Cook bacon in a soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Drain, cool and crumble. Set aside.
Over medium to medium-high heat, sauté the onions and celery with salt and white pepper, the bay leaf and the dried herbs. Cook until the vegetables are translucent and just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
Add the butter and flour. Stir for a minute or two, adjusting heat to medium.
Add the clam juice or stock or broth, the heavy cream and the diced potato. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about ten minutes.
Stir in the clams and hot sauce. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Taste and correct seasonings.
To serve, place some crumbled bacon in each bowl, top with the chowder and sprinkle on the parsley. Serve with saltines or oyster crackers.