Editor’s Note: Let me preface this post by saying this – Blackberry Farm comes with a lot of hype. It is routinely heralded with top travel awards and earns the kind of praise (year after year!) reserved only for 5+ star establishments. I consider myself pretty well-traveled and I’ve gotten to stay in some dynamite hotels, so I wondered if it would live up to it’s rockstar resort status…and it did. and more. Blackberry Farm absolutely KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF and I can’t wait to go back!
From start to finish, Blackberry Farm gets it right. Once you arrive at the idyllic property, everything is taken care of for you. After a brief, friendly check-in you are whisked away to your room – I stayed in a one-bedroom cabin that featured a gorgeous oversized 4-poster bed, elegant sitting room with a fireplace, wet bar area (all snacks & non-alcoholic beverages are free!), and spa bathroom. Each cabin also features a porch with rocking chairs (the PERFECT spot for a glass of wine at sunset!) All of the interiors in the cabin (and on the property in general) are fairly traditional, but also feel fresh & chic.
Once you peel yourself away from your overnight digs, the possibilities to enjoy the property are endless. You can horseback ride, make artisinal cheese, fly fish, watch a cooking demo from a celebrity chef, shoot skeet, sip a glass of wine by the pool, and *exhale* enjoy the new spa, called “The Wellhouse”. I got a sneak peek of it last week and it.is.amazing.and.awesome.
Not only does The Wellhouse feature impeccable spa treatments, but they also offer fitness classes like Yoga, Barre, and Zumba. It’s the kind spa that you would expect from a property like Blackberry Farm. They’ve thought of every detail and executed each of those details perfectly. Just walk through the doors, relax, and be pampered (or sweat off some calories from the incredible meal you enjoyed the night before! More on that later…)
The dining experience at Blackberry Farm is one of the most notable pieces of their world-class puzzle. It’s simply exquisite. Dinner in the evening is served in the “Culinary Barn” – a renovated, cozy barn with an open kitchen and hundreds of flickering candles illuminating the space. The ambience alone is worth making the trip to Walland, TN – and then there is the food and wine. THE FOOD AND WINE, PEOPLE!!
Nearly everything served on your plate throughout the entire meal is locally sourced (usually from the grounds of the farm itself!) It’s a mix of haute & homey. Each dish is like a heightened, delicious, inventive version of something your mom might have cooked when you were growing up. It’s familiar & warm yet better than you’ve ever tasted & more beautifully plated.
The wine program at Blackberry Farm is led by sommelier Andy Chabot and features more than 160,000 bottles in the cellar (no, that is not a typo. Over 160K. yep.) Andy is not only extremely knowledgable, he is warm & professional without even a hint of pretension. He and his team walk you through the wine offerings to enrich your dining experience in the best way possible – they make it easy, even if you know absolutely ZERO about wine.
My experience at Blackberry Farm seriously surpassed every pre-conceived notion I had about my visit (and as I mentioned before, my expectations were HIGH!) Owners Sam & Mary Celeste Beall have created a special, special slice of heaven for their guests in the Smoky Mountains – if you have been thinking of a visit, just go. You won’t be disappointed. Or, just indulge in some of their delish farmstead goodies in the comfort of your own home (the pimento cheese! OMG)
I’ll leave you womanistas with a few more snaps from my stay (…and you can go ahead and make your reservations HERE!)
I hope you can all make it to Blackberry Farm at some point, womanistas. It is TRULY spectacular!
xo, the Womanista