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Mary Anne Evans

Day Trips to Calais and Free Wine

By November 12, 2012

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So it's that time of year, when if you're in the UK you start thinking of ways to stock up on wine and spirits for the festive season. So you book a ferry from Dover to Calais on a one-day return trip, take your large car and off you go.

P&O Ferries have come up with a good deal: a return trip for a car and up to 9 people (though that will restrict the amount of space for that all-important wine and beer) from 25 Sunday to Friday and 30 on Saturdays. And on top of that you get six free bottles of Chenet wine (red, white or rose). It may not be the best French wine, but it's great for a party or making hot mulled wine to keep Jack Frost at bay.

And if you do go to Calais for the day, try to see the fabulous Lace Museum in Calais as well. It makes for a great day out.

P&O Ferry details

Where to buy Wine

My top recommendation in Calais is Calais Vins. For a start it's easy to find: come off the A16 motorway at junction 44 and make for the shop which is well signposted.

Here you can taste a certain number of wines, and from your preferences the knowledgeable staff can suggest wines that fit in with what you like.

The impressive range in this big warehouse starts with very good bargains and special offers such as buy 4 bottles get 2 free, or buy 2 cases and get the third free. The prices are already very competitive even without the special offers. At the top end, they stock a fine wine selection with wine from top regions like Burgundy, and chateaux like Margaux, St. Emilion, Sancerre where you can spend a fortune if you choose.

There's also a rum cellar with around 100 different rums from around the world, a rare whisky cellar with over 250 whiskies, and more than 200 north of France and Belgian beers you won't find outside Belgium.

Finally, Pain et Levain right beside the wine shop is a bakery, patisserie with a small but very pleasant area for light snacks, wines, beers and coffees.

Calais Vins

Rue Gutemberg
Tel.: 00 33 (0)3 21 36 40 40
Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm, Sunday and public holidays 10am to 7pm.

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