We hit the city in the early evening after a very long flight, but it didn’t take long for it to work it’s magic on us. Our first taste of the ton of fun this city has to offer was the magnificent revolving Carousel bar at the Hotel Monteleone, slap bang in the middle of the French Quarter. The joint was jammed and rocking when we arrived, but we managed to get a seat on the carousel and ordered the signature Vieux Carré cocktail. The Vieux Carré mixes cognac from France, vermouth from Italy, rye whisky from just up the Mississippi River and Caribbean bitters. It is boozy, sweet, bitter and smooth and sums up the cosmopolitan concoction that is New Orleans perfectly. There is nothing like live jazz music to get your toes tapping and your body swaying – especially when you are going round and round on a revolving bar. We enjoyed a bunch of tunes – everything from When the Saints go Marching in to What a Wonderful World. The cocktail waiters were working so fast to serve everyone, but they still hummed along with the music and shook their cocktails in time to the beat. Too hard to capture on film – your imagination will probably do a better job for you?!
New Orleans has been throbbing 24/7 since 1718. It is the birthplace of jazz and has always had music at its heart. The French Quarter Jazz Festival was in full swing when we arrived – what a great week-end to visit! New Orleans i’s way more than honky tonk pianos and saxophones though. The food is great here, the welcome is warm, the people are full of life and colour and the vibe is great. The French Quarter is very pretty too – think wrought iron balconies, gas lanterns and arty crafty signs – yes – even the signs swing here!
As we called an end to what had been a very long night, the pulsing heartbeat of the city seemed to reach right through to our mattress springs – in a very good way.
What I’m reading:
Deep South – Paul Theroux
The Help Kathryn Stockett
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
What I’m watching:
Green Book – such a great film. It. conveys perfectly the difficult history of the Deep South in a very human (true) story.