Canal du Midi between Castelnaudary and Homps/VVaison-la-Romaine
Hi, fellow hounds. Will be doing a boat trip along the Canal Midi between Cadtelnaudary and Homps at the end of April. While we'll probably be doing most of our own cooking, do you have any recommendations for restaurants/local dishes/markets that we shouldn't miss? Other towns along the way include Bram, Carcassone,Trebes, Marseillette, and Puicheric. I've seen some of the recommendations for the cassoulet in Carcassone.
After we leave the boat, we then go to Vaison-la-Romaine for a week, where we've rented a gite. Recommendations for this area also welcome (we'll have a car).
Any suggestions most welcome. Thanks in advance
I, with 5 other femmes, spent a week on Canal du Midi in Sept. 2009. We found it interesting to compare the local speciality, cassoulet, as prepared in several different towns, starting with Castelnaudary, then Carcassonne, and perhaps Bram - I forget the other towns' names. At Carcassonne, we had the best cassoulet in the old Cite' - the place might have been called Cafe au puit (next to the old well). Not every town had a restaurant open on the day we were there, so we foraged through our little galley and made do.
We had a wonderful cassoulet in Carcassonne at Restaurant Le Languedoc.; best I have ever had.
We live about 6 miles from Vaison la Romaine. I have a blog www.sablethouse.blogspot.com where I have posted recommendations about where to eat and visit in the Vaucluse. In addition to those we have posted about on our blog, we also really like Bistro Du'O in Vaison, Les Florets in Gigondas, Le Temps de Vivre in Uchaux and Le Tourne au Verre in Cairanne.
We really enjoyed Le Grand Pre near Vaison (one star), had a great meal at Bistro Du'O, and a stunning lunch in the garden at Les Florets. We followed lots of Pammel's recommendations when we stayed near Vaison and she did not let us down.
Our trip had also started in the Languedoc then onto Provence. Our restaurant experience in Languedoc was pretty mixed with no outstanding meals, quite the opposite to Provence. That said the markets in Languedoc were very good and we bought some fantastic food to eat in our self catering villa.
Definitely try Restaurant En Bonne Compagnie in Homps (www.in-good-company.com). Make sure to reserve.
Avoid La Peniche in Homps. Terrible place.
Unfortunately there aren't that many great restaurants along the Canal, so I would advise you do your own cooking and take advantage of take away dishes from local traiteurs and make your own picnics from vegetables, charcuterie and cheese from the markets.
The Saturday morning market in Carcassonne is wonderful and there's a great Tuesday morning market in Olonzac, just a couple of miles from Homps.
Have a wonderful trip!