The Most Romantic Places to Enjoy Champagne
18th August 2016
The word Champagne itself translates to many as romance, love filled environments, first dates, proposals and many more romantic thoughts, but where can this iconic sparkling wine be enjoyed to further its place as the number one drink for those with love in mind.
I recently viewed an interesting news item on the Daily Mail website where a couple appeared to be having a dinner date in open public besides a duck pond in Cheshire, though many of us will question their minds, it in-fact read very well and made me think about all the places I have enjoyed Champagne and those which I would say would be a romantic setting.
I always say that great wines are enhanced by the company you share and we could say that if you are with the one you love then no matter where you pop open a bottle of Champagne will be a romantic one, but I have also taken on board some of the wonderful settings I have enjoyed Champagne to suggest a list of places/situations that makes that special moment that bit more special. In no particular order and assuming you are not buying a glass of Champagne at a bar or venue and you have simply taken out a bottle to enjoy yourselves:
- Within the Champagne Vines. Yes, I have been lucky enough to be an invited guest of a grower Champagne label and enjoyed opening and enjoying a bottle of Champagne in the middle of one of their vineyards. An amazing experience that is further enhanced by doing so on a warm summers day to an amazing sunset. Many smaller Champagne growers, so long as you have bought a bottle of their Champagne, will allow you to enjoy such a unique experience! (Don’t forget that if you love English bubbly then you do not have to travel over the English Channel to experience something very similar).
- Picnics. Many of us will undoubtedly not have had a picnic in years, yet when we think back to our childhoods we would have been so excited if our parents had said, “We are going to go on a picnic this afternoon‘.” Now when one is in love our mind plays games with us and we can be in a total fluffy trance so what better way to surprise your loved one by saying you want to take them on a Champagne picnic. You’ve a whole host of foods nowadays to go with bubbly so pop to your local supermarket and get together a romantic menu and choose yourself a fine bottle of bubbly. Remember to bring along two flutes to enjoy the Champagne and ideally, look into locations you can picnic via local transport as mixing alcohol with driving is never a wise move!
- By the River Thames. One Champagne label who wanted us to taste their selection of wines innovatively asked to meet us by the River Thames where we tasted through their selection whilst standing and gazing over the River Thames. Yes, very much reliant on the weather, a backup plan needed, but it made the wines taste that bit more special! You can easily transport your Champagne and glasses safely for such an occasion as you will no doubt have to travel via underground/bus to get to your romantic spot, though remember the River Thames is not just about Tower Bridge and Houses of Parliament, it also winds through countryside settings.
- Wine Cellars. Now one of the most memorable evenings full of Champagne I had once was in the Champagne cellars of the maker themselves. Veuve Clicquot were the hosts that time and to enjoy Champagne whilst in the depths of their cellars (in Reims) was amazing. There is something special about Champagne wine cellars, many holding millions of bottles on racks and standing in the cool and damp environment that holds usually 100’s of years of history is something one has to put on their ‘wish list’. Some of the larger Champagne houses will organise guided tours and tastings, smaller labels will give you a private tour and sometimes, just sometimes, you may get a special invitation to spend the whole evening many metres down below amongst millions of pounds worth of Champagne for a private event.
- Beach. OK, somewhat original, but many times I have been with a group of friends for a catch up by arranging a Champagne tasting at one of the local beaches. Just the other evening I enjoyed popping open a bottle of bubbly during an evening that a splendid low orange moon was expected, though no romance was in the air, it was most certainly a situation that oozed romance.
- An important landmark. OK, some of these landmarks do charge you to get in and will also already have in place someone selling you fizz whilst you enjoy its splendours, be it the Eiffel Tower of The Shard in London. There are though many landmarks across the UK and beyond that are well worth your visit, from buildings, statues, mountain ranges and more. Have you ever thought about a bottle of Champagne at the summit of Mount Snowdon or how about clinking glasses whilst admiring Stonehenge, a stroll through Hyde Park or at the statue of William Shakespeare at the centre of Leicester Square Gardens in London.
- Boat on a lake. It’s been many years since as I child I hired one of the local boats to row into the middle of the park lake, but we do see in many films that situation where a couple row out on the lake / river to enjoy a mid summer’s afternoon in peace. What about suggesting this to a loved one, a lazy afternoon on the lake with a chilled bottle of Champagne to enjoy? Of course, if budgets are no issue, what about a speed boat? I say this for the last time I was in Franciacorta, Italy, the wonderful team at Mosnel took us out to Lake Iseo where we popped open a few bottles of their Franciacorta whilst hitting the waves… An amazing experience!
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.