Le Moulin de la Galette is a Paris legend, immortalised by none other than the great painter Renoir. Today it’s a restaurant, just as it was when he visited and it’s incredible that we’re able to sit in the shadow of this grand windmill and enjoy a delicious meal, as people have been doing for centuries…
The history of the Moulin de la Galette
Originally there were 13 windmills dating back to the 17th century at the top of the hilly district of Montmartre; it was a place where grain was ground. By the 19th century the mills were disappearing and the area was becoming less agricultural as the poor of the inner districts of Paris moved out to make room for building projects. By the late 1800s, the Moulin de la Galette, so called for the owners who made a brown bread called galette, became a place of entertainment, a guingette, basically a bar with food, music and where you could dance.
It found huge popularity with the new locals including Toulouse l’Autrec and Picasso as well as Renoir who painted it in his 1876 masterpiece Bal du Moulin de la Galette.
The Moulin de la Galette today
There’s still a windmill there and a restaurant where you can peer into the top of the mill, for me that makes it worth going to alone. But there’s another reason to go – the restaurant, which reopened after a makeover in 2016 is a chic brasserie with a great ambiance and a terrific menu. Inside the simple décor is perfectly elegant, and though I say its simple – it’s very clever. Above the bar is a big round glass window through which you can see into the top of the mill building so its protected for future generations but we can still all admire it. And, on sunny days the garden is like being in the countryside in the middle of the city.
The delicious dishes are home-made, fresh, season and typically French classic and the staff are lovely. With lunch menus and plat du jour starting at €18 – this legendary location, Le Moulin de la Galette is definitely one to put on your Paris bucket list.
Le Moulin de la Galette, 83, rue Lepic, book online at www.lemoulindelagalette