October 2020 - Louis Vuitton Reims Guide
‘A subtle taste for eclectic charm and beautiful things’
Based in Epernay, the brand [Champagne Leclerc Briant] is represented on Avenue de Champagne since 2018 with the opening of their guest house in the walls of an 18th century abode. Interior designed by Peter Krause [Ramsey Krause] with a subtle taste for eclectic charm and beautiful things, it holds two floors with five suites and bedrooms of creaking parquet floors, exhaling the scent of "maisons de famille” well looked after.
Antique furniture, designer pieces, subtle colours, glazed lanterns, cosy fabrics, heavy cast iron radiators, grey and white marble bathrooms, "telephone" style faucets by Horus, amenities by Hermès, bed and bath linen branded D.Porthault: the inventory is ideal, supported in Room 3 by two library cases filled to the brim with works by the NRF [The New French Review] supplied by publishing house Gallimard.
The reason for this: the historic aesthetics of the book covers was the inspiration for the labels for several Leclerc Briant vintages, Cuvée Divine, Blanc de Meuniers and Grand Blanc, which you can buy alongside the exquisite Extra Brut in the wine shop on the ground floor.
Every morning breakfast is served in the drawing room decorated with a hand printed wallpaper by Zuber. On days of fair weather, the paved terrace can be enjoyed, furnished with design pieces by Schultz.
February 2020 by Lucas Lahargoue
‘10 out of 10 for the design’
Le 25bis by Leclerc Briant in Épernay: Le Figaro’s expert opinion.This beautiful guest house is an ode to the art of French hospitality, an address of great charm for exploring Champagne.
Leclerc Briant called on the British design agency Ramsey Krause to carry out renovations to this historic home. The architectural duo have managed to preserve the soul of the place, the pine floors are intact and the Empire-style moldings are still there.
The walls of the dining room were covered with wallpaper from the Alsatian manufacturer Zuber; the wooden printing plates dated 1848 evoke the journey and are classified as a “Historic Monument”. Elsewhere, especially in the bedrooms, pieces of furniture from Ercol or Carl Hansen & Son counterbalance the historic weight of the place by bringing a contemporary aspect to it. In each room the balance is respected, nothing swears, everything comes together in perfect harmony.
New York Times
November 2018 by Lindsey Tramuta
Epernay is lined with the headquarters and visiting centers of the world’s most renowned Champagne houses like Moët et Chandon and Perrier-Jouët, making it one of the region’s most popular spots to visit. But the small town has long lacked enough hotel options to accommodate demand, leading most visitors to stay in nearby Reims. Le 25bis, from the biodynamic champagne house Leclerc Briant, fills the gap with a guest- house that marries contemporary Scandinavian design with antiqued French furnishings.
Occupying a private residence from the 18th century, the five-room property was designed by UK-based firm Ramsey Krause to be a homey extension of the winery’s adjacent tasting room. Whether in the ground floor sitting roomor in individual bedrooms, the designers preserved as many period elements as possible, like the original pine floors and the Empire style plasterwork. Two leafy terraces make for peaceful areas to have breakfast in the morning and champagne tastings in the afternoon.
At 10 minutes by foot from the Epernay train station, 25bis sits at the very heart of the Avenue de Champagne, a grand thoroughfare lined with Champagne houses that earned Unesco World Heritage status in 2015.
Each room is done up with different color schemes and decorative features. I stayed in Room 3, which overlooked the property’s rear garden. It blended 19th century French antiques with clean, beautiful lines, like the hulking armoire near the bed and wooden desk facing the window, with contemporary pieces from brands like Knoll, Carl Hansen & Søn and Ercol. The striking yellow Louis XIV bergère armchairs were redesigned by RamseyKrause with a new velvet. But the big draw for me were the bookcases filled to the brim with the Blanche collection of literary classics published by Gallimard.
The mostly-marble bathroom was spacious, brightly lit and featured both a claw-foot bathtub and one of the largest showers I’ve ever seen in a boutique property. The shower’s stainless-steel rimmed glass enclosure prevented any water from spilling over onto the floor. Inside, there was a marble ledge with enough space to place both my own products and the Hermès ‘Un Jardin sur le Nil’ bath and body products provided by the hotel.
Designed by UK-based firm Ramsey Krause to be a homey extension of the winery’s adjacent tasting room
A half-bottle of Leclerc Briant is offered as a welcome gift to guests in room minibars. Small, complimentary tastings are offered daily in the tasting room. Visits to the Leclerc Briant cellars and production facilities are available by appointment only (free of charge). Full tastings there run between 20-40 euros, depending on the cuvées selected. Of course, the guesthouse manager will also reserve visits and tastings at other Champagne houses upon request.
There is no on-site restaurant for guests, but breakfast is included in the room rate and can be taken in the exquisite dining hall, lined with hand painted Zuber wallpaper, on the terrace or in your room. A list of recommended restaurants nearby and in Reims is provided in each room.
The Bottom Line
Le 25bis is an exquisitely designed, upmarket home-away-from-home for autonomous travelers who don’t need 24/7 service, conveniently located to the region’s most famous Champagne houses.
Summer 2018 by Frederic Delbos
‘A true work of art’
The story of Leclerc Briant is one of a true and beautiful renewal. When Pascal Leclerc Briant died, his daughters were too young to take over the business and the brand could have been forgotten. But Franco-American couple Denise Dupré and Mark Nunnely were to restore the it to former glory. For Denise Nunnelley, coming from a background of hospitality, enotourism was at the heart of the strategy from the outset, with the aim to find a building to represent the company and welcome those in love with the brand. The opportunity arises in 2016 with the purchase of number 25bis on the prestigious Avenue de Champagne in Epernay. This beautiful townhouse was built in the 18th century by a wine merchant. Ever since, illustrious families have lived within these walls which still hold the atmosphere of attic nurseries, waxed oak parquet floors and family portraits.
In March 2017 the ground floor rooms accessible from Avenue de Champagne open as a lovely show room adjacent to a terrace where Leclerc Briant Champagne can be tasted by the glass. Finally, several months ago, five beautiful bedrooms complete the house of Leclerc Briant at number 25bis. The interior designers Ramsey Krause who were commissioned with the renovation have preserved the character of an old family home in all their choices. “We wanted to create spaces of an intimate grandeur, where clients feel at ease as soon as they pass the threshold, whilst also giving them the emotion of luxury,” explains Alan Ramsey one of the two associates. We have approached this old townhouse with a softness.
The design honours the past and the present with French antiques as well as contemporary Scandinavian pieces. The period features of the French Empire period which had withstood the changing fashions of time, have been restored and preserved. The furnishings are a mix of old French brands like Zuber and Hermès with brands like Carl Hansen and Knoll.”
Ramsey Krause who were commissioned with the renovation have preserved the character of an old family home in all their choices
Every room has been carefully composed, all the rooms are different. Here a hommage to Gallimard with library shelves filled with the Collection Blanche edition, comfy chairs and a view that reaches far beyond the gardens to the vineyards. Another room, directly overlooking the buzz of the prestigious Avenue de Champagne, features straight-line furniture set off against Hermès wallpaper. The bathrooms are princely, with their chrome hardware and freestanding tubs, generous space and luxurious detail. Focal point on the ground floor is the breakfast room overlooking the gardens. In its centre, an imposing kitchen island of prestigious materials. On the walls, genuine hand-blocked Zuber wallpaper. This 360° panoramic scene is a true work of art, with details you could spend hours to look at. It is an allegory of the vision of the world in the 18th century with lush landscapes, exotic animals and monuments. Like an invitation to continue a journey which champagne accompanies so well!