Relax in Style at the Blackberry Farm Inn
If you had a rich uncle who owned an estate in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he might look something like Sam Beall: ruggedly handsome and always smiling. Sam grew up at the heels of a true Southern hostess, who made sure Sam did his chores, got hot homemade meals and learned how to ride a horse. Sam has carried on the family tradition of Southern hospitality with panache and flair at his home, now known as the welcoming, stylish Blackberry Farm Inn in Wallace, Tennessee.
The Inn is a 4,200-acre estate where the Bealls and their children share their love of good food, fine wine and the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains with guests year-round. Kreis Beall and her husband Sandy first purchased the property in 1976, when Sam was just four months old. Kreis turned the original nine-bedroom farmhouse on the property into the Relais & Châteaux estate and restaurant it is today.
Sam has dedicated his life to food and hospitality. After graduating from the California Culinary Academy and working in kitchens and wineries throughout California and abroad, Sam returned to the family business at Blackberry Farm to pursue his passion for homegrown heirloom edibles, artisanal foods, a vast knowledge of wine and a way of life found few places as beautiful and serene as Eastern Tennessee.
Stay in one of the 69 lodgings available at the Inn, which range from multi-level houses that you can share with friends and family to cottages, estate rooms and suites. No matter which accommodation you choose to stay in, you’ll be showered in luxurious amenities, plush feather beds, period antiques and elegant surroundings.
The original estate rooms are filled with period antiques that provide an historical ambiance while spoiling you with plush luxury. Each cottage offers a hot tub, a fireplace, a porch with rocking chairs to take in the spectacular views of the mountains and modern amenities like a flat-screen TV with a theater-style surround sound system. The houses on the property have three or four bedrooms, relaxing common areas and fully-stocked kitchens with your own private chef.
Food for the Body and Soul
Most of the food served at the Blackberry Farm Inn is raised right on the farm and foraged from the natural offerings of the rich earth surrounding the property. The two restaurants delight your palate with both haute and heritage cuisine. Each meal embraces the talents of an entire crew of artisans that includes the sommelier, chef, baker and cheese maker. The master gardener, forger, butcher, chocolatier and jam lady participate, overseen by the restaurant manager. It’s a team effort.
Naturally, eating is an integral part of your stay at Blackberry Farm. Ingredients for each meal are harvested from the significant farmland on the property. Depending on the season, you may get a taste of anything from wild mushrooms to heirloom beans and, of course, blackberries. The crew harvests from fresh Muscadine grape vines, as well as from cherry and apple trees. Hazelnut trees support a rich root system that cultivates black truffles that are harvested every 10 years.
All This Plus Special Events
Travelers to Eastern Tennessee stay at the Blackberry Farm Inn year-round. Those in the know come for the luxury and lifestyle embraced by the pastoral estate. And many come for the special events that dot the Inn’s seasonal offerings. A few events coming up to close the year include:
- Balanced Life and Body
A retreat featuring yoga and fitness sessions, special meals, cooking demonstrations and nutrition discussions with owner Sam and guests Barabara Close, CEO of Naturopathica, and yoga instructor Philip Clift is slated for October 26–29.
Pumpkin carving contests, famous storytellers, bonfires, superlative s’mores and shockingly amazing cocktails make for a rousing weekend when guests and Blackberry Farm proprietors send off the glorious colorful autumn season with a smashing farewell from October 29–November 3.
- Wine on the Fly
Fishermen and wine connoisseurs converge on Blackberry Farm on November 9–12 for a few days of fly fishing in the lakes and rivers of the Great Smoky Mountains and wine-tastings from Napa Valley vintners Brian Lamborn, Justin Hunnicutt Stephens and Eric Titus. The Inn’s Chef Joseph Lenn is an avid fisherman who will turn the day’s catch into a sumptuous meal paired with the wines.
- Foxhunting Opening Weekend
On November 14–16, the trails of the Inn are overrun with horses and dogs as guests participate in this traditional hunt. A celebratory hunt breakfast follows the age-old event that is a thrilling experience for both huntsmen and women and the guests who just watch. As with all events at Blackberry Farm, register in advance; the Inn draws its guests from a worldwide forum of travelers, and many who come annually partake in events like the fox hunt.
- Thanksgiving Weekend
Leave the cooking for the talented crew at Blackberry Farm Inn during this particularly popular event held annually at the Inn. This year’s Thanksgiving holiday-immersion experience takes place on November 25–30 and includes a Thanksgiving Day feast and a communal turkey fry lunch, complete with angel biscuits on the lawn. This very popular event typically fills up each year, so reserve your spot early.
- Kacey Musgraves in Concert
Occasionally, stars come down from the sky to entertain guests at the Blackberry Farm Inn. On December 5, country music star and 2013 CMA winner Kacey Musgraves joins the crew at the Inn for an intimate concert performed in the estate’s main restaurant. Music, fine food and wine — alongside a roaring fire — make for a soulful mountain retreat in the cold winter months.
- Christmas Holiday
The lights start going up at Thanksgiving on the farm, and festivities continue through the New Year celebration. Christmas at the Blackberry Farm Inn includes sipping hot cider around roaring fires, sharing gifts with Santa, trimming trees and creating gingerbread houses, all inspired by the Beall family traditions that guide the activities at the Inn. Special events and meals allow you to share the holiday with loved ones while you relax in style from December 23–26.
For reservations and information, call 1-800-648-2348 or visit the website at www.blackberryfarm.com.
Picture Credits: Blackberry.elitemeetings.com