NAME: ILKIN KURT
WHAT YOU DO: Brand-Creative Consultant, Buyer, Journalist STAR SIGN: Taurus
LIVING (Where you currently are): Sydney
LOCATION (Area this guide is on): New Orleans
Bienville House Hotel
Very close to Jackson Square and French Market and there’s only a small park separating you from the Mississippi. It is a small kind of a boutique hotel feels like a wealthy European aristocrat’s country manor house rather than a hotel. It is modest, elegant and charming.
Ace New Orleans is in a quiter district (which I prefer better), it is 10 min ride to Frenchman Street if you want to dig in to Jazz night or 15 mins walk to French Quarter.
Hotel’s restaurant Josephine Estelle has an amazing breakfast and music venue Three Keys make it worth to stay as they host good bands. Plus, you have the rooftop pool which is open till really late. Also, I scored my room on bookings.com for a super affordable rate. So, don’t think I had a fancy trip😉
There are so many options in NOLA, but it is more a battered-fried culture. Here are the ones I find stomach friendly.
Amazing chef Alon Shaya’s new project Saba is an appreciation to his Israeli roots. Amazingly trained staff, wood-fired cooked yummy share plates in a minimal, a touch of retro and modern design seats with a magical high ceiling, the venue gives you all. Try their pita - is baked with custom-made flour from Bellegarde Bakery, down the road- shakshuka with wood-roasted parsnips and octopus with sharwa spices.
MR. B’S BISTRO
I think I went to this cute diner style restaurant 3 nights in a row. Sat at the bar and made some new friends. They have a great whiskey selection, bartender’s around 50 years old, super friendly and proud to be part of the Bistro B family. Their crab cake is amazing and a demi tasse-tasting 1-1-1 soup is great to try different seafood soups as it is a big thing in New Orleans.
CAFÉ DU MONDE
If you leave NOLA without tasting Beignet, it is a crime! I didn’t find the taste super exciting but worth to try. It is like a funnel cake in donut form. Serves warm with heaps of icing sugar. Funnily enough they have the best coffee I tasted around NOLA. Try the one closer to the Jackson Square. Here is the big tip I got from a local: There is always an endless line, so, pretend like you are on the phone and trying to find your friends, get inside find a table and sit down. They have a weird system to sit you, It is table service, you order immediately and your order comes in 2 minutes.
It is on Royal Street at French Quarter, super handy location. They have the cutest bar, made out of a real Carousel which makes the whole experience dreamy. Perfect venue for cocktails!
Chargrilled oysters at Drago’s
Shrimp PO’BOY at Domilise’s (you have to wait at least 30 min in line!) Get it fully dressed with pickles, it is battered fried and heavy but I have to say, yummy! You have to try a Po’Boy anyway so do it properly😉
Turtle Soup at Commander’s Place. Well, there is a first for everything in this life. Not bad at all.
Bananas Foster at Brennan’s. It is simply HEAVEN.
Getting around by streetcar (vintage electric rail, built in 1923) is a great way to see the city, there are 3 different lines. I did all of them. It is so much fun.
Go to Omni Royal Hotel or Country Club (perfect place to meet with locals) for a swim. Literally, you have to drive an hour to swim in Mississippi, so swimming pool is pretty much the only option.
Take a swamp tour. It is absolutely worth it. Louisana has the most amazing crocodiles and wild boars or herons. It is incredible to be able to close to the wild life. I also did a night version, literally moon shines over you and becomes your light. So magical and scary.
There are few galleries I would recommend: Arthur Roger Gallery some contemporary pieces, The Front Gallery is a good spot to meet true locals and Studio Be has some interesting approach to modern art.
Don’t forget to visit Record stores, amazing Vinyl’s for great prices. Frenchman street is perfect for that.
I always check out the national parks wherever I go. Don’t skip Audubon and walk around the park or hire a bicycle. It is so flat, easy to walk or ride.
You have to make time to visit antique shops. Amazing jewellery and antiques from 18th century. I think I spent most of my afternoons in one of those antique places. Also walk along the Magazine Street, few interesting local shops sell amazing vintage pieces.
I just packed light things as there was a heat wave. You should take a hat with you and mostly cotton or linen pieces. I just packed few light tops, vintage tee’s+denim skirt and Dries Van Noten sandals.