Blackberry Farm

Taste of the good life in Walland, Tennessee.

By Hope S. Philbrick

Upon arrival at Blackberry Farm it’s immediately clear that this is someplace different.

Before I can slip off my sunglasses someone is opening the car door for me. “Welcome to Blackberry Farm,” he says, then—get this—escorts me into the lobby. Not just open the door for me, or just point me in the right direction or just say, “You’ll find the registration desk on the right hand side once you pass through the door that’s three steps in front of you.” No. He opens that door and walks through it with me to the desk. As if I could get lost or lonesome in that short distance. And then, before parting, he formally introduces me to the registration clerk. This just may be as close to having a coachman as I’ll ever get.

Check-in is a breeze, of course. And before I return to my car all of my bags have already been unloaded and hauled up the stairs to my room. Voila!

What else would you expect from a place that Travel + Leisure has rated as the “#1 best service in the world”? Located a four-hour drive north of Atlanta, Ga., in Walland, Tennessee, the price of staying at Blackberry Farm puts it into the “once-in-a-lifetime” category for most folks.

Foodies and wine-lovers will especially find it’s worth saving up for the splurge.

The Barn at Blackberry Farm“Everything we do in our restaurants is influenced by this place Blackberry Farm,” says Proprietor Sam Beall. The award-winning cuisine at Blackberry Farm showcases product grown and produced on the 4,200-acre estate. Local ingredients get the celebrity treatment. “We are committed on a daily basis to delivering our guests a culinary experience unlike any other,” says Beall. “First of all, that means breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year. But in addition we host 12 to 18 special events during the year that highlight world-class culinary personalities, guest chefs, farmers, cheese makers and more. The themes vary very much.”

“I actually have never repeated the same event twice,” says Beall. “We have such a following with some of our guests—80 percent of our guests are repeat visitors—and we want to give them a new experience every time.”

Beyond dining in either of Blackberry Farm’s two restaurants, the Main House Dining Room and The Barn, guests can explore the farm-to-table journey by visiting the various artisan producers who work at Blackberry Farm, such as the butcher where you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone more enthusiastic about charcuterie.

garden at Blackberry FarmAt the root of the culinary scene is Master Gardener John Coykendall, who says, “Everything we have are heirlooms. We practice sustainable agriculture. We’re completely organic. Most of the things we grow are native to this region or at least the Appalachian region.” But don’t think that means the selection is limited: Consider that Blackberry Farm grows 50 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Plus, “We’ve got 5,000 acres to forage for mushrooms and wild edible fare.” Indeed, visiting Blackberry Farm is an opportunity to savor the season as it’s presented on your plate—and be spoiled in the process.

More Information…

Blackberry Farm is open year-round, but to satisfy a particular craving plan your trip around scheduled epicurean experiences and cooking schools.

There’s plenty to do at Blackberry Farm besides eat: go horsebackriding, shoot sporting clays, go flyfishing, hiking, biking or canoeing, test drive a Lexus, rent a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, explore a cave, go rock climbing or rapelling, experience hot air ballooning, relax at the spa or much more.

Odds of Encountering Children…are slim.

Blackberry Farm
1471 West Millers Cove Road
Walland, TN 37886

– Photo Credit: Beall + Thomas Photography; Courtesy Blackberry Farm

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.

HopeP_144Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. She became a freelance writer and editor because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.

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