I absolutely adore Houmas House Plantation and Gardens and I adore her owner and curator, Kevin Kelly. The grounds are just what I’d have if I were mistress of a plantation back in Antebellum days – a place of peaceful retreat and a showcase of nature and architecture. The food is consistently delicious, be it in Cafe Burnside for lunch or a full dinner inside the main house at Latil’s Landing dining room.
On one of my last visits, Kevin mentioned his Honeymoon Cottage that’s available for overnight stays. I had NO IDEA that Houmas House offered lodging. He offered to let me check it out whenever I wanted. That was a few months back. Earlier this week, with the kids being out of school, I felt as if I were slowly going insane, between working so much and the kids being just that much too old to go to summer day camp. I needed a serious break away from home. I emailed Kevin on the off-chance that the cabin would be available. Fortunately, it was, so I packed up some trashy romance novels, a bottle of bubbly, and my netbook for writing.
On the drive over it stormed, but this did not dampen my spirits. In fact, it made the atmosphere that much more exciting – I would be staying at a plantation (that some people think are haunted) and I would be ALL ALONE. I made it to Houmas House, grabbed the key from the gift shop (after placing my dinner order), and headed to a secluded, hidden drive to the Honeymoon Cottage.
The white picket fence creaked in the misty rain as I carried my bag up to the front porch and unlocked the door of the yellow wooden building. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but if Kevin Kelly had anything to do with it, I knew it would be phenomenal. The first thing I laid eyes on was an oversized antique oval mirror with a comfy-looking bed in the reflection. I later discovered that the mirror is straight out of a Rampart Street brothel from Storyville (New Orleans). An elegant table and twin chairs were placed in front of the fireplace (which had candles all over the place) and there was a fabulous lounge chair with ottoman on the way to the wet bar. The bathroom was gigantic with an oversized jetted soaking tub and shower for two.
The entire cottage had a wonderful feel of being in cozy luxury. It was comfortable elegance, so I did the only thing I could do – I popped open a bottle of bubbly and sat on the front porch watching the rain drizzle, waiting on my gourmet meal to be delivered by the chef who prepared it.
Fortunately for Chef Brian, the sun came out for a bit. He carried my tray of food up the walkway and placed it in front of me. I will admit, I think I must’ve been a filthy rich lady of luxury in a former lifetime, because I had no problem being spoiled. I inhaled the glorious aroma of my favorite crawfish pumpkin bisque, lobster risotto, and dessert of bread pudding. Of course, after eating all of that rich cuisine, I felt I should walk my dinner off with a stroll around the grounds. I put on my shrimpers (designer rubber boots) and carried my raincoat and a glass of wine. It was one of the most wonderful evenings I’ve had in a very long time.
You can spend the night in the Honeymoon Cottage for a personal retreat, couples getaway, or just to experience the peacefulness of the beautiful setting. There’s no television, phone, or internet, so plan on going tech free. Call for pricing and availability. This place is a bit of a secret and isn’t advertised on the Houmas House website just yet. There are two packages – basic overnight stay with tours for two at around $200 or you can splurge for the $400 range package which includes Champagne or Sherry and brunch.
Previously published on Traveling Mamas.