From June to September, they blosssom on the water’s edge: daisies? No… guingettes, those typically French open-air cafés!
The ones where my grandparents used to dance outdoors on the banks of the Loire… they’re back!
And today’s guinguette has been revamped to offer a pleasurable moment for all!
Just for you, I’ve tested ‘La Sardine’ in Orléans and ‘La Corne des Pâtures’ in Baule.
Relax on the banks of the Loire, in Loiret
‘La Sardine’, a pontoon on the Châtelet quayside in Orléans.
‘Roll on the guingette season in June!’ That’s exactly what we said to ourselves back in September at the end of the last festive evening at La Sardine.
‘But where can we dance over the winter?’
Because, at the guinguette, you can talk, eat, drink and, of course dance from 8pm to midnight or on Sunday afternoons: rock, salsa, jazz, reggae, folk… You can try them all and still be in bed at a ‘reasonable hour’!
And for those who want to party all night long, several bars await you in Rue de Bourgogne, along with Orléans' selection of night clubs.
‘La Sardine’s’ little plus point?
Splendid views over the Loire, the sandbanks, the terns and grey herons.
And its large tables with their, oh so French gingham tablecloths are an invitation to some delightfully convivial encounters!
Tomorrow, we’ll test the Boui-Boui, a medley of good music and delicious food… unless we decide to go for La Paillotte, for a taste of its eclectic cultural programme (dance, music, theatre, exhibitions, cinema, etc.).
‘La Corne des Pâtures’ in Baule.
The first time I went there, I got lost (but since, they’ve added a great map to their website). Go past the church in Baule and head for Beaugency, then cross the fields, following the signs and/or arrows and/or camels (prepare yourself for a bumpy ride!): you’re heading in the right direction!
This perfectly bucolic guinguette nestles in a quite spot on the banks of the Loire, between Meung-sur-Loire and Beaugency, around 20km from Orléans. Some come here by bike (the Loire à Vélo route passes nearby), others by canoe or boat…
I spent one of my most pleasurable summer evenings here, under the trees and the lanterns, as if time had decided to stand still. So far, and yet so close to home!
This guinguette is a favourite haunt for arty-smarty-eco-friendly visitors of all ages!
A food bus cum bar is where you’ll find a selection of simple, local and tasty delights (platters to share + dish of the day). Decorated with bits and bobs from home and elsewhere, dry toilets, a stage and a parquet dancefloor.
I spent one truly magical Saturday evening here listening to a gypsy jazz band, but I’ve also been told that at ‘La Corne des Pâtures’, you can come for breakfast, shop at the market on Monday, watch films on Tuesday, kid’s shows on Wednesday, take part in debates on Friday and even enjoy some family fun over a range of games on Sunday afternoon!
So, what are you waiting for? Come and test for yourself!