Friday, August 31, 2007

Our Guests Say the Nicest Things...

Cheryl S. from Mandeville, LA, writes:

Hal was so friendly and helpful.
Anna was a wonderful help with reservations and in the gift shop - I bought too much!
There are no words to describe how delicious the dinner was. Chef Lanny is the best!
Don't ever let him go!

I can't ell you how wonderful we felt - like royalty. We are already planning another trip. Lanny cooked us the best meal we have ever had and we have traveled all over the world!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

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Be assured that your email address will be used only for this purpose, and will not be sold, rented or distributed to any individual or company outside of Monmouth Plantation.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Today marks the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with many events planned to commemorate the trials and the triumphs of the past year.

We pause in remembrance of those who perished in the storm and in thanksgiving for the many heroes, survivors, volunteers and donors who have helped in the recovery.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lady Primrose

Our unique gift shop features an assortment of delightful Lady Primrose products. Monmouth's guestroom amenities are by Lady Primrose.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Meet Peggy Voss

Peggy, a native of Natchez, returned to us post-Katrina after living in New Orleans and working many years in the tourism industry there. Peggy is our morning and evening hostess and gives the most delightful tours of the main house to our guests each morning. She is a doll and we are proud to have her on our staff!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fall Back in Time

Return to the antebellum splendor of Monmouth Plantation, a c. 1818 national landmark, located in the heart of Natchez, MS, America’s most unique historical city. Our Fall Back in Time package includes two nights luxurious accommodation, champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries, Hors d’oeuvres each evening, dinner for two on one night, full southern breakfast daily, tour of the mansion, romantic carriage ride, in-room massage for two and a spectacular morning hot air balloon ride, weather permitting, over the historic town of Natchez. Prices from $1,818 per room, valid October 1 through November 30, 2007.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Football Season is Just Around the Corner

Whether you're an LSU Tiger, an Ole Miss Rebel or any of our region's other delightful football fans, we hope you will consider Monmouth Plantation for your pre-or post- football weekend trip. There is nothing quite as breathtaking as Monmouth during the fall season. We are only an hour's drive from either Baton Rouge or Jackson. Come and experience another world at Monmouth.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Make Your Reservations Now for the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race

Oct/19/2007 - Oct/21/2007

THE Natchez event of the fall season, the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race hosts some seventy colorful hot air balloons right on the heels of the Kodak International Balloon Festival in Albequerque, New Mexico.

The breathtaking sight of hot air balloons filling the air begins on Friday morning with a 7:30 liftoff that includes a bicycle race and media coverage of the event.

Friday night, balloons will light up the night in a balloon glow, follwed by a specatcular fireworks display on the Mississippi River.

Events continue throughout the weekend with regional foods and musical acts.

Make your plans to attend this year's Great Mississippi River Balloon Race early as rooms are hard to come by.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Natchez Fall Pilgrimage

Sep/29/2007 - Oct/13/2007
Location: Natchez Area

Hosts and Hostesses in period costume greet you as you enter the majestic mansions of Natchez. Journey back in time with them to hear the stories of Natchez days gone by.

Over 18 houses are open for tour during Fall Pilgrimage, and entertainment abounds nightly from inspirational gospel to a play about good ole Huck Finn and his life on the Mississippi River.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

NATCHEZ ART & SOUL October 5-7, 2007

Downtown Natchez comes alive for this festival featuring Artists from around the region. Booths lining the blocks of Main and Commerce Streets in the heart of downtown Natchez feature regional foods and works of art for this stellar event.

Kicking off on Friday night with Groovline & Maggie Brown, a variety of musical acts promise a weekend with a little something for everyone whether you're an art connoisseur or just a festival lover.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monmouth is Featured in the August Issue of Luxury Experience Magazine

Written by Debra C. Argen

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to stay at an antebellum mansion? Look no further than the stately built in 1818 in Natchez, Mississippi, for a luxury experience. Once the home of General John Anthony Quitman, a Mississippi governor and a Mexican War hero, Monmouth Plantation provides a unique experience for its guests.

Edward F. Nesta and I stayed at the 30 rooms and suites Monmouth Plantation in July 2007, owned and painstakingly and lovingly restored by Ron and Lani Riches who purchased the historic property on Valentine's Day in 1978. We felt like we were a world removed from every day life the moment we drove up the sweeping driveway, past the towering trees laden with hanging moss, and the stunning Greek Revival mansion came into view.

Southern hospitality began at Monmouth Plantation at the reception desk where we were warmly greeted by Front Desk Manager, Carol Jones, and by our bellman, Hal, who escorted us to our suite, Live Oaks, located in the Plantation Suites building and gorgeously furnished with antiques.

We entered the hardwood floor foyer of the Live Oaks suite where there was a half round table with a rectangular gold mirror hanging above it, and a coat closet. The bedroom located to the left of the foyer was a vision with a four-poster king bed lavishly dressed in blue and salmon fabric with a matching canopy. Brass lamps on marble topped nightstands graced either side of the bed, blue and salmon elaborate draperies framed the two windows, a mirror and skirted vanity table with chair was placed in the corner of the room, and paintings hung from blue and salmon ribbons. The large walk-in closet offered us ample space, and held three bathrobes, as well as an iron and ironing board. Attention to small details included having a rechargeable flashlight plugged into an outlet in the bedroom.

There was a sitting room off the foyer that featured an ornate daybed with a Temperpedic mattress that could accommodate a third guest, a painting hung over the brick fireplace adding a bit of romance, a wood armoire hid a Sanyo flat screen television and a mini-bar, and most appreciated was the desk and chair where we could sit with our laptop and use the complimentary WIFI Internet access, which is available in all of the buildings. French doors covered with blue Roman shades led out to a verandah furnished with white wicker rocking chairs and tables, where we enjoyed taking a moment to relax.

The large bathroom featured a Jacuzzi surrounded with marble, a separate walk-in shower, an enclosed toilet, a vanity/shaving mirror, hairdryer, and a host of Lady Primrose amenities. We loved strolling through the historic property and the 26 park-like acres, stopping occasionally to admire the gardens, the gazebo filled with white wrought chairs and a glass topped table, and walk over the wooden bridge to watch the ducks playing in the two ponds. Looking for a little exercise, we played a game of croquet, and heard that there is even fishing for guests in their ponds, or for guests just looking to relax, there are hammocks beckoning from under the shade of trees, and chairs placed at just the right intervals throughout the property.

There is even a historic private cemetery and a small chapel at Monmouth Plantation. There are several angel statues located throughout the gardens, and we attempted to count them on our walks, with the first angel sighted to the left of the gift shop, and another angel sighted in the herb garden. Strolling down the old brick walkway, we found a fountain featuring three lion spouts that was filled with goldfish and lily pads, and stopped to relax on a black wrought iron bench under a tree with exotic hanging moss. We continued down the steps to the rose garden where we were rewarded with another angel standing amidst the roses with their heavenly perfume gently scenting the air, and found two more angels at either end of the pretty pergola, and another along a pathway, although there are probably many more, which you can count when you visit Monmouth Plantation.

We began each morning having full Southern breakfasts in the Garden Room of the pretty Marguerite Guercio's Conference Center where the friendly staff took great care of us. Edward enjoyed scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, grits and Mrs. Mary's biscuits, and I had fluffy pancakes topped with berry puree and fresh blackberries, or Mrs. Mary's biscuits and hot cinnamon rolls.

In the evening, we walked through the attractive brick courtyard featuring a crane fountain with purple petunias in terra cotta pots gracing each of the black wrought iron tables and chairs to have pre-dinner drinks in the Lounge, and sampled Bartender Roosevelt's special Mint Juleps served in requisite silver cups, and complimentary hors d'oeuvres in the Quitman Study, where there are many Quitman family mementos including the family bible proudly displayed on General John Anthony Quitman's desk, a red silk handkerchief that he used in the war framed on the wall, and there is a love letter from General Quitman to his wife, Eliza, that will tug at your romantic heartstrings when you read the line, "You are my polar star and my heart ever points to you."

Dinner in the main house is the ultimate in elegance with precious antiques including Waterford gasoliers, a Duncan Phyfe sideboard with a lead wine cellarette to chill the wine in the dining room, there are Quitman family parlor sets, fairy lamps, and a piano, harp, and music box that plays eight waltzes in the ladies parlor.

The dining table featured a freesia floral arrangement, silver angel napkin rings held pristine white napkins, sparkling china, cobalt glasses, and polished silver to showcase Chef Lanny Brasher's gourmet five-course menu, which began with a delicious Warm Crayfish Tart.

On the last night of our stay we visited the Gift Shop, and there were so many wonderful and unusual gifts, that I wished I had "discovered" it earlier, which provides me with yet another reason to return to Monmouth Plantation.
The service throughout our stay was wonderful, and especially notable was Gift Shop Manager Anna Watts-Gunning, who was like a fairy godmother in arranging last minute tours for us, and making sure that we left with a complete understanding of Southern hospitality.

Before I left, I took one long, last look at Monmouth Plantation with its rich history of romance, and imagined what it would be like to attend a wedding there, or to spend Valentine's Day, or the Christmas holiday season with the mansion decorated in full splendor, and thought that it must be an incredible experience.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Monmouth featured in Rand McNally's Southeast Getaway Guide

Rand McNally, America’s largest map company, just put Monmouth Plantation on the map — literally. The Natchez hotel and historic national landmark is highlighted as a “can’t miss” stop in Rand McNally’s new Southeast Getaway Guide. The guide blends travel information and recommended stops with maps designed to help vacationers find their way to the destinations featured in the guide. “We wanted to unearth the best-kept secrets in each state — things that they might not discover on their own,” says Rand McNally Editorial Director Laurie Borman.

“As more people grow up in one place and move another, they might not know the area right around them. This book is a great resource for locals to explore their state, too.” Natchez is just one of the exceptional destinations suggested in the guide, which takes an in-depth look at restaurants, lodging and one-of-a-kind attractions in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. -more - Rand McNally Southeast Getaway Guide “Research shows that more and more Americans are choosing to take their vacations close to home and explore the areas where they live,” says Robert Apatoff, president and chief executive officer of Rand McNally. “You might live in an area for years before discovering all it has to offer. We designed this guide for Southeasterners who want to find the local treasures hidden in their own backyards.”

The oldest settlement on the Mississippi River, Natchez has more antebellum homes than any other city in the United States, many available for touring. Step back in time to the charm of downtown Natchez, largely a phenomenon of late nineteenth century architecture where antique shops, variety shops, hotels, churches and fabulous restaurants abound punctuated by year round festivals and celebrations.

A recreational paradise, Natchez also offers golf, tennis, hiking, biking fishing & hunting year round. “We are delighted to be recognized in the Southeast Getaway Guide,” says Lani Riches, Owner of Monmouth Plantation. “It’s an honor to know that people who travel in Mississippi will not only know about us, but will be able to see us right on the map.”

Rand McNally is North America’s largest commercial maker of national and local maps, street guides and atlases. The company’s print and electronic products include America’s No. 1 Road Atlas, The Thomas Guide® map books, custom-made wall maps on the Web, wireless navigation solutions and online maps, directions and trip planning at

Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2006, Rand McNally offers the most trusted tools to discover, map and navigate your world. The company leads the way with innovative products and services for the consumer, business, education and commercial transportation markets. For more information, visit or call (800) 333-0136.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Our Guests Say the Nicest Things


My wife and I just returned from Monmouth, and wanted to again thank you for your hoispitality as well as commend you for the wonderful inn that you have established there. The grounds and property were immaculate, and our room was tremendous. We especially enjoyed talking and relaxing on the back porch. The accommodations were so nice that we didn’t even mind staying in due to the wet weather.

We also appreciate your commitment to maintaining the historical accuracy and authenticity of the property. Thanks too for the fantastic dinner which was served so elegantly. Though all the food was great, the chocolate dessert was definitely the highlight of the evening for us! And we are still raving about (and craving) the French toast served at breakfast.

As usual, each of the staff was courteous and helpful, though we would like to especially recognize Peggy. She helped out during our dinner, as well as gave us the tour the next day. She is a treasure, and my wife and I both found her to exude a genuine warmth and friendliness. I pray that God will bless you, and that you will experience Christ in all His fullness.

Todd G.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Angels, especially the marble kind, abound in The Monmouth Grounds. Perhaps a small reminder of The Lord's constant goodness to us all.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Natchez Food & Wine Fest Kicks Off Today

The city of Natchez presents the 7th annual Natchez Food and Wine Festival featuring, Paul Burrell, longtime butler for the late Princess Diana. Burrell has recently launched “The Royal Butler Collection,” of affordable luxury wines. These wines will be featured throughout the festival.

The festival begins Friday night with the traditional “Tastings Along the River.” This popular, upscale event offers scrumptious food tastings from local and regional restaurants as well as premium wine tastings from around the world. New this year, the Chefs will be honored with an “After Hours Chef’s Party”. This private event will be for Chef’s and tasting ticket holders only.

The Saturday events begin with the 4th annual Martha White Biscuit Cook Off at Main Street Marketplace CafĂ©’. The day continues with the “Progressive Lunch and Tour of Homes”, which features three gorgeous homes in the Natchez Historic Garden District. This popular event has limited tickets and sells out quickly.

Saturday afternoon, Paul Burrell will lead “A Royal Wine & Cheese Tasting” at the Natchez Convention Center where he will introduce his award-winning Royal Butler Wines and give an insiders peek behind the galas of Buckingham Palace.

Monmouth Plantation will host “A British High Tea, Natchez Style” where Paul will present recipes and instructions for the perfect British Tea. Denise Gee, famous food author, will feature her new book “Southern Cocktails” at the “Southern Cocktails with Denise Gee – Mixology Class” at the Convention Center. Denise will create selected cocktails from her book with Russ Archer mixing. Signed copies of “Southern Cocktails” will be available for purchase.

Saturday night “An Invitation to the Natchez Table” will feature dinners prepared in five Great Natchez Homes: Monmouth, Twin Oaks, Magnolia Hall, Pleasant Hill and Oak Hill. Famous regional and local Chefs will prepare and serve four courses with fine wine to a limited number of guests.

The Natchez Food and Wine Festival is growing into one of the most anticipated events in the area.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Chef Lanny Shares One of His Secret Recipes!

Barbecued Shrimp Tangipahoa

1 lb Butter
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Minced Garlic
1/2 cup Minced Red Onion
1 cup Scallions Chopped
1/3 cup Basil Chopped
1/3 cup Oregano Chopped
1/3 cup Fresh Rosemary Chopped
1/3 cup Fresh Thyme Chopped
½ cup Fresh Parsley Chopped
1 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 – 12oz Bottles of Beer
2 Lemons – sliced into round slices
1/2 cup Cracked Black Pepper
1/4 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
Creole Seasoning to taste
About 80 (16-20 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined

Sauce: Place olive oil in 4 qt. saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions for about two minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Now add butter, Worcestershire sauce, cracked pepper, hot sauce, and some Creole seasoning. When butter is melted, simmer about two minutes then add beer. Set aside.

Assembly: Place shrimp in large bowl. Coat with Creole Seasoning. Place seasoned shrimp to a pan with at least two inch sides. Place shrimp in 400° oven, cook about five minutes. Return sauce to boil, when a boil is obtained remove from heat, add scallions and fresh herbs. Pour sauce over shrimp in pan in oven, cook until done (about 8-10 minutes). Place shrimp in bowl with a couple thick slices of warm crispy French bread, spoon sauce over bread garnish – serve.


Lani & Ron

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Happy Birthday!

We are Lani & Ron Riches, proprietors of Monmouth for the past 29 years and proud to celebrate the first birthday of our Blog where we have shared glimpses of daily life at Monmouth and our truly wonderful Natchez experience for the past year.
We hope you enjoy this diary of life at Monmouth Plantation.
Lani & Ron Riches