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Unveiling Epernay: A Dog-Friendly Champagne Escape with Milton by My Side

Ever dreamt of exploring a charming French village with your furry companion? Look no further than Epernay, the heart of Champagne country! Recently, my friend and I (along with my adventure pup, Milton) embarked on a delightful road trip from Amsterdam to Epernay, discovering a region as welcoming to dogs as it is to bubbly.

A Perfect Pitstop for Pups and People:

Our journey began with a scenic drive, stopping for a delightful lunch and walkabout at "The View" near Mechelen, Belgium. This restaurant boasts a unique feature – dogs are welcome to dine inside with you! Situated next to a small lake, it offers a beautiful setting and a completely secured off-leash walking area around the lake, perfect for a refreshing break for both humans and canines.

Epernay: A Base for Bubbly Adventures:

Epernay charmed us with its quaint streets and spacious B&Bs. Our dog-friendly BnB provided ample room for Milton to roam after exploring the vineyards. Epernay is boasts champagne houses and centrally located in the champagne region, making it the best option as the base of our trip.

Vineyard Adventures: Unleashing Fun for All:

One unexpected perk of Champagne country? Vineyards doubling as fantastic dog-walking spots! While exploring the region, we discovered "du Mont Bernon" near our BnB. This vineyard offered breathtaking views and plenty of space for Milton to frolic freely amongst the vines (always under supervision, of course!).

Foodie Finds and Furry Fun:

Fueling for our adventures, we started each day with a delicious breakfast. KITSCH café, with its friendly staff and irresistible cheesecake, became a favourite. Milton even received a warm welcome and a tasty water bowl at the exquisite Perrier-Jouet Boutique tasting room, where we sipped on delicious champagnes and enjoyed the luxurious ambiance.

Learning by Experience: Dinner Reservations are Key!

On the first evening, we discovered the importance of dinner reservations in France. We tried L'OBEN restaurant, which allows dogs inside and generally would have space for them. However, without a reservation, they were unfortunately fully booked. Lesson learned – reservations are essential, especially for popular restaurants with limited space. La Table Kobus, with its spacious tables, proved to be a perfect solution, offering a relaxed dining experience with ample room for Milton to sprawl out. Note that most French restaurants do one seating per night; this means that after their first round of seating around 7PM is full, they will not accept any more guests.

Beyond Epernay: Charming Villages and City Delights:

Beyond Epernay's charms, we ventured out to Hautvillers, the birthplace of champagne, enjoying the picturesque village and breathtaking view from the top. Reims, the region's capital, offered a delightful shopping experience for my friend, and Milton, as always, was warmly welcomed.

Heading Home with Happy Hearts (and Paws!):

Our return journey included a refreshing stop at De Biesbosch National Park, just outside Breda. This nature reserve provided Milton with the perfect off-leash walking opportunity, thanks to its well-paved paths and minimal distractions from aquatic and avian life (ideal for a dog with minimal interest in swimming or chasing birds!). However, it's important to note that leashing is required for dogs who tend to chase birds or enjoy a refreshing swim.

Key Takeaways for Dog-Loving

  • Vineyards: Unleashing Fun: When exploring a French wine region, vineyards often offer fantastic, dog-friendly walking opportunities where your furry friend can run free in most areas (always keep them supervised!).

  • Dinner Reservations are Your Friend: Don't underestimate the importance of dinner reservations, especially if travelling with a dog.

  • Plan Dog-Friendly Pitstops: Consider incorporating dog-friendly breaks to ensure a happy and comfortable journey for your furry travel companion.

  • Champagne Tastings Welcoming Wags: While chateau tours might not always be dog-friendly, champagne tasting experiences are generally open to canine companions.

With its welcoming atmosphere, delicious cuisine, and scenic vineyards, Epernay is a perfect destination for a dog-friendly getaway.  So, pack your bags, grab your leash, and embark on your bubbly adventure with your furry best friend by your side!

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