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Follow your joy to New Orleans this holiday season

Join us for Christmas New Orleans Style this December! We may not have snow but many things twinkle land delight in the Crescent City for the holidays, and special Papa Noel New Orleans rates at our Garden District bed and breakfast all month long!

New this year, LUNA Fête 2014 will feature the city’s architecture as the canvas for large-scale, awe-inspiring outdoor light installations across the city.  Starting November 30 downtown at the historic Greek Revival Gallier Hall.

Catch even more holiday lights at the Roosevelt Hotel on Canal Street, and our annual favorite: Celebration in the Oaks in City Park.  Traditionally opening the day after Thanksgiving, you’ll enjoy walking and driving through the light displays in the botanical gardens, the train garden as well as the musical events and entertainment for kids.

New Orleans Holiday activities

Cajun Night Before Christmas light display at City Park Celebration in the Oaks

After catching a free concert at St. Louis Cathedral, you may run into General Andrew Jackson, the Baroness Pontalba, Captain Jean Lafitte and other historical characters every weekend in December in the French Quarter.  Get your pipes in tune for Caroling in Jackson Square (songsheets and candles provided) on December 21.

christmas new orleans

Interact with people from New Orleans’ colorful history each weekend.

Reveillon Dinners are a Creole tradition from the 1800’s to “wake up” with a dinner following midnight mass.   Today’s Reveillon is served in restaurants featuring sumptuous holiday feasts at incredible rates.  Some of our neighborhood restaurants are offering 4 course meals at a deal include: Commander’s Palace, Upperline, Brigtsen’s and Martinque Bistro.

Christmas New Orleans Style can also help you find a restaurant open on Christmas and New Years.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a New Orleans twist: watch the Fleur de Lis drop in Jackson Square with your new legion of French Quarter friends. Then watch your favorite college football team in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

New Orleans holiday dining

“Wake up” to a holiday feast at your favorite restaurant!

There are so many more events including holiday home tours, bonfires along the levee, chef demonstrations, and special Reveillon cocktail creations. Many of these are free to attend.  You can learn more about them here.

Make your Papa Noel New Orleans reservation at the Grand Victorian B&B today and relax under our 14 foot tree with nightly holiday treats and a mug of hot chocolate.  We’ll pop a Christmas New Orleans Style guide in the mail to help you design your perfect New Orleans holiday vacation with us.

 Book Now – Papa Noel Rates starting at $185 per night 

Top 5 Jazz Brunches

When it comes to food and music, nobody does it like New Orleans. Put the two together on a mid-morning weekend and it’s the creation of perhaps your most memorable meal in our culinary utopia. Here are our Top 5 recommendations for Jazz Brunches.

jazz brunches

Commander’s Palace Garden Room
Photo Source: Wikicommons

Commander’s Palace

Walk two blocks to our number one recommendation.  Brunch here features a special menu and Live New Orleans Jazz by the Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio. Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Cafe Atachafalya

Live music and a Bloody Mary Bar are the highlights at this uptown favorite.  Enjoy brunch Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Arnaud’s

A tradition in the French Quarter, Sunday only brunch offers Dixieland Jazz and a four-course prix-fixe menu.

 

Palace Café

Build your own mimosa and enjoy Sunday brunch with live music at this class restaurant in the French Quarter.  Sundays only.

 

House of Blues

Wait a minute; that’s not Jazz!  Some of our guests like things a little different from everyone else.  If this is you, try a Gospel brunch and get some praise on for your Sunday exhilaration vacation.

 

 

It’s summertime; so don’t forget to check out our special rates for that last minute getaway or stay-cation at our historic Garden District Bed and Breakfast.

New Orleans is your home for history and tradition this holiday season

The National Geographic Traveler lists New Orleans as one of the Best Trips of 2014.  They mention our hot summer months as the time to come for hotel deals in New Orleans, but we know that December is also a great time to visit our city for fun activities and holiday specials.

While we may not have snow in New Orleans, there are many places that twinkle with lights and fun activities to fill your December days and nights.  Our favorite  is Celebration in the Oaks in City Park.

New Orleans Holiday activities

Cajun Night Before Christmas light display at City Park Celebration in the Oaks

It opens November 29 and runs through the holiday season.   City Park’s oak trees are covered in hundreds of thousands of white lights amid extravagant, detailed light displays across 13 acres.  There are musical events and entertainment ranging from children’s choirs and bands to Irish dancing.

The new light display opening this year is Christmas in the District.  Launching November 30 along the Convention Center is an incredible ribbon of lights and spectacular displays synchronized to New Orleans Christmas music.

 

New Orleans holiday shopping

Modern Market on Magazine Street nominated as 2013 “Retail Star to Watch”

New Orleans consistently rates high among travel writers and travel magazine readers as a great city for shopping.  In and around the French Quarter you can find everything from original artwork and grand antiques to handcrafted voodoo dolls.  On the edge of the quarter, the French Market is the oldest public market in the country and is the best place to find regional food items, local music cds, and gifts for every family member back home.

Running through our Garden District neighborhood, where our New Orleans bed and breakfast is located, is  the world-renowned Magazine Street.  Six miles of some of the best antique stores, art galleries, craft shops and classy boutiques to be found anywhere in the city.  During the month of December, the stores have extended hours, holiday decorations, and hold special sales and events to celebrate the Merriment of the Holiday Season.

New Orleans holiday dining

“Wake up” to a holiday feast at your favorite restaurant!

Reveillon Dinners are a Creole tradition from the 1800’s to “wake up” with a dinner following midnight mass.   This holiday convention has been transformed in restaurants that serve sumptuous holiday feasts at incredible rates.

Currently 34 restaurants are offering 4-course meals starting at $34.00, including our neighborhood restaurants:  Commander’s Palace, Upperline, Brigtsen’s and Martinque Bistro.  Christmas New Orleans Style also lists which restaurants are open on Christmas and New Years.

 

Check with us next week for information on holiday home tours, Christmas concerts, bonfires to light the way and more.  Check out our New Orleans bed and breakfast special at our New Orleans bed and breakfast today for your chance to stay in this historic city this holiday season.

 

 

 

 

 

After 100 Years, Historic Coffee Stand Returns to NOLA!

New Orleanians are celebrating the return of the Morning Call Coffee Stand back to the city after a 100 year absence.  Morning Call first opened in 1870 in the French Market and competed with Cafe du Monde in serving coffee and beignets to French Quarter residents and visitors alike.  It moved to the suburbs in the 1970’s and is still there today.  However, as Innkeeper Bonnie saw during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Morning Call has spread its wings to a new home in City Park.


Located at the end of the streetcar route near the sculpture garden and New Orleans Museum of Art, it is housed in the beautifully restored Casino Building.  The white tile and dark wood decor are true in spirit to the historic photos of the original location.  The chicory coffee is still french drip brewed and whole milk is heated to a near boil and mixed with the coffee for the delicious cafe au lait.

And it’s open 24 hours!  If you are enjoying the lush oak trees, the lagoons or the Botannical Gardens at City Park, you can also get gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice inside or out on the veranda.   It currently accepts cash only.

Take the streetcar from our Garden District bed and breakfast and make Morning Call one of your Christmas in New Orleans stops.  Don’t forget to check out our Papa Noel discounts during the holidays.

The PoBoy, worthy of its own festival

The upcoming Oak Street PoBoy Festival celebrates the sandwich that was created during a streetcar strike in New Orleans in 1929.  You can now proudly take the streetcar from our Garden District bed and breakfast to sample this uniquely New Orleans culinary creation in all its wild applications.

Alligator po-boy

Voted best food festival for 3 years in a row, here you’ll find music, local artisans, and a staggering array of traditional and unusual po-boy options including lobster, mississippi rabbit, stuffed crab, and chicken alfredo.  Check out this slideshow for mouth-watering and head-shaking offerings from last year.

New this year:  Music stages have been moved to side streets for more walking room; an extra bike corral set up for all you two-wheelers; and a fascinating lineup of history talks including the first families of po-boy, lost restaurants of New Orleans, the Maple Leaf Bar and neighborhood Mardi Gras Indian tribes.

Staff Tips:  Parking is very limited; so it’s best to take the historic streetcar steps away from our front door.  Go early as this fest draws large crowds, and poboy vendors may run out of your favorite.

We still have rooms available for that weekend, so come stay with us and get your fill of this local’s favorite. As the festival organizers say, there is “so much heritage, you’ll need another napkin.”

Top 5 Places for Cocktails and Small Plates in New Orleans

We are getting ready for Tales of the Cocktail next month, the annual celebration of the birth of the cocktail right here in New Orleans. To help you get ready too, we have listed our Top 5 places to get a delicious cocktail and appetizer or small plate. All of these are in close proximity to our Garden District Bed and Breakfast.

 

Cure: Rated one of the Top 3 places to get a cocktail by Best of New Orleans.com, we love Cure for the scrumptious cocktails, small plates and great patio for whiling away the evening.

 

The Columns: A few streetcar stops down from our St. Charles stop (right at the front door of our Garden District Bed and Breakfast) is the best front porch to drift back in time, have a traditional New Orleans cocktail, and people watch. This is a great place to kick off your evening as it gets crowded later on.

 

Delachaise: Walk across the street from the Columns and have a really good light meal or cheese plate with great wine at this small place on the streetcar track.

 

Commander’s Palace: 25 cent martinis for lunch (and one and a half block walk from our Garden District bed and breakfast). Any questions?

 

Oak: A little further down the historic streetcar line and around the riverbend is a new bar and eatery that features small plates from the chef of Patois Restaurant. Live musicians every night make this a place to put on your must-visit list.

 

A little old fashioned for a hot summer's night.

A little old fashioned for those hot summer nights.

Finish your evening on the porte cochere balcony at our Garden District B&B. Check out our summer specials for an extra reason to check out the Tales of the Cocktail festival.

 

The Top 5 Seafood Restaurants in the New Orleans Area!

Last week, we penned a Love Note to Louisiana Seafood; now that we’ve extolled its virtues, here is our top 5 list of where to get it. The restaurants are recommended by staff (and guests) and in close proximity to our New Orleans bed and breakfast.

1. Jacques-Imo’s is best described by Bonnie Rabe’s favorite menu item, the Innkeeper of New Orleans Garden District bed and breakfast “Godzilla meets fried green tomatoes.” This Carrollton area restaurant is a perennial favorite because there are always different kinds of fish prepared in a variety ways. A perusal of their current menu lists over 20 seafood entrees from Fried Mirliton with Oysters to Amberjack Provencal. They only take reservations for large groups, so hit this popular eatery early.

 

Crawfish Macque choux

Crawfish Macque choux

2.  Mandina’s has been a mid-city institution since 1932, and the post-Katrina renovation is bigger and better. Check out the “House Specials” menu for our favorites including Trout Meuniere, Grilled Shrimp over Pasta Bordelaise and of course, their famous Turtle Soup.

3.  Superior Seafood is the new kid on the block that has an old New Orleans feel to it. It is located on the historic streetcar corner of St. Charles and Napoleon Avenue. It features an oyster bar including a sampler plate that serves two traditional New Orleans fare–Bienville and Rockefeller–plus something new called “Angels on Horseback.”

4.  Guy’s PoBoys – 5257 Magazine, New Orleans, LA, 504-891-5025. It is the proverbial hole-in-the-wall as Guy’s doesn’t even have a website and takes cash only. Sit down for a few minutes as all the po-boys are individually made by the owner. Hang out with the locals, have a Barq’s Rootbeer, and talk about the daily news as this is a nostalgic place of days-gone-by.

5.  La Thai may sound strange to some as we have a Thai restaurant on our list, but Chef Merlin’s Jumbo Lump Crab Cake is what keeps us coming back on a regular basis! Chef Merlin has won several seafood awards including 1st Runner Up as the King of Louisiana Seafood, 2010-2011.

 

Shrimp po boy - ask for it "dressed"

Shrimp po boy – ask for it “dressed”

 

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the best seafood restaurants in New Orleans, so you’ll have to make several trips to the Garden District bed and breakfast to experience them all.

 

A Love Note to Louisiana Seafood

Seafood gumbo often comes with a crab claw

Louisiana Seafood: it draws many visitors to our cities and our restaurants; most locals won’t eat it anywhere but here. At our Garden District B&B, we spend a lot of time around the breakfast table talking about food. Our staff has the arduous task of trying out as many restaurants as we can, and we keep the beautifully photographed magazine Louisiana Cookin in every guest room.

Delicious seafood is not just an indulgence for us. The traditions of catching, cooking and eating seafood are an important part of Louisiana life. Everyone from the finest chefs to neighbors at the crab boil has a seafood recipe to share.

 

Blue Crabs!

Blue Crabs!

Heart healthy seafood is also an important part of the state economy. One out of every 70 jobs in Louisiana is seafood related, providing 90% of the crawfish, 70% of the shrimp and 70% of the oysters to the US. If you’ve eaten a blue crab on the East Coast, it’s probably from Louisiana.

 

Grilled oysters on the halfshell

Grilled oysters on the halfshell

 

Our New Orleans Garden District Bed and Breakfast is surrounded by incredible seafood choices. Check out the restaurants on the Grand Victorian B&B Explore New Orleans page and talk about seafood with us. We’ll help you pick the best restaurant for the seafood dish you’re craving.

Holiday Cooking Demonstrations by Local Chefts

Free cooking demonstrations by some or our acclaimed local chefs. At the Historic French Market between ursulines and Governor Nichols in the French Quarter. Sampling menus at www.neworleansonline/holiday

All demonstrations start at 2pm and last for 45 minutes. Come learn how to make some of the Reveillon dinners and enjoy the samples!

December 13 – Chef Darin Nesbit, Bourbon House

December 14 – Chef Alon Shaya, Domenica

December 15 – Chef Todd Pulsinelli, The American Sector

December 16 – Chef Ben Thibodeaux, Palace Cafe

December 20 – Chef Michael Gulotta, August

December 21 – Chef Matt Regan, Luke

December 22 – Zack Lemann, Audubon Insectarium (cricket cookies!)

December 23 – Chef Chad Penedo, Court of Two Sisters

 

Don’t just eat the run! Stay the night at the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast; low Papa Noel rates still available for that last minute getaway!

 

Cool Down with New Orleans Coolinary Summer!

Cool down this summer with New Orleans’ restaurants summer specials. Over fifty local restaurants are participating in the COOLinary summer promotion and feature mouthwatering 2 or 3 course lunch for $20 or less and 3 course dinners for $35 or less.

 

From the French Quarter to the Central Business District, and even in our neighborhood in the Garden District, you can treat yourself to a delicious, affordable meal. Down the street from the Grand Victorian, Commander’s Palace is offering $20 lunches and $35 dinners. The enchanting restaurant nestled in Magazine Street, Martinique Bistro, is offering $35 dinners from their special menu. And on our street corner, Coquette has recently joined the COOLinary tour and will release their delectable menu later this week.

 

Check out the extensive list of restaurants participating in the COOLinary promotion across the city:

 

5 Fifty 5

7 on Fulton

Andrea’s Restaurant

Antoine’s Restaurant

Bayona

Bombay Club

Bon Ton Cafe

Bourbon House

Brennan’s Restaurant

Brigtsen’s Restaurant

Broussard’s Restaurant

Cafe’ Adelaide

Cafe Degas

Cafe Giovanni

Charlie’s Steak House

Chartres House Cafe

Commander’s Palace

Coquette

Court of Two Sisters

Desire Bistro and Oyster Bar

Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse

Eleven 79

Emeril’s Restaurant

Galatoire’s

Grand Isle Restaurant

GW FINS

La Bayou RestaurantLa Cote Brasserie

Latils Landing – Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

Lüke

M bistro

Martinique Bistro

Mesón 923

Mike’s on the Avenue

Mulate’s Cajun Restaurant

Muriel’s Jackson Square

One Restaurant & Lounge

Palace Cafe

Pascal’s Manale Restaurant

Pat O’s Courtyard Restaurant

Pere Antoine

Restaurant August

Roux on Orleans

Royal House Oyster Bar

Royal Palm Restaurant

Ste. Marie

The Crazy Lobster Bar & Grill

The Crystal Room

The Grill Room

The Original Pierre Maspero’s

The Pelican Club

The Sazerac Restaurant

Tujague’s Restaurant