Hostellerie de Briqueterie (Epernay) was our first Michelin starred experience. Built in the 70s in an old bricks factory (briqueterie) it has been under Gilles Goess since 2005 after he spent 10 years in the wings as a sous. The cuisine was classic with lots of jelly conserves, thick gelatinous soups, rich game and classic desserts. The service was the most unfamiliar aspect to us. Perfectly groomed waiters moved silently around the table orchestrating the meal. Flourishes such as a co-ordinated reveal from under silver domes reminded more of cuisine anglaise than classic French. The property was a funny anachronism - lots of dark wood on the outside in a 1970’s Northern French style contrasting classic XIXeme furniture and food which was very traditional. The atmosphere inside was reserved to say the least and if it wasn’t for our table imbibing more than our fair share of champagne, you would have heard a pin drop. Service was, as we came to find in starred restaurants, impeccable. Glasses were never empty, you were never wondering about the next course, the wait staff were invisible and omnipresent at the same time. Overall a slightly discordant environment but a beautiful garden and great company made it a great lunch in the heart of Champagne.