Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bachelorettes and Hen's ...oh my!


I have had 2 pre-wedding bride celebrations in the last week....One in the United States and one in England.  Being that I love experiencing new food and experiences, that is what we will focus on. I give you New Orleans and London celebrations with the future BRIDES!


1st, we go to NEW ORLEANS!  This is the most artistic way I can show the finish to my hellish flight to Houston (where I had a layover prior to my arrival in New Orleans)....2 landing attempts by the pilot before we were finally safe...not cute.




Okay, I'm alive...LET'S DIVE INTO BACHELORETTE PARTY #1...IN NEW ORLEANS!




You can't go to NOLA without a stop at Cafe Du Monde for $2.14 Beignets.  If you aren't sure what these are...Funnel Cakes on CRACK!  Paired with a beautiful cup of coffee...they make the perfect New Orleans Breakfast!!!  





I wish they put some sugar on these.....oh wait....



Friday we went to an "exercise class" and while waiting to begin,  I noticed the owner had a jar of the best colors all jammed together.  Who knew sharpees came in so many fun shades!!!




A New Orleans local told us we had to check out "Mother's Restaurant".  In hindsight, I should have tried the Baked Ham given the brag factor on the sign...but I went Shrimp Po-Boy instead.

The Po-Boy sandwich is one that typically consists of either shrimp or oysters.  It is recognized usually by the french baguette on which it is served.  Mine was on more of a long bun but it was delicious none the less.  The po boy name (so the most widely accepted story goes)  originated during the 1929 New Orleans streetcar driving strike when drivers frequented a restaurant that was giving away cheap sandwiches using meat scraps on a baguette.  When they approached,  kitchen staff would shout out "Here comes a poor boy"....and soon after, the sandwich became ...The PO BOY.   Fast forward over 80 years later and people like me still enjoy EVERY BITE!  It was AMAZING!  If you visit New Orleans,  take a stroll to Mother's...


(The beer wasn't bad either ;)!!!)

Okay,  it wouldn't be a good Bachelorette weekend with out a drinkie or two and the French Quarter is full of bars and fun little daiquiri spots like this one.  Oh yeah...buy one and you get a free shot.  I knew my chemistry tools class would pay off one day.  I think I have seen one of those things before :-/.


One of our bridesmaids has and aunt who lives in New Orleans.  She treated us to a BEAUTIFUL Champagne toast in honor of our bride.  Her neighbors stopped by and let us tour their apartments also.  Wait until you see these photos...I LOVED what I saw!

Beautiful spread of cheese, stuffed mushrooms and other nibbles.




Super fun retro sign welcoming us to the apartment




No,  you aren't dreaming...it's a Barbie chandelier.


This was in the bathroom.  I think it is appropriate ;)!




Pee Wee welcomes you to the next room.  Nice beads!




Would it be New Orleans if you didn't have a fantastic mask on the door?



Retro bread sign in the kitchen.  I LOVED this stuff!


Next up...dinner at Antoines.  This restaurant has been in New Orleans since it opened in 1840.  It was beautiful inside and the food wasn't bad either!  See the website for some gorgeous photos of the restaurant's interior.




I ordered the Filet De Boeuf Nature which was a Grilled centercut of prime tenderloin.  I think it's clear that I officially am a red meat eater again!  The chef asked how I wanted it cooked and after my trip to Florence a few weeks ago...I responded without missing a beat....


                       RARE!  ...and it was AMAZING!






For dessert we ordered the Omelette Alaska Antoine,  which was raved as the house speciality.  I have to say...I wasnt' a fan.  It tasted like whipped cream covered cake covered in chocolate....looks good on paper but it wasn't anything to write home about.

After a night on the town,  we needed a recovery brunch Saturday morning.  I had read about the Old Coffee Pot on another blog and it came highly recommended.  I can now also HIGHLY endorse this restaurant.  The ladies offer up amazing Southern Hospitality (Our bride was serenaded by one of the servers...that woman could SING!),  delicious food and an overall fantastic experience.


http://www.theoldcoffeepot.com/



1st up...Bloody Mary with pickled green beans, olives, lemons and limes.


I ordered the Eggs Jonathan which is a variation of Eggs Benedict (Poached Egg, Bacon, Hollandaise on an English Muffin)  They added a sliced tomato and threw in some fried shrimp on the side along with grits and my favorite...BISCUITS!  I want to add a little bit more of a creole kick and some color....





        
GIVE ME THE HOT SAUCE!




YUM...now I'm ready to eat it!!!  This seriously was DELICIOUS!

To all my BRITS out there,  the above are what us Americans call BISCUITS.  To my American friends,  when the Brits say "Biscuits",  they are referring to cookies (usually dunked in tea if you live in my flat) and they are quite sweet...so you can understand that it is difficult to explain our version.  I usually say it is like a softer buttery scone...but I don't think that really even does it justice!  I found this super easy recipe on foodtv.com and see that it is quite basic (flour, milk, butter, baking soda, salt and sugar).  I think I might try to make these for my London buddies!


One other thing of note in The Old Coffeepot was the AMAZING Plantation Map located upstairs.  It was absolutely beautiful and a reminder of the South's turbulent past.  It was fascinating to see a map laying out who owned each plot of land and I was taken by the frame illustrating slaves working in cotton fields.  As a country, we have come so far.  I thought it was pretty cool.  Take a look...










New Orleans was amazing.  We really had a great time.  Once I returned to London,  I was honored to attend my first British Hen do.  The name mirrors the male version in the UK...the stag do.  While this event was a little more low key than a New Orleans BENDER weekend,  it was equally as special and just a wonderful occasion.  We started the day by go-carting (which was rad).  After, we dived into an afternoon of good laughs, beautiful flowers and amazing food...let's take a look...


We started the afternon with a champagne toast.  This table was set up by "Table Style" co- author Liz Belton.  She is incredibly talented and has impeccable taste.  See her book here...get crazy and order it...


http://www.amazon.com/Table-Style-Affordable-Entertaining-Hardcover/dp/B003F14N2C/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306264035&sr=8-3



Peonies are PERFECTION in May and June.  Go out and get some before they peace out of season!



For Horderves we enjoyed smoked salmon placed on sour cream spread over a soft bread round.  Lite, tasty...perfect.

We went to lunch at Roast in London's famous Borough Fresh Food Market.  Needless to say,  I knew this would be an AMAZING meal.   Check out their website and take a break from the market with a meal here if you are ever in London on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday:


http://www.roast-restaurant.com/



To start,  I ordered the crayfish and dill pancake with asparagus and salmon caviar...ummmm...yeah, no description needed here.  It was spectacular!



For my main course,  I enjoyed a slow roasted pork belly accompanied by mashed potatoes and warmed apple sauce.  Yeah,  this didn't stink either.  The food was beautiful and made with fresh ingredients.  Fresh food makes me SO HAPPY!



To finish,  I enjoyed a beautiful cheese plate that eventually became a table community cheese plate.  I am impressed with my eating capabilities...but even I can't handle that much cheese!!!!!!

After lunch at Roast,  we took a nice 30 minute walk over to the Royal Festival Hall where we enjoyed cocktails at Skylon.  These were some of the prettiest drinks I have ever seen.  The cocktail menu is quite impressive.  The view of the Thames is even more amazing.  If ever in London,  I highly recommend it.  Check out their website:


I couldn't locate the names of these cocktails online but they are beautiful and you get the point ;)!



My fave...CUCUMBERS!  Sidenote:  Add cucumbers to your water in the Summer...they add a hint of flavor and you'll feel like you are at a spa...ahhhhhh...refreshing.

Both pre-wedding bridal celebrations had their own character and were a joy to attend.  I want to dedicate this blog to two of the most fabulous brides on the planet.

Terra' (the one on the right).  This picture makes her look like a Vogue Model...to me,  she totally IS!  This bride has been my besty since childhood and she is getting married in a little over a week!!!!!  Her wedding will be something I will never forget as we have been talking about this day since we were 5 years old.



Fab Nails that go perfectly with the beverage Jude!

Jude is an amazing mother , woman and "sort of cousin" (as we like to say) ;).  She also has my favorite name on the planet!  

I hope you both have amazing weddings and I can't wait to be there celebrating with you! Congratulations!!!!  Lots of love...The Southern Stump.




1 comment:

  1. Nice job Eileen - I so enjoyed reading this.

    ReplyDelete