Nestled in the crescent of the Mississippi River, the sizzling Southern city of New Orleans has over 300 years of turbulent history. As one of the most culturally stimulating places to visit in America, it boasts a fusion of cultural heritage from Europe, the Caribbean and Africa, charming visitors with traditional Creole cuisine and endless festive activities. Jambalaya, jazz and Mardi Gras are just some of the offerings that have given New Orleans its laid-back, festive reputation and nickname of “The Big Easy.” Join in on the celebrations by donning a mask for Carnival, sink your teeth into a powdered sugar coated Beignet pastry or listen to the cacophony of the city soundscape of street performers and mingling dialects as you wander through the French Quarter.
A beautiful and charming hotel embodying deep-south hospitality, The Eliza Jane is located an ideal two blocks from the hustle and bustle of the French quarter and only a stone’s throw away from the Arts District. Housed in a collection of historic warehouses, the decor takes its inspiration from the buildings’ histories, maintaining exposed beams and brickwork. The style is quintessentially New Orleans but elevated with modern luxuries and finishing touches such as subway tiling in the bathrooms and two-tone colour palettes in the generously-sized suites.
Soniat House: A boutique hotel occupying a stunning Creole-style brick and stucco building with wrought-iron balconies.
Hotel Peter and Paul: A historic church, school and convent, that has been lovingly restored into a truly special hotel that captures the unique character of the city.
Maison De La Luz: A fairytale-like hotel brimming with whimsy and charm.
Follow the Creole version of the tricky Br’er rabbit from the famed Southern children’s storybook through the briar patch and into culinary heaven at Compére Lapin. One of the best places to dine in New Orleans, everything about the restaurant imbues comfort, from the cozy dark wood and exposed brick to the hearty menu that blends Creole with Caribbean. Started by Top Chef runner-up and Saint Lucian Nina Compton, Compère Lapin’s vision is to use pure, fresh ingredients and meats to create bold, innovative dishes. For the adventurous, we recommend Spiced Pigs’ Ears with Smoked Aioli followed by Silky Curried Goat with Sweet Potato Gnocchi.
Killer PoBoys: A hidden-gem gourmet sandwich bar quickly becoming a local institution which serves delicious New Orleans style sandwiches with an international twist.
Shaya: Traditional Israeli dishes made with fresh Louisiana produce, this restaurant is built on the mission to bring people together through food.
Neyow’s Creole Cafe: Authentic Creole cuisine at its finest the menu is entirely inspired by Neyow’s grandmother’s cooking from red beans and rice with crab claws to shrimp creole and charbroiled oysters.
While in the birthplace of jazz, it is essential to take in a show at the world-renowned Preservation Hall. What began in the 1950s as a small kitty hall for famed jazz musicians George Lewis, Punch Miller, Sweet Emma Barrett, The Humphrey Brothers and more, Preservation Hall has since grown to be a veritable musical institution. They offer three live sets a night, 350 nights a year and feature 100+ master traditional New Orleans Jazz musicians playing ragtime, blues and marches for three hours. At his 70th birthday party, Louis Armstrong described Preservation Hall best when he said, “That’s where you’ll find all the greats.”
Music Box Village: A non-profit arts organisation and live music and performance space, look out for upcoming events showcasing local and international talent.
Studio Be : 35,000 sq ft warehouse showcasing incredible socially-aware art paying homage to New Orleans – a must see for anyone with an interest in the culture of the region.
Orpheum Theatre: Home of the world renowned Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, this is a Beaux-Arts style theatre in the central business district with stunning period architecture and interiors.