Springtime in New Orleans

By Jenn Rose Smith
New Orleans Inspiration Board

New Orleans Inspiration Board

I’ve just returned from an indulgent weekend in New Orleans (is there any other kind?), and I can’t think of a better place to have fallen off the wagon with the #CamilleStylesCleanse. (Hey, I almost made it seven days.) But if you’ve ever been to the big easy then you already know — this is not a place that caters to restraint. There are so many things about this mysterious Southern city that make it like nowhere else on earth: the gorgeous decaying architecture, the sound of musicians in the quarter, the candlelit taverns and lilting accents. I fell in love with New Orleans the first time I went there, and I try and make an annual journey each spring. I like to stay at the Hotel St. Helene, which is right next door Napoleon House on Rue Chartres. Once the home of New Orleans mayor Nicholas  Girod, the residence was offered to Napoleon as a refuge in 1821. Since 1914 it’s been a bar, and is a favorite spot for artists and writers.  I doubt I could ever describe the feeling of being there better than historian and writer Philip Greene:

“I remember the first time I ever went there… enjoying a passing thunderstorm over a bottle of wine and a fruit-and-cheese board. I fell for…the quality of light, the mood and décor that somehow remind you of both Europe and the tropics at the same time. A travel guide I once read placed Napoleon House in the category of “Velveteen Rabbit Ambience” – that benign neglect, that elegant decadence that characterizes what I loved about New Orleans.”

image sources: pink door by liozzi on flickr, room with green mural via mispapelicos,  preservation jazz hall by afar magazine, spanish moss via pinterest, portrait on mantle by jose villa for martha stewart weddings, girl on sofa by inez and vinoodh for vogue paris, green door and pink wall by eireanneilis on etsy, vintage pink envelope by royal pavillion & brighton museum on flickr,  mardi gras masks source unknown, galatoire’s restaurant,  restaurant with gallery wall by nicole franzen, vases with blooms via afloral, antique map of new orleans from the history channel, tunnel with lantern at the court of two sisters, cake with magnolias by jose villa for martha stewart weddings