Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spa and Bar

We are always on the lookout for anything new in Carcassonne that we think may be of interest to our guests - new places to eat, new places to drink, new places to visit.

Yesterday afternoon, our 'research' (I'd like to call it work but it was all pleasure) took us to a newly opened spa facility and me to a wine bar and wine tasting room that I have been trying to visit for a while.

The spa is located at the Hotel du Chateau, a smart small hotel just a stones throw from the entrance to the Cité. We were invited to view and experience the facilities. Debrah enjoyed an hour long hot oil massage and I tried out the steam room and the plunge pool complete with various water jets/jacuzzi.

Actually, Debrah usually hates a massage and had to be virtually dragged to the spa but was totally bowled over by the experience - so that has to be a good recommendation. The decor is tastefully subdued and relaxing, the mood is tranquil and calming and the scale totally intimate. There are just three treatment rooms and a couple can book the entire space for themselves, making it a very personal time.

We will definitely be recommending the spa to our own guests and I'm sure we will be visiting ourselves from time to time.

Whilst Debrah was dropping off to sleep under the expert hands of the masseuse I dropped into Le Comptoir des Vins et Terroirs, a wine bar, wine tasting room and wine shop located in the Cité. It was late afternoon and there was no-one in the place except Benoit, the owner, which was perfect.

I told him what I do and he told me what he does, the wine he champions, the tastings, the food and we generally worked out how we might be able to help each other out. He appears to be the only person/place in Carcassonne providing wine tastings of wines of the local region, which is astonishing really.

There are so many visitors and so much scope to sell the region's wine but there are so many vested interests in different micro wine regions (Cabardes, Malepere, Limoux, Minervois, Corbieres, etc etc) that the bigger picture is maybe lost amongst the local in-fighting. It's an outsiders point of view but sometimes it takes that to see the reality of what's happening.

Anyway, for once I went into a wine bar and didn't drink any wine - remarkable - so my full review of the Comptoir will have to wait until another day.

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