Around the Chateau
The Aube is rich in culture and is known as ‘the land of a thousand churches’. At its centre, Troyes is the old capital of Champagne and a ‘must visit’ UNESCO World Heritage site (en.troyeslachampagne.com). It is famous for its medieval timber framed buildings. The city contains high quality architecture from the 12th to the 18th centuries. For food lovers the covered market in Troyes is the place to shop, while those who want bargains can head to the many outlet shops, for which Troyes has more recently become known.
Colombey-les-deux-Églises was the home of Charles de Gaulle and the village has an exceptional museum (www.memorial-charlesdegaulle.fr).
Noyers is a stunning medieval Burgundian town, on the River Serein, not far from Chablis (www.noyers-et-tourisme.com).
Sport and Recreation
Le Foret d’Orient is a National Park and comprises a series of lakes. Windsurfing, dingy sailing, boating and cycling are all available. www.lacs-champagne.fr
Nigloland is one of France’s most popular amusement parks. www.nigloland.fr.
Golf. The best 18 hole golf course in the area, Golf de Troyes la Cordeliere is 15 minutes away www.golfdetroyeslacordeliere.fr. A 75 minute drive takes you to Fontainebleau Golf Club, one of the finest courses in France. www.golfdefontainebleau.org
Kayaking takes place in the Seine at Chappes. The Seine also makes for an excellent place to swim in warmer weather.
Cycling. The countryside is excellent for cycling, with rolling hills and very quiet roads. The bikes at the chateau are suitable for the surrounding woods and shorter trips. High quality road bikes can be rented in Troyes if you choose not to bring your own.
Vineyards and wine tasting
Chateau de la Motte is the ideal spot for wine lovers wishing to visit the southern Champagne regions of the Aube or to discover Chablis.
Champagne. The Aube is less well known as an area for Champagne production than Reims and Epernay but in recent years has developed a reputation for being cutting edge in terms of quality and innovation. ‘Grower Champagnes’ abound. Some of the champagne houses we have come to know well include:
Chablis. Chablis lies at the most northerly part of Burgundy and produces exclusively white wines from Chardonnay. These wines have a more pronounced minerality than their Cote d’Or cousins in the likes of Mersault or Puligny. Generally always good, the very best have an amazing ageing ability. Chablis is well set up to receive visitors and is beautiful in itself.
The following is a selection of our favourite restaurants. Many of these are situated in the places we suggest you might like to visit above.
Le Valentino in Troyes. https://levalentino.com/. The best restaurant in Troyes.
Auberge de Ste Maure, just outside Troyes. http://auberge-saintemaure.ovh/. Quality traditional French food and a beautiful setting.
Au Fil du Zinc in Chablis. https://aufilduzinc.fr/. Very good food and an exceptional and extensive list of Chablis wines.
Le Garde Champetre in Gyé-sur-Seine. http://legardechampetre.fr/. A recent ‘project’ by a Parisian chef and various Champagne producers, the food is locally sourced and the restaurant offers a very reasonable set menu for lunch. It has an extensive list of Champagnes from the locality.
Les Millesimes at Noyers. https://business.google.com/website/restaurant-les-millesimes. Le Millesimes was founder by the owner of Maison Paillot, the traiteur next door. The lunch menu is a showcase of regional food – charcuterie, pates and terrines, salads and seasonal vegetables. The sommelier, Pierre, has worked in the likes of Ramsey’s Royal Hospital Road. He has put together an interesting and well priced wine list.
Restaurant Natali at Colombey-les-deux-Églises. https://www.hostellerielamontagne.com/. The best restaurant in the region.