Gone Fishing!! …at Blackberry Farm

**Hospice du Rhône is back! Contact us to book this amazing event in Spring 2015**

This week I had the privileged opportunity to visit this culinary mecca in the Tennesse Smokies where I spent quality time with the James Beard award winning chef, the master gardener, the baker, the cheese maker, the forger, the butcher, the jam lady, the chocolatier, the restaurant manager, the sommelier, the events and operations teams and so many artisans— who blend their unique talents to create what many believe to be one of the very best hotels in the country – Blackberry Farm.

Finally, Blackberry Farm!
Finally, Blackberry Farm!

So, I will be direct – if food and wine are not really a big deal to you, then honestly, Blackberry Farm would be a waste of your money perhaps! However, if you are interested in exceptional culinary experiences, the farm to table movement, and unique and rare wine offerings, then Blackberry Farm is must on your culinary bucket list!

John, master gardener, also designed the China used in the restaurants!
Got to love a man who will show you the garden, pick the vegetables and then show you how to prepare them – another passionate “Blackberry-ite”
Most of the organic produce is grown right on the farm and served fresh and in season
The butcher – a master of his craft! and I love charcuterie!
Master cheese maker – another award winner! Everyone here is the very best in the field! He is always inventing something new!
Today’s cheese!
I adore visiting the kitchen and finding a treat here and there! All the breads are made in house too – the pastries, the desserts.

After an “exhausting day of meeting the team” we are welcomed to the barn with some homemade beer!

Even the homemade beer is truly exceptional!!! And anything you want to take home is available – the pimento cheese, the beer, the blackberry jam, the bacon! (just in case you did not get enough whilst visiting!)

This privately owned 3000 acre farm is visually stunning and oh so relaxing.  The hotel manager just smiles when guest complain about he lack of cell phone service, because he knows it will only take a few hours before they realize the disconnecting with the office and reconnecting with those that really matter is coming soon!

However activities abound, fly fishing, skeet shooting, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, paint ball, tennis, spa, and archery are all Blackberry activities on offer – guests can opt to explore on their own or to have a guide customize an entire itinerary.

Friendly and passionate fly fishing guides – all of the team is like this – clearly loving their jobs!! Noone seems to think it is possible to have a bad day at the office at Blackberry!
Ok, so I was not tricky enough for the trout but it was sure fun trying!

However for those who just prefer to chill out on their own, laze on a river-side hammock or wonder through the vegetable gardens are certainly at liberty to do just that.

The Barn is really the heart beat of Blackberry Farm – incredible evenings are here!


There are several accommodation options at Blackberry, but I strongly suggest you splurge for a cottage to really get the full mountain escape experience.  Those on a tighter budget can stay in the Inn, but various cottage offerings are available and I would be delighted to walk your through my favorites!

This is just one of the many spots to drink in the views!
The cottages are charming and have a wonderful sense of place with a touch of luxury!


Even the biggest wine snobs will be surprised and delighted with the unique labels available and the massively knowledgeable team.   You can bring your own, but much better to let the Sommelier spoil you on so many levels.

The Wine Cellar is very special – a place to impress for sure!
Each wine the was better than the next and it does not stop there – the crystal, the decanters, the china – everything is simply perfect!!
Another delicious treat that you just might not find on your own!
Dessert to Die For!

Chef Joseph won the James Beard award and was kind enough to do a cooking class with us – He has a great story and loves to mingle with Blackberry guests!

Joseph Lenn, Executive Chef of The Barn, leads his culinary team in providing the Foothills Cuisine for which Blackberry has come to be known.
Cooking demonstration with James Beard award winner, Chef Lenn
No wonder food reigns at Blackberry! Its all about creativity, leadership and a whole lot of passion!

We had idyllic weather and were escorted to lunch on a horse drawn carriage!

The local Blue Grass music is perfectly fitting for our al fresco barbecue lunch!
Taken to lunch on a horse drawn carriage!
Barbecue lunch – it is going to be really hard to leave this place!!
Maybe I’ll tell them, “Gone fishing!!!”

Blackberry has multiple special events throughout the year from culinary, to cycling, to shooting, to concerts – each event is intimate with exceptional access to the celebrities or talent hosting the affair.  Please ask me about special happenings that are taking place in the coming months – I can guarantee they will be a calendar highlight for your year!

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