France: Champagne

Around Epernay

The Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs
By Tom Stevenson and Michael Edwards

This Guide was last updated on 14 August 2014
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Places to eat

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Patrick Michelon at Les Berceaux

Address: 13 Rue des Berceaux 51200 Epernay
Tel: 03 26 55 28 84  Fax: 03 26 55 10 36
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 49:2:35N (49.04300)     Longitude: 3:57:19E (3.95527)  

Patrick Michelon, a warm-hearted Alsatian from Mulhouse has made his reputation as an outstanding chef in Champagne. After gaining two Michelin stars for his cooking at Aux Armes de Champagne at L'Epine, in 1996 he and his wife Lydie bought the venerable, creaking les Berceaux hotel in the heart of Epernay. Patrick's cuisine is a wonderful mix of classic  traditions and modern influences that go well beyond the borders of France. Patrick is a stickler for seasonal ingredients – the tiny Noirmoutier new potatoes and the first petits pois of springtime are a recent memory. Like the greatest chefs he loves simplicity, as in his plump sole meunière served with a wok of spring vegetables, or tender lightly pink roast pigeon with a light sauce made from the carcass and served with morel mushrooms. Summer brings his carpaccio of rare white tuna with filets of fresh anchovies and his Royal Suisse Tiramisu. There's a brilliant wine list as strong in growers' as big houses' champagnes, as well as excellent Burgundies. Now a very strong Michelin star. Delicious food from the same great kitchen can be had at gentle prices in 'Le 7', Patrick's bistro. The 29 bedrooms have all been upgraded and refurbished in uncluttered elegant style.

Useful information: Restaurant Menus €43 (Wednesday-Saturday lunch); €72-€85 (dinner); Bistro Le 7 Menus: €23-€29. Restaurant closed Monday and Tuesday; Bistro Le Sept is open 7 days a week. Rooms: €95-€115: breakfast: €12. Half board and gastronomic packages are also available

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