Lunch at Le Bellevue, in the Royal Champagne Hotel, Epernay

Epernay’s Royal Champagne is a beautiful new luxury hotel in the heart of the Champagne region. It also has two restaurants: the very fancy Le Royale and the still fancy but less formal Le Bellevue. We lunched well here with a nice bottle of Champagne.

Royal Champagne is an impressive project. It was bought by American couple Mark Nunnelly and Denise Dupré back in 2014, and it was only in 2018, four years later, that the hotel was reopened after renovation. They also purchased Champagne Leclerc Briant, which has also undergone a spectacular renovation. I didn’t get to stay here, but I did have lunch at Le Bellevue, which is a really beautiful space.

Starter: very modern, fancy French. Beautifully executed, but the flavour is there too.

A smart bar area: one of the features of this well lit room is the almost excessive crystal array hanging from the ceiling. It works.

Cod on a bed of lentils: just beautiful, with lightness as well as lovely flavour.

Champagne Laherte Frères Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature NV France
From four villages south of Epernay and in the Côte des Blancs. Fermented in small oak and foudres, with full malolactic. Very fresh and linear with delicacy and purity. This is a subtle, lemony, pure Champagne with nice tension and purity. It has a crystalline focus with nice acid drive. 93/100

And finallly: this isn’t a dessert, it’s a piece of food art. Tasted beautiful.