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Plantation and Gardens

HH Side 

March 2011
 Carnival Time! 

From the eyes of Princess Grace


MG Grace

One of my favorite times of year is Mardi Gras!  To most people Mardi Gras is merely parades, gaudy costumes, and masquerade balls. But to locals, it's so much more. It's a time to let loose, embrace a 300 year old tradition leading up to Lenten season.  It's a time to feast on King Cake, attend lavish balls, dance in the streets, catch beads, and watch the royalty parade through the city. 

I particularly fancy watching all the horses prance down St. Charles Avenue decorated with colorful feathers, blankets, and leg warmers.  And the Kings and Queens are magnificent too.

Did you know, in the 19th Century Houmas House had extravagant masquerade balls? Spun gold was hung in the trees to make the grounds shimmer in the sunset. Hundreds of people from miles around came to attend the ball and to be seen at the 'Sugar Palace'.  Oh how I wish I could have seen those parties!

Are you coming to New Orleans for Mardi Gras?  Houmas House is only a short, one hour drive from the French Quarter.  I will be dressed for the occasion and decked out in my newest garment and celebrating the season. So, wear your beads and your purple, gold and green and join in on all the fun!


Princess Grace


Do you have a great Mardi Gras story?  I'd love to hear it.  



Secrets from Latil's Landing


Salmon with Potatoes and Tarragon Sauce

Serves 6


For sauce

2 large bunches fresh tarragon (about 1 ounce total)

1 large bunch fresh chives

1 large shallot

3/4 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup rice vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard


For fish

2 1/2 cups dry white wine

2 1/2 cups water

a 2 1/2- to 3-pound salmon fillet with skin

1 1/2 pounds pink fingerling or other new potatoes



For Sauce

Pick enough tarragon leaves to measure 1/2 cup (do not pack). Chop enough chives to measure 1/3 cup. Coarsely chop shallot. In a food processor puree tarragon, chives, and shallot with remaining sauce ingredients until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to cool room temperature before serving.


For Fish

In a deep 10-inch skillet bring wine and water to a simmer, covered. Cut salmon into 6 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Submerge 3 salmon pieces, skin sides down, in simmering liquid (add hot water if necessary to just cover salmon) and poach at a bare simmer, covered, 8 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer cooked salmon with a slotted spatula to a platter to cool and poach remaining salmon in same manner. When salmon is cool enough to handle, peel off skin and if desired with a sharp knife scrape off any dark meat. Salmon may be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salmon to cool room temperature before serving.



Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. In a steamer set over boiling water steam potatoes until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Spoon sauce onto 6 plates and arrange some potatoes in a circle, overlapping slightly, on top of sauce . Season potatoes with salt and arrange salmon on top of potatoes. Garnish salmon with peas.



Follow the Rainbow 




Have you ever actually found the end of a rainbow? Legend has it that at the end of every rainbow sits a leprechaun, hammering on a shoe, who will reveal the whereabouts of a crock of gold. Well, we found him. And while strolling through the gardens at Houmas House, if you look closely  you too will see him tucked away behind the foliage. 

Perhaps this little imp is responsible for the cash cow crop called "White Gold" that was harvested on the plantation's land in the 19th Century - Sugar as it's most commonly called today. Or maybe he's to thank for all the feelings of good luck visitors feel when they trip upon Houmas House while driving down winding River Road.   He's possibly the reason each dining experience is unforgettable, each wedding is a dream come true, and every tour is magical.  We like to think he brings good fortune to all who visit him.  

So, is the end of the rainbow here at Houmas House?  There's only one way to find out.  You'll have to see for yourself.

Open Daily          



Monday, Tuesday 9 AM- 5 PM
Wednesday- Sunday 9 AM-7 PM 
Cafe' Burnside: 11 AM- 2 PM daily
Latil's Landing: Wednesday through Saturday 6 PM- 9 PM,
Sunday Brunch 11 AM- 3 PM; Reservations Required for 6 or More


To View a Map and Directions to Houmas House, Click Here

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