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Are you ready to spice up your next stay in the New Orleans Garden District? The Parisian Courtyard Inn in New Orleans’ famed Garden District is the answer. One of the oldest buildings in New Orleans, this home was built by Rufus McIlhenny of the Tabasco family business. As a result, flavorful red Tabasco sauce is (even today) as common as salt or pepper on many southern dining tables.
Parisian Courtyard Inn-First Impressions
Upon arrival, parking was no bother at all, with designated parking spaces directly in front of the columned two-story home that is now the Parisian Courtyard Inn. Free parking and no permits required? Trust me, that is special in New Orleans.
The gated courtyard is lush with greenery. I approached the inn’s main entry and stepped onto the columned porch while admiring the classic overhead portico. An after-hours intercom is right beside the door, which is always convenient for B&B accommodations.
Our host, Kim Arteaga, was prepared for our arrival and welcomed us inside immediately. I entered a stretching foyer, beside and parallel to, the classic double parlors. History and legends surrounded me.
The entry hallway has a museum-like quality, but shines with the comfortable mood of a well-loved home.
Family history, cultural icons, antique linens, and a library of local-author books are on display.
Mardi Gras masks and modern day touches bring the decor into the present day.
Hardwood floors and natural woodwork have been restored to the grandeur of a time when home construction and architectural refinements were often as enchanting as works of art. Our room is upstairs on the second level. The woodwork of the bed frame, the chifferobe, and drop-leaf table are similar and all exquisite.
The table provides ample space for checking email and writing, then folds away quickly to restore the room’s open space. Even with the preservation of the home, I was thrilled to have private in-room controls for the air conditioning. Comfortable room temperatures were a big plus on this sultry New Orleans weekend.
The New Orleans Street Cars
The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau office is only two blocks from the hotel. Check it out at the intersection of St. Andrew Street and St. Charles Avenue in the New Orleans Garden District. The nearby Walgreen’s® store sells the Jazzy Pass for easy transfers on the public transportation system throughout the city. I recommend to stop first at the visitors bureau and begin planning out the theme of your stay.
For me, a relaxing, romantic, ride on the green St. Charles Streetcar has become a tradition for every visit to New Orleans. This weekend was no exception. My Jazzy Pass was put to good use riding on the green route through the western neighborhoods of New Orleans.
John and I reminisced and contemplated the twists and turns of life’s directions. At the pauses in philosophy, we watched the filigree of Spanish moss swinging with the breezes among the century-old oak trees.
St. Charles Avenue offers an abundant selection of highly acclaimed restaurants. Slice Pizzeria (1513 St. Charles Avenue) was active, however the dining area was not overcrowded in the early evening hours. The food was remarkably fresh and served piping hot. Vegan and gluten-free options are available along with soups, salads or lasagna on the diverse menu.
After enjoying appetizers and pizza, we asked to continue our evening outdoors at the sidewalk patio table. The staff assisted us graciously, moving our backpacks, cameras and wine glasses to the outdoor restaurant space.
Back at the Parisian Courtyard Inn, we settled into the double parlor with an evening of knitting. The other guests returned to the inn, joining us and sharing stories of the day’s adventures.
Breakfast at Parisian Courtyard Inn
The inn provides a complimentary morning buffet. Enjoy a hot breakfast along with bread, cereal, yogurt, coffee and assorted juices. The B&B experience provides time to visit with other guests.
Southern hospitality oozes from the walls of this place. It must be contagious since every guest engaged in the social conversation. The dining room furnishings were meticulously chosen to reflect a bygone era of New Orleans.
Free Tours by Foot: New Orleans Style
Always curious, we registered for a walk with the Free Tours by Foot team. The tour group met at Lafayette Cemetery #1, in the heart of the Garden District and near the Commander’s Palace restaurant. This cemetery has been active 1833, with above ground crypts and family tombs. The cemetery website estimates 7,000 burials in this historic city block.
The tour group meandered among the residential streets of the New Orleans Garden District. With our knowledgeable guide, we sought out the homes of the rich and famous – Anne Rice, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Archie Manning, and others. This sophisticated casual residential district welcomes newcomers and is an oasis from the hectic life beyond its borders.
Winding Down at the Parisian courtyard Inn
After the walking tour, John and I continued walking and exploring side streets. We soon arrived at the Magazine Street shopping district. Lunch and shopping, along with more walking, filled our wonderful day New Orleans.
Back at the Parisian Courtyard Inn, my mind at ease, my soul refreshed, I found a comfortable spot in the double parlors. Knitting needles and yarn in hand, I finished off my weekend getaway. I thoroughly enjoyed the steady rhythm of yarn and hands in this haven of old world elegance.
If You Go
The Parisian Courtyard Inn has 10 guest rooms with private baths. The double parlor has ample seating for a group gathering. This venue is accustomed to group parties, weddings, and similar gatherings so rest assured that they will have the expertise to make your crafting retreat memorable.
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