On the 12th Night...and Day, they did a little more than just Drum
The 12th day of Christmas means a whole lot more in New Orleans than it does on the rest of the planet. It is the official close of Christmas--remember the song-- and the official start of the carnival season. Carnival season is one of the most magical moments for locals and tourists alike, and welcomes in the start of King Cake season. The King Cake is the doughy, sugary creation which we share with family and friends and pray that we do not get the little baby on the inside which means you have to bring the next cake for the next party.
The Bywater Bakery, home to some of the most delightful king cakes, has a unique street party to celebrate 12th night and because of wonderful weather this year, crowds were abundant . Mardi Gras Indians roamed the streets and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson donned his best zoot suit and took to the stage to sing his famous song....you can google or YouTube it. A portable bar wagon mixed cocktails on the street because now is the time for "Go Cups" and unlike other cities, you can wander about everywhere with cocktail in hand.
On the way back to the real world, we stopped off at the Elysian Bar in the new Hotel Peter and Paul on the edge of the Marigny. While there was no king cake here, there are carefully crafted cocktails in an outstanding renovated space bringing a first class hotel to this charming neighborhood. Elysian is the creation of the team from Bacchanal which is a local outdoor food and music venue located just a stone's throw up the road. The cocktails are dreamy and the prices are manageable and considerably less than downtown hotels. Of course the staff is hip and current making it a fun way to conclude the afternoon. For those of you who don't drink cocktails like we do, a quaint coffee bar exists in the same space making it easy to balance out your day.
The Elysian Bar
2317 Burgundy Street
The Bywater Bakery
3624 Dauphine Street