Last weekend my mom, sister and I along with one of my aunts and three cousins went to Natchez, Miss., for a book signing for Greg Iles latest novel, “The Bone Tree.” We stayed at the Elmsley House, a 4-bedroom cottage I found on www.homeaway.com. The house was built in 1852 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the winner of the 2008 Historic Natchez Foundation Award for Restoration and features a large front porch and courtyard in back perfect for visiting.
Before checking in Friday afternoon, we stopped at Mammy’s on Hwy. 61 for lunch and dessert. I heard they had great desserts and I couldn’t pass up stopping a place that looked like this. We went back for lunch here Saturday since three in our group arrived later in the day and missed lunch Friday.
After checking in, we went to Under the Hill Saloon across the street from the Mississippi River for a beer then to Fat Mama’s for tamales and margaritas. The building that houses the saloon is close to 200 years old and has been a brothel, warehouse, store and a bar. We saw many interesting people here which gave us much to laugh and talk about.
We also went to the Natchez City Cemetery to see the Turning Angel, a monument erected for five employees who died in an explosion at the Natchez Drug Company in 1908. It’s called this because as cars drive by at night it appears to turn as their car passes. We drove by during daylight so are still unsure if the story is true.
After our coffee and breakfast at the cottage Saturday morning, we headed out for some shopping along Main, Commerce and Franklin streets at the different antique shops, gift shops and boutiques. We also stopped in at Steampunk Coffee since it was rated #1 on TripAdvisor. We also discovered this interesting house nearby that the locals call the “Lucky 13 House.”
We were able to see many of the city’s beautiful, historic homes as we drove along the city streets. On a return visit I’d like to tour at least one of these.
Later that afternoon, we stopped to take photos at St. Mary’s Basilica and attended mass there. We had dinner that night at Pearl Street Pasta and drinks afterward at Biscuits and Blues, which we had read about in Greg Iles’ book “Natchez Burning.” There is a menu item there called a Natchez Beignet which is a traditional New Orleans beignet with ice cream and a praline sauce poured on top. We did not have one but it looked absolutely delicious!
Sunday was the day of the book signing at Dunleith Plantation. We had a leisurely morning at the cottage drinking coffee before checking out and heading to the Castle Restaurant at the plantation for a brunch buffet. While waiting for the book signing, we sat on rocking chairs along the front porch of the historic house and enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenery. We all got our books with autographs, headed home and started talking about a return trip when he releases his final book in the triology.