Just East of the more famous city of Avignon is the lovely L’Isle-sur-Sorgue where “shabby chic” and funky antiques shops are visible everywhere. Lots of colour can be seen on the shop fronts and the town is made extra special with real river canals that run through it, reminiscent of Amsterdam or Annecy in Savoie. It’s full of charm!
There are lots of restaurants along the canals too and beautiful plane trees that line the streets but for me, what was most amazing about this place is how friendly everyone seemed to be at shops and cafés. The restaurant at Bellevue even let us sit down before the kitchen opened, at 6pm, which is unusual for the South of France. This is no little village; with a population of over 18,000 in the municipality, it is considered a large town, 8 times the size of Cotignac! There must therefore be some competition between the restaurants and competitive prices to attract diners. Dinner for four with copious amounts of rosé, drinks for kids, scallops, beef filet, chicken burgers and desserts for all came to 100 euros. But what made this place special was our view of the Gondola club rowers, having fun pushing each other off of the bridge and then again in the boats!
The only downside to being here in the evening was having to drive back to Cotignac at night (we got home at around 11pm). It was a little stressful trying not to hit a wild animals (like wild board, hares, and foxes) on the D (department) roads. It might have taken a little longer but been safer, on the Autoroute (A7) or just spend the night at a B&B.