By Veronica

A walk in the park

S's birthday today! As soon as I knew restaurants would be open, I booked us in at Franck Putelat's Parc in Carcassonne (actually I had another restaurant in mind but couldn't get a table so that is put off till later).

Sagely, we decided to get the train to Carcassonne and reserve the right to get a taxi home from the station if necessary. So after S had opened his presents we set off to the station. Unusually, the SNCF laid on not a single hitch. From the station in Carcassonne, it's a 2.5 km walk to the restaurant so we'd kitted ourselves out with walking shoes. And also plenty of clothes as it was cool and cloudy at home. As you can see we needn't have worried. Extra: the newly revamped Place Carnot, with the man in the foreground being very French and wearing a scarf.

At the restaurant we were plenty warm enough on the terrace ... the patio heater immediately behind me was completely redundant, and luckily was soon switched off. We didn't need any of our extra clothes either.

We had the five-course tasting menu with wines to match ... each course is tiny, but we felt pretty full up after the cheese course from the groaning three-tier cheese trolley. It was so very expensive that I don't think we'll be back for a while, but after all birthdays are only once a year and it's still a massive treat to eat out (third time in four days).

Then it was a fairly swift walk back, to arrive at the station with five minutes to spare. By the time we got to Lézignan I felt entirely sober enough to drive us home, but once we got there I had a post-lunch slump and zonked out on the sofa, while Mystère seized the opportunity to sleep on top of me. In bed by 9 o'clock!

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