“We can continually recall beauty through the practice of memory, through daily acts of imagination that seize the moments that once seized our hearts.” Phil Cousineau, The Art of Pilgrimage.
With stomachs rumbling and lunch calling we wove our way through the streets of Reims to Anna S. la table amoureuse. Lavender hued walls with golden etchings and french prose greeted us on the walls. Generous, kind, hospitable staff directed us to our table. As other patrons arrived we were enveloped by the musical cadence of soft spoken French and local customers.
Reims is famous for its Champagne houses; obviously, it was necessary to order a bottle for lunch and toast our day. “Salut, et au bon santé,” we raised our glasses and thanked Reims for it’s warm embrace. An amuse bouche tantalized our taste buds as an incredibly delicious menu du marché arrived followed by an even more gorgeous and tantalizing dessert.
With happy bellies, content spirits and open hearts we crossed the threshold and stepped out onto the street. Prior to lunch a fellow SoulStroller discovered an intriguing and beguiling shop she said we simply must see. Off we went, hoping it wasn’t closed for lunch; et voilá, the shopkeeper arrived just as we stood outside the door, eagerly peering in.
Filled with unique housewares, linens, trinkets and kitchen gadgets, each of us left with something that had called to be transported home – for friends, ourselves, loved ones.
Because we’d spent a little longer than anticipated lingering in the shop, we needed to pick up a rather quick ‘SoulStrolling’ pace to get to our champagne tour and tasting at Taittinger. Fueled by lunch, and steady legs, we arrived just in time. Down we went into the caves as our guide expounded upon the champagne making process and the house of Taittinger, then back up the flights of stairs where 2 generous tastes in their pink light-filled room buoyed our spirits and rosied our cheeks.
Martel, a smaller champagne house, was our second stop. We had the guide and tour completely to ourselves – magic! Down the stairs we went to learn more about their champagne process and caves. Antique presses, ancient bottles, and the occasional moss filled tunnel welcomed us as we strolled through the cool earth. Weary legs and feet carried us back up the stairs to the main house where we reclined on antique golden velvet chairs and slowly, savoringly, sipped on three different champagnes. Merci beaucoup Martel, et Au Bon Santé.
Salut, Reims! Wondrous, sensual, marvelous, soul nurturing, SoulStrolling day 🙂
“How do we keep sacred memories alive? How to make the journey part of our lives once we are back in the daily grind?” asks Phil Cousineau in, The Art of Pilgrimage. For this SoulStroller, through taking time to ponder and reflect on photos from the journey, and write.