The Big Easy: where everything you eat has a happy ending

A lot of people asked me, why New Orleans? Well, shamefully, when British Airway’s emailed about their new flight route, I was hooked. I’d already sampled the food from many a visit to London’s The Big Easy restaurant (which obviously doesn’t do NOLA – New Orleans Louisiana – justice), and its fame for beignets (Cafe du Monde is an institution and actually a pretty cheap breakfast!), shrimp, jazz and Mardi Gras along with the direct flight from Heathrow was enough for me.

Despite the 5h delay on the way out (broken plane light) and a cancelled flight on the way back due to Hurricane Nate (yes, it’s scary getting warning SOS notifications from Apple when you’re in the Hurrican Katrina museum), it went beyond expectations. So if you’re thinking of going, do. It’s an incredible place with a lot to see including alligators in swamps (we did this through Cajun Pride), steam boats on the Mississippi (riding the Creole Queen in torrential wasn’t as bad as it sounds), and a lot of frozen daiquiri’s with great music.

By far the best thing we did was a segway tour. It sounds cheesy and I’ve never done one before but it was great fun. We had bought the NOLA Power Pass which gave us entry into a lot of the sights and tours and the segway tour was included in that. We actually upgraded to the three hour tour to make the most of it and ended up on a private tour!

I also did a cooking class via the New Orleans School of Cooking which was good fun (and an excuse not to go to the #boring history museum with my other half!). They did a good job at explaining the history behind NOLA’s famous blend of Creole and Cajun cuisines.

‘America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.’ – Tennessee Williams

If I had to leave you with one tip, it would be to avoid Mardi Gras World (I’d rate it 1/5) – unless you fancy seeing lots of similarly colourful floats with little history/facts to go alongside them.

Flights: Direct via British Airways

Hotel:The Hilton New Orleans Riverside (booked via BA Holidays). Total price (we went at the end of September) was £1000pp for 9 nights.

Drop a comment below if you have any questions about NOLA!

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