Road Trip PART 2: New Orleans
Part 2 of our roadtrip takes us to New Orleans!!!
I was beyond excited to be visiting New Orleans, as this has been on my bucketlist for SO many years!! Luckily for me, I had 4 days to EXPLORE!!
The architecture alone is a reason to go to NOLA! It is unlike any other place you will ever go! I have a few projects in the works and this place gave me inspiration FOR YEARS to come!
I have heard SO many mixed reviews on New Orleans...some people love it and some people hate it! I was determined to explore that city up and down and make sure my review would be LEGIT!!
Several of my friends gave me reccomendations on places to go and what to do and I also did my own research on places that were a must see for me! I love visiting boutique hotels as you know!
This trip was a very last minute planned trip so staying at the hotel I wanted to, Hotel Peter and Paul, was not an option, as they were booked. I will talk about this place in depth further down So make sure to keep reading on this FABULOUS converted church to boutique hotel!! YASSS!!!
Every place was booked because we happened to be there on the weekend of "krewe du vieux" a very adult satirical parade (known as New Orleans most vulgar parade) The start of the Mardi Gras season!!! So needless to say, I was thrown to the wolves here hahah!
I managed to get us a reservation at Masion Dupuy! A great hotel in the French Quarter with the largest courtyard! The French Quarter is great because you can walk everywhere!
We arrived extremely late at night and went straight to sleep, as I had a FULL day planned!
First on my list was Cafe Beignet on Royal Street! There are a few other locations but this is where I wanted to be for all the stops on my list! This cafe is so charming and has great food and coffee, I highly recommend!
Next on my list was Hotel Monteleon, also located right on Royal Street! Royal street is the main hub for shopping/art galleries and etc! You can walk up and down this street all day!
Hotel Monteleon is home to the Carousel Bar and is one of the nicest hotels you can stay at in the city!! The Carousel Bar is a bonus of this place and it is actually a carousel and spins, very very slowly! It was amazing! As you walk in the hotel it is just up the stairs to the right! You must visit there and have a cocktail, you will not be disappointed! What a great experience and great hospitality!
Next up was to explore a few antique shops! I absolutely LOVE antique shopping and New Orleans did not disappoint! Like WOW!!!
Just across from Hotel Monteleon, on Royal street is The French Antique Shop! An amazing shop specializing in 18th and 19th century French lighting, furniture, mirrors and etc! One of the owners gave me a personal tour of all 3 levels by way of the ORIGINAL elevator, like we are talking the elevators you see on TV with the huge wooden doors and pulley system! It was SO COOL!! You can check my highlights stories to see all of this!
There were so many amazing mirrors, light fixtures and furniture in there, you must check them out if you are ever in the area!!
Next on my list was Bevolo! Bevolo Gas lanterns are what you see all over the French Quarter since 1945! These amazing handcrafted, copper lights are the perfect way to add charm and style to your home! You absolutely must walk through their store and in the very back you will see the history of Bevolo and see first hand, crafters on site hammering these lights together! A wonderful experience!!
Make sure you also visit their lamp store next to it! Cutest lamps and shades EVER!!!
Next up was food! Speaking of food.....
Nola is a great food city!! Like so much good food it is overwhelming to even think about where to eat!!
So here are a few places to get you started..
Napoleon House, Sylvain, August, Coquette, Cochon, Luke and Peche!
For fancy traditional you can visit a
Alatoires, Broussards, and Commanders Palace are a must. K Paul’s in the quarter is amazing!!
Central Grocery is home to the traditional muffuletta!! Cafe du Monde is known for their beignets but is a total tourist trap!! Be prepared for a long line...
I chose on that day to have a late lunch at the Auction House Market! This spot was on my radar and for good reason! It was named by USATodays as Top 10 best new food halls! I had to see for myself.....their Instagram handle is @auctionhousemarket
The best way I can possibly describe this place to you is a trendy, upscale, stylish and airy curated food hall/slash market with 7 or 8 unique food and beverage vendor stations all surrounded around this amazing oversized marble bar!! When you walk in you are just in awe! See pictures below....
The rust velvet barstools, the marble, brass and botanicals all blend so well together and so does the food!! So many mixtures and textures of design makes this place stand out for me! The same aspect with the amazing food!! So much variety but it works collectively and is the ultimate chill spot! The attention to detail was also seen in the bathrooms! The ladies bathroom was adorned with lip wallpaper and marble and brass sinks! The gray tilebackspash and penny tiles on the floor were so on point!
Not to leave out the Men's bathroom here....yes I did venture in there...lol...I had to see it and it was EVERYTHING with its emerald green moody masculine tiles and brass mirror! Like YES!!!
I am pretty sure I spent over 20 minutes admiring!
The vibes at this place are just RIGHT! Please check this place out, I promise you will absolutely fall in love with it!
Heading back to Royal Street, I wanted to hit up a few art galleries!
I knew I wanted to visit Frank Relle's gallery! His photography is AHH-mazing!
I found him initially on Instagram after running across one of his NightShade series photos! So beautiful! Frank, a native of New Orleans, is known for his long exposure night photography of the bayous and around New Orleans.
He was nice enough to send me some recs on the best places to go see some authentic jazz music and the best spots! Thank You, Frank! I definitely went to your recommended spots and I will be discussing that next!
Anyways, back to his gallery! The moody goodness of this place is everything! To get to see his work up close gave me goosebumps!! The way he photographs nature and architecture at night is so unique and moving! Please check his work out! Also, you can see the inside of the gallery in my highlights stories on my @courtiecoo account!
The next two stops were Red Truck Gallery and Oleander Contemporary
Visiting the Red Truck Gallery is a must! I was luckily given the suggestion to go here by a local! They have an insanely top notch collection of art here! Like insane! Such a huge range of artists they showcase!
You will find an array of art from Butch Anthony (obsessed with his "skeleton portraits", which are 19th century portraits he paints over) to
the taxidermy by Bunny Lane to the chandeliers by Adam Wallacavage! If you keep reading, funny story about Butch Anthony, I got to meet him!
I highly recommend you check this gallery out!!
Up next was Oleander Contemporary, which I did not have on my radar but am so glad I decided to pop in!! I was immediately greeted by Jake the art director there! His Instagram handle is @nolabynature and he is hilarious!
Luckily, that day @debbiewithaD (fabulous local drag queen) was signing
silk screen prints done by local artist Allen Adam for their Art in Action Series!
I loved this gallery! There was so much goodness!! They are also doing good with art in the community! Check them out!!
HOTEL PETER AND PAUL
As stated in the beginning of this post, I was unable to stay at Hotel Peter and Paul, Instagram handle @hotelpeterandpaul
So I made sure to block off at least a few hours one day to take that place all in! I found out while there that they do tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays I believe!
Hotel Peter and Paul is simply To Die For!
Designed by ASH and local developer Nathalie Jordi , it is quite possibly one of the best all around hotels I have ever been to when you take in all the factors here! Rich in history, impeccable architecture/Design, brought back to life, located in a one-of-a-kind fortress setting in the infamous city of New Orleans.....does it get any better? Not really....
The four buildings that are now collectively, Hotel Peter and Paul, have some rich history!!
Converted Church, School Building, Rectory and Convent! The Church and rectory were originally designed by Henry Howard in 1860 and 1875! However, today this hotel is proving to add some rich history of it's own as being noted as one of the top hotels in world for 2019 by Travel and Leisure, and for good reason people! This hotel is a beautiful fortress taking the Marigny district by storm!
I call it a fortress because you literally do not need to leave....
The main house is steps away from The Elysian, the hotels restaurant/bar/parlor/cocktail room! You walk in and your jaw just drops to the floor....after you compose yourself, you can explore around and find two big sitting areas where you can sit and admire while sipping on your tea, cocktail or eating a small bite!
Draped in buffalo check fabrics from red to mustard, you feel like you are not anywhere but at Hotel Peter and Paul...it is truly unlike anything! From the grand cypress moldings and limewashed walls to the stained checkered wood floors in the foyer and painted canopy ceiling in the coffee/tea room....its the details in this design that are like Christmas morning for me! Heading to the back you will find an amazing bar to the left and a courtyard where you can dine as well!
A few steps from the Elysian is the Chapel that is also just as breathtaking!
There aren't enough words to accurately describe the beauty and character of this place!
I just thank God that local developer, Nathalie Jordi saved it, and partnered with ASH design along with Studio WTA to turn it into the most magnificent EXPERIENCE to be enjoyed today!
This is a MUST SEE if you're anywhere near NOLA...even if you had to drive 3 or 4 hours...WORTH IT! Do yourself a favor and book your stay at Hotel Peter and Paul or at the least take a tour or grab lunch there!!
After my day at Hotel Peter and Paul I wanted to venture to the Garden District and see all the beautiful mansions! I would recommend hitting up magazine street for some colorful houses!
While in the area a must stop is at Hotel Ponchartrain! They have a rooftop bar called Hot Tin that overlooks the city and it is incredible! Grab a cocktail, and wear something nice, you never know who you might see.....(I say this because our stop there ended up with us having a seat and conversation with the Mayor! She is fabulous!) The views are incredible!!
We actually came back to the Ponchartrain for dinner at their restaurant called Jack Rose! The food was amazing!! The design also was on point! I highly recommend!
After dinner it was time to check out some
Night time Jazz spots!
Frenchmen Street is where you go for the music! Dba and Snug Harbor are right next to each other, definitely hit those two spots up!! Check my highlight stories for scenes from there!! So good!!
But two other noteworthy places, Fritzels European Jazz Club and Bacchanal are not on Frenchmen street!
My last day in New Orleans I only had about 1 hour to explore the city before we had to hit the road and head to Oak Alley Plantation!
I decided to venture by foot to Croissant D'or Patisserie, their Instagram handle is @croissantdornola
I read a lot of reviews on this place and did not want to leave NOLA without stopping there!
The cutest french bistro/cafe with the original tiles and amazing painted glass mural on the wall! The right side entrance on the exterior, in tile, says "Ladies Entrance" oh the charm!! The architectural details had me swooning before I even dug into my pastries!!
The cranberry tarte was amazing! I also tried the quiche and a yummy cup of coffee and sat in the bay window overlooking the street, it was magical! To make matters better than they cod have been, I met Butch Anderson there...man what a day, and it wasn't even 11am yet!!! Still swooning!!!
My walk back along Burgundy Street provided for some great pictures of all the great architecture New Orleans is known for!
With 3 1/2 days to explore New Orleans, I didnt make it to several places tnat I wanted to....which is fine because New Orleans has my heart and I will be back SEVERAL times!
For those people who told me they hated this town and it was dirty and etc...where the hell did you go?
And THIS is why I spend time on these blog posts, literally laying out a game plan so people can experience these places the way they shouldne experienced! New Orleans is a GEM!! My only regret is JUST now getting to experience it!!! So there you have it, ya gotta go to New Orleans......
On our way back home we stopped at Oak Alley Plantation! It wasn't exactly on our way home, more like and hour out of our way, about 45 mins outside the city.....AND it was worth it ALL!!!!
I have dreamed of visiting this place! Seeing the pictures, you think you have an idea of what you're about to walk up on....but no....you'll be speechless and think to yourself "Is this real life, like for real life?"
I have visited many a Plantations, the majority of them in Charleston SC, but this one was different! The trees were different, almost as if this is the true environment for a Live Oak to really thrive!!! These were some of the biggest Live Oak trees I have ever seen in person! With the exception of the Angel Oak in Charleston!
There were SO many of them! I believe around 27? The lined oak pathway that leads to the house is what dreams are 100% made of!
Baxter snapped a picture of me from behind looking down the lined oak path to the house and I swear my body language shows the emotional state I was in, looking at the house.....truly breathtaking! See picture below
This Plantation is next to several other plantations that you can tour but we only had time to see this one! So plan a head and take a day to hit up the plantation "row"
You may recognize this particular plantation from the movie Interview with the Vampire! It has also been in several movies and shows!
As soon as we arrived it started raining but man if that didn't add to the ambiance of this place!! It was SO magical and perfect....I can feel those vibes right now as type this!
Make time for this on your trip, trust me!
Our drive home was quite nice, we had to stop from exhaustion but luckily we stopped in the cutest town along the "Antebellum
Trail" called Madison GA! I will have a blog post all about that coming up!