21 January 2017

23 of the best places to go in New Orleans

Please excuse the somewhat clickbait style post title, but I was at a bit of a loss how to describe our time in this magical Louisiana city. The home of Jazz is heavy with music spilling from each corner, the buildings are redolent with French-style balcony railings perfect for people watching and Mardi Gras beads literally hang from the Jackson Square trees year round. Creole and cajun spices imbue meals with history, a melting pot of cultures mingle in amongst music notes that hover in the air and everyone we've ever known to visit talks about the city their eyes light up remembering the joie di vivre.

Best things to see in New Orleans Louisiana Adventures of a London Kiwi

We wanted to love New Orleans. And we most certainly did. We adored our side trips (blatting on a boat through the Bayou to track down the coal-black eyes of alligators and a walk through the history of two quintessential Louisiana Plantations) but the city well and truly stole our wanderlusting hearts. With only 3 full days to spend in the city (2 full and 2 half to be utterly precise) we tried to fit in as much as we could, all the whilst dodging the rain drops that followed us over from Austin. After a 2-month drought.

18 January 2017

A Texan brunch at The Big Easy, Canary Wharf

Reliving our roadtrip through a couple of American Gulf Coast States lately had me Hank Marvin for a taste of the Southern hospitality that we enjoyed in each leg of our holiday. Scheduling in a touch of more refined culture afterwards (learning about Lady Emma Hamilton at the National Maritime Museum) the one and only Claire and I tee'd up a post-New Year catchup over cocktails and and a helping of Bar-B-Q.

American Bar-B-Q Brunch Big Easy Canary Wharf Adventures of a London Kiwi
American Bar-B-Q Brunch Big Easy Canary Wharf Adventures of a London Kiwi

Life is all about balance after all.

16 January 2017

Visiting the National Maritime Museum: The Emma, Lady Hamilton - Seduction and Celebrity Exhibition

She was the Kim Kardashian of the early 18th Century. No, actually, Kim K wishes she was half the person that Emma, Lady Hamilton became. Rising from a penny-scraping existence on the wrong side of the law, she won the heart of national hero Lord Nelson (that's where the allegory doesn't quite match), became friends with Marie Antoinette, developed from a household chattel to a titled Lady, was a household celebrity mauled in the press, saved a Royal Family from danger, was a muse to artist George Romney and sadly died in penury despite her perceived services to the realm.

Maritime Museum Greenwich Emma Hamilton Exhibition Seduction and Celebrity Adventures of a London Kiwi
Maritime Museum Greenwich Emma Hamilton Exhibition Seduction and Celebrity Adventures of a London Kiwi

I've long been fascinated by this historical character whom I (and about 15 people in my high school at any one time) shared a name with. After reading most of the books published about Emma Hamilton, when I heard that the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich were running an exhibition, I did a typical Londoner thing and made a mental note before forgetting entirely about visiting. Luckily, Twitter came to the rescue, and when the museum ran a special whereby Emma's could visit the exhibit for free one weekend I managed to lure the lovely Claire into a spot of brunch and a wander through history.

14 January 2017

The Whitney Hotel, New Orleans - Luxury hotel review

New Orleans. Home of Jazz, revelry, voodoo, beignets and hickory coffee - quite simply the stuff of travel legend. Smooth on the surface, 'Nawlins' is a historic city reaching back into the turbulent past of the deep South and the more recent devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina (still on the lips of the locals) and further natural disasters, if you delve a little closer New Orleans wears her scars alongside the celebration of Mardi Gras beads.

The Whitney Hotel Review Four Star Luxury New Orleans Adventures of a London Kiwi

When we were researching from the comfort of our London couch, we were hesitant about booking a hotel that we would be exploring from. Not so young anymore, we didn't fancy staying in the tipsy tourist-filled French Quarter but equally we couldn't bear to be too far away from the fun.