Louisiana Travel | Houmas House – Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road BY: Susan Arcement

Walk through the lush gardens of Houmas House Plantation & Gardens and you’ll think you’ve stepped into a Monet painting.Colorful blossoms, graceful statues and peaceful lotus ponds invite you on a leisurely stroll through this serene artwork of a garden.Enjoy the dramatic Fountain Courtyard and the Tea House at Mount Houmas with its 12-foot waterfall and arched bridge reminiscent of Claude Monet’s most famous painting, Water Lily Pond.Sit under centuries old oaks and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the 38-acre garden.

A Southern belle greets you in the garden to tour the Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road, Houmas House.Completed in 1828 by Colonel John Preston and his wife, Caroline, this stately Greek Revival home is filled with priceless antiques and priceless memories.The tour guide does a wonderful job of bringing The Sugar Palace’s history to life with stories of its wealthy plantation owners and everyday life on a Southern plantation in the 1800s.

To the rear of Houmas House is the original French Provincial home built by Alexander Latil.The Latil House is joined to the main house by a carriageway where belles would be left out of their carriages near the back door of the covered carriageway so as not to soil their gowns.Houmas House is named for the local Indians from which Latil originally bought the land.

The sophisticated gift shop at Houmas House is adorned with Victorian dolls and Christmas ornaments (owner Kevin Kelly loves Christmas), colorful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, exquisite collectibles and unique souvenirs, and plenty of stuffed dogs!(Another love of the owner, his two dogs were married at Houmas House for the grand opening!)

The rear of the gift shop is devoted to books featuring Louisiana and its culture–from historical books to cookbooks to children’s books.An art gallery filled with paintings and prints of Louisiana life looks out onto the gardens and Tea House.

Enjoy genteel service at Burnside Café, a huge dining hall of old brick and old windows with huge fireplaces adorning each end.You must try the Bisque of Curried Pumpkin, Crawfish and Corn.In fact, it was so good, I made this the next day at home.

The menu is filled with Chef Jeremy Langlois’ imaginative Nouvelle Louisiana.My Jumbo-Lump Crab and Mango Cake Salad and Kaye’s Lunch Special, Soft Shell Crab on Top of Shrimp Penne Alfredo, were award worthy.The dishes are enhanced with fresh Louisiana ingredients, including vegetables and herbs from the picturesque garden growing right outside the café.I just had to have a mint julep (my favorite drink) and enjoyed it while strolling through the gardens.Made with fresh mint from the garden and smooth Southern bourbon, I believe it’s the best I’ve ever had!

Latil House, the original home constructed at Houmas House, is the setting for the award-winning restaurant, Latil’s Landing. You’ll feel like a guest in the grand house in its antebellum heyday as Chef Jeremy Langlois serves a fabulous 7-course meal.

What Cajun Daughters love about Houmas House Plantation and Gardens:Everything!This is a must-see Cajun Coast destination.We can’t wait to go back!

40136 Hwy. 942
River Road
Darrow, Louisiana
225-473-9380 or 985-473-7841

By: churee Prairieville, LA on June 10, 2011
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Such a beautiful place!!!

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