The Belle Epoque Society

The Belle Epoque Society


Every now and then it’s time for a space to be reimagined; not because there is necessarily anything wrong with it — but because it could be even better.

For many of us, lockdown was that period. Confined to one location, there was ample time to consider your environment, and more importantly how you would truly like to enjoy it. Out of boredom for some – and pure necessity for others – previously untouched spaces around the home were cleared out in favour of home gyms, offices, art & craft studios and so forth.

With lockdown seemingly behind us and with the world creaking back into action, the change in season has brought forth a change in mood, with shades of winter giving way to the optimistic spring sunshine. It was on such a day I headed to the magical Epernay in France to experience Maison Perrier-Jouët’s latest project.

Ritsue Mishima for Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Society

As with most champagne houses, the Maison was closed during the Winter, but rather than mourn the passing season Perrier-Jouët instead used it as an opportunity to reimagine the very premise of their Maison itself in line with their three pillars; nature, art and champagne. So it was a new chapter was imagined for the Maison, and a space formerly used for parking was completely transformed into an inviting garden-courtyard; a new refuge in the heart of Epernay. Inside were substantial changes too, with a reinvigorated art space first unveiled in 2021, now embellished and relaunched. The cellars themselves are also further interweaved into the House’s artistic story, and a new seasonal menu by the Chefs, Pierre Gagnaire and Sébastien Morellon was created to match the floral notes of the Maison’s champagnes.

As extravagant as it may seem, experienced in reality it all makes complete sense.

Drive down the avenue de Champagne in Epernay and despite the wonders that lie within (and beneath) the Maisons, the courtyards are in the main a dour affair, utilitarian for the most part and uninspiring for the rest. The Maison Perrier-Jouët courtyard on the other hand is a vibrant magical garden with an enchanting fairy-tale like quality, welcoming you in unexpected ways, making you feel as you would imagine Alice first did as she entered Wonderland.

Step through the gates and you are greeted by the Maison’s first pillar, Nature, in the guise of rich florals and characterful trees. In amongst them, the pillars of Art and Champagne present them themselves in novel and interesting ways, one such way being a vine-like-tree that rather than fruit, presents to you a fluted expression of that very fruit — champagne.

As you meander through the garden, into the Cellier Belle Epoque, stained-glass artworks by the French artist Miguel Chevalier make for an immersive, poetic arrival beguiling you to behold further works of artistry and intrigue inside.





Miguel Chevalier & Axelle de Buffevent

Inside visitors can taste Perrier-Jouët cuvées while enjoying art commissioned by the House, translating its Art Nouveau heritage into the 21st century. The current installation entitled ‘embodied nature’ by Austrian design studio mischer’traxler, is a space representing the diversity of nature using a hundred species from all around the globe:

“In nature, we have always been fascinated by the complex interdependencies between the various organisms making up the ecosystems. Some are more visible than others, but all play a major role in the balance of the whole.”

__ mischer’traxler

Embodied Nature by mischerxtraxler for Perrier-Jouët

Journey beneath the House through the cellars-come-art installations, you’ll miraculously emerge at the other side of the ’Avenue de Champagne’ into the delightful Maison Belle Epoque where more surprises await.  Along with Europe’s largest private collection of French Art Nouveau (with outstanding pieces by artists such as Hector Guimard, Louis Majorelle and Emile Gallé) special guests can enjoy a majestic gourmet experience.

Jointly created by Sébastien Morellon and three-starred Michelin chef Pierre Gagnaire, the seven-course meal is paired with choice Perrier-Jouët Cuvées, each selected by Séverine Frerson, Cellar Master at Perrier-Jouët.

Experienced in actuality, the dining experience itself was synchronicity at its finest, as the well drilled team methodically switched courses, pairing each dish with the derivative of Maison Perrier-Jouët best suited to augment and refine the flavours of each dish; synchronicity in both experience and flavour.

A fairy tale experience from start to finish, the Belle Epoque Society is a Wonderland many would love to get lost in, or as Alice would say, a place that becomes “Curiouser and curiouser!”.


Visit Belle Epoque Society

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