Bonne Terre Artists

Please check out these great artists who have stayed at Bonne Terre

Musician Scott Ainslie


Scott AinslieMusician Scott Ainslie

A Palpably Quiet Retreat in A Perfect Setting

As a traveling musician who is on the road 160 to 180 days each year, the prospect of spending more time away from home might not seem to be desirable. But this lovely little cottage, situated out in the country near Bayou Teche is a real sanctuary. There is something about the place that welcomes the spirit. This is evident in the attention to detail throughout the cottage: it is put together and maintained with great care. The proprietors have invested the cottage with a few small, well chosen pieces of folk art, details that are pleasing and personal. Should you remain through a Saturday morning, you are also just ten minutes from the best Cajun-Zydeco Breakfast in the world at Cafe Des Amis. This cottage could well be named ‘Petite Maison des Amis.’ I recommend a stay at Bonne Terre Cottage without reservation.

Scott –2011

Journalist Erin Bass

Artists Dominique Begnaud and Mignon Begnaud Varnado


Mignon and Dom BegnaudArtists Dominique Begnaud and Mignon Begnaud Varnado

cottage heaven

I was a former renter of this property and absolutely loved every second of the two years that I lived here. It is now super cute and comfortable, fully stocked and furnished, and still as wonderful as when I permanently lived there. Even better maybe. I live in New Orleans now, and when I come back through always make a point to stay at the cottage. The owners are fabulous people and all the animals and other amenities make it a dream.

Dom – New Orleans

Authors Meredith and Win Blevins


Win and Meredith BlevinsMeredith Blevins and Win Blevins

“My husband and I are both published writers, and we’d like to say this:  Whatever kind of artist you are, Bonne Terre is the place to make your dreams, build your dreams, or give birth to your baby.  We finished one book at Bonne Terre. We researched and began another book, which was just published.  There is NOTHING that compares to the creative, peaceful atmosphere of this land, this home. And the owner, Jen, makes you feel as if you have just walked inside the home of your heart, the one you have always known.  Will we return? You bet!”

Love to all — Meredith and Win Blevins – Utah

Artist Brian Carlisle


After a stay at the Cottage, Brian Carlisle of Gadget Sponge wrote:

“I sit here contemplating any and all adjectives that I can include in this review. Most words don’t encompass the mood and tone of the setting at Bonne Terre Cottage. Completely welcomed is the initial sense as you arrive and walk in. All the natural wood, the original art pieces, the unique features, and the more than adequate amenities. And that’s just inside the cottage (which is very fresh and clean)! There’s not a single detail that was disregarded to ensure that you feel like you’re at home the whole stay. At every turn inside and out you’ll see something new and refreshing. Step outside and gain a fresh breath of air, rich colors, peaceful animals large and small, and nature at its best. Todd and Jen are the most generous hosts you could ask for. They truly make you feel like family from the moment you meet them. They are there any moment you need them but at a distance that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of peaceful woods. You have to include the surrounding yard and grounds as part of the livable area because there are so many places in both to sit or walk around and enjoy pure peace. And the surrounding area is full of wonderful food, antiques, shops, and more. This is the first of many, many more stays here in the future. A trip through South Louisiana and not taking a stop here is unforgivable.

Author Cheré Coen


Chere Coen book: Exploring Cajun CountryCheré Coen

“A little piece of paradise is nestled down Lawless Tauzin Road outside of Breaux Bridge. The drive is well worth it. Upon arrival you will see a sugar kettle pond of goldfish. The solid wooden cottage feels better than home. I settled right down with my laptop placed on the writing desk, looked out at the pond beyond where a great white egret was coming in for a landing. Then two hummingbirds fought over the red feeder. Nature, art, scents of lavender and wood all inspire good writing and a quiet retreat. Even though the cottage only sleeps two people, there are plenty of spaces for writers to spread out for a retreat, the inviting porch swing, the hanging hammock, the dining table nook, or nestle on the futon. The cottage is a poem, full of personal details that offer inspiration to the universal themes.

Musician Caleb Elliott


Caleb Elliot at piano at Bonne Terre Main HouseCalenCaleb Elliott

One of my favorite places on earth..so peaceful! Jen is the sweetest!

Photographer Terri Fensel

Author R. Reese Fuller

Film Editor Don Howard

Don Howard
By the River of Babylon: An Elegy for South Louisiana: This film grew from the filmmakers’ 25-year-long interest in South Louisiana’s dancehalls, habitat for the Cajun, Creole, Swamp Pop, and Zydeco musics that have made the area America’s “greatest musical wellspring.”

Awesome, Awesome Place

I just returned from a little over two weeks in the cottage, and I really can’t say enough good things about the whole experience. I was working on a film about the area–beginning the editing process, actually–and being in such a pleasant, natural atmosphere helped that a lot.

The physical environment, definitely out in the country but close enough to Lafayette and other great food spots for an easy break anytime, was perfect for this kind of retreat, and the owners are truly wonderful people.

Kind of like the cottage itself, they’re near enough (and care enough) to be available, but are always respectful of your privacy. Honestly, I feel like we’re all friends now and I’ll definitely get back out there as soon as I can.

I’ve stayed in the area a lot over the past 5-6 years I’ve been working on this film, and nothing I’ve seen even begins to compare, especially if you want the experience of actually living in a place rather than just passing through. South Louisiana is a really special place, and I don’t know of any better way to begin exploring that. Thanks, you guys.

Musician Dylan LeBlanc

Photographer Daniel Lincoln

Artist Marcie Dudek Melancon

Photographer Melanie Dawn Parent

Melanie ParentMelanie took many of the photos of the buildings and grounds for this website.

Musicians: The Pollies

Novelist Sandra Sarr


Sandra SarrSandra Sarr

Perfect Home Base for Exploring Creole/Cajun Country’s Mysteries and Delights

While in Louisiana researching a novel-in-progress, I was lucky enough to enjoy the peace, comfort, and charm of Bonne Terre Cottage for three weeks. The soulful wood cottage, with its soaring ceiling, wide porches, and sleeping loft, perfectly fit my desire for a peaceful retreat in nature balanced with a vibrant nearby social scene that included Cafe Des Ami and its Zydeco breakfasts Saturday mornings. (Can you say Fun?) Folks, the place is magical: fireflies sparkling in tree tops, cicadas signaling evening, and in the morning, the red streak of cardinals’ flight across a pond to a wall of roses, just to give a hint of what you can expect. The hosts, an exceptionally wonderful couple, offer the right mix of southern hospitality and respectful privacy. For breakfast I ate eggs fresh from the owners’ hens, and dinners became feasts enhanced with herbs and veggies picked from the garden that day. Each evening, I looked forward to sitting on the wide porch writing in my notebooks and watching my hosts feed their horses and pygmy goats adjacent to my fenced yard. One evening, I went along to feed the cow, Matilda. I volunteered to feed the goldfish in a small pond with a fountain outside my door. A lovely five-acre pond is at the end of the road, and I walked there after dinner to watch the turtles, ducks, and pet my favorite neighborhood dog, Jade. As for the cottage itself, the photos do a great job of showing you its sweet, lovingly built space. The dressing room and its big mirror, book shelves, dresser and wardrobe are a bonus. I made some wonderful meals in the kitchen, got some of my best rest in the cozy nest-like bedroom, and practiced my zydeco dance moves in the livingroom. Writing this review makes me feel “homesick” for a place (and its people!) that held me with grace as I ventured into completely new territory, arriving alone and having never before visited Louisiana. If you, too, are lucky enough to stay at Bonne Terre Cottage, please let me know the highlights of your stay in this special place. I do plan to return, possibly this fall.

Sandra S. – The Northwest

Author Margaret Simon


Margaret Simon's book BlessenMargaret Simon

Bonne Terre Louisiana is more than a home away from home.  As its names expresses, Bonne Terre offers a retreat into the good earth.  For writers, there are prompts everywhere from the picturesque barn complete with horses, Matilda the cow, and numerous chickens to the little signs Jen has placed around the house, “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”  You can sit outside on the porch and watch the bluebirds fly in.  You can relax in the shade on a hammock.  So many just right spots to be and practice living in the moment.  I recommend Bonne Terre as a place to go to write, read, play music, or just relax and rejuvenate.

Margaret Simon – New Iberia, Louisiana

Artist Claire Waguespack

Artist Travis Whitfield

Artist Samantha Wittchen

by Samantha WittchenSamantha Wittchen

Perfect getaway in Cajun Country!

My husband and I stayed at Bonne Terre Cottage for part of our honeymoon in Louisiana, and it was just perfect. The cottage is cozy and secluded, and there are so many artistic and homey touches that make you feel very comfortable. We ate out while we were there, but you could easily use the well-stocked kitchen to cook meals if you wanted, and I was unable to identify any amenity from home that was missing from the cottage.

Waking up every morning in the loft makes you feel excited to greet the day, and watching the horses, goats, and chickens from the fantastic porch swing is so relaxing. And to top it all off, Jen provided us with a lovely little welcome basket that included fresh fruit, eggs and a sampler of cajun music! It was a truly magical stay, and we hope to make it back there again. If you’re going to be visiting the area, I can’t imagine why you’d stay anywhere else!

Samantha W

2011

Bonne Terre Louisiana

(337)  278-2369
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