48 Hours in New Orleans
When I announced that I was jetting off from Liverpool UK to NOLA for a WEEKEND everyones reaction was the same. ARE YOU ON DRUGS? No. This wasn’t a midlife crisis this was a place my hubby and I had always wanted to visit. We had limited babysitting tokens left with our parents, this was our only option and boy did we go for it! Here is my advice to you if you deserve a weekend away that you will never forget.
We booked our flights with British Airways for around £500 each. This included our flight from Manchester to Heathrow and our 9 hour flight to Louis Armstrong International Airport, New Orleans. Writing this now sat in my kitchen at home I can feel butterflies in my stomach as I reminisce on our arrival. Just a short 15 min taxi ride dropped us on Bourbon St around 10pm and the atmosphere was electric. As I glanced out the window before opening the taxi door I locked eyes with a man wearing a snake like a scarf drinking from a goblet style plastic glass. I smiled. He winked and raised his glass. I knew then this was my kind of place. Anything goes. Its a place like no other.
I’d recommend the wonderful Bourbon Orleans Hotel. You won’t find a better location and I couldn’t believe the price of the rooms. Soaked in history this grand and luxurious hotel is the place to call your base. The staff are so friendly and accommodating, big love to Charlie who was great fun and provided tons of advice. They offer 24 hr front desk service with a smile and you must take advantage of their outdoor heated swimming pool. The hotel breakfast is something else. Try their take on Eggs Royale, it comes complete with prawns and crab meat in a Creole style sauce. Unforgettable. Although we didn’t see any ghosts at this hotel we loved reading about the paranormal activity claims made from staff and residents. You will love this place.
Website: boubonorleans.com Twitter: @BourbonOrleans
You will be up with the sun so start with an early breakfast. Head to Cafe Du Monde, located in the French Market and taste their much loved Beignet pastry and coffee. At around 7am we were greeted by local performers who sang to us whist we devoured the abundance of deep fried choux pastry covered in powdered sugar. There is no LEAN in New Orleans. Prepare to gain weight in just 48 hours but my lord its worth it!
When leaving Cafe Du Monde you are realise you are just steps away from the Mississippi River. So why not take this opportunity like us to jump aboard the famous Steamboat Natchez. With a lively bar on board its hard to resist a mid morning tipple.
One of the many highlights for us though was visiting Brennan’s on Royal St for brunch.
You MUST do this. Entering Brennan’s was like stepping back in time. The decor, the beautiful smells and wonderful waiters make this an experience you will want to relive again. Starting with a refreshing glass watermelon flavoured champagne and a Cajun Bloody Mary to beat all other Bloody Mary’s , we began our unbeatable 2 course brunch.
Head to brennansneworleans.com and drool over the menu.
From there, feeling slightly tipsy, we did find ourselves in a local Voodoo Store perusing dolls, candles and potions and inevitably I sat through a card reading which was for me a bit of fun and a must if you are into that kind of thing.
Next I suggest you take a stroll around the French Quarter. Take time to check out the local boutiques and jewellery shops you will find some beautiful one off pieces and collectables. There are of course the usual holiday gift shops that I love and always find something fun to take home.
By now its time to head back to your room to freshen up then head straight to Bourbon O Bar 730 Bourbon St for live jazz music, dancing and cocktails. Close by is The World Famous Cats Meow bar with its karaoke stage filled with dancing brides to be and singing cowboys, we stayed for hours and loved every minute. In this area you are surrounded by great bars and clubs so take your pick. Just be sure to pick up some Willies fried chicken and fries on your wobbly walk to bed.
Put your comfortable shoes on and head to Stanley a beautiful sun filled cafe on Jackson Square and taste their Creole potatoes with bacon and eggs teamed with coffee laced with Jamesons and Baileys! Then jump a tram to the Magazine St Area where you can take a walk around the local cementary (I know it sounds grim but its what you do in NOLA) and wonder round this stunning residential route. From here were returned to our hotel to change, ready for the most amazing dining experience at Antoine’s, Restaurant, St Louis St. This place oozes tradition and heritage. You could not fault the stunning local Jazz singer performing with her band, the service and of course the food. You must take a tour if offered as hidden in each room are historic charms and collections which reveal the true uniqueness of this unbelievable venue.
Another quick change for then we headed to The Superdome to catch a Saints pre-season game where they hosted the Houston Texans. If you can squeeze in any event held here you have to put it on you check list!
Before our final bar crawl back up Bourbon Street we did make time to try the legendary oysters at Bourbon House and we suggest you do the same. Team them up with a local Po-Boy sandwich and glass of Southern Comfort!
In our experience New Orleans can be the trip of a lifetime crammed into just 2 days. It’s a place that has to be seen to be believed. No filter required. From its bead catching balconies to The Superdome itself, NOLA has its own live musical soundtrack. Wherever you visit on your trip to New Orleans music will greet you in the most uplifting and unforgettable way.
- Forget ‘drinking up’ on Bourbon St. Remember you can take your drinks with you.
- Speak to your hotel staff. Most are born and bred in New Orleans they can point you in the right direction and are happy to help.
- Don’t bother with heels girls. Some comfortable glitzy sandals are ideal.
- Expect lock free public toilets in bars. Freaked me out at first thought I’d come home with cystitis ha!
- Outside Cafe Du Monde you can book all your excursions at one desk. Really handy.
- Embrace the heat, humidity and local humour.
See you soon NOLA! We can’t wait to return x