Last fall I booked a sponteneous trip to New Orleans. I had some family in the Country and they were spending a few days in New Orleans ("NOLA"), I had no intention of meeting up with them since I was going to be hosting them in Dallas at the tail end of their vacation, but by a stroke of luck, I found deeply discounted tickets on skyscanner. I purchased my ticket late Friday evening, booked a room and hurriedly tossed a few items into an overnight bag. The next morning, I was on the 7:45 a.m flight headed to Louis Armstrong airport in New Orleans.
When I boarded the plane on Saturday morning, the only thing I was sure of was my accommodation. Over the years , the Hilton New Orleans St. Charles has become one of my favorite places to stay in NOLA. It is located in close proximity to the French quarter, but away from the volume. I arrived shortly before 10 a.m and met up with my party at the Hotel.
Arrived at the Hilton New Orleans St. Charles Hotel - One of my favorite hotels. Checked into our room and had about half an hour catch up session.
Headed out to brunch at Chef John Besh's Luke restaurant. Another personal favorite in the city. I recommend the Crispy fried chicken biscuit or the Jumbo Louisiana Shrim En Cocotte (shrimp and grits) - forget everything you know about Shrimp and Grits - this is the gold standard for Shrimp and Grits.
Back to the hotel for a few hours of R & R. I had a very early start and my co travellers were coming off an international flight so we needed the rest.
It was time to explore the city. I was on my own because everyone wanted to rest.
I started out on St Charles street towards Canal and on to North Peters - my first stop was at Cafe du Monde (a must if you are in New Orleans). I was lucky to snag a table with a great view of Jackson square and spent the next hour people watching while stuffing my face with Beignets and hot chocolate.
After a blissful time people watching , I spent the next few hours leisurely exploring the French quarter taking in street performances and some of the best architecture anywhere. I had plans to stop by little Vic's on Toulouse St for frozen yogurt but I was still stuffed from the Beignets and hot chocolate. I made a stop into the Shops at Canal Place, instead.
Arriving at the shops at canal, I immediately located the Anthropologie store and proceeded to lose track of time wandering the store and doing serious window shopping.
We had dinner plans for 7:30 so I headed back to the hotel for a shower and change of clothes. I took the back roads heading back to the hotel. I loved the colorful and unique architecture that lined the streets.
Dinner at the Upperline restaurant. The food here is incredible and I would easily rank this in my top 10 favorite restaurants. If you make your way to the Upperline, I recommend the duck and andouille etouffe with corn bread followed by either the slow roasted duckling or the lamb shanks.
After dinner, we settled in to watch LSU take on Missippi state (college football) - it was just like old times (and LSU won).
Sunday Morning - 6:30 A.M.
Time to pack up and head back to Dallas, but not before a stop by to Cafe dr Monde for Beignets. Did I mention, it is open 24 hours ?