Matt surprised Van with a birthday trip to France!
- We drove out to Ludes and arrived at La Villa Ployez Jacquemart - a nice villa at a vineyard in the Champagne region
- We celebrated Van's birthday with a dinner in Rheims. Matty had his first snails in France. We had duck and scallops for mains, washed down with a bottle of champers.
- Started the day with a lovely breakfast at the accommodation. Croissants were delicious as is standard in France.
- Enjoyed a tour of the cellar and bottling facility. Learnt some very interesting facts about the making of Champagne and were astounded by the length and breadth of the underground cellar tunnel system.
- Next, we drove to Epernay and tried to check out a couple of the bigger wineries but they were closed until 2pm which didn't fit with our schedule. Had a nice lunch, including a giant macaron, and then headed on the 2 hr drive back to Paris.
- After we returned the rental car we commuted into the city centre and located our hotel. We got some recommendations from the reception for dinner and chose one of the nearby restaurants.
- Dinner was delicious. It is fair to say we both love French food. We had a starter of foie gras and a main of beef with aligot (cheesy mashed potatoes).
This was the day for exploring Paris a little. We started with a walking tour Matty had organised which covered the main sites and took us around 3 hours or so. Our guide was very knowledgeable and filled us in on lots of interesting facts about the history of the city. Next was a quick explore of the shopping streets. After that our legs were pretty tired so we sat down for some sushi for a late lunch around 3pm. We chilled out at Luxembourg park for dinner, and had our little half bottle of champagne from the vineyard we had stayed at previously. For dinner, we went to a cute place with live french music. Matty even purchased the CD of the fella that was singing. We couldn't go past the beef for dinner again, given the expensiveness vs quality of beef ratio we are used to in Norway.
It was an early start as we left for the airport at around 7am to head back to Stavanger and count down the two weeks until the next time we would visit Paris!