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THE birthplace of jazz’s unofficial motto is ‘Let the good times roll’ and roll they do. Having bounced back from hurricane Katrina devastation, the city retains the charms of its bygone era. Revellers sway late into the night as delicious smells and soft blues linger in the air.
WHAT TO SEE?
THE French Quarter is the city’s spiritual soul and no visit to the Big Easy is complete without investigating it. Wipe your slate clean at the St Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square before taking a sinful wander up boozy Bourbon Street. Stop for a Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s bar, which invented the cocktail.
WHERE TO EAT?
THE question is where not to eat — you’re spoiled for choice. Go for Creole cuisine. New Orleans’ famous resident Louis Armstrong was such a fan, he signed his letters ‘red beans and ricely yours’, referring to the traditional Monday dish. Tujagues on Decatur Street (00 1 504 525 8676, tujaguesrestaurant.com) is the city’s second-oldest restaurant. The freshest food is still bought daily from the French Quarter market.
WHERE TO STAY? THE Dauphine Orleans Hotel offers serenity among all the hubbub, yet the red light burning by the bar is a testament to its former days as an infamous brothel. Rooms from £66 per night (001 504 586 1800, dauphineorleans.com).
HOW TO GET THERE? DELTA flies from London to New Orleans from £475 (0845 600 0950,