Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast
Wine and Dine Your Way Around New Orleans Memorial Day Weekend 19 Apr 2013, 8:44 am
By Bonnie Rabe. Come to New Orleans for Memorial Day and experience the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, a nationally recognized festival that features over 175 wineries, 1000 wines, and has raised more than $1 million over the last 20 years for local charities.
Except for the Vinter Dinners, most events are held in the French Quarter, a 10 minute historic streetcar ride from our New Orleans garden district bed and breakfast. The Vintner Dinners match restaurants with vineyards to plan menus and pairings at over 20 of the city’s best restaurants. See if your favorite restaurant is on the list, or fall in love with a new restaurant.
Highlights from this year’s events include:
- Several “Grand Tastings” with offerings from New Orleans’ finest chefs and wines from around the world plus a Louisiana Seafood Cook-off competition.
- The Royal Street stroll provides great architecture, shopping, live music, wine offerings in the art galleries, and a parade featuring Krewe of Cork.
- Teams of architects will build magnificent structures entirely out of canned goods and non-perishable food items, with each structure providing 10,000 meals donated to charities.
So, “Come to Your Senses” and spend a few days eating and drinking good wine in the French Quarter and retire to our peaceful garden district bed and breakfast for restoration.
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Great music and food on Wednesdays at the Square! 25 Mar 2013, 8:40 am
Go for the music or go for the food, but get yourself downtown on Wednesday evenings for the annual free concert series, Wednesdays at the Square.
Sponsored by the Young Leadership Council, concerts are held at Lafayette Square on St. Charles Avenue every Wednesday from March 6 to May 22, 2013 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, rain or shine.
Coming Up: Marcia Ball, Irvin Mayfield, the Meters Experience, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and more.
No pets or outside food; concession sales keep it free!
No need to look for parking downtown, the streetcar that passes in front of the Grand Victorian B&B will put you right in the heart of everything! Mid-week rooms available so you can hear your favorite artist, or meet a new one.All photos courtsey of YLC’s Wednesday at the Square.
Take Your Happy Feet to the New Penguin Backstage Pass at the Audubon Aquarium 18 Mar 2013, 9:56 am
Millicent the Penguin gets her favorite treat!
There is a wonderful new behind-the-scenes activity at the Audubon Institute’s Aquarium of the Americas in the French Quarter of New Orleans that will appeal to all ages. I gave a Backstage Penguin Pass to several family members as a Christmas present ages from 5 to 75 years old. Everyone had fun!
After a quick St. Charles Avenue streetcar ride from the Grand Victorian, we arrived at the Aquarium and were greeted by Tom, a member of the husbandry staff that specializes in penguins. He led us behind the public areas of the building to a staff only “kitchen” where we heard details about what penguins eat and vitamin supplements necessary for these birds living in captivity. We helped prepare the fish breakfast for the penguins that we were about to meet.
We carried a bucket of breakfast to the private classroom where Kohl & Millicent were waiting for us. Kohl came out of the door immediately to greet us when we arrived! Once inside, we watched them walk around the room, checking all of us out. Then we got to hold Kohl if we wanted (which we all did!!) They are very light, delicate and soft, except for their beak with which Millicent pecked everyone’s fingers!
While there, we learned more about penguins in general. For instance, did you know that their modified feathers help them maintain their body temperatures in the freezing climates they prefer? Or that the intricate layering of these feathers also keeps them buoyant in water?
After feeding both birds, it was craft time! Tom taped some paper to the floor, put 2 spots of paint on the corners, and had each penguin dip his feet in a puddle and walk over the paper to make several unique works of art! Kohl was appropriately dipped in blue paint and Millicent in pink. Once the paintings dried, we each got one to take home.
As soon as all happy feet were clean, Kohl led us out of our classroom, through the public halls of the Aquarium, to the penguin habitat where the public normally views all the residents. We got to go behind the exhibit to release our penguin friends back into their home environment. They made it back just in time for the scheduled daily public feeding. At this point, we were back outside of the glass and watching along with the public.
The entire experience lasted about 2.5 hours and will be a memory that none of us will ever forget! (Two of my nieces already want to go again!)
Tips from the Local:
There are some age/chaperone restrictions that you need to know before going; read them on the Aquarium’s website
Reservations are a must! These passes are only offered twice daily, 3 days a week. Groups are limited to 6 people, so the classes fill quickly due to the popularity of this new attraction.
Every person needs an advance ticket purchased from the Aquarium of the America’s website.
Lastly, here is a great video that gives you another inside peek into this new exciting adventure.
Stay at the Grand Victorian and take a quick historic ride downtown to the Aquarium with your whole family!
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Get Your Green on for St. Patrick’s Day in the Garden District! 28 Feb 2013, 9:42 am
In the city that celebrates, it won’t be too long before the beat of drums and marching feet resonate on the streets with more parades and celebrations.
There are several St. Patrick’s Day parades that feature walking groups dressed in costumes of green who give out flowers, beads, and kisses to lucky parade goers along the route. The floats that follow the walkers throw beads plus the more infamous cabbages, carrots, onions…and moonpies! The Irish Channel parade on Saturday, March 16 passes directly in front of the Grand Victorian.
New this year, the annual Parasol Block Party in the Irish Channel has been extended to a 3 day celebration!
On March 19, our city’s Sicilian heritage is celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day with elaborate altars in Catholic churches and private homes in honor of this saint who provided relief during a famine in Sicily.
St. Joseph’s Day has also been adopted as an important day for the Mardi Gras Indians, an African-American tradition unique to New Orleans. The Super Sunday Mardi Gras Indian parade on the Sunday nearest St. Joseph’s Day is the one time of year all of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes come together to show off their new suits. Original costumes are created every year and can weigh between 100 and 150 pounds.
We still have a few rooms left for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. You’ll get a front porch view of the St. Patrick’s Day parade from the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast, and you’re a streetcar away from the French Quarter and Super Sunday events. Hope to see you on the streets!
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New Orleans shows how to Super Bowl 29 Jan 2013, 10:57 am
We ventured downtown between Mardi Gras parades this weekend and got a sneak peek at what the rest of this week will offer for locals and our visitors. You can read more about this in the Super Bowl Fan Guide pull out in the Gambit or at www.nolasuperbowl.com
This past Saturday, the ladies from “The Talk” put on their uniforms and set up to film their show in Jackson Square all this week.
Starting Wednesday: The NFL Experience is described as a Pro football interactive theme park. At the Convention Center from 3-10pm each day. Tickets are $20-$47.
Starting Thursday: Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard in Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi River offers local music, food and national television broadcasts. Free.
Thursday: The Super Bowl XLVII Roman Numerals Arrival Show. The glowing numerals are arriving by barge along the Mississippi River and will feature a fireworks display and music. 6-midnight. Free.
Friday: Community Service to renovate homes in Algiers and McClendonville Neighborhood. Rebuilding Together.
Saturday: Super Saturday of Service at 5 sites: tree planting, energy efficient lights, shoes for youth, and playground building with a celebration of music food and fun at the end. 8am-1pm
There’s more, a whole lot more going on as our beautiful city shows it knows how to host a bigger than life party. We’ll post updates on our facebook page from staff and guests as the experiences happen.
The Grand Victorian wishes to welcome all Super Bowl visitors, especially our guests, from your home away from home in New Orleans historic garden district!
New Orleans is the Number One City to Visit for New Year’s Eve 31 Dec 2012, 9:50 am
More National Travel Awards for our home town!
Holiday Oaks on historic St. Charles Avenue
We are very excited to share that, in addition to the previous 21 awards presented to New Orleans from travelers in 2012, subscribers of Travel & Leisure magazine named us the number one city to visit for a New Year’s Eve vacation. Here in the historic Garden District, we couldn’t agree more.
It will also come as no surprise to anyone sitting in on our breakfast conversations, New Orleans was named as a top holiday getaway for foodies, citing our traditional Reveillon dinners and other Christmas in New Orleans events during the festive season.
CNN Travel listed New Orleans as one of the world’s eight most romantic cities in December; the only U.S. city listed along with other destinations such as Moscow, Barcelona, Havana and Amsterdam.
Yahoo! released their annual tally of top destination searches, and New Orleans was given a top ten spot on the list for 2012 alongside London, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Make New Orleans your destination vacation for 2013 at our award-winning bed and breakfast. Check out our new website and experience all the beauty and charm of this bed and breakfast in New Orleans for your next romantic or holiday getaway.
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After 100 Years, Historic Coffee Stand Returns to NOLA! 19 Dec 2012, 1:57 pm
New Orleanians are celebrating the return of the Morning Call Coffee Stand back to the city after a 100 year absence. Morning Call first opened in 1870 in the French Market and competed with Cafe du Monde in serving coffee and beignets to French Quarter residents and visitors alike. It moved to the suburbs in the 1970′s and is still there today. However, as Innkeeper Bonnie saw during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Morning Call has spread its wings to a new home in City Park.
Located at the end of the streetcar route near the sculpture garden and New Orleans Museum of Art, it is housed in the beautifully restored Casino Building. The white tile and dark wood decor are true in spirit to the historic photos of the original location. The chicory coffee is still french drip brewed and whole milk is heated to a near boil and mixed with the coffee for the delicious cafe au lait.
And it’s open 24 hours! If you are enjoying the lush oak trees, the lagoons or the Botannical Gardens at City Park, you can also get gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice inside or out on the veranda. It currently accepts cash only.
Take the streetcar from our Garden District bed and breakfast and make Morning Call one of your Christmas in New Orleans stops. Don’t forget to check out our Papa Noel discounts during the holidays.
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Papa Noel Comes to New Orleans this Christmas! 20 Nov 2012, 6:57 pm
Christmas in New Orleans features a wide array of events for travelers, couples and families alike. From Reveillon Dinners to Caroling in Jackson Square, there is something here for everyone.
Download the Christmas in New Orleans Guidebook to see the entire list of events and activities. We have highlighted a few of the events that we like to experience each year.
St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square has concerts almost every night of the week, and you can add your voice to the music with the annual Caroling in Jackson Square on December 16.
Cooking demonstrations, sponsored by our favorite in-room magazine, Louisiana Cookin, are held at the French Market featuring our great local chefs.
Love our architecture? The Preservation Resource Center hosts their annual home tours on December 8 and 9, right in our very own Garden District. This tour is usually a sell-out, so get your tickets and reservations early. French Quarter homes are on tour December 16.
Need some last minute gifts or just want to shop around in a fun relaxed setting? Merriment on Magazine, just a 6 block walk from the Grand Victorian, sponsors festive events on the street and in the shops every weekend in December.
Reveillon Dinners are a transformed “awakening” of the Creole tradition of dinner after Christmas Eve midnight mass. Many of the city’s finest restaurants offer a chance to get a four course meal at a reasonable price.
Don’t forget our Papa Noel rates starting at $165.00 per night plus taxes from December 10-26. We hope to see you under our tree this Christmas season!
Thank you to our Vets! 12 Nov 2012, 6:51 pm
It’s the third annual B&Bs for Vets! Inns and B&Bs throughout North America opened their doors to active and retired military and vets by offering a free room on November 11, 2012 to those who’ve served in the military.
The Grand Victorian welcomed Dan and Robin and Kevin and Nikki (shown below in our parlor) for a night out in the Garden District of New Orleans for Veterans Day.
Dan served a tour in Iraq with the U.S. Coast Guard training their navy to protect shipping rivers and also worked in West Africa on improving port security. He has currently been responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
From the Grand Victorian and the entire B&B industry, thank you to all those who are presently serving or have served to protect our freedom.
The PoBoy, worthy of its own festival 26 Oct 2012, 10:23 am
The upcoming Oak Street PoBoy Festival celebrates the sandwich that was created during a streetcar strike in New Orleans in 1929. You can now proudly take the streetcar from our Garden District bed and breakfast to sample this uniquely New Orleans culinary creation in all its wild applications.
Voted best food festival for 3 years in a row, here you’ll find music, local artisans, and a staggering array of traditional and unusual po-boy options including lobster, mississippi rabbit, stuffed crab, and chicken alfredo. Check out this slideshow for mouth-watering and head-shaking offerings from last year.
New this year: Music stages have been moved to side streets for more walking room; an extra bike corral set up for all you two-wheelers; and a fascinating lineup of history talks including the first families of po-boy, lost restaurants of New Orleans, the Maple Leaf Bar and neighborhood Mardi Gras Indian tribes.
Staff Tips: Parking is very limited; so it’s best to take the historic streetcar steps away from our front door. Go early as this fest draws large crowds, and poboy vendors may run out of your favorite.
We still have rooms available for that weekend, so come stay with us and get your fill of this local’s favorite. As the festival organizers say, there is ”so much heritage, you’ll need another napkin.”