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A knights’ trail in the Aube

The French department of Aube is rich in the history of the Knights Templar, Simon Willmore followed their trail… The first master of the Knights Templar, Hugues de Payns, was born just outside Troyes (110 miles southwest of Paris), and the abbot St. Bernard de Clairvaux, founder of the abbey at Bar-sur-Aube, helped to write the…

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Mullet and magic dust – a French cookery course

Lisa Gerard-Sharp makes art of red mullet at a culinary Hogwarts in Reims “Eat with your eyes – throw powder at it,” commands our culinary magician. In the shadow of Reims Cathedral we toss black volcanic dust on our Champagne dinner. It feels fabulously heretical and Harry Potterish. Royal Reims, virtually obliterated during the Great…

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1.7m Impressions of La Champagne & L’Ardenne

Last week, just under 90 BGTW travel writers, bloggers, photographers & broadcasters visited Reims in Northern France for our Annual General Meeting, and afterwards around 60 stayed on to explore both La Champagne and Ardenne. While we were there, many of our members were busy posting across numerous social media platforms using the #BGTWvisitLaChampagne hashtag,…

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Reims and Troyes – a tale of two cities

On first acquaintance, says Roger Bray, Reims and Troyes appear to be chalk and cheese. The former is solidly mature but still attractive, the latter is enjoying flamboyant, sometimes rickety old age. Dig a little deeper, however, and there are striking historical similarities. Reims is – and Troyes once was- capital of the region that today…