Glamping on Paloma Lake: Rejuvenate mind and body at Stella Plantation.
Just 30 minutes outside of New Orleans lies the town of Braithwaite, an unincorporated community in Plaquemines Parish that is home to Stella Plantation. Situated on 1,500 acres, the working plantation features lush marshes, cypress trees, crawfish ponds and forests that are home to diverse wildlife. The fields are used to grow satsuma and navel oranges, kumquats, lemons, grapefruit and pecans. In addition to being a gorgeous setting for weddings, the plantation also is a fantastic place for a quick getaway from busy city life thanks to five new waterfront A-frame cabins situated along the 53-acre private Paloma Lake.
Each cabin is constructed of wood with cypress walls, heart pine floors and an 80-foot composite bamboo deck with a 50-foot screened in porch. The cabins are solar powered and come complete with a queen-sized bed, night stand, phone charger, lighting and more. The glamping site also features individual showers and restrooms, a fire pit and a large serving area for all guests to enjoy. And, with everything from lawn games to water sports, you can enjoy activity-filled day followed by a night under the Louisiana stars. From $150 per night, 4881 LA-39, Braithwaite, (504) 682-2467, stellaplantation.com
The Key to Self Improvement: A new book focuses on individual challenges to build self-discipline and confidence.
While Jan. 1 is a great time to set resolutions, anytime is a good time to focus on self-betterment. However, rather than trying to do a complete life overhaul, which will undoubtedly lead to failure, it may be easier to focus on one thing at a time. And as confidence increases with each new success, the next goal becomes that much easier to attain. In her new book, The Big Book of 30-Day Challenges: 60 Habit-Forming Programs to Live an Infinitely Better Life ($17, Ulysses Press), Rosanna Casper outlines 30-day challenges to develop lasting habits that will lead to a better, more enriching life. In it, she suggests more than 60 ideas to boost creativity, achieve fitness goals, increase productivity, improve relationships and more. Examples include walking 10,000 steps per day, getting better sleep, reducing clutter and reading 20 pages per day. The book also contains tips for success and maintaining motivation.
Maria’s Pick — Whatcha’ Got Cookin’?: The New Orleans School of Cooking offers chef demos, cooking classes and more.
TripAdvisor’s first-ever Travelers’ Choice Awards recently named the New Orleans School of Cooking as a top experience: The classes were rated as the No. 2 experience in the United States and the No. 6 experience in the world. And it’s all right here in our backyard.
The demo classes (starting at $30 per person) feature a skilled chef who prepares a classic Cajun/Creole meal while guests learn about the vibrant history of New Orleans cuisine. Meanwhile, the hands-on classes ($139 per person) allow guests to prepare, cook and enjoy a complete dinner with one of the school’s expert chefs.
“The classes at the New Orleans School of Cooking are not only educational; they’re also a lot of fun,” says Maria Muro, publisher of New Orleans Living. “It’s a great way to spend time with friends, trying something new and learning in the process.”
September classes include a demo class (crawfish étouffée, shrimp and artichoke soup, bread pudding and pralines) Sept. 7 and a hands-on class (crab ravigote, meat pies, alligator piquante, rice and bread pudding) Sept. 8. There are many more classes from which to choose, so be sure to check out the website for more information. In addition to classes, the New Orleans School of Cooking also features private events, team-building events and a general store filled with spices, sauces, spreads, sweets and more. 524 St. Louis St., (504) 525-2665, neworleansschoolofcooking.com