Enjoy your stay

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2011

By David Vitrano


PAULINA – Situated where it is between the scenic plantations of St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes, one might wonder why a bed and breakfast has not sprung up along this particular stretch of River Road before.

Auberge Du Chene Vert, located in the former house of Judge Thomas Kliebert Sr., is the latest in a string of quaint lodgings lining both sides of River Road in the River Parishes.

Although the house is not particularly old considering the surroundings, with its lazy wraparound porch and white columns, it has the look and feel of an antebellum-style manor. It’s vast property and surrounding farmland complete the illusion.

The house is currently owned by Judge Kliebert’s son, Thomas Kliebert Jr., and his wife, Mary Kliebert. After his parents passed away—his father in 2002 and his mother in 2007—the couple said they tried to sell the house.

“It was a slow market,” said Mary Kliebert.

So fearing the property might fall into disrepair, the couple purchased the house in late 2009, but even then its fate was not assured.

She said it was when visiting their daughter in Nashville that another bed and breakfast owner gave them the idea to transform the house from a simple residence into a bed and breakfast.

“We just like to travel a lot, and we stay in a lot of bed and breakfasts,” she said.

The transformation itself was not terrible arduous. New coats of paint were added, as were ramps to make the property handicap accessible. Also, each bedroom was given its own bathroom and a new bed.

“I didn’t want any rickety stuff,” said Mary Kliebert.

But other than that, most of the antique furnishings stayed in place.

Guests have their choice of one of three bedrooms and can expect a full breakfast consisting of items both familiar and not.

“I would like to cook things they haven’t eaten before,” said Mary Kliebert.

Breakfast will also include, when the season allows, fresh fruit and fruit juice grown on the five acres surrounding the house.

Besides operating as a bed and breakfast, Auberge Du Chene Vert, which means “Live Oak Inn,” can host small to mid-sized parties and get-togethers. Kliebert said the site has already hosted a party for the Kentucky Derby.

“It was so cool,” she said. “All the ladies wore hats.”

In addition to all this, guests can also catcha glimpse of something that can only be found in St. James Parish. The barn behind the house is used to dry perique tobacco, which only grows in the parish.

Auberge Du Chene Vert is located at 2794 Louisiana Highway 44 in Paulina. For more information, call 225-206-0303 or 225-869-4064 or visit www.aubergeduchenevert.com.