New Orleans 2017
A trip to New Orleans had been on my Bucket List for some time and for a number of reasons: The funeral procession from ‘Live n Let Die’, buildings over 100 years old (In the USA find them if you can), and of course Jazz to name just three.
More by good luck than planning my wife was going to attend a Medical Conference in New Orleans so I would tag along and cross it off the list. We only had four nights so planning would be essential, if only I were good at planning.
Wednesday – We arrived at our hotel ‘The Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria’, a nice hotel a stones throw from the French Quarter. It was early evening so we were changed and straight out to Bourbon Street, the iconic centre of the French Quarter. We walked, stopped for dinner, had drinks, couldn’t find any good music so returned to our room disappointed. It may have been the weather, it was bitterly cold, time of the week or year, I wasn’t sure, what I was certain about was I needed to regain some creditability with my wife.
That night I was on ‘messenger’ contacting Jill Lander of ‘Southern Sounds’, who I knew arranges an amazing jazz tour to New Orleans. “HELP!” was the plea. When I woke the following morning she had sent me a comprehensive list (which we followed exclusively) of places to eat and hear the best music.
Thursday – Muriel’s, located on Charles Street / St Ann Street, an old Southern Style restaurant, where the food and service was excellent with great local and international dishes. With wine our bill was $110, which seemed reasonable. I would advise booking a table, as it was full from 6.30pm. From there we walked to Frenchman St, into the Spotted Cat, wow! Sophie Lee was singing with her band, she was stunningly good our only requirement is to buy a beer $7. Close your eyes and I would swear I’m listening to Ella Fitzgerald. She sang and the band played for about 90 minutes, worth the cost of the trip alone. I even bought her CD.
We then walked on to Bamboula’s where we finished the evening with traditional New Orleans Jazz, really good music to get your feet tapping.
Friday – Maison in Frenchman Street and The Shotgun Jazz Band. We had dinner there, which was good, not great, but your there for the music and the band didn’t disappoint. Traditional New Orleans Jazz with a young twist. The band played from 7pm to 10pm with a couple of short breaks fantastic entertainment not to be missed.
Saturday – Palm Court on Decatur Street near the junction with Barrack Street in the French Quarter. This really was step back in time, the House band were performing a mixture of the old classics and the place appeared frozen in time, a must do if you visit New Orleans. The food and service was good, two courses and drinks $125, with a $5 cover charge for the music.
Our trip was from the 7th to the 11th December and due to work commitments we were only out during the evenings. We passed plenty of Galleries and shops that we would have visited but alas time was not on our side. For us clearly the best music was in the Bars on Frenchman Street, all for the cost of a drink.
The French Quarter is mixed and we found the Streets, Royal, Charles, Decatur between Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue have the best places to eat. When we stay again we will pick a small boutique hotel in the streets of the French Quarter we found most appealing.
All the venues have websites that help you pick the music you like and most venues have live music from 12 midday to late evening.
I would tick it off my Bucket List but I know we will go back we enjoyed it that much.
Thanks Jill you’re a star, you saved our trip.