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Day three - Neil stays at Lake Charles, with some Tobasco and Rum thrown in too...

Louisiana Distillery

Breakfast as the sun rises of bacon, biscuits and grits served up by the delightful Miss Beulah with a smile and a steaming and seemingly bottomless cup of coffee. Miss Beulah has been at Loyd Hall Plantation for 40 years and when you're lucky enough to see it you'll understand like I do why. She's achieved what I thought impossible, she's convinced me grits actually is an acceptable food! To me past experience had me thinking quite strongly otherwise.

Neil with Miss Beulah

Before heading to Lake Charles there's time to take in some sites en route. Avery Island the home of Tabasco is 1st up and I'm struck by the aroma of the world famous condiment as I pull into the car park, however the lasting memory here will be the Chipotle Tabasco & Raspberry Ice Cream - a taste sensation Heston take note!

And so the show must role on and up next for me is the tranquil and serene setting of the Rip Van Winkel Gardens, 25 acres of beautifully tended gardens right on the water front, the very definition of relaxation.

So my home for the evening will be Lake Charles, just a few miles outside Lake Charles you'll find the Louisiana Spirits Distillery the very guys that bring Bayou Rum made with local sugar cane to the grateful locals......a little sample is enough to convince me a bottle must come home with me though sadly I'm a month too early for that bottle. The newest addition, a Satsuma Rum, I would almost say is 'too' easily drinkable if that's at all possible.

On what's proving to be a jam packed day on arrival into Lake Charles I am met by my guide the incredibly knowledgable and charismatic Adley Cormier for a driving tour of the Charpentier Historic District, a fantastic display of many architectural styles punctuated by some stand out properties in this 40 block area within Lake Charles downtown this is a great testament to the importance the lumbar industry has played within the early development of the City.

And finally it's time to rest, L'Auberge Lake Charles Casino Resort will provide my luxurious sleeping quarters for the evening and I assure luxurious is neither the rum nor sunshine talking, the resort provides fantastically appointed rooms with oversized super king size bed and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

If you would like any further information on these places to visit email

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