So. I went to France… (!!!). For my day job with UNC, hosting a group of alumni. Envision me and 14 of my closest grandmas and grandpas. They were adorable, khakis and blazers at the airport adorable, and they were also full of energy and literally put my “I’m young! Full of life! Full of excitement!” kind of vivaciousness to shame. But when the 86-year-old says we all need to get dressed up and go out on the town for dinner, you do just that. Every night.
We stayed in Reims, a small city northeast of Paris known for being the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region. Yes, a whole dedicated region if you can believe it. Pronounced “Rah-ns,” if you’re using your French accent correctly. It was lovely and romantic and cafe’s filled every other shop, just like you’d imagine. The leaves were changing colors and a cold front swept in making it an exceptionally cold week, but worth every minute.
I ended up in maybe 3 photos of all I took, because when you’re without your Instagram husband, cheesy smiling photos in business attire is what I have to be ok with. But when in France you know?!
And while I’m no expert, 10 days in the city did allow me find a few of my favorite things. For when YOU get to go, and let me stow away in your suitcase…
Café du Palais - an art deco style restaurant with wonderful French food, funny staff, and the kind of atmosphere that makes you realize “OMG I’m in France right now.”
Excelsior - fine French dining, with a patio that would make you swoon in the Spring I’m sure. The very best meal I had all week.
Louise - a real-life-French creparie, with sweet and savory and all you can imagine crepes in an adorable old little 2-story shop.
Rue de Vesle - this large street is lined FULL of great shopping. A Zara, Galeries Lafayette, an H&M (that’s so much better than in the U.S.) and street vendors that have everything you need to look like a cute Parisian.
The corner shops around the Cathedral - just little souvenir things, but they have these chocolates shaped like champagne corks. You bite off the top and find it’s a mini chocolate cup of champagne! A major crowd pleaser and cute gift to bring home.
Reims Cathedral - a beautiful gothic style church that the city centers around. Full of history and really a kind of breathtaking sight that you just don’t have in the States very often.
Taittinger - a local champagne house, the first we experienced and it was so unique and beautiful.
Veuve Clicquot - one of the few champagne names you might recognize since it’s pretty popular here too. Their champagne house was gorgeous.