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Travel Diaries: Paris & Champagne

Bonjour, Group Wine Manager Eleonore Wulf here, sharing our recent escapades through Paris and the Champagne region. Joining me on this trip was Group Operations Manager and 2023 Employee of The Year, Chris Mul’Howard. Together, we embarked on a regional immersion hosted by Champagne Houses G.H.Mumm and Perrier Jouet. 

Our adventure commenced in the heart of Paris, where we eagerly set out to explore its diverse arrondissements. Our transfer from the airport took us past the Arc de Triomphe, the first of many landmarks on our trip. Venturing through the bustling streets, we marveled at Notre-Dame’s timeless grandeur and ascended the Eiffel Tower for sweeping views of the city. The Moulin Rouge added a touch of theatrical charm to our Parisian experience, its iconic red windmill a beacon of nightlife and entertainment. 

Memorable dining experiences punctuated each day. On our first day, we savored Burgundy snails and foie gras with a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé, enjoying the view of Parisians wandering by. Dining at Le Jules Verne, nestled 125 meters above Paris, was a highlight, offering not just exquisite food and wine, but also panoramic vistas that took our breath away. 

We loved exploring both local traditions and hidden gems, from seasonal white asparagus (with *almost* every meal in Paris) to the artisanal delights of Conserverie la Belle-Iloise, established in 1932. We visited Dandelion, a recent addition with only three months in operation, offering refined small plates and an incredible wine list. Meanwhile, Cendrillon (French for Cinderella), which we visited during its opening week, boasted an inspired Asian-American menu. The warmth and professionalism of the hospitality industry in Paris reaffirmed our passion for creating world-class guest experiences at ESCA. 

Next, we explored the Champagne region, renowned for its world-class heritage Champagne. In Reims, we were captivated by the town’s historical allure and its pivotal role in Champagne production. Our days revolved around visits to the renowned Champagne Houses of Maison Mumm and Perrier Jouet, where we were graciously hosted to deepen our understanding of the craft. 

Exploring the vast cellars of Maison Mumm was a journey through time. From the rare 2000 G.H.Mumm RSRV ‘Lalou’ Champagne to the Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque collection spanning multiple vintages, each sip told a story of craftsmanship and tradition. We marveled at unique finds like the 2022 Antidoot ‘Gorsem/Framboos’ Beer and the 2012 Chateau de Fonsalette Cotes-du-Rhone. 

The lunch we attended at Perrier Jouet’s Maison Belle Epoque was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Afterward, we were invited to explore the iconic gardens of the Maison and experience the extensive collection of Art Nouveau works displayed throughout the property. 

As we return to ESCA, energised and inspired, we bring back not just memories but a deeper appreciation for life’s simple pleasures. Let’s toast to the beauty of travel, the thrill of discovery, and the timeless allure of France. 

À bientôt, E! 

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