It's quite something to have your own champagne label but if you dine at the Great House in Lavenham the two champagnes offered by the glass are Great House Grand Reserve Spéciale Cuvée and Rosé. This boutique hotel with its eighteenth-century façade has struck a deal with Champagne Gruet in the small commune of Buxeuil, Aube.
In 1911 Buxeuil became famous for its Champagne Riot when it was mooted that the commune might lose the Appellation Champagne. A century later and the village is home to both Champagne Moutard and Champagne Gruet.
The Great House not only has the cachet of its own champagne but an all-French team serving it to accompany an award-winning French restaurant in this dignified old building.
As an organisation Hotel du Vin excels at converting interesting buildings. In Cambridge they have transformed an old University administration complex on Trumpington Street into a 41-bedroom hotel with a lovely library for preprandial drinks and a labyrinthine cellar bar that dates back to medieval times. Down here you'll find Lombarde, Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and Lallier champagne from Ay being served by the glass as well as the excellent English newcomer Gusbourne. As a general rule wherever there are students there will be champagne and the hotel has a healthy wine list, including 17 bruts and six rosés to complement the three house champagnes.
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