Just south of Baton Rouge and west of New Orleans, Louisiana has a secret; one that it has kept hidden away from time and the rest of the world. It’s a little town where the rush and push of society has passed by unaware. A place where people know their neighbors, don’t feel the need to lock their doors and where they take their time, slow down and enjoy the little things in life. It’s a place rich with history and teaming with life.
I’ll tell you where it is but you have to promise not to let anyone else know. It has to be a secret between you and me. Ok?
It’s called Thibodaux and it’s really just a wonderful town.
You may not believe it but this little place has a brand new state of the art hospital, a college with one of the best marine biology and culinary programs and a historic downtown that is in it’s infancy stages of a complete rejuvenation and restoration. But what’s best about Thibodaux can be found right in the center of town, the crown jewel and beacon of hope to show the town what it used to be and what it will be once again.
The historic Dansereau House.
This gorgeous home started out as a single story house when it was built in 1847. Over the decades it survived the Civil War and was used as a doctors office and pharmacy up until the 1940’s
It went through a sad, neglected stage as many old places do and was rather run down until 2010 when it was converted to a Bed & Breakfast & brought back to life.
Mr. Sweet Butter and I found the college first as a potential school for WizKid since he, WizKid, is interested in marine ecology. The school looked amazing and we felt it was worth a trip to go check it out.
We had never stayed at a B&B before because we had heard you would have to share a bathroom with other guests and I’m sorry but the toilet used to be called a “privy” for a reason….privacy, and there are just certain things I prefer to have private. Enough said.
Come to find out it’s considered unfashionable these days for a B&B NOT to provide private baths and as a first order of business it is one of the initial changes the new Inn Keepers attended to.
We booked a four day stay and were greeted at the beautiful front door by the sweetest lady you will ever meet in your life, Inn Keeper Extraordinaire, Lori Worrell. Her darling husband, Paul was somewhere on the property attending to all those inn-keepery sorts of duties.
These are our amazing hosts and I can honestly tell you without any risk of my nose growing even a smidge, these are two of the most beautiful people you will ever meet in your life.
Being as they moved to Thibodaux from Sarasota Florida, which is only a stones throw from where I live now, granted you have a really strong throwing arm, I felt like they were kindred spirits and quickly became so.
Oh and did I tell you Paul is an accomplished architect? I didn’t!? Well he is and to prove my whole “kindred” point, he used to work in Denver which is not only where I am from but also where my own father lives and works as… you guessed it…an architect.
The Room At The Top Of The Stairs
There are four bedrooms located on the second floor and the entire third floor is split in half and comprised of one Governor’s Suite, located stage left, and a family suite stage right. It only seemed appropriate that Mr. Sweet Butter and myself book The Dansereau Room.
What can I say it was a bedroom fit for royalty, well a Prince if you consider the Governor’s Suite was fit for several Kings.
As with all Bed & Breakfasts each room has it’s own unique style, theme and/or color palette. The Dansereau Room is beautifully decorated in earthy greens and golds and was so very very elegant.
It’s the only room on the second floor with a king sized bed, which considering the size of my very strong and virile husband it’s an absolute must.
The ceilings were nearly a hundred feet high, ok a slight exaggeration, more like 15, and the windows stretched from top to bottom.
I stretched out on the bed and stared at the lovely chandelier hanging above my head, which mind you did not have a spec of dust on it.
It was elegant but not over done. It was so pretty to me I took several pictures of it. Like that one
and this one…
Most of the furniture was not original to the house as it was a doctors office if you recall but Lori and Paul did an amazing job finding just the perfect pieces to match the style of each room.
Those curtains are heavy let me tell you.
Being as our trip wasn’t really for pleasure and we had a LOT of driving and scouting to do and the fact I’m still learning to take my camera with me everywhere, I didn’t get as many photos of the house as I had wanted. I will just have to go back to get more I suppose.
What really struck me about the palatial mansion was, in all it’s vastness it felt cozy and warm. It didn’t feel pompous or pretentious or make one feel like they had to walk around being extra careful of everything they touched, although we did anyway. I don’t know if it was just the way the house had been decorated with warm colors, heavy drapes and beautiful carpets or if perhaps it was just the presence that Lori and Paul bring to the home, it felt more like a cozy cottage just with really big rooms and high ceilings.
For the first three days of our stay Mr. Sweet Butter and I were the only guests in the house. This added a relaxed atmosphere to the home and to Lori and Paul I think as well and on several occasions we sat in the kitchen talking at great lengths.
I did mention how wonderful they were right?
I can see why actress Deborah Kara Unger called it “the home away from home”; or how Brittney Spears mother Lynn loved being in the home and felt right at home chatting about the merits of gas vs electric ovens with Lori.
Don’t Forget The Breakfast
I can honestly say I gained at least 1/2 pound with each breakfast and was happy to do so. Each ounce was worth it.
Lori is an excellent cook and each morning we had something new and wonderful waiting for us.
Each morning we had fresh coffee on the sideboard and fruit yogurt parfaits to whet our appetites.
The first morning we had eggs benedict with potato and cheddar casserole.
Other mornings we indulged in french toast with warm fruit, sweet potato waffles that were amazing (reminds me I need to get the recipe from Lori), and she even made us southern peach cobbler…for BREAKFAST!
I could still kiss her for that one!
And would you look at those plates? They scream southern elegance.
I did manage to snap a couple of pictures of this buffet that if I remember correctly is as old as the house.
There is a matching hutch on the opposite end of the room that is exquisite!
Home Away From Home
I wish I would have taken more photos, I’m kicking myself that I didn’t but there was a lot going on (we almost bought a house).
The town, the people, the Dansereau House, they were like nothing we had ever encountered. Don’t get me wrong, like any town it’s not perfect but even the graffiti on some of the old buildings in town wasn’t what you would expect. It wasn’t the place I would have expected to find a little wisdom.
One day this door will be painted over as the city renovates and it was worth keeping for posterity.
If I could live anywhere I would live in southern Louisiana and Mr. Sweet Butter and I are actually looking into it, but we have some unexpected hurdles to cross first. We fell in love with it back in 2004 when we first visited New Orleans. I touched briefly on it in “Black Beard & The Big Easy“.
The people love to cook, love to eat, love to sing, love to play music, love to laugh, love to live.
Yes it’s just an amazing place.
Oh and I forgot, the south part of the state has held to it’s French heritage closely, which you may recall I just happen to love all things French. The second language is French not Spanish, the homes are french styles, the streets have French names, heck the people have French names, even the mail boxes in newer homes are of iron French design.
There are so many reasons to love it and we’re used to the heat and humidity living in Florida so if it’s meant to be it will be, if not then we will always have a place to visit and a place to call “home away from home”.