Weekend on the Farm

Squire Fox
Tennessee - Dec 08/Jan 2009

Ring in sweater weather with a few days at Blackberry Farm, Tennessee’s symbol of Southern hospitality

A Winter Haven

Sure, spring and summer are the high times at Blackberry Farm, but the stretch from December through January offers up a period when things are less crowded and, arguably,
more fun.

Fly fishing, for example, is an option all year long, due, in part, to the mild winters of East Tennessee. And Blackberry Farm is no one-creek wonder. Guests can fish the wild mountain streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the dam-controlled tailwaters of the Tennessee river valley, and the privately managed spring creek—all of which are home to rainbows, browns, and brookies.

For bird hunters, the state-of-the-art sporting clays course is perfect for mid-season practice. Designed by John Higgins of the British School of Shooting, it features both skeet and flurry fields.

And foodies will be thrilled by the Barn. Built using materials from a barn salvaged from rural Pennsylvania, it houses the restaurant, demonstration kitchen, and two wine cellars. The dishes are fancier than the rustic comfort food prepared at the Main House (and arrive in multiple courses), but head chef Adam Cooke uses the same fresh ingredients from the creamery, bakery, butchery, salumeria, and garden located on the grounds of the farm.

December and January are also big months for celebrating great causes. First, there’s the Grand Grenache Gala (December 7-9), which benefits the James Beard Foundation, followed by Taste of the South (January 8-10), a yearly charity event held in honor of the Southern Foodways Alliance and featuring classes and talks from some of the best chefs in the country.