Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Lunch in Carcassonne

Saturday dawned bright but bitterly cold. A few market stall holders had braved the elements but by and large Place Carnot was unusually deserted.  Solitary figures gazing vacantly sat at a few scattered tables outside but the only place to be was somewhere warm, cosy and welcoming with friends.

Returning from a highly successful trip to London helping a talented cousin launch their new food website I was on a natural high.  It had been an intensive few days of baking, photography and catching up with old friends, there is nothing more rewarding and satisfying than being part of a new venture and unleashing your creativity and bouncing ideas off like minded enthusiastic people.

However the serious business of lunch beckoned and at this time of year there is no-where nicer and more welcoming than the Cathar Hotel situated in the Bastide tucked away discreetly down a narrow alleyway. Tallulah was delighted to join us and after a glass of celebratory red toasting my return at Café Saillon we all trooped off.  As usual the huge open log fire was smouldering seductively  The staff are always so welcoming so while the usual 'bisous' were taking place Tallulah and I sidled in nearest the heat and ordered our apero's.  The 'plat du jour' was mouthwatering, piping hot bowls of soup to start, a slice of paté with fois gras and a dressed salad, followed by tripe a' la Provencal or a bavette de boeuf. There were mixed feelings amongst us as the bowls of tripe appeared but the table next to ours vigorously nodded their approval. Those that had chosen the boeuf were not disappointed, they were cooked to perfection, the flavours enhanced beautifully for being cooked over the open fire. By now every table was crammed with satisfied diners. To round off the lunch to perfection tiny profiteroles covered in thick gooey chocolate sauce and filled with ice cream, Tallulah and I were in seventh heaven as we licked the remains off our spoons. Total cost per head inc wine ? 16 euros.  Once again I shall not hesitate to recommend this delightful restaurant to my guests.

Fired up by baking generally and to keep warm we knocked up a few naughty goodies of our own to offer to visiting friends who frequently pop by.

As one does...


Pondside said...

Brrrrr - that picture made me shiver.
Your lunch sounds wonderful - only in France!

clairemca said...

Sounds wonderful, warm fire, good food, the welcome feeling of being back home and the inspiration of a wonderful trip back to London. I always come back from London visits charged with energy and yet appreciative of everything that France offers.