Living with Style, Travel Notes

48 Hours in New Orleans

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New Orleans is that rare city where each guest can return home with their own collection of singular memories– varied, rich and not to be replicated– that somehow seem that much more golden because they happened in NOLA. Just a few of the many that I shall cherish…

~my hostess’ home in the Garden District with cozy interiors by Mario Buatta and a scrumptious dining room whose hand-painted walls have the most enchanting Oriental theme — and a new addition, the  shelves, since I’d last been there.


Watching the ladies of the garden club putting the finishing touches on the chicest of centerpieces (inspired by the painted mirror at Brennan’s restaurant) for the fundraiser at which I was the guest speaker.


Enjoying a bit of personal Mardi Gras histoire over lunch at Antoine’s with a former Queen of Rex and her two “maids” in her court many years ago ( collecting the many pins given out each year at Mardi Gras and decorating a pillow with them is a long tradition).


Visiting gardens over my three days that provided such inspiration!


A rooftop book signing party with a rare view of the New Orleans skyline and a guest list of New Orleans names that each for their own reason are so identified with this city (Julia Reed, Angele Parlange, Jane Scott Hodges, Becky Vizzard, Karla Katz and Ann Koerner).

But the memory which I shall cherish the most is the graciousness, poise and abiding joie de vivre of Southern ladies.
Now here’s to inspiring your New Orleans memories!

Where to Stay

The Windsor Court and Soniat House, long on the old standbys list,  are now joined by the remodeled Pontchartrain, the funky Ace and the comfortably reliable Ritz Carlton.

Soniat House — Photo Credit: Ann Street Studio


Galatoire’s: A fine-dining century-old institution serving French-Creole fare in upscale space.

Clancy’s: Cocktails and seafood-centric American fare served in a casual dining room with a riverfront patio.

Brennan’s: Recently remodeled and decorated by Richard Keith Langham, it is over the top fabulous in every aspect to include the offerings of Chef Slade Rushing! Bananna’s Foster was invented here and the Eggs Benedict are the best in town.

Antoine’s: “For special occasions”, with its depth of history and tradition (waiters are assigned to you and serve you for life).

Clancy’s: Located Uptown out of the French Quarter craziness, it has a very old-school local-New Orleans feel. The menu is fresh but consistent with favorite Creole standbys.

Gautreaus: Intimate, secluded spot for sophisticated New American-French cuisine, housed in a former pharmacy.

Lilette: Sophisticated French fare and many wines in a sunny, tiled space and patio that attract a stylish crowd.

La Petite Grocery: Made-from-scratch Louisiana fare, overseen by James Beard Chef Justin Devillier,  in a quaint cottage that housed a grocery store in the 1800’s.

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar: Renowned for having the best cocktails in New Orleans, it’s safe to say that the French 75 is an iconic New Orleans Cocktail Bar that is not to be missed.

Casamento’s: Have a cold beer and the oyster loaf!

Surrey’s: American and Latin breakfast/lunch fare plus fresh-squeezed juices draw crowds at this quaint cafe.

Great for Lunch

Peche Seafood Grill: Seafood from a coal grill and raw bar, plus local brews, are found in rustic digs with weathered wood.

Cochon Butcher: Stylish renovated warehouse serving elevated, pork-focused Cajun fare in a group-friendly setting.


Strolling Magazine Street, where you’ll find:

Stylish designer clothes, shoes & accessories for women at 
PeonyAzby’s and Victoria’s Boutique.

Photo Credit: Peony New Orleans

Antiques, ornate furniture and lighting at
Karla Katz and Ann Koerner

Karla Katz — Photo Credit: Toma Clark Haines

Home Decor

Perch: Upscale shop offering antique and modern home furnishings, custom window treatments and design services.

Photo Credit: Perch New Orleans

Ware M. Porter & Co. and Gerrie Bremermann: Interior decorating firms known for their beautiful home accents and antiques

Linens and Gifts

Pied Nu: Chic, chic shop selling a well-curated collection of women’s clothing plus candles, jewelry and furniture.

Leontine Linens: The celebrated source for exquisite bedding, bath and linens all finished  with that elegant final statement…your personal monogram.

Dunn & Sonnier: Florist and designer specializing in wedding arrangements, with an adjoining European antiques store.

Aux Belle Choses: Cozy fixture known for its rustic French and English linens, soap, garden wares, vintage finds and more.

Hazelnut: A sophisticated mix of unique home goods and gifts presented in an intimate, stylish boutique.


Brave the crowds (lines move quickly) and indulge in an only-in-NOLA treat, Beignets, at Café du Monde in Jackson Square, then climb up the stairs to admire the mighty Mississippi River.

Sip and sup in the new wine room at Brennan’s.


Ride the streetcar on Saint Charles Avenue.

Eat a seafood po’boy.

Walk up, down and through the streets of the Garden District.

Pick up a picnic at Café Reconcile and take it to Audubon Park along the Mississippi River.

Visit Longue Vue House and Gardens, an historic house museum and associated gardens in the Lakewood neighborhood.

Don’t Miss

Brunch al fresco at Brennan’s under whimsical pink and green umbrellas in the courtyard.


WWII Museum: A military history museum located in the Central Business District of New Orleans.

Visit the New Orleans Museum of Art and see The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

The French Library: A mostly-French, mostly-children book store with a soon-to-be French Café.

Immense yourself in New Orleans history by visiting The Historic New Orleans Collection, as well as Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses.

Sign up for a treat…Mardi Gras World, where artisans spend the entire year crafting the beautiful floats for this New Orleans celebration. Get a behind the scenes look as well as the fascinating history.

Lucky you…Enjoy.

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

6 thoughts on “48 Hours in New Orleans

  1. Bettie,
    Thank you for update on N.O. Such a great city.
    Am loving the thought of a pin pillow as I lost, temporarily (I hope) a pin I care about last week. Going mad looking for!
    Happy Day and all the best,

  2. Dear Bettie,
    What a wonderful way to wake up on a Tuesday morning to your article. Thank you for the mention. I so enjoyed talking to you a very talented woman. Your book is so beautiful and inspiring it will be my Christmas present to many of my dear friends.
    New Orleans is a very special place and I am so happy that you enjoyed your time here please come back many many more times.
    Thanks again!
    Your friend KARLA

    1. How great to hear from you Karla. Now I really miss NOLA!! So magical, so multi layered and what beautiful weather while I was there. I assure you, I’m coming back as soon as I can. Cheers from Newport, Bettie

  3. Hi Bettie,

    Thank you very much for the kind mention on your wonderful post. So sorry I missed you, but hope your 48 hours in Nola was spectacular. Until next time….

    Ware Porter

    1. Hi Ware, the pleasure was all mine. Lucky you, living the NOLA lifestyle. We’ll definitely meet on my next trip! Cheers from Newport, Bettie

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