At the foot of the Albères, off the voie rapide Argelès – Le Boulou, the little village of Villelongue may not be the obvious choice for great food and live music, but it has it all going on this summer.
This is a village with two hearts. The old has 12th century church, tiny museum of village history, and priory Santa Maria del Vilar up in the mountains, built by Augustinian monks in 1083 at the centre of the original village.
And then there’s the new heart. Turn right well before you reach the old village, and on a modern parade, in the middle of a vineyard-turned-residential-estate, looking out over the stadium, a restaurant, a pizzeria and a music and sports bar struggle to make their mark and put Villelongue on the map.
Each one has its own identity.
The Pierranne restaurant (NOW CLOSED DOWN JULY 2017) is run by delightful Belgian couple Peter and Anne, so expect a few Belgian specialities amongst Anne’s innovative cuisine. At the other end of the parade, Pizza Coco is proudly Catalan and boasts ‘the best pizzas in the P-O’ according to my mate Vicky, as well as pastas, salads….and the warmest of welcomes from Claude and Valérie.
Next door is the Cordoba Café. Dynamic Yann makes sure that the parade buzzes with music and entertainment throughout the year – and shows all the big matches and events on a giant screen.
Café and restaurants work together. There’s a feeling of hope and bonhomie amongst them, and, tucked away as they are off the main roads only makes them work even harder – to make a life and to make a living.
Check out Facebook Cordoba for events over winter, Happy Hours and football for all the family.
Parking’s plentiful. Sit down to lunch, dinner, a drink….and watch Villelongue life unfold before your eyes.