I’ve lived in East Tennessee for more than 20 years, and I finally had the chance last week to visit and experience Blackberry Farm — a luxury resort in Walland, Tennessee (less than 45 minutes away from my house). It was recently recognized in the June 2012 issue of Travel + Leisure as the number one resort in the U.S. and Canada for its world-class service. And now I know why.
Blackberry is simple and beautiful. It’s nestled in the Smokies and surrounded by gorgeous green fields, forests, and rolling hills. The houses and cottages on the property are cozy and intimate. The air is sweet smelling. The staff is super attentive and takes care of you from the very second you check-in. And the food… Oh, the food… The food is amazingly delicious. And so are the drinks.
Let me take a second to list/brag about the breakfast and lunch that I had one day:
For breakfast I had farm fresh eggs (straight from Blackberry Farm chickens) with Benton’s bacon (the best bacon ever!), toast and homemade jam, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. For lunch I started off with a chilled strawberry and beet soup with lime crema and then devoured red snapper with crawfish in a coconut sauce. I chased it down with mint raspberry tea, and finished the meal with homemade cookies. (I’m drooling as I type this.)
I spent some time in the afternoon exploring the property, thanks to a friendly fly fishing guide I met as I was wandering from the main house to the boathouse. I greeted chickens as they were crossing the road, went to the horse stables, moseyed along river banks, visited a chapel in the middle of a field, and more. After my little adventure, I went back to the main house and sat in a rocker facing the mountains with a refreshing blackberry mojito in hand. Talk about a great day.
I’d love to be able to go back to Blackberry again someday. It’s a lovely and relaxing place, and it reminds me why East Tennessee is so special.