Rich in history, dripping in story and charm, New Orleans is all heart and soul. It’s proximity to Austin, Texas makes it a short one-hour plane ride away. It’s the perfect weekend getaway for those looking for culinary divinity, European antiques, and a raucous good time balanced by old-school Southern refinement. Upon arrival, New Orleans bears an unmistakable air of the good times that lie ahead of you and a decidedly Old-World, European influence.
We have the jewelry and we’re ready to travel. In a city so full of antique stores, restaurants and well-crafted libations, where do you begin? We’ve curated a selection of bespoke and unique destinations for sipping cocktails, eating well, shopping antiques and staying in style in The Big Easy — with the jewelry inspiration to match. Laissez le bon temps rouler!
Where to Stay
Built in the 1800s, the Soniat House has a story to tell. What was once the early 19th-century family residence of Joseph Soniat Dufossat is now a 30-room hotel celebrating New Orleans’ unique history and architecture. It is, wrote one reviewer, “the epitome of taste and refinement throughout.” Each room and suite feature exceptional designer fabrics, hand-selected fine linens, custom color palettes, and is furnished with French and English antiques and art. Expect the embodiment of understated luxury and historic preservation.
The story of Hotel Saint Vincent begins in Ireland in 1813 with the birth of Margaret Haughery, née Gaffney. Margaret, an orphan, eventually made her way to New Orleans in 1835. There she became known locally as “Our Margaret” for her endless community giving and philanthropy. Now, the Hotel St.Vincent is a hip hotel nestled in the historic Lower Garden District of New Orleans. The surrounding neighborhood is rich in 19th century architecture, including Greek Revival and Italianate-style mansions, iconic side-hall double-galleried residences, open green spaces, as well as an active arts community.
Hotel Peter and Paul is a historic church, school house, rectory and convent, reborn as a breathtaking hotel. The former school house, rectory, church and convent have each been carefully restored and repurposed for new congregants. Each building has its own inspiration and narrative, with the resulting restoration ensuring that no two guest rooms are exactly alike. With each room possessing its own unique flair, you can select the space that feels exactly right for you.
Be sure to: Eat in a cathedral at The Elysian Bar, inside of the Rectory.
For a day of shopping on Magazine Street, make sure you make Mac Maison LTD. an essential stop. The couple who run the shop, Michael and Basi Carbine, make regular buying trips to Europe, bringing back amazing 18th and 19th century French and Italian treasures. You’ll be sure to find rare and architectural pieces here.
The antiques at Royal Antiques are as old as the family business itself. The business was founded in 1899 by Hermina Keil, who came to New Orleans from Alsace Lorraine, Germany. In her obituary, she was said to be “a veteran antique dealer who counted among her customers, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.” The family still runs the business, collecting pieces ranging in style from Mid-Century Modern to Chinese antiques.
Merchant House is a modern antiques shop where everything is sourced by New Orleans-based merchants — a good way to go if you prefer to support local business owners. With two stories of fun to explore, Merchant House has everything; you'll find vintage fringe-lined flapper dresses, oriental rugs, and perfect glassware, as well as antique furniture spanning decades and styles.
Where to Eat
Founded by filmmaker Aaron Walker and chef Yuki Yamaguchi, N7 specializes in French cuisine infused with a Japanese touch. The secluded French garden restaurant and wine bar is tucked behind a large fence in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood, making it easy to miss, but well worth the hunt. You’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden treasure. N7’s name derives from Nationale 7 (N7), the highway that once ran from Paris to the border of Italy. Known as the “Route des Vacances”, vacationing Parisians would take the road on their way South. Make it a long dinner over their selection of natural, European wines and classic French vinyl.
Named after the 19th-century French Impressionist Edgar Degas, who once lived further down the same oak-lined avenue, Café Degas is known as one of the most intimately romantic places in the city. Offering classic French cuisine with a creative touch of Creole, and a regularly handpicked selection of the best wines. You might think such an establishment would be better suited for the starchy old buildings of the French Quarter, but think again, this is casual dining for families, friends, and lovers.
Although it’s a relatively new Uptown jaunt, La Petite Grocery has been quickly put on the map by James Beard award-winning chef, Justin Devillier. It’s menu puts a creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with much-loved dishes like Turtle Bolognese and Blue Crab Beignets. The interior feels classic and fresh at the same time. Make sure you order a French 75 in this renovated Creole-cottage.
Conde Nast describes Bar Marilou best, “Bar Marilou, tucked secretively along the side of the new Maison de la Luz hotel, is the most striking library you’ve ever seen, with scarlet bookshelves, orange ceilings, and tiger-striped carpets. It’s currently the only bar in the United States designed by the acclaimed Paris-based dreamweavers Quixotic Projects.” It’s equally lively and sultry, and one of our must-do stops on any trip to New Orleans.
Jewel of the South is unique in it’s subtle sophistication. The crown jewel? A spectacular bar with dazzling, expertly crafted cocktails. Sit indoors in the classic, wallpapered interior, or in their ultra-quaint courtyard. Either way, you'll be charmed.
Grand, yet intimate, The Columns is a historic 1880s Thomas Sully Mansion located in the Garden District on St Charles Avenue overlooking the beautiful live oaks and streetcar line. Feast your eyes on the bar’s maximalist design while you sip a sazerac. A perfect stop for snacks before dinner (we'll be wearing rubies).
Planning a trip? Tag us on Instagram at @rhfine_jewelry and show us where your jewelry takes you!