A December 2001 trip
to New Orleans by diminor1929
Quote: New Orleans is a TERRIFIC place to spend the Christmas/New Year Holiday! The entire city seems swathed in tiny lights and every gallery and balcony is bedecked with loads of garland and ribbon. Experience all the dynamite activities that NOLA is famous for, without the hassles of crowds and humid weather. The southern charm,atmosphere and N'Awlins spirit remain, plus a lot of special deals are offered on hotels,restaurants,etc... The locals tell me it is the best time to visit!There are museums,bars,restaurants,clubs,etc...where you can experience Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest and other great festivals held in the Crescent City. So if you dont like crowds but love Southern hospitality,good food and great entertainment,December is the time to cometo the "City That Care Forgot".
Private guided tours are the best and reasonable for cemeteries, ghost tours, plantations.
You are encouraged not to drive at all into the French Quarter. Buy a streetcar pass immediately for easy, efficient transportation up and down St. Charles Avenue. Within the French Quarter (Vieux Carre) there is a Riverside street car that requires a different ticket/pass. But you will probably want to walk off all of the excellent meals you will be having and walking is absolutely the best way to travel within the F.Q.
Hotel | "Suite Jazz on Frenchmen Street"
It truly is a suite that could easily sleep 4 people (there were only 2 of us. While you have to hike up 2 flights of stairs to reach it, it is well worth the effort! We really felt like part of the local "scene" by having our own key to come and go.
Even tho it is located above/behind Snug Harbor (it's hard to explain), noise was never a problem. In December we nodded off to sleep hearing just the faintest sounds of jazz below. The suite had a large "living/dining" area with sofas, table and chairs, small refrigerator stocked with coffee, milk, ice, tea, sodas. A built-in cupboard stored wine glasses, plates, etc... Walk thru the long window out onto the BIG outside gallery overlooking Frenchmen Street. I went out there every afternoon with my drink and my book (Anne Rice-thoughtfully provided by the hosts). So relaxing! Continental breakfast in the form of a delicious pastry (croissants, bear claws, homemade banana bread) was delivered to our door every morning by our charming host, Sylvia. She provided a flavored coffee from a shop 2 doors away. We liked it so much we had to stop and get some more to bring back!
The bedroom was a little on the small side but adequate. It is decorated very nicely and has T.V., etc... Bathroom was bigger and nicely remodeled. We loved the location(within walking distance to French Quarter) and our hosts gave us plenty of "insider" information about where to go, what to see, etc... Unbeknownst to us Northerners, Snug Harbor is considered THE coolest jazz spot in N.O. Musicians with the names of Neville, Marsalis, and a host of others frequent the locale regularly. If you like jazz and dont mind going off the beaten path a tiny bit - this is a place you'll love!
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2002
626 Frenchmen Street
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hotel | "Southern Comfort B&B"
Since it was the night before Christmas Eve,the parlor glowed with light from the tree and gas fireplace. Across the center hall the heirloom buffet and sideboard were set with delicate china and silver for the next morning's breakfast.
Our spacious suite, The Plantation Room, was furnished with a queen-sized Belmont Plantation bed and the over-sized antique armoire, faux fireplace with original mantle and oak dresser and vanity added to the authentic detail of the room. A separate adjoining room, with a double trundle bed, can be used as a sitting room or extra sleeping space.
The private bath proved to be an unexpected delight! Cindee Quick designed a space that captured the aura of a bygone era yet provided all the comforts and amenities desired by road-weary travelers. The crowning touch was the Battenburg lace shower curtain!
Southern Comfort has several other rooms available that have been restored with the same loving attention to detail. Each is equipped with a private bath and while not quite as spacious as the Plantation Room suite, are equally as enticing.
Host Cindee baked fresh pastries and served a superb Continental breakfast in the formal dining room. She used the leisurely breakfast time to help us plan our itinerary. With just a few phone calls she can arrange a full schedule, complete with every detail!
The central location of Southern Comfort is just a streetcar hop away from all parts of the city. You can easily visit the French Quarter, Garden District,Magazine Street or the Convention Center.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2002
Southern Comfort B&B
1739 Marengo St
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
Both lunch and dinner include a prix fixe menu which allows mixing and matching of some of their regional specialties.
Their menu changes seasonally but always contains popular specialties. For lunch starters I tried the "waiter recommended" turtle soup with sherry, while hubbie had crawfish bisque and homemade biscuits-both yummy! Their absolute best dishes are reputed to be the regional Creole favorites and I couldnt agree more.
The dinner menu provides suggestions from their highly touted wine list to accompany each entree. I highly recommend their Cosmopolitan cocktail (the best I have ever had anywhere!).
A must have at both lunch and dinner... Their FABULOUS desserts (you won't want to share yours). Their world-famous bread pudding souffle is remarkable but so are their Mississippi Mud Pie, Southern Pecan Pie and Chocolate Molten Souffle.
For a dining experience that will evoke the true atmosphere of "N'Awlins", Commanders is the "Palace" to go!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2002
1403 Washington Ave
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
+1 504 899 8221
Restaurant | "Cuvee"
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 2, 2002
322 Magazine Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Attraction | "Lafayette Cemetary Number 1- City of the Dead"
As in any cemetary or religious site you are abserving as a visitor, you need to be respectful and courteous, as there will be family members visiting at the same time you are there.
Hot Tip-The tour is in the morning so make a reservation for lunch at Commander's Palace (just across the street from the main gate of cemetary). Lunch there is a more economical way to take advantage of some world class food at more reasonable prices.
At any rate, taking a guided tour of a "City of the Dead" is an interesting way to explore one of New Orleans' most famous sites.
1400 block of Washington Ave
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
There's caroling in Jackson Square,views of French Quarter balconies festooned with ribbons,garland and millions of tiny white lights and the bell-like clatter of streetcars on St. Charles Ave. If that's not enough to put you in the holiday spirit I dont know what will.
Many of the cities finest dining establishments prepare a traditional "Reveillon" repast started by French-Catholics to "break the fast" after Christmas Eve Mass. Fortunately, most places have extended the scheduled times for these prix-fixe feasts but reservations are a must. At the high end($50+) are places like Arnaud's,Gallatoire's,The Grill Room at Windsor Court Hotel,and the Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel. More moderately priced ($35+) but equally outstanding are Brennan's, Hunt Room Grill at the Hotel Monteleone, Midi South of France in the Hotel Le Meridien(our favorite)and for the more budget minded ($19.99) great examples of Nola's specialties are offered at The Gumbo Shop.
Be sure to take make reservations for a Christmas Eve ride on the Steamboat Natchez for a romantic ride up the Mississippi to see bonfires lit on all the levees to "light the way for Papa Noel". Take a night time drive thru City Park's "Celebration in the Oaks" and see hundreds of trees decorated with lights.
A Christmas spent in the "City that Care Forgot" is one you will never forget.