Friday, April 19, 2024

Travel with Terri: The Fabulous St. Francisville Inn

We have discovered one of the most charming boutique hotels in the quaint little town of St. Francisville, Louisiana. As one of the most popular stops along the Mississippi River, you feel like you’re in the country, but actually it’s just 30 minutes north of Baton Rouge. The stunning St. Francisville Inn, built in 1880, stands proudly as one of the most beautiful and highest rated inns in the entire south.

Purchased in 2018 by the dynamic duo, Brandon Branch and Jim Johnston, the Inn opened on April 1, 2019. An extensive renovation breathed new life into this southern Victorian landmark. They determined that a few new additions were needed to the Inn, and they are a big success giving the Inn that special sparkle that really sets it apart. This includes: The wildly popular Saint Restaurant & Bar, led by Executive Chef Michael Dardenne; an additional guest room; an upgraded infrastructure; all new landscaping; and more guest services, including room service. On our recent visit, we really enjoyed all these things including the big beautiful porches with swings and rocking chairs, delicious meals, and craft cocktails nightly in The Saint.

The Inn’s crown jewel, The Saint Restaurant & Bar, is reminiscent of European pubs and legendary bars in New Orleans. The Saint has quickly become a hot spot and there isn’t a better place to mingle with locals or see an occasional celebrity. Each meal and cocktail is hand crafted and is sure to please. Dining at The St. Francisville Inn is an event by itself! The food is fresh, delicious and abundant, and Chef Dardenne and his team do an excellent job using local ingredients and suppliers. But know you must make reservations in advance. Our dinner and service was excellent as well as our southern breakfast…and yes we had grits.

The St. Francisville Inn represents a time when things were gentler, simpler, and more relaxed. Guests are warmly welcomed by an exceptional staff and also enjoy taking their time having friendly conversations, meeting locals, savoring home cooked meals, and socializing on the porch with coffee or a cocktail. We also loved admiring the views of the many flower gardens and numerous century old Live Oak trees that are covered with dramatic hanging Spanish Moss.

As expected, our hotel room was fabulous and fashionably decorated with comfort in mind. Every detail was noticed and was perfection. And I really like how each guest room faces the courtyard fountain, gardens and pool. Plus, each room has a screen door, which I loved. Doesn’t get more southern than that!

Any time of the year would be a fabulous and memorable visit to the St. Francisville Inn – but during the holidays it is absolutely magical. I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie with old friends and also making new friends. The atmosphere, the charm, the vibe, the warmth and the décor….oh my goodness, the Christmas decorations are simply stunning! Co-Owner Brandon Branch is the creator of all the fabulous interior design and decor. He has excellent taste and experience having been Paula Dean’s Creative Director for over a decade.

This award winning Inn has definitely been discovered. It now attracts visitors from Europe, Canada and all 50 states. This would be a great destination for a weekend trip from the Dallas Ft. Worth Metroplex, for any special occasion. The St. Francisville Inn definitely took me back to another place and time from my beloved childhood in the Deep South. Its luxury, relaxation and southern hospitality at its best!

View Terri’s Travel Video on YouTube @travelwithterri and more pictures on Face Book and Instagram at Travel with Terri.

Terri Guthrie
Terri Guthrie
Terri Guthrie is a member of Society of American Travel Writers, Texas Travel Alliance and International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Follow Terri on social media at Travel with Terri.

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