New Orleans

22 Dec

In New Orleans you could spend about a month wandering around the French Quarter and see a new band and eat at a new place every day. It won’t be a surprise for regular readers of the blog to learn that I love travel, music and food: so naturally I fell in love with New Orleans. I’m actually becoming more and more interested in architecture, so the beautiful houses which are not only on the French Quarter, but scattered throughout New Orleans, were a delight to see.

scenery

I, quite frankly, crammed so much into my 4 days in Nola that I can’t write in detail about all of it because it’ll turn into an essay rather than a blog post. So, I’ve written a little bit about all the best bits of the trip, linked to all sites so you can find out more for yourself and if something was particularly amazing I’ve added photos for you.

EAT
Go to Coop’s Place – amazing Cajun chicken and it’s one of those places that isn’t overrun by tourists. My guide told me about it and she was SO right to send me here!

For alligator, try the Court of Two Sisters. It’s a fancy place, very famous due to its history and the alligator was yummy (it’s basically chewier chicken).

AMAZING DEAL: it’s a lunch special at Antonie’s – only $20 for a three course meal in a historic 5* restaurant. Not only that, but you get the cocktail of the day for only 25cents with the lunch deal too! The food was amazing and the restaurant is such an institution you can get guided tours of the place.

antonie's
I went for the salad (strawberry dressing, grapes, sultanas, leaves – very yummy), chicken in bernaise sauce and sweet potato cheesecake (this was far nicer than us Brits would assume).

A really famous place is Cafe Du Monde. It only sells coffee and beignets (french donuts – these are a HUGE deal in New Orleans). You sort of have to go just to say you’ve been there and to witness the insane amount of icing sugar the beignets are served with… it’s right on the bank of the Mississippi too – nice spot.

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SEE
Swamp/Plantation tours Cajun Encounters were really good. Drivers have SO much knowledge about the city and they were all lovely. If you do both the swamp and the plantation tour you get a discount too.

qwer

The best plantations are Laura and Oak Valley. Oak Valley is STUNNING (see above). The plantation tour is worth it for the gorgeous views and the history. You learn more about the life of slaves at the Laura plantation – you get to see ‘Code Noir’ – the rules by which slaves had to live by on the plantations. You also get to see the monetary value assigned to slaves dependent on their skills and you can visit a slave cabin. At Oak Valley plantation, the emphasis of the tour is pretty much on the history of the house and the oak valley.

The swamp tour is apparently (according to my guide) best mid-April. That’s when everything is in bloom and you get to see alligators! However, I went and it was really cool nonetheless. The whole of New Orleans is built on swampland and if you want to see the REAL Nola, this is a good place to start. In winter there are no alligators about, but there was still lots of learn. For example: a river has a fast flowing current, a bayou has a slow flowing current and a swamp is still water. Also: animals really like marshmallows and arrowroot (used to make the vast majority of food you love, I guarantee it) comes from the swamps.

swamos

In the French Quarter make sure you check out the Voodoo Museum, Louis Cemetery No. 1 (resting place of the Voodoo Queen and a beautiful cemetery), Louis Armstrong Park (cool statue of him there, nice water feature) and also go on a Mississippi steam boat!

LISTEN
Do NOT go and see Jazz on Bourbon street. It’s not that good and this is basically the ‘party street’ so you won’t have fun!

Chickie Wah Wah: this is a live music/bar which is quite cheap compared to the stuff in the French Quarter. They have something on every night (I went there to see a Honky Tonk burlesque act!) and it’s a really cool place. Get the street car up Canal Street to get there.

The Nola branch of House of Blues has a lot going on and EVERYONE I came across recommended going to Tipitina’s.

LOVE
Having an English accent and pretending you went to the Royal Wedding is all you need to get laid in New Orleans. This advice works if you’re both male and female. They just bloody love the accent and the Royal Family.

 

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