Last summer, as we travelled through France towards the Mediterranean, our wine themed route gave us the chance to visit Chablis. I've always loved Chablis wines, but so far never had the chance to experience this cooler part of Burgundy. Having left Le Touquet after breakfast, we travelled southeast, stopping for a quick lunch in Reims and passing through the historic city of Troyes. Sadly we only had time to drive through the medieval city centre, but I'm keen to return for a more thorough visit. Troyes has been an important trading centre since Roman times and was the ancient capital of Champagne and would be ideal for breaking a long French journey.
We reached Chablis late in the afternoon, passing the dramatic sweep of Grand Cru vineyards, entering the town from the north. After swiftly checking into the Hostellerie des Clos we headed out into warm sunshine. Chablis is a charming little town with many interesting corners and some splendid buildings reflecting centuries of prosperity. The Serein river runs through town providing a refreshing lush quality welcome in high summer and the combination of the water and old stones is particularly attractive.
As it was a Monday in mid August our options were limited, but after spending a couple of hours admiring the town we returned to the hotel to get down to enjoying the local produce (in a restaurant that was actually open). The Hostellerie takes great pride in the local wines and our French Canadian sommelier, thrilled to be working in the town, expertly helped us navigate the comprehensive list. He suggested a bottle of Mont de Milieu 2009 by Pinson which deftly saw us through dinner. It was particularly good with the starter of salmon tartare with ginger and raw quail's egg, and then later on with local cheeses, some sticky, ripe Couloummiers especially.
For food and wine lovers Chablis is a great place to visit – for an overnight stay or a short break. Needless to say we took a lot of pictures.