Timewarp 2023: A Picnic With Renoir

21st December

Timewarp 2023:  A Picnic With Renoir

In September 1883 the French artist Renoir arrived in Guernsey and stayed for a little over a month.  He loved spending time at Moulin Huet and painted about 15 views of the area, including the cottage near the beach.  The cottage still stands today and is being renovated by the owners.  This little house has been the inspiration for our 2023 Timewarp. 

In the 1800s, a Guernsey woman lived in the cottage.  She rented out crockery, cutlery and hot water for picnics.  She also sold her homemade lemonade to beach-goers.  It was not a café but there was a tearoom serving refreshments further up the hill.

We do not know if Renoir ever visited the cottage but we know Victor Hugo spent time there in 1859 and 1870.  Hugo's son wrote about the first visit:

'Eighteen of us have just been to a picnic at Moulin Huet. The fare was prepared by a French pastry-cook; cold leg of lamb, cold beef... pigeon pie and six bottles of iced champagne' (our source: Victor Hugo Explores Guernsey by Gregory Stevens Cox).

What was the cottage like in those days?  There were 2 rooms inside and a fireplace in the middle heating both rooms. The Guernsey woman lived there with an Irishman and they grew potatoes in the terraces above. There was a storeroom at the end of the cottage where they would have stored potatoes and equipment. 

We would like to thank the Le Page family, who own the cottage, for their help with research. Our thanks also go to those independent researchers who have kindly helped with providing information and photographs.  

There's lots of dressing up to enjoy.  Put on an artist smock with beret, a Victorian summer dress or even a pastry chef outfit.  Much of the dressing up and props have been lovingly handmade by museum staff and volunteers.  

Thank you to Guernsey With Kids for reviewing the Timewarp here

If you haven't visited the Timewarp before, it is the role play area of the Discovery Room.  The theme is changed every January and the team strive to make it accessible and interesting for visitors of all ages, but especially the young & young at heart.  Click here to see some Timewarps of the past. 

  • Contact

  • T: 01481 226518
  • E: museums@gov.gg
  • Candie Museum Candie Road Guernsey GY1 1UG

Newsletter Signup