May 16th, 2014 / posted by paularath
Twin Oaks Historic Residence, Natchez, Mississippi

Twin Oaks Historic Residence, Natchez, Mississippi

This road trip of ours through the South has just one rule: NO RULES! That means we don’t have any reservations or preconceived plans except a few destinations that interest us. So sometimes I literally go up to a B & B’s front door and ask if they have a room for the night. In Natchez, Mississippi, we really lucked out. I walked up to the front door of Twin Oaks, one of the town’s dozens and dozens of historic residences. The door was answered by owner Regina Charboneau, who is the Wanda Adams of Mississippi. In fact, I interrupted her taping a video for her latest cookbook, Mississippi Currents. We were offered a room in the old servants’ quarters of the stately home and it was comfortable and lovely.

We stayed here overnight at Twin Oaks.

We stayed here overnight at Twin Oaks.

One of the benefits of staying at Twin Oaks is that you get to go across the street to Dunleith, another antebellum mansion, for breakfast and a tour.

Dunleith, another National Historic Landmark and antebellum home.

Dunleith, another National Historic Landmark and antebellum home.

We also visited and toured Longwood, a sort of sad antebellum home. The Haller Nutt family, which built the home in 1859-1861, financed it with a fortune made in cotton. However, construction came to an abrupt halt at the outbreak of the Civil War.The home was never completed. The family lived in the basement, in nine rooms, for four generations. The upper floors were left as they were in the midst of construction. It’s a bit eerie, actually.

The attic of Longwood Mansion.

The attic of Longwood Mansion.

The grounds of Longwood look exactly as I pictured Mississippi antebellum homes, with moss dripping from the huge old trees. This tree dates back to the 1700s.

The quintessential Mississippi tree.

The quintessential Mississippi tree.

 

The sadly empty cupola at Longwood.

The sadly empty cupola at Longwood.

Another benefit of staying at Regina Charboneau’s Twin Oaks is that she sends you to her restaurant and bar, called the King’s Tavern. It dates back to 1789 and is the oldest standing building in the Natchez Territory. It’s been lovingly restored and has fabulous food and an amazing mixologist named Ricky. He made me the most exquisite Manhattan I have ever had, anywhere. It involved a little blow torch, among other tricks and turns.

Ricky makes his magic at the bar at King's Tavern.

Ricky makes his magic at the bar at King’s Tavern.

The food was also fabulous, though not exactly the typical fare one expects in Mississippi.(That would be fried chicken, fried okra, fried catfish, biscuits and gravy, right?) This food was light and flavorful and simply delicious – one of the best salads we have ever eaten, and it included pecans grown in Natchez.

I enjoyed every minute spent in Natchez!

– PaulaRath

 

 

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