Growing up, I never missed my family’s annual tradition of screening Gone with the Wind. I loved the bold and brash Miss Scarlett who acted like a man, wore an elaborate green dress made from curtains, and the gorgeous Terra Plantation. Okay, so Scarlett’s world was far from a utopia (e.g. cousins who marry; and also: slavery), but I was eleven and captivated by the Southern romance and tragedy portrayed in the film.
I never expected to visit a real life plantation - but I did on my visit to Baton Rouge. Twenty minutes from downtown Baton Rouge, the White Oak Plantation stands in all its glory: 22 acres of lush foliage, gardens and lakes.Inside the home, I feel like I’m stepping onto the set of Gone with the Wind – a grand staircase, French ballroom, and three-tiered crystal chandelier are just a few elements that whisk me back in time. I could almost see Rhett and Scarlett verbally abusing each other and then tumbling down the stairs.
After touring the house, we’re invited into the backyard to enjoy a balmy evening of music, delectable food and endless flutes of wine. Outdoors, there is a New Orleans-style courtyard with an open-hearth fireplace, fountains and flowering gardens. I can only imagine the elaborate weddings that are held here.
At the buffet, I load my plate with Fire Roasted Red Snapper, Creole Jambalaya, corn maque choux, sweet potato soufflé, and cornbread. Everything tastes swimmingly good as I swirl sips of wine in my mouth. Our table agrees that the Portabella and Chanterelle Bisque is a showstopper.
The White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce steals my heart. Chocolate and booze – together at last! The cake is moist and melty with sweet sauce drizzled on top.
Oh, White Oak Plantation. This lovely Louisiana evening will forever remain in my memories. After such an epic meal and wistful evening, it reminds me of a few lines from Shakespeare: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”
What he said.
White Oak Plantation
17660 George O’Neal Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70817
The writer was a guest of Visit Baton Rouge. The tourism board did not review or approve this article.