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River dance

Chez Gégène on the Marne River outside of Paris (photograph by Tara Donne for Afar) paired with Marni Printed Silk Dress.

Chez Gégène on the Marne River outside of Paris (photograph by Tara Donne for Afar) paired with Marni Printed Silk Dress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A return to relaxed French mores but this time to a site suited to the Impressionism of summer Saturdays – saturated by sun, softened by leisure, vivid with laughter. Generations of Parisians have escaped the city by traveling mere miles to guinguettes, riverside pavilions that pepper outlying waterways (they began as a form of tax evasion – Paris’ steep wine levies compelled schemers to set up shop just beyond city limits – and continued to skip downstream as Paris swelled in size). Then as now, the guinguettes offered a carefree equation of simple fare, cheap wine, and live music, alluring to all. At the height of their Belle Époque heyday, Auguste Renoir painted Luncheon of the Boating Party, a scene quintessential of the guinguettes’ merry mingling of classes. A modern-day Saturday spent at Chez Gégène on the Marne River promises a similarly inclusive experience as all ages take to the dance floor or dine at tables draped in gingham. As (Marni) dresses swirl and boater hats tip, guests find themselves transported back to blitheness. “What happened on the banks of the Marne stayed on the banks of the Marne,” a historian said in an AFAR article, a slogan still in place (play).

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