We enjoyed our trip very much. We stayed in a small town about 20 minutes from Carcassone called Rieux Minervois, which was a good base for exploring the area. There are so many medieval ruins to see that it's easy to lose yourself exploring. My husband and I took a day trip to the town of Albi, which was a delightful surprise. There's a great Toulouse-Lautrec museum there, as well as an impressive cathedral and charming old city.
Our eating experiences in Carcassone proper were limited, though we did have one dinner at La Barbacane, the restaurant at the Hotel de la Cite. Though the food was good, I found it to be overly fussy and expensive for my taste. I'd stop by and check out the room and menu before committing there (it's inside the walled city of Carcassone).
We will be in the Carcassone area in October with other food-loving friends celebrating a 50th birthday and are looking for a recommendation for a great meal. We have considered the restaurants at the Hotel de la Cite (La Barbacane) and the one at the Domaine d'Auriac...but are concerned they may be more about tourists than about terrific food. We're less concerned with fuss and pretense than in a wonderful experience.
Any feedback on those places...or suggestions for others...would be very much appreciated.