Four Days in New Orleans

5/15/2018

 I’ve taken a little hiatus from writing, but am so excited to share a few photos from last month’s trip to New Orleans for one of my best girlfriends’ (Whitney) bachelorette parties - for Jazz Fest. Scroll down for photos and our itinerary, if you’d like to see. 

We stayed at the Pontchartrain Hotel in the Garden District which was built in 1927 as a luxury apartment building before turning into a hotel in the 1940s. New Orlean’s favorite son Tennessee Williams worked on “A Streetcar Named Desire” while staying at the hotel! From the gallery wall in the Jack Rose bar and restaurant to the charming decor and friendly staff, I would really recommend it. On to our packed itinerary…

Our first night, we headed over to Bacchanal, a wine bar in the Ninth Ward where you pick out wine and cheese in the storefront before heading to the courtyard to enjoy live music. They bring you glasses and your cheese plate and we could have easily stayed all night. Next on our agenda though, was purple drinks at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, which is reputed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the U.S. Ian and I had been on my first visit to New Orleans years ago and I’ll never forget the hangover from heir infamous purple drink - so this time I stuck to one! 

We snagged tickets to see the Preservation Jazz Hall Band, and walked right over as we were already in the French Quarter. If you can get tickets - go! It’s a small venue created in 1961 to preserve traditional New Orleans Jazz and was quite a show. We capped the night with a quick stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets. 

On Friday, we walked to Stein’s Bagels for breakfast and strolled back through the Garden District. Then it was time for what I was maybe most looking forward to: the swamp tour!!! I need to find out the name of the tour we did but it was gorgeous on the water just really fun see so many alligators (the bride even got to feed a few). 

That night, we had drinks at our hotel’s rooftop bar, Tin Roof, before dinner at Shaya. I’d really been looking forward to trying the James Beard Award winning restaurant, and the modern Israeli cuisine did not disappoint. I know you don’t typically think of Israeli cuisine when coming to New Orleans but I would highly recommend Shaya! We had a private room and the bride said a few words about each woman in attendance which was really special. We ended the night with live music at Le Bon Temps Roule - although a few of us might have gone for 2am fried chicken at a convenience store (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it).

Saturday - Jazz Fest! We started the day with a drag brunch at The Country Club - so fun. Located in the Bywater neighborhood, The Country Club also has a pool bar that I’d love to go back and visit, but we had to get to Jazz Fest! We mainly camped out to see the Fats Domino Tribute, Big Freedia, and Bonnie Raitt with stops in the gospel and blues tents. After dinner at Cane & Table, known for Cuban dishes and rum cocktails, we stopped into bars along Frenchman Street, which a little less kitchy than Bourbon Street and has tons of live music. We stopped at a few bars but The Spotted Cat was my favorite.

On our last day, we stopped for breakfast at HiVolt Coffee, a cafe in the Lower Garden District featuring local art (I actually picked some up!) before walking Magazine Street. I could have drained my bank account in The Sunday Shop but it was on to the Lafayette Cemetery, the oldest of the seven municipal, city-operated cemeteries in New Orleans, before heading home.

What. A. Weekend. 

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