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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/03/travel/hotel-review-modern-luxury-in-the-vineyards-of-france.html


 

Modern Luxury in the Vineyards of France By Lindsey Tramuta

New York Times
Nov. 3, 2018

25bis by Leclerc Briant

A guesthouse that marries contemporary Scandinavian design with antiqued French furnishings

Epernay is lined with the headquarters and visiting centers of the world’s most renowned Champagne houses like Moët et Chandon and Perrier-Jouët, making it one of the region’s most popular spots to visit. But the small town has long lacked enough hotel options to accommodate demand, leading most visitors to stay in nearby Reims. Le 25bis, from the biodynamic champagne house Leclerc Briant, fills the gap with a guest- house that marries contemporary Scandinavian design with antiqued French furnishings.

 

Occupying a private residence from the 18th century, the five-room property was designed by UK-based firm Ramsey Krause to be a homey extension of the winery’s adjacent tasting room. Whether in the ground floor sitting roomor in individual bedrooms, the designers preserved as many period elements as possible, like the original pine floors and the Empire style plasterwork. Two leafy terraces make for peaceful areas to have breakfast in the morning and champagne tastings in the afternoon.

Location

At 10 minutes by foot from the Epernay train station, 25bis sits at the very heart of the Avenue de Champagne, a grand thoroughfare lined with Champagne houses that earned Unesco World Heritage status in 2015.

The Room

Each room is done up with different color schemes and decorative features. I stayed in Room 3, which overlooked the property’s rear garden. It blended 19th century French antiques with clean, beautiful lines, like the hulking armoire near the bed and wooden desk facing the window, with contemporary pieces from brands like Knoll, Carl Hansen & Søn and Ercol. The striking yellow Louis XIV bergère armchairs were redesigned by RamseyKrause with a new velvet. But the big draw for me were the bookcases filled to the brim with the Blanche collection of literary classics published by Gallimard.

The Bathroom

The mostly-marble bathroom was spacious, brightly lit and featured both a claw-foot bathtub and one of the largest showers I’ve ever seen in a boutique property. The shower’s stainless-steel rimmed glass enclosure prevented any water from spilling over onto the floor. Inside, there was a marble ledge with enough space to place both my own products and the Hermès ‘Un Jardin sur le Nil’ bath and body products provided by the hotel.

 
 

Designed by UK-based firm Ramsey Krause to be a homey extension of the winery’s adjacent tasting room

Amenities

A half-bottle of Leclerc Briant is offered as a welcome gift to guests in room minibars. Small, complimentary tastings are offered daily in the tasting room. Visits to the Leclerc Briant cellars and production facilities are available by appointment only (free of charge). Full tastings there run between 20-40 euros, depending on the cuvées selected. Of course, the guesthouse manager will also reserve visits and tastings at other Champagne houses upon request.

Dining

There is no on-site restaurant for guests, but breakfast is included in the room rate and can be taken in the exquisite dining hall, lined with hand painted Zuber wallpaper, on the terrace or in your room. A list of recommended restaurants nearby and in Reims is provided in each room.

The Bottom Line

Le 25bis is an exquisitely designed, upmarket home-away-from-home for autonomous travelers who don’t need 24/7 service, conveniently located to the region’s most famous Champagne houses.

An exquisitely designed, upmarket home-away-from- home ... conveniently located to the region’s most famous Champagne houses

Échappées Champenoises

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By Frederic Delbos
Summer 2018

The story of Leclerc Briant is one of a true and beautiful renewal. When Pascal Leclerc Briant died, his daughters were too young to take over the business and the brand could have been forgotten. But Franco-American couple Denise Dupré and Mark Nunnely were to restore the it to former glory. For Denise Nunnelley, coming from a background of hospitality, enotourism was at the heart of the strategy from the outset, with the aim to find a building to represent the company and welcome those in love with the brand. The opportunity arises in 2016 with the purchase of number 25bis on the prestigious Avenue de Champagne in Epernay. This beautiful townhouse was built in the 18th century by a wine merchant. Ever since, illustrious families have lived within these walls which still hold the atmosphere of attic nurseries, waxed oak parquet floors and family portraits.

In March 2017 the ground floor rooms accessible from Avenue de Champagne open as a lovely show room adjacent to a terrace where Leclerc Briant Champagne can be tasted by the glass. Finally, several months ago, five beautiful bedrooms complete the house of Leclerc Briant at number 25bis. The interior designers Ramsey Krause who were commissioned with the renovation have preserved the character of an old family home in all their choices. “We wanted to create spaces of an intimate grandeur, where clients feel at ease as soon as they pass the threshold, whilst also giving them the emotion of luxury,” explains Alan Ramsey one of the two associates. We have approached this old townhouse with a softness. The design honours the past and the present with French antiques as well as contemporary Scandinavian pieces. The period features of the French Empire period which had withstood the changing fashions of time, have been restored and preserved. The furnishings are a mix of old French brands like Zuber and Hermès with brands like Carl Hansen and Knoll.”

 

Ramsey Krause who were commissioned with the renovation have preserved the character of an old family home in all their choices

Every room has been carefully composed, all the rooms are different. Here a hommage to Gallimard with library shelves filled with the Collection Blanche edition, comfy chairs and a view that reaches far beyond the gardens to the vineyards. Another room, directly overlooking the buzz of the prestigious Avenue de Champagne, features straight-line furniture set off against Hermès wallpaper. The bathrooms are princely, with their chrome hardware and freestanding tubs, generous space and luxurious detail. Focal point on the ground floor is the breakfast room overlooking the gardens. In its centre, an imposing kitchen island of prestigious materials. On the walls, genuine hand-blocked Zuber wallpaper. This 360° panoramic scene is a true work of art, with details you could spend hours to look at. It is an allegory of the vision of the world in the 18th century with lush landscapes, exotic animals and monuments. Like an invitation to continue a journey which champagne accompanies so well!

 
 

This 360° panoramic scene is a true work of art, with details you could spend hours to look at