Enchanting. Tranquil. Heaven. Those were the words swirling around throughout the day of our spring bridal photoshoot at Maison Madeleine Bed & Breakfast in Breaux Bridge. It was a universal sentiment among those of us visiting – and, still, among the owners and staff.
Nestled at the end of a one-lane road that follows the banks of Lake Martin in Breaux Bridge, underneath a canopy of aged oak trees and amongst a sea of tropical elephant ears, is a charming French Creole home built c. 1840. The structure, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was moved (in pieces) from Vermillion River near Perry, Louisiana and fully restored at its current location by owner Madeleine Cenac. There are fewer than 50 such surviving 19th century structures in existence in the Acadiana parishes.
The cottage is relaxed in its decor – staying true to the era in many ways, but yielding to modern aesthetics where it works. For example, artwork by Cenac’s children grace the walls and grounds – metal sculptures with hard lines provide a pleasing contrast to the 19th century furniture. The home features bousillage walls (a mud and Spanish moss mix), wood floors and beams, and an exterior Acadian staircase leading to the one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites. Lodging includes a private bathroom with shower, coffee bar, and a hot South Louisiana breakfast. Guests are encouraged to utilize the common spaces of the entire home and to roam freely on its stunning grounds. Two well-fed dogs and a one-eyed cat round out the charm.
Aside from lodging, the property has become a darling of small weddings and music and culinary events, like its acclaimed Secret Supper Series at Lake Martin. Tucked away in a detached structure off the side courtyard is a fully- equipped catering facility, where James Beard-recognized visiting chefs prepare once-in-a-lifetime meals and wine pairings for Secret Supper guests. All the while, Grammy-winning musicians serenade and entertain. The series has gained national attention, and the waiting list for attendance is growing.
From the lichen-covered, crooked fence line to the nationally-acclaimed Secret Suppers, Maison Madeleine is every inch a delight.