Scores: 1 M*
On our way to Carcassone, though Southern France, we had a relaxed drive through the mountains and then over the spectacular Millau Viaduct. This relaxed start did not prepare us at all for the total chaos that was to come in the Cité de Carcassonne (the old town).
This is a genuinely impressive medieval town and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, like many of these places it has been a victim of its own notoriety and on the day we visited it was busier than Disneyland. Just getting to our hotel was an ordeal, but thankfully a lot of the crowds had disappeared by 7ish so by the time we headed for a pre-dinner drink things were more pleasant.
La Barbacacane is only Michelin-starred restaurant (1*) in the medieval citadel; it is located in the Hotel de la Cite, which is one best hotels in the town. There is a also a 2* restaurant in Carcassone which is slightly into the new town.
We started the meal with some champagne and canapés on the lovely terrace with offered good views of the medieval town and the surrounding area.
We dined in the private room which was in the wine cellar. It was a bit of an adventure just going down to it; the door was a fake bookshelf in the library next to the main dining room, then one had to descend several flights of stairs, past the kitchen and then into the cellar.
We decided to take the chef’s tasting with matching wines, it is at this point that I will admit that the purpose of this meal was a friend’s stag do (bachelor party) so I did not take notes and my memory of the exact dishes is a bit fuzzy! I will say though, that from what I remember of the meal, the food deserved its 1* star level and that it was a very enjoyable meal. I would recommend it if you are in Carcassone, particularly if you are in a larger group and fancy an adventure down to the wine cellar.