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Rouen is just over an hour train ride northwest of Paris, on a map you just follow the Seine all the way up towards the English Channel and you’re bound to stumble across this adorable normande town. I have some fun memories of Rouen as it was the closest city to the town where I spent a year of high school. I remember taking the bus in with friends to go shopping, walk around, go clubbing, all those things adventurous teenagers do. Going back as an adult makes me realized that during those trips I unfortunately didn’t soak the beauty in… what a beauty Rouen is!

Rouen is the capital of Normandy, and you probably have heard about it’s gothic cathedral at some point or another, as impressionist Claude Monet painted a series of it in the late 19th century (psssst sometimes at night they project his paintings onto the facade of the actual cathedral). Its beautifully colorful maisons à colombage that line the streets, and there are many adorable passageways to be discovered. The pictures shared here are from a recent trip there with my mom.

CITIZEN // Coffee shop
CATHÉDRALE DE NOTRE DAME // Iconic cathedral
L’ESPLIGUETTE // French restaurant
JACOTTE ET JAVOTTE // Antique store
JARDIN DES PLANTES // Gardens
MUSÉE DES BEAUX ARTS // Museum

With my girlies we decided to spend an afternoon in Champagne. None of us had been before, and after being in France for so long and also lovely champagne for so long, it was about time we made it happen. Despite the rainy and the cold, we made our way to Epernay, about an hour and a half northeast of Paris by car.

On the way to Epernay we decided to pop by Launois Père et Fils first- in Le Mesnil sur Oger. This was such a great find. A guy named Nicholas there sat with us for about two hours telling us all about the different kinds of champagne and the history of champagne while we tasted five different types of their champagne. Did I mention that it was completely free? He was ever so kind to offer our chauffer (my super nice boyfriend) 2 bottles of champagne as he couldn’t drink at the tasting. Launois Père et Fils also has a vineyard tour, cellar tour as well as a all-you-can-drink-champagne dinner that I definitely plan to do sometime. You can find out more on their website.

Our second stop was a brand a bit more commercialized: Castellane. Here we did the cellar tour, where we discovered the process of how champagne is created and stored. We also got to climb the tower for a 360 degree view of Epernay.

Our third stop which didn’t turn out really to be a stop was Moët et Chandon, which was located on the main strip Avenue de Champagne amongst many others such as Perrier-Jouët (first on my list for the next time I go to Epernay!).

You can take the train to Epernay, which is walking distance from the different Maisons du Champagne. The other city in the Champagne region which is worth a visit is Reims. There are a lot of brands to choose from so get ready to get your bubbly on.