made it into the top lists for hotels in Europe and France. Most recently, the hotel was in TripAdvisor’s
list of the ‘Top 25 Luxury Hotels in France’ as well as the Best Award of Excellence 2018 by Wine Spectator
One of the hottest parties in the French calendar is definitely Le Soirée Blanche held at Domaine Les Crayères every year. With a strict dress code of blanche, this summertime picnic and music festival sees thousands gather to celebrate the beginning of summer and the Fête de la Musique. The 9th edition happened recently on the 22nd June where music acts such as Cris Cab and DJ Marko performed and Champagne Lanson was the major champagne partner.
The head sommelier at Le Parc, the Michelin restaurant, oversees the estate's 45,000 bottle cellar which he has managed and redeveloped since 2000. When he took on the coveted role, he was met with the challenge to entirely reorganise the cellar and merge an already existing senior hospitality team.
Jamesse has most definitely succeeded in those tasks; he built a front and background data-based cellar housing over 60,000 bottles and working with the Chef to create sensational food and wine pairings. Jamesse has worked tirelessly to emphasise to not only the culinary world, but the public also that champagne is meant to be consumed with food, he even designed his own range of glassware
especially for that purpose.
“With a large breathing surface, all the subtleties of this fragile, yet strong, wine emerge,” - Philippe Jamesse
Restaurants & Bar
The Chef utilizes the emotions of childhood memories in the food he designs for Les Jardins. Here you can find dishes reminiscent of casseroles as well as hearty and real produce. The contemporary dining allows guests in a more relaxed atmosphere to see the chefs in action. Attached to the restaurant is a large terrace that beautifully overlooks the grounds of Les Crayères and is makes for a delicious summer evening setting - with a glass of champagne in hand of course! Menu is either set or served a la carte.
Opening hours: daily
- 12pm-2pm for lunch
- 7-10pm for dinner.
The most famous haute gastronomic restaurant in Reims thanks to the world class chefs who have graced the kitchen over the years. Philippe Mille has been at the helm since 2010 and is certainly reaching heights in success through his produce inspired and generous cuisine. It truly is an “alliance of elegance and refinement of French Haute cuisine” boasting an exceptional menu that is both set and a la carte.
Opening hours: Wednesday - Sunday
- 12pm-1:30pm for lunch
- 7:15pm-9:30pm for dinner service.
Head Chef Philippe Mille
- Meilleur Ouvrier de France – prestigious title awarded at a craftsmen competition run every 4 years in France
- 2 Michelin stars
Describes his cuisine as “classical but adapted to the tastes of today”
Pastry Chef Yoann Normand
Bar La Rotonde
Sleek. Sophisticated. A step back in time to the opulent bars of the early 20th century. That is what comes to mind when you walk into Bar La Rotonde. As you sip your cocktail or champagne take in the richness of colour and patterns that surround you as well as the walls of windows enabling you to gaze out onto the beautiful grounds of Les Crayères.
Be it a beautiful sunny afternoon or at night lit up with the bubbles of champagne, Bar La Rotonde is a perfect and intimate setting to sit, drink and embrace the visual magic of Les Crayères. Bar La Rotonde has a very extensive wine list, of course including many champagne varieties. There is also a small snack menu including salt plates, sandwiches and sweet treats.
Bookings are essential.
Head to www.lescrayeres.comfor a further look into the beautiful hotel and restaurants. Next time you are heading to France, be sure to book a room, dine in the top quality restaurants and let yourself be a part of champagne history.