Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Moment at Le Salon

New Orleans! The name conjures up images of dancing, jazz music, brass bands, raucous crowds and the oft-requested go-cup. However, upon entering Le Salon at Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, calm and serenity was there to greet us in cool blues and greens. Here is where we found our oasis.

Kristin welcomed us with warmth and a sparkling smile as she led us to a plush sofa and chair looking over the hotel courtyard. I was delighted to find the enthusiasm and hospitality she conveyed over the phone to be matched perfectly in person.

The low table was ready and waiting for us, a single pink rose in a vase and Wedgewood China in Wild Strawberry at the ready. Eduardo, our server in his 17th year of service at Le Salon, started off our afternoon tea with a cocktail of choice. As it was a celebration for the end of a successful conference, Lia and I opted for sparkling wine.

What an incredible luxury to be served by a true master of service. Eduardo told beautiful stories of the tea events he's witnessed at Le Salon; shared fun snippets of history of the Coleman family who opened the Windsor Court Hotel 30 years ago; and allowed us to set our own pace of dining and visiting while somehow keeping the momentum gently rolling.

The Tea List
The tea list was extensive, with options for every taste. Black, green, white, herbal... even rooibos and puerh!

The variety of sandwiches that arrived as our first course reinforced New Orleans as a foodie's paradise.

The lobster salad canape was so savory and delicious, and the truffle egg salad is now in my TOP 3  list of iterations of this staple tea sandwich!

Truffle egg salad? Yes, please. 

Scones! With all the perfect fixin's! Vanilla bean cream, Devonshire cream, lemon curd, raspberry preserves - I sampled them all. And the fact that the scones are seasonal make me very happy. For summer, currant scones and walnut scones.

But wait... Just when you think you can't possibly handle one more bite, the desserts arrive.

Chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate truffles, tartlets and... a coconut cream swan???!!!

Seriously. How amazing is this?
Lia and I found ourselves absolutely transported to a place of culinary decadence and creative inspiration, which for us is the greatest gift we could ever receive. You see, Lia is not only my good friend, she is my work counterpart. And while we speak nearly every day via phone, we haven't actually seen each other since last December. After a successful and productive conference this week, we thoroughly enjoyed having a couple of hours to relax, debrief, brainstorm and re-energize before catching flights to our respective coasts.

Double trouble
A fine afternoon tea service always does my heart good, but add Southern hospitality and a good friend, and you've just fed my soul.

If your travels take you to New Orleans, give your soul a break from the Beads and Beverages of Bourbon Street. Indulge in Afternoon Tea at Le Salon, and please give my kindest regards to Kristin and Eduardo.

Kristin, Me, Eduardo

To visit Le Salon at Windsor Court Hotel:

300 Gravier Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Reservations: 504.596.4773 or Book Online
Afternoon Tea Seatings:
Thursday & Friday at 2:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday at 11:00 am & 2:00 pm 

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