BEER, BRAVERY, BUBBLES – Antwerp, Belgium and Flanders and Reims, France
June 7 - 14, 2018
Beer, Bravery and Bubbles – Antwerp, Belgium, Flanders and Reims, France
Featuring chart-topping, multi-platinum song-writer and singer Johnny Reid, with special musical guests, Miku Graham and Michael Shand along with Geoffrey Kelly of Spirit of the West and Mom’s the Word Writers and Actors Alison Kelly and Jill Daum. In addition, Canadian darlings, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Gold and Double Silver Medalists) and THE Beer Guy and co-author of The World Atlas of Beer, Stephen Beaumont, will join us!
Beer. Chocolate. Diamonds. Art. Welcome to Antwerp, Belgium! As Belgium’s second largest city, Antwerp boasts a riverside fortress and a truly impressive cathedral. In the mid-16th century, Antwerp was one of Europe’s most important cities and home to baroque superstar painter Pieter Paul Rubens. With the considerable beer heritage of this small nation and the world’s pre-eminent diamond trading hub, you do not want to miss this trip. Without a doubt this charming city is the country’s capital of cool! With its architectural wonders, narrow lanes crowded with boutiques, tiny eateries boasting menus to shame larger restaurants and bijou bars fit-to-bursting, Antwerp is a wonderfully diverse and vibrant city!
You will begin your adventure with four nights at The Hilton Antwerp Old Town, a luxury hotel in the heart of the historic city on the famous Groenplaats square, next to the iconic Cathedral of our Lady and the Grote Market. We will be joined by our Beer aficionado, Stephen Beaumont, co-author of The World Atlas of Beer and a dozen other books on beer, and definitely THE guy you want at your side when choosing your next ale or lager! Stephen will lead the “pint challenge” as you discover Belgium’s commitment to the art of beer! You will get the inside pint on Belgium beer as Stephen shares his favourite little beer-cafés and pubs in Antwerp! We will visit the iconic De Koninck Brewery followed by a delicious BBQ, and over a pint or two you will hear the incredible come-back journey from our Olympic Gold and Double Silver Medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir! You will also take a historical walking tour through this charming city led by our own resident historian, Jonathan Lerner, with a stop at a Belgium chocolate factory to sample some of the best chocolate in the world! And, you will laugh like you have never laughed before when actors Alison Kelly and Jill Daum share excerpts from their critically acclaimed play, Mom’s the Word, which has been a smash hit on five continents. The hysterically funny and deeply touching, Mom’s the Word 3 – Nest ½ Empty, played to sold out audiences in BC.
There will be a very special day of Remembrance as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI and journey from Antwerp to Passchendaele to follow in the footsteps of the brave Canadian soldiers who served our country. The day will include a memorable visit to the War Museum of Zonnebeke, a dinner with stories of Canadian soldiers’ bravery and an unforgettable performance by Johnny Reid, who performed at the 100th
anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France earlier this year, along with special guests, Miku Graham, Michael Shand and Geoffrey Kelly of Spirit of the West. It will be a day filled with emotion, tears and gratitude.
We will then journey to the Champagne capital of the world, Reims, France, known as the city of Champagne, art and history! With over eighteen of the top champagne houses in the world, from Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Taittinger and Mumm’s only a stone’s throw away, you will be in champagne heaven! You will spend three luxurious nights at Premier Hôtel de la Paix in Reims, which overlooks the “Sacred City” of the famous UNESCO Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Palace of Tau. You will be able to stroll through the streets of Reims and enjoy the famous champagne houses and discover their incredible cellars and chalk cellars – there are over 10 kms of chalk tunnels underneath Reims! We will spend a wonderfully decadent afternoon sampling champagne from countryside winegrowers, visiting the quaint little village of Hautvillers, where you can visit Dom Perignon’s grave at the village church, and all gather for a VIP champagne tasting and reception at the famous Veuve Clicquot cellars! The week will end with a grand champagne dinner at Chateau Pommery, dating back to 1870, followed by an unforgettable performance by Johnny Reid, Miku Graham, Michael Shand and Geoffrey Kelly!
From beer to bravery to bubbles – it will be one of the most memorable and emotionally moving trips
staged by Gold Medal Plates!
YOUR EIGHT-DAY, SEVEN-NIGHT ADVENTURE FOR TWO INCLUDES:
- Four-nights’ accommodation, including breakfast, at The Hilton Antwerp Old Town, a luxury hotel in the
heart of the historic city, on the famous Groenplaats square, next to the iconic Cathedral of our Lady and
the Grote Market. Your executive suite gives you access to the executive lounge and rooftop terrace
overlooking the city. The hotel also has a 24 hour fitness centre and lobby lounge.
- Welcome reception at Abbey No 8, Belgium Beers & Brew, where our Beer Guy, Stephen Beaumont will
introduce you to the fantastic world of Belgium beers
- A historical walking tour by our own resident historian, Jonathan Lerner, in the charming and quaint city of Antwerp, with a stop at one of Belgium’s chocolate factories to sample some of the best chocolate in the world
- Tour and tasting at De Koninck Brewery, Antwerp’s last remaining city brewery, founded in 1827, followed by a BBQ lunch at Black Smoke Restaurant
- Time with Olympic Gold and Double Silver Medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and a chance
to hear their comeback story, while enjoying some amazing brews
- A special day of Remembrance as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI and take the journey
from Antwerp to Passchendaele following in the footsteps of the brave Canadian soldiers who served our country. The day will include a visit to the War Museum of Zonnebeke, dinner and a performance by
Johnny Reid, Miku Graham and Michael Shand.
- A stop for lunch on our way to Reims at the Chimay Trappist Monk Abbey, where you can explore the beautiful gardens and abbey, and sample the beer made by the monks – a beer you will find nowhere else in the world!
- Three-nights’ accommodation, including breakfast, at Premier Hôtel de la Paix in Reims, the champagne capital of France. This contemporary and modern hotel has a cozy bar, brasserie restaurant, a lovely terrace, Japanese garden and a well-being centre. It is a stone’s throw away from the UNESCO Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Palace of Tau.
- A Champagne afternoon as we visit countryside winegrowers and the quaint little village of Hautvillers
and all gather for a VIP champagne tasting and reception at some of Reims most famous cellars
- A Grand finale dinner at Chateau Pommery followed by an unforgettable concert by Johnny Reid, Miku Graham, Michael Shand and Geoffrey Kelly
- A special performance by actors Alison Kelly and Jill Daum as they share excerpts from their critically
acclaimed play, Mom’s the Word. You will laugh like you haven’t laughed before!
- Comfortable coach transportation from Antwerp to Reims
Optional add-ons (at additional cost):
- A historical bike tour of the charming city of Antwerp
with stops at the Grand Market, Ruben’s House and other
- Take part in the Ultimate Belgium Gastronomic
Experience in our GMP ‘BAPAS’ Tours
- Take part in a Gastronomic Tapas Tour in Reims
- A walking tour of the historical city of Reims including
the UNESCO Notre-Dame Cathedral