When the late afternoon sun started getting low, and the tourists all began to file out of the fortified city gates, that is when I started to fall in love with Carcassonne. Located in the Languedoc-Roussillon southern region of France, Carcassonne is reminiscent of a scene out of a Disney movie. The walled city sits high upon a hilltop. It’s impenetrable citadel and imposing towers have incredible historic charm, yet the mid-day crowds meandering through the tiny Medieval streets can get a bit overwhelming. I was advised to book a room within the city walls to really experience the town and was definitely not disappointed.
There are only a few hotels within the citadel, so by night fall, I truly felt like a princess meandering the streets of her domain. We headed out for dinner and found a small restaurant with a few tables outside along the narrow street. With no cars, and only a few other customers, it was the perfect spot to relax after our busy day. On the menu I spied a traditional southern French dish from the Languedoc region called cassoulet. This slow-cooked white bean and meat (pork sausage, goose, duck and other meats) casserole is rich with flavor and was perfect after a long day of touring.
Back at home, I have tried out a few recipes for cassoulet. I am not as accustomed to the richer meats used in Languedoc (goose, duck confit, even partridge), thus I tend to substitute with more pork and sausages. It is the perfect dish for a cold winter night, and will always remind me of my evening being a princess in Carcassonne.
Carcassonne, France – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hôtel de la Cité – hotel within the walls of Carcassonne
Hotel Le Donjon – hotel within the walls of Carcassonne