Living the Lagerfeld Life in Champagne: Lindsay on Location

In 2019, we lost a giant in the Fashion World. But, Karl Lagerfeld was more than that he was a complete lifestyle brand. Everything he touched turned to gold. The rules were not necessarily followed by Lagerfeld. He made them. Shaping the modern fashion worl; he truly paved his own path and we are forever going to follow his lead.

For my next Lindsay on Location for Access Hollywood, we headed to Champagne, France to stay at Karl’s house. From the moment we were give this opportunity, I was pinching myself. It all seemed too good to be true. And all just in time for the famous Met Gala where this year theme is Karl Lagerfeld: “A line of beauty.” The gala and the exhibit will play homage to the imagination and creativity of Karl, and I was about to be surrounded by this for a week in the countryside of France.

We arrived at Chateau d’isle-sur-Marne after a short drive from Paris. To get to the Chateau and be in the heartland of Champagne region, it only take just over two hours. It couldn’t be easier. You can also jump on a train, but I highly recommend renting a car. The beauty of the drive is a part of the experience. Chateau d’isle-sur-Marne was built in 1732 and is set on 34 acres, it’s surrounded by water, has 6 bedrooms, pool, and so much more. King Louis XIV would hide his mistresses in the chateau. Everything about the chateau embodies French chic, full of history and charm. I could’t help but think, if these walls could talk. The endless rooms with high ceilings, gold molding, fireplaces, sauna, and my favorite chandeliers, had me day dreaming for days.

The craziest thing about this entire experience is that everyone can stay at Karl’s Chateau. Through THIRDHOME, a luxury home exchange club where you can trade homes. But it’s not just homes, it is villas, resorts, boats, and of course castles. They are located in over 100 countries, and have over 16,500 members. That means that there are over 16,500 of home options just waiting for you to explore. Once you are a member, the more you open up dates of your home to be rented out, the more “keys” or points you get to use them at other properties. The more points you have the lower the costs of your stay. What I am hearing is that the more you let someone stay the more trips you get to go on. Win win!

Chateau d’isle-sure-Marne was going to be our home base for the week, but when we travel we always fully emerge ourselves into the locations. I suggest getting on bikes. You explore around the Lake, Lac du Der. The lake is the largest artificial lake in Europe and has some great surrounding half-timbered churches.

Next head to the town of Châlons. Check out the gothic style cathedral, the local food market, and enjoy a boat ride down the canals ending at the garden, Le Petit Jard. For one of the best meals you must go to Les Temps Changent which has a Michelin star and you know why with every bit. I got the salmon tartar and the fresh tuna. Both full of flavor and paired perfectly with a local Chenin wine.

We were in the mood for something sweet and we also wanted to explore another town. So we headed to Reims. We got to visit Maison Fossier which is the oldest biscuit factory in France founded in 1756. They are famous for their “pink biscuits” that are light and crispy and taste even better when dipped in Champagne. I highly recommend! To continue the dessert quest we were told to visit Cafe du Palais a family run cafe dating back to 1930. The cafe is very special. Stain glass ceiling draws your eye, but then you do not know where to stop. Every inch of the restaurant is covered in art, sculptures, and art deco masterpieces. Now run by the 5th generations, the mother, Isabelle, created a dessert masterpiece in itself. Similar to the famous pink biscuit but deconstructed. Similar to cotton candy, the basis is airy topped with fresh homemade caramel sauce. It is almost too pretty to eat. You can tell the time and passion over the years that has gone into this beauty. Isabelle and her son Louis could not have been kinder. Showcasing some of their magic for us. I see why people come from all over.

You can not come to Champagne without enjoying Champagne. One of my favorite things in the world is a great glass of bubbles. We wanted to check out a smaller grower first. We met with Bertrand from Trepo Leriguier, and followed him to the hill top of his vinyard. Perched in the middle of the field he has built a “lodge” so that you can try his Champagnes, but also be surrounded by the grapes that created it. It gives you a totally different experience when you immerse yourself in it all. Bertrand is involved in every aspects of the process. He knows the important role he has as it’s been passed down generation after generation. He went fully organic 3 years ago and also created a champagne where he pulls the grapes at night. I had no idea this would make the Champagne taste different. But, it was one of my favorite glasses I have had. So crisp and bright. If you get the opportunity pick up one of his bottles, try the night time one; which is perfectly colored blue.

Finally, we wanted to check out Joseph Perrier, which has been an institution in the Champagne world since the beginning. For over 6 generations Joseph Perrier has remained a family run Champagne house. With their Gallo-Roman cellars dating back to the 4th century. The cellars are made out of chalk pits and go on for 2 miles. You can visit the museum showcasing their story and history since the 1800’s. You can also tour the cellars and finish in their beautiful tasting room. Since 1825 they have been making some amazing style of Champagne. It has also been part of so much history and was chosen for the royal courts of both Queen Victoria and Edward VII. It is worth making the special trip to enjoy a perfect glass of their many Champagnes.

I got the honor to live like Lagerfeld for the week and I am not sure how I am ever going to go back. We all need to take a page from Karl’s book, and live a bold colorfully life, vacationing in chateaus, with a glass of Champagne in hand!

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