Lou told you about our adventures on Thursday, so I just want to add a few of my own impressions. First, La Provence sits on Highway 190 outside of Lacombe in a rural setting. There are two buildings; one is an office area and the other houses the restaurant, including a large room for weddings, banquets, etc. There are three different dining areas in the building as well. After looking around, we sat in the bar area because that is where "Just Joyce" reigns. She called it her room. A beautiful bar, a grand piano, chandeliers, seating on each side of a coffee table, a fireplace (with a fire), and only two tables for six. Such a warm, inviting room. We were served coffee, pate, and bread rounds. We were so comfortable we really didn't want to leave.
We had lunch just a few miles away at Louie and the Redhead Lady - just a ramshackle old building but nice and homey inside. (Chef Kevin Belton from New Orleans School of Cooking recommended it.) Louie Finnan is the chef/owner and we were able to speak with him briefly. I have to tell you about the ladies room. Small but very clean and decorated to the hilt. Chartreuse paint on one wall and in a stripe on the other walls. Scenes from Paris on the walls as decals. About a dozen vintage hats displayed high on the walls. Ribbon wrapped around an exposed pipe and tied in a bow. Ginger Finnan (the redhead lady) designs jewelry and sells it in the restaurant. Food was excellent. Would go back gladly.
This morning, Sunday, we met with friends and went to the Norwegian Sjomannkirken (Seaman's or Sailor's Church) in New Orleans. The service was conducted in Norwegian. We didn't understand a word but it didn't matter. Think I would have been disappointed if it had been in English. A choir of Norwegian students (about 40 of them) sang and were wonderful. There was a model of a ship suspended from the ceiling in the sanctuary. The actual anchor from that ship was displayed on the lawn in front of the church. The associate pastor? was Vidar and the pastor was Erland Grotberg. After the service, we were served lunch - rolls, a warm sliced white bread with butter, ham, deviled eggs with a strip of sardine, roast beef, salmon, chicken, hamburger patties, cheeses, grapes, potato salad, scrambled eggs with salmon, and I'm sure I've forgotten some of the dishes. Desserts were a cone filled with a flavored whipped cream and a cake with delicious almost frothy icing. Wonderful
lunch. The sanctuary, kitchen, lobby, game room, and a concession stand (room) were in one building. In the concession area I saw ham, sausage, rolls, pastries, flat brod, sjokladen (chocolate), mayonesa, caviar, and soft drinks among other things. There is an outside area with a pool and places for children to play. Housing is provided for seamen and church members who are visiting New Orleans if they want to stay there. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. All of the ladies who attended the service and luncheon were given a long-stemmed red rose. A great experience.
Thanks for reading.