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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > February 2017 > Top gastronomic experiences

Top gastronomic experiences

Gather seafood on wild Irish shores, follow a German brewery trail and learn to cook guided by an Italian countess, with Europe’s bucket-list epicurean breaks

2 TAKE A CHAMPAGNE MASTERCLASS IN FRANCE

In Épernay the streets are built on champagne – quite literally. Some 70 miles of cellars, filled with 200 million bottles, hide under this self-proclaimed capital of bubbly. On the town’s outskirts lies France’s official champagne school, where future masters learn their craft. A full course here takes two years, but members of the public can get a crash course on one of the day workshops (£50; sanger.fr). Under expert guidance, study how champagne is made, discover the secrets of terroir and different grape varieties, and learn how to use sight, smell and taste while sampling 10 different cuvées. Back in town, explore Avenue du Champagne, a boulevard of Neoclassical villas built by the big producing families, and dine at restaurants such as La Cave à Champagne (la-cave-a-champagne.com), where typically champenois dishes, including snails and veal in mustard sauce, can be paired with flights of the region’s finest vintages.

ARRIVE It takes 4½ hours to travel from London to Épernay by train, changing in Paris (from £105; voyages-sncf.com).

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February 2017
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