Hostellerie du Coq Hardi, Bougival France 1930s
This clever and charming French illustration of food and wine running towards a hungry diner was created in the 1930s for the famous Hostellerie du Coq Hardi. The restaurant was located on the banks of the Seine in Bougival, about 12 miles from Paris.
It shows dishes of fish, eggs, pork, chicken, flans and cheese – as well as champagne, wine and even an old bottle of port using a bottle-opener as a walking stick – making their merry way towards a jolly man with a large napkin around his neck and whose knife and fork is held aloft in anticipation.
A coq hardi - an old rooster – complete with chef’s hat and knife slung over his chest like a weapon – keeps a careful eye on the procession.
The artist’s name is J. Mailloux.
The Hostellerie du Coq Hardi opened in 1880 and was famed for its food, its wine cellars dug into the hillside and its lovely terraces and gardens.
The earliest wines on the extensive wine list of this menu are a Meursault and a Hermitage from 1900. Intriguingly, half bottles of Ayala champagne are noted as being suitable for American tastes - this was a high-priced destination where wealthy travelers on a Grand Tour of Europe would have dined.
Also noted on the menu is the fact that the kitchens had modern refrigeration facilities courtesy of a company on the Champs Elysee, Paris, a considerable innovation at that time.
The historic town of Bougival and the beautiful surrounding countryside attracted many Impressionist painters including Renoir, Monet and Pissaro. Perhaps some of them dined here.
When Hostellerie du Coq Hardi closed only a few years ago, many newspapers in France lamented the end of this famous institution. The restaurant Chez Clément has opened in its place.
Courtesy Lou Greenstein..
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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