Friday, November 4, 2011

Blackberry Farm

Hubs and I took a little trip to the Tennessee mountains earlier this week.  I've long been coveting a few days at Blackberry Farm but every time I think about booking it, the dates they have available are not the dates we have available!  So a few weeks ago on a whim, I checked their website and whadda ya know, they had a few available nights at the end of October and so did we!

I'm not sure the timing could have been better.  As if the grounds of this 4200 acre estate in the Smokey Mountains aren't beautiful enough on their own, throw in peak Fall colors and it was simply breathtaking.

We stayed in an estate room in the main house because that's what was available and you know what they say about beggars, but there are also cottages and larger homes to choose from.

Personally, I loved the charm of the main house.  It felt more like I was the guest in the home of (some really fabulous) friends instead of just your typical resort hotel experience.

The views were fabulous from the back patio, where you can sit and read a book or sip a glass of wine before dinner (or lunch, for that matter!)

And if you're wondering, "What the heck am I supposed to do for fun at someone's damn farm.  Milk the cows?"  (Which if your interested in that sort of thing, these folks would find a way to make that happen, I'm sure.  With a huge smile.)  Besides all of the extra-special guests they invite (Sommelier Andrea Immer will be there in a few weeks and one member of the staff mentioned David Chang of Momofuku was coming in this week) to entertain you, you can hike, learn to fly fish or shoot clay pigeons, bike, play tennis, visit the spa or even follow the chef around for the day (which I'm sooo doing the next time).

They even provided pumpkins for carving since it was Halloween!

But, if I'm completely honest, my sole purpose was the FOOD!  I think these people have won every culinary award possible (in addition to every hospitality award possible!).

Dinner is served every night in this barn.  The story is that this barn was built in the 1700's in Pennsylvania and in 2007 was disassembled piece by piece and transported to Blackberry Farm and reassembled to become the center of all things culinary.   Cooking classes and demonstrations are performed here and it also houses a 180,000+ bottle wine cellar (DUDE!) and cheese cave.

Let's just say that all of those previously mentioned awards are well deserved.  The two dinners we ate were far and away some of the best food we've experienced.  I finally figured out what Tom, Padma and Gail mean when they talk about "restraint and balance".  Actually, I probably still don't know what they hell they're talking about but if I did......those dinners would be it.

Since we ordered the seven course tasting menu with wine pairings the first night, we had a LOT of walking to do the next morning.  It was a bit overcast and crisp to say the least, but it really didn't matter.

These guys were extremely friendly!

We watched a few guests try their hand at fly fishing.

This is where you come to sign up for lessons.  How charming is that??

Hubs took advantage of the spa and got a relaxing massage and I chilled and read a book by the fire the rest of the afternoon.  

Then we forced ourselves to go back to The Barn for another dining masterpiece.

We're home and on some strict dietary restrictions (no butter or cream or grits with hollandaise) until we can once again button the jeans, but I can't wait to go back.

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