Le Mesnil-le-Roi, land of cultivation
There are 1,000 legends behind the history of Mesnil-le-Roi, notably thanks to the influence of the nearby town of Saint-Germain and the numerous kings who came here through the centuries.
What we do know is that during the 15th century, the land of Mesnil belonged to Parisian bourgeois or royal officers who were keen to live near the Court where they served. Le Mesnil still holds the memory of that remote past in the names of its districts or localities such as: Le Belloy, La Maisonneuve, le Clos de la Salle, Vaux, and La Borde.
But le Mesnil was more than just a place where historic characters, writers and members of the French Academy stayed, it was also a land of cultivation. This town on the edge of the Seine was the most populated and the most prosperous with a weekly market and two annual fairs.
A real land of plenty, Le Mesnil sparkled with its golden treasure of orchards, vineyards and stone.
The plums that grew in the shade of the hamlet of Le Mesnil were exported to London until the beginning of the 20th century. The vineyards on the hillsides served the royal table from the middle ages, but eventually disappeared completely after the second world war. Until the late 19th century, the Le Mesnil quarries supplied building materials for the surrounding area and Paris.
For centuries, the town held onto its rusticity, thanks to the crop plains and orchards. To date, this aspect has been preserved and even enhanced with the establishment of the communal fields of Le Mesnil and the development of a wide biodiversity. Ponies, goats, beehives and the Seine riverbanks all appeal to visiting families.
Make the most of your trip by visiting Saint-Vincent church and eating at one of the village’s Italian restaurants.