Guinguettes are taverns, often by the river, where families and friends gather to eat and drink and dance. They were at the height of their popularity in the 19th century and there are not many left. Renoir captured their relaxed charm in his ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party’. And we captured some of their relaxed charm today in a guinguette on the Seine at Villeneuve Triage — a place where railroads shuffle old stock — a place not notably charming until we arrived here and stepped into our own Renoir.This little restaurant on the Seine about 15 miles from Paris was filled with family groups celebrating a steamy summer afternoon. We were the only Americans among a group of locals — not even Parisians. There were lots of kids joining in the fun with their parents.Here a father is making toy boats out of placemats for his small son.The son is quite entertained by them.The place is called ‘La Guinguette Auvergnate’ (gang ette) and features food from the Auvergne which is a lightly populated area of south central France. Ed had a variety of pates salads and pickled herring as an entree and I choose a vegetable and duck liver terrine.Slices of gingerbread toast were served with the terrine; we have had gingerbread paired with fois gras several times on this trip. We don’t know if it is an old tradition or a fad. It is very tasty. For our main courses, Ed had an auvergne sausage and I choose souris d’agneu which is literally ‘mouse of lamb’ but is actually lamb shanks — one of my favorite meals. There were a variety of desserts but we choose a very tasty fresh fruit cup. All washed down with rose — and kicked off with a glass of some sort of apple brandy aperitif. We weren’t sure; they just plopped it down on the table and it tasted of apples.Forgive me but I have always loathed accordions — Lady of Spain, anyone? — How wrong I was.For the entire afternoon – with no break, this gentleman and his keyboardest sang and played — and it was glorious music — to listen to — to dance to. There were waltzes, and polkas and traditional songs — and there were line dances known by the locals.At one point the two musicians were joined by a couple of others with traditional instruments of the Auvernge including this cabrette which is a type of bag pipe inflated with a pump under the arm rather than by blowing.You haven’t fully experienced life until you have heard Ave Maria on a bag pipe from Brittany. Especially in summer time on the Seine when the living is easy.So we danced and ate the afternoon away — while barges sailed byand boaters and water skiers enjoyed the heat and smooth water.And people talked and drank and swung their kids on the dance floor.And when we were done we walked a couple of miles along the Seine to catch our train home.