A beach restaurant serving fresh, local and homemade food deserves a spot on my recommendations list. La Guinguette des Pieds Nus- barefoot in English- is exactly such a place. Situated in a secluded part of the Plage du Boucanet in Le Grau-du-Roi, you’re surrounded by small dunes and sand. A lot of sand. Not in the food, though, only on the floor of the outside space. That’s why it’s best to take off your shoes or flip-flops and feel the sand between your toes.
On the right side of the Canal du Rhône in Le Grau-du-Roi near Aigues-Mortes, you’ll find a quieter beach called the Plage du Boucanet. The beach restaurant La Guinguette des Pieds Nus is right between the boulevard and the sea. Once crossing the little gate, you’re on holiday. The central piece is a huge wooden outdoor bar protected from the sun by jute cloths. All kinds of tables are spread around this bar in the sand, from wine barrels to round blue ones with a straw parasol in the middle. However, somehow it all marries well together to create this sunny atmosphere. And in winter- yes, the restaurant is open from February till Mid-December! – you can sit inside. Without the sand, that is.
Southern French savours
A young female chef- Audrey, runs the kitchen. She knows her basics and then adds a hint of imagination. This results in a regularly changing blackboard menu, depending on the available market produce. But you can be sure that the menu will highlight local ingredients and Southern French flavours. This time, I had brought Daughter-dear. Besides the bigger blackboard menu, there also was a little version on the table showing the tapas of the day. It was too difficult to choose between the two menus. Therefore, we opted for a tapas dish to share as a starter. The tuna tataki (15 euros) was enough to awaken both our appetites.
As Youngest and I were planning a swim after our lunch, we went easy on our main courses. Daughter-dear had a richly filled Caesar salad (19 euros), and I had an even more copious dish. The ‘plat du pêcheur’ (25 euros) was a generous plate of seafood, vegetables and a big bowl of a garlicky aioli. Having a sweet tooth like her mum, my daughter saved room for dessert: a revisited lemon meringue pie (9 euros). And so did I, although I went for the chocolate fondant cake with a cherry coulis (9 euros). After this abundant lunch, we had to skip our dip in the sea, though… And, maybe next time, we’ll bring the boys.