Tag Archives: wonderful time

Carriage Ride Through French Quarter, New Orleans

This past week, while on a mini vacation in New Orleans, we wanted to take a carriage ride through the French Quarter. We found one that I could access the step into the carriage  (others were too high) and we got the best gentleman ever. His name was Jimmy and his carriage only held 4 passengers. This was perfect for us.

He stood by the carriage and explained some of the early history of New Orleans and the French Quarter. Our ride was going to take  about 30 minutes. He told us we would get 300 years of history in that time period. Then he hops on and begins to tell us ALL the history with dates and funny comments to make it really interesting.

The buildings, architecture, restaurants, bars, shops, voodoo stores, are sooooo worth this excursion.

As we came close to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and Bar, dating back to 1772, we stop and he calls for a certain server to bring out refreshments for us. Great! It is so strange to see the open liquor laws here. Also, he is the only guide to does this. The others just drive by.

This gentleman has a photographic memory and is a walking historian. If and when you go to New Orleans, go to Jackson Square and look at all the carriages until  you find him.

You will love him and love the stories he tells.



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2nd Hester Creek Winery Cooking Class Dinner

Wow! This has been a birthday gift that keeps on giving….such fun the past two weeks.

The Chef, Paul Cecconi and his exceptional Sous Chef, Han (Haun?) gave us an evening filled with so many flavours and new things, it was exciting. Chef Paul is the Executive Chef of local Lounge and Grille .http://www.thelocalgroup.ca/

Fourteen strangers showed up and the conversations were lively, animated and funny between each other and Chef Paul and Han.

Our menu for the evening was:

Reception – crisp pork belly, and  cantaloupe ball served on a spoon with a touch of green pea shoots.

The presentation of this is an eye opener and you just know, although something you may not have ever tasted, would be good. It wasn’t, it was super and the wine pairing of Hester Creek 2011 Pinot Gris. This is a lovely wine and really enhanced the flavour of the pork belly.

1st Course-Halibut Cheeks escabeche, gala apple-saffron mustard, grilled flatbread and watercress. The wine paired was Hester Creek 2011 Character White.

This, again, was something I had never tasted before and it was fabulous. The cheeks were shredded as like shredded pork and together with the mustard mix was wonderful. If you could only hear the comments from everyone.

2nd Course-Summerland pine mushroom risotto (I love risotto), cured egg yolk, organic red beet jus. Hester Creek paired their 2011 Character Red wine. I like this wine and it worked well with the dish. When Chef Gillespie http://www.hestercreek.com/ (from first dinner) picked up the dishes, they had been all but licked. It really was that tasty.

3rd Course– Yarrow meadows duck “pot au feu” with fall vegetables, foie gras, basil and truffled heirloom tomato broth and paired with 2009 Reserve Merlot. Double Wow on this dish. We were served duck in France a few years ago and I couldn’t eat it…still flying it was so rare. This was perfect, the caramelized veggies made it soar. A portion of veggies on the plate, topped with sliced duck breast and the foie gras slice on top. Don says this was the crowning glory.

If you thought  you were full, just wait. This dessert will entice you to find room.

4th Course– Upside down pear cake, caramel semifreddo, toffee crumble and lapin cherrry gastrique. Here, my favourite dessert wine – Hester Creek 2011 Late Harvest Pinot Blanc. In a word….YUMMY!

These evenings are so much fun….tasty….new finds…new friends,,,,,I could have a birthday every month. This winery under the tutelege of Chef Roger Gillespie is a sure win-win for anyone who attends. Thank you Chef Paul and Sous Chef Han, Chef Roger Gillespie and especially, my wonderful husband, Don, who thought of such an extravagent gift.

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