The family house of Perrier-Jouët, Maison Belle Époque is a chic 19th-century mansion in the heart of Épernay, the home of champagne. The maison, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been renovated and today provides a backdrop to the largest private collection of French Art Nouveau in Europe.
“Our goal was to restore the house to its original beauty,” says Axelle de Buffévent, style director at Perrier-Jouët. “We wanted to preserve the spirit of a house to live in, not a museum. This Art Nouveau heritage allows Perrier-Jouët to express its founding identity, which is linked to art and nature.”
Showcasing Historic and Contemporary Art
Today the maison doesn’t simply showcase Art Nouveau. Contemporary works commissioned by Perrier-Jouët reinterpret the heritage of the house. “The pieces are shown at major contemporary art events around the world. At the end of their journey, they find their place at the Maison Belle Époque where a dialogue is established between the historic and contemporary works.”
That’s not all, however. On the same site in Épernay is Cellier Belle Époque, a champagne bar, offering events and unique experiences to encourage visitors to explore the historical and cultural heritage of the house, tasting champagnes in relation to artworks, and discovering champagne and food pairings created by Maison Perrier-Jouët cellar master Séverine Frerson and the house’s head chef Sébastien Morellon.
Introducing the Eighth Cellar Master
Less than two years ago, Frerson succeeded Hervé Deschamps to become Maison Perrier-Jouët’s eighth cellar master in more than 200 years, and the first woman to hold the position. She takes an innovative approach to her role, combining the language of flowers with that of texture in a quest for precision and perfection.
“We started with the wine and then moved onto the dish, so the wine really is at the heart of the wonderful work we’ve achieved with Sébastien,” says Frerson of the menu available at Maison Belle Époque and Cellier Belle Époque. “[We’ve created] an accessible, simple but elegant cuisine made with local produce, which has been processed as little as possible,” adds Morellon.
Finally, there’s the Perrier-Jouët boutique, also on the estate in Épernay, which offers an on-the-spot personalization service for Perrier-Jouët cuvées, as well as books, plus honey from the estate’s own beehives.
Banner image: The family home of Perrier-Jouët, Maison Belle Époque provides a backdrop for the largest private collection of French Art Nouveau in Europe. Courtesy: Perrier-Jouët