Visiting Champagne country is one of the most delightful excursions that France has to offer, but finding reasonably-priced yet stylish accommodation in the region can be a challenge. This is why the recently-opened Château de Sacy in the pretty wine village of the same name is such a welcome new address. It’s ideally located for anyone coming from Paris, too – just ten minutes from the Champagne-Ardennes TGV station, where rental cars are available.
The gabled brick-and-stone villa perched on a hillside was built in 1850 by a family of wealthy textile manufacturers from nearby Reims, and has been magnificently renovated in Napoleon III style into a hotel with 12 rooms, a restaurant and bar, and a small spa that includes several outdoor hot tubs made from wine barrels.
Weekending here with a friend, we had an excellent dinner the night we arrived from Paris. After de rigueur flutes of champagne in the bar, we settled into the good-looking dining room and chose from a menu conceived by Flora Mikula, one of the best-known female chefs in Paris.
The chicken and foie gras pâté en croûte with cabbage and lentil salad in white miso sauce was superb, as was a celery risotto with mushrooms and hazelnuts. Both dishes paired beautifully with another glass of champagne, too. The menu changes regularly, but we very much enjoyed our main courses of yellow pollack and caramelised endives with orange essence, and champagne sauce and grilled pork belly with a condiment of olives and capers, spinach and carrot mousseline with ginger.
A cheese course followed by a shared dessert of spiced poached pear with Szechuan pepper ice cream concluded this excellent contemporary French meal in this handsome location.
Rue des Croisettes, Sacy. Tel.+33 (0)1 26 07 60 38. Dinner for two €75. www.chateaudesacy-reims.fr
From France Today magazine