Top things to do

Top Choice Monastery in Bayel

Abbaye de Clairvaux Monastery

Bernard de Clairvaux (1090–1153), nemesis of Abelard and preacher of the Second Crusade, founded this hugely influential Cistercian monastery in 1115. Since Napoléon's time, the complex has served as one of France's…
Memorial in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises

Mémorial Charles de Gaulle

The impressive Mémorial Charles de Gaulle presents graphic, easily digestible exhibits, rich in photos, which form an admiring biography of France’s greatest modern statesman. Displays help visitors untangle such co…
Wine in Aube

Route du Champagne en Fête

If you’re in the Côte des Bar on the last weekend in July, you’re in luck, as this is when the region hosts the Route du Champagne en Fête. A celebratory flute, costing €25 and sold at local tourist offices, is your…
Historic Building in Essoyes

Atelier Renoir

The Atelier Renoir has displays zooming in on the hallmarks of Renoir’s work (the female form, the vibrant use of colour and light), alongside original pieces such as his antiquated wheelchair and the box he used to…
Museum in Bayel

Musée du Cristal

For insight into how crystal is made, visit the Musée du Cristal, where a 15-minute film highlights the different stages involved in crystal production. A new addition is the Atelier du Verre, with regular 45-minute…
Museum in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises

La Boisserie

People flock by the coach-load to visit Charles de Gaulle’s vine-swathed home, La Boisserie, its elegant antique furnishings unchanged since he was laid to rest in the village-centre cimetière (graveyard). Tours (En…
French in Essoyes

Restaurant Les Demoiselles

Prettily set above Essoyes, on the D67, Restaurant Les Demoiselles has broad views of the surrounding countryside and pairs bang-on-the-money regional dishes with local wines and Champagnes. The menu makes the best …
French in Bayel

Le Cellier

For an atmospheric dinner beneath the impressive vaults of a Cistercian cellar, head across to Le Cellier in Bar-sur-Aube, a 7km drive north of Bayel via the D396. The food is classic French, simple as well-cooked f…
Museum in Essoyes

Espace des Renoir

The Renoir trail in Essoyes begins at the Espace des Renoir, which also houses the tourist office. The centre screens a 15-minute film about the artist and displays temporary exhibitions of mostly contemporary art.