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Octavia Spencer's Favorite Street

Delta Sky Magazine August 2011, Sara Essex Bradley

Photo by Sara Essex Bradley

Octavia Spencer says the Soniat House Hotel is "luxurious yet quaint."

After years of steady work as a character actress, Octavia Spencer is getting some major buzz for her performance in The Help, in theaters August 10. She stars alongside Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard in the big-screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel, which explores the relationship between wealthy women and their household help in 1960s Mississippi.

A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Spencer counts a street in another well-known Southern city as her favorite. “I’ve been fortunate to spend countless hours traipsing in and out of shops and restaurants along Chartres Street in New Orleans,” says Spencer. “If you’re going to the French Quarter, invest in a chic sun hat, add a fresh memory card to your camera and head to Jackson Square.”

Chartres Street will always have a special place in my heart,” says Spencer. “It was where I was introduced to guilt-free fried shrimp and oyster po’boys. Why guilt free? Well, after all of the walking, I’d worked off my lunch and was ready for dinner!”

“I stayed at the Soniat House Hotel. It’s luxurious yet quaint with a bed-and-breakfast feel. It’s the perfect combination of being chic, yet not too pricey! And the continental breakfast is hot buttermilk biscuits with homemade jam and a pot of coffee.” 1133 Chartres St.

“I love walking tours. I happened upon the Beauregard-Keyes House, a beautiful historical home-turned- museum of the confederate general who ordered the first shots fired in the Civil War. His wife had a predilection for antique teapots and dolls.” 1113 Chartres St.

“Jackson Square is an open-air park where artists congregate. It feels very much like you are walking along the Seine,” she says. “It is a great place to enjoy a sack lunch and people watch. Or enjoy your beignets from the Café Du Monde. I did!” 800 Decatur St.

The Presbytere House is a part of the Louisiana State Museum. If you’re into Mardi Gras, this should definitely be a part of your walking tour, because they house a plethora of Mardi Gras artifacts and it’s reasonably priced!” Spencer says. 751 Chartres St.

More to Explore
There is no shortage of sights in the famous French Quarter, whether you’re there to celebrate Mardi Gras or explore at a quieter time.

  • Don’t miss Restaurant Stella for its contemporary cuisine. 1032 Chartres St.
  • Pierre Masperos serves fabulous Cajun-Creole,” says Spencer. “But if you only have time for one thing, skip to dessert and have the bread pudding.” 440 Chartres St.
  • Spencer says The Cabildo, once the seat of colonial government in New Orleans, is a must-see for history buffs. 701 Chartres St.

Spill It: Tell Us What You Think!

Richard Thompson
Could you tell me how to get a copy of this issue with Octavia Spencer's article.
8/10/2011 7:52:05 PM

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