La Guinguette de l'Île du Martin-Pêcheur
Offering both food and accordion-accompanied dances, the guinguettes, as they were known, were a roaring success in the late 19th century, becoming Parisians’ favourite weekend haunts, where crowds would flock to drink, eat, dance and be merry in a bucolic riverside atmosphere. The whole philosophy oozes joie de vivre.
Today, just like then, you can make your way over the footbridge to the Ile du Martin-Pêcheur. Behind the curtain of horse chestnut and weeping willow trees lining the banks, another world lies in wait…
The white wine is flowing under the arbours, the tables are teeming with timeless specialities (deep-fried gudgeons, snail stir fry, authentic andouillette, grilled prime rib of beef and fries, raspberry vacherin, chocolate mousse…) and, between two mouthfuls, some dance to the strains of the accordion (waltz, bachata, salsa, etc.), while others indulge in boisterous games of pétanque by the riverside. The party is in full swing. It’s like stepping inside a Renoir painting!