Wine buff and broadcaster Jilly Goolden presented the BBC's Food and Drink show for nearly two decades and has appeared regularly on British screens since, even braving the jungle in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Jilly has written about wine for a number of British broadsheets and magazines and now runs her own wine tasting events, Wine Days, at her beautiful home in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, East Sussex.
A sparkling tour of Champagne with Jilly Goolden
The world's most famous bubbles are produced in Champagne, a region of rolling vineyards and tranquil villages north-east of Paris. It is here where the nation's best known wine expert, Jilly Goolden, will introduce readers to the region's most renowned Champagnes and give a talk about her life and career during a private gourmet dinner. We've joined forces with wine tour specialists SmoothRed to offer this fantastic break with Jilly.
Staying in picturesque Reims, your itinerary includes visits to Champagne Ayala (sister house to Bollinger) and smaller boutique Champagne houses, as well as vineyard tours and a Champagne tasting lunch. You'll also get the chance to buy fantastic discounted value Champagne to bring home.
Reasons to book
Taste Champagne with Jilly
Exclusive tours and tastings
Travel in a small group
Stay in Reims
Your expert guide
- Exclusive talk and Q&A session with Jilly Goolden.
- Executive coach travel to Champagne, so you can drink and not drive. Plus, you will have room to bring back as many cases of Champagne as you like!
- Two nights at the four-star Hôtel de la Paix in the heart of Reims, with breakfast every morning.
- Spectacular full-day guided Champagne tour.
- Visit to Champagne Marguet.
- Visit to Champagne Ayala, sister house to Bollinger, and taste three non-vintage and two vintage Champagnes.
- Four-course dinner with Champagne pairings at Brasserie du Boulingrin.
- Visit to the small, quality-driven Champagne house Ployez-Jacquemart that only works with grapes grown in Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages , including Champenoise buffet lunch paired with one of the estate's speciality Champagnes, and an exclusive tasting with the owners of the distinguished family producer
Day1Champagne House of MarguetReims, France
Arrive into Champagne this afternoon after your comfortable executive coach ride from London. You'll have a chance to relax and freshen up in the hotel, before an afternoon visit to the Champagne House of Marguet, located in Ambonnay. Benoît has converted certain Grand Cru vineyards into bio-dynamically farmed vineyards, using extremely low quantities of sulphites in the winemaking. He has been particularly celebrated for his rosé, made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir via the saignée method.
In the evening, unwind with fabulous local cuisine in one of the region's renowned local restaurants. Founded in 1925, the Brasserie du Boulingrin is a veritable institution in Champagne and a must-visit for a delicious traditional meal. You'll be served in the private dining room with an exquisite four-course menu paired with champagne. Later this evening, you'll hear a talk from wine expert, Jilly Goolden followed by a Q&A session in which you can ask her your questions about everything to do with wine!
Day2Montagne de Reims Champagne tourReims, France
Tuck into breakfast in the dining room of your hotel this morning, before you meet with your Champagne wine guide. Today you'll embark on a Champagne tour of the beautiful Montagne de Reims. You'll travel down the scenic Route du Champagne, meander among the vineyards and picturesque villages, and gaze unto the charming bucolic landscape.
The tour begins with a walk in the vineyards with a glass of champagne alongside your guide, followed by a visit to Champagne Ayala, one of the most exciting stories in Champagne today. The sister house to Bollinger, Ayala is one of the original twenty-six Grandes Marques. Ayala produces fine and elegant champagnes, epitomised by the elegant Brut Majeur NV. Enjoy a wonderful private tour and tasting of the full range of Champagne Ayala: three non-vintage and two vintage champagnes.
Next up, you'll visit a distinguished family producer and enjoy a highly personal tour of the Champagne house with the owners of the estate. (Ployez-Jacquemart, one of the best-kept secrets in the realm of world-class bubbly.) Enjoy an exclusive private tour and vintage tasting at this small, quality-driven Champagne house that only works with grapes grown in Grand Cru & Premier Cru villages. It's also one of the last of a dozen Champagne houses still running an extra aging of its bottles on point (upside down).
Following the tour, enjoy a tasting of three champagnes (followed by a fourth served with lunch).
Unwind with a Champenoise buffet lunch paired with one of the estate's specialty champagnes which is partially aged into oak barrels. Late afternoon transfer back to the hotel to relax and enjoy the city of Reims. SmoothRed will include a list of recommended restaurants to enjoy tonight (dinner not included).
Day3Last day in ReimsReims, France
Enjoy a final breakfast in the dining room, before taking the the morning to enjoy the beautiful city of Reims. Take a stroll in the pedestrian shopping districts or perhaps enjoy an afternoon visit to the magnificent Cathédrale Notre Dame, an immense Gothic structure noted for its elegance and harmony.
You'll depart from Reims later today with executive coach travel back to London.
The Best Western Premier Hotel de la Paix
Located in the heart of Reims, a stone's throw from the Cathedral, the Conference Centre, and shops
The Best Western Premier Hotel de la Paix combines modernity and cultural heritage in 163 comfortable, soundproof and air-conditioned rooms. The hotel features a bar with a private terrace and an onsite Restaurant Cafe De La Paix which offers seafood and fish specialties as well as seasonal menus. There's also an indoor heated swimming pool, steam room and sauna for your relaxation and a fully-equipped fitness centre for your active needs.