During the Christmas holidays a few years ago, Luke and I were given a wonderful gift basket that included a white china mug and a pound of coffee by the Abita Roasting Co., which has a production facility just outside the Town of Abita Springs. In case you’re wondering, they produce great coffee, and my personal favorite is one of their Reserve Blends, appropriately named ‘Princess Abita’.
We drink quite a lot of coffee, so it was a really thoughtful present that our friends gave us. Below is a picture of some gift baskets that were being prepared at that time by the elves at the ARC. I think I see our gift with the big red bow in the middle of the picture…no, the other one with the red bow, maybe?
Since we have a home-based planning and design consulting firm, many times we’ll have our client meetings at local coffeehouses and café’s. We’re always on the lookout for a place that has a large table (to spread out plan drawings on), a lot of natural light (for when we review finish material samples), has a pretty laid back comfortable atmosphere (with WiFi), and of course serves great coffee! So, when we read a sign a couple of months ago that the Abita Roasting Co. would be opening their first new coffeehouse in nearby Madisonville, I admit we had high hopes for a really good location for our local business meetings.
Well, let me tell you, they found the perfect spot! Referred to by many locals as the ‘Coquille Cottage’, the lovely historic replication of an Acadian house at 504 Water Street along the Tchefuncte River was renovated into their absolutely charming coffeehouse café.
We stopped in for the first time a week or so ago, and we both knew we’d be back again before we even stepped up to the counter inside! The overall atmosphere is genuinely welcoming and relaxing, with a touch of luxury and an upscale Southern appeal (trust me, that’s not an oxymoron!). I just love the crystal chandeliers, old brick fireplaces with cypress wood mantles, wide plank heart pine wood floors, and vintage French doors with old hardware.
There are lovely antiques, custom millwork and shelves made from pieces of old salvaged wood doors. There are old coffee grinders, coffee decanters, and glassware displayed around on the fireplace mantle and in antique furniture pieces. I noticed a Chemex glass coffeemaker in one of the old china cabinets. Do you see it on the glass shelf? We actually have two of these ourselves, and they make some of the best home-brewed coffee evah! Just sayin’.
There are also several drawings and paintings by different local artists on the walls that give the visitors a taste of the cultural arts in the community. It’s almost like being in a mini-art gallery.
And speaking of taste, they also have delicious pastries that are made in-house, as well as wonderful salads, Panini sandwiches, and wraps. There are adult beverages and other liquid refreshments available at the coffeehouse café that can be enjoyed while looking at the river watching the boats pass by, or sitting in their courtyards outside listening to any of their many water fountains.
We had a great-tasting pastry with café au lait and cappuccino, and thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance in this new little gem on the river. It’s definitely on our places-to-go list now! And, if you are ever traveling around in the area nearby, I highly recommend you stop in at the new Abita Roasting Co. coffeehouse, too.
By the time we were leaving the coffeehouse, the sun was starting to go down and the view was just lovely. I happened to look up and noticed that the Christmas decorations are already being put up around Madisonville (and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!). With the holidays just around the corner, I’m thinking that I might have some gift baskets put together for our friends and family this year!
Oh, and I took all of the photos above, with the exception of the one showing the gift baskets…I think one of the ARC elves took that one, but I’m not sure. So, how am I doing as a novice photographer? So far, so good? Let me know what you think. I’m hoping that Santa brings me a new zoom lens for my camera. Do you like giving or receiving gift baskets, too? If so, what would you like to see put together in one? Feel free to share your thoughts and comment below, because I’d love to know!