It is not in Sevierville, but Blackberry Farm is such a special place that it deserves a blog story. My friends and I have wanted to go there for a long time; consequently, it is on many a ‘bucket list.’ I finally got my chance to visit last month. Let me take you for a visit to Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee.
Blackberry Farm is a Relais & Chateaux resort near Townsend, Tennessee, in the Walland community. Essentially, it is a luxury retreat with gourmet food and a deep wine list. This survey ranks it 15 in the United States. I would suggest that it is even higher.
How did I get so lucky to go to Blackberry Farm?
I attended a Southern Food Writer’s Conference last May, which included a dinner at Blackberry Farm. Cynthia Moxley wrote about it in her blog, The Blue Streak, last year and I knew that I had to go. There were about 95 food writers in attendance for this special dinner, but believe me—Blackberry Farm was up to the task. I have never seen anything like it.
The goal was excellence.
It was a good idea to charter two buses because we were able to relax and arrive at dinner at one time. Ladies wear dress pants, skirts, or dresses. Men wear jackets. Notice the waiters walking toward us with a tray of champagne. Delightful!
I took my friend Janice Sorrell. I knew that we would have a great time.
I got a chance to talk to this author, Adrian Miller. His book is pictured above and details stories about African Americans who have cooked in the White House kitchen for U.S. Presidents. I have ordered it on Amazon. His lecture was one of the best that we heard during the conference.
Southern Food Writers waiting to enter Bramble Hall.
First, the staff encouraged us to take a tour of the wine cellar. We proceeded underground to what seemed to be half a football field long storage area for wine and spirits. It boggled the mind!
Even the coolers were elegant.
A long hallway with wine aging gracefully.
According to a sommelier at the Old City Wine Bar, Blackberry Farm spares no expense for their collection. The goal is to have one of the best cellars in the country. It is magnificent.
Pesto stuffed baby carrots.
Clams served on dill and dry ice. Can you see the mist?
A Kentucky professor, originally from Madrid, recognized some Spanish wines in this room and assured me that they were of the highest quality. Too bad that this room was locked!
This appetizer was served on a small terrarium.
Our dining room inside Bramble Hall and a view through the tall windows.
I slipped out and saw the preparation for service. The unison of the wait staff was mesmerizing. They enterred and left the dining area with military precision. They were in step, all arms were moving together.
The menu was perfection.
Mary Celeste Beall, owner of Blackberry Farm, addresses the Southern Food Writers.
Blackberry Farm field greens, ramps, shoots, and hickory syrup. It was wonderful.
Beef ribeye cap with smoked beet puree, greens, and horseradish bernaise sauce.
Andy Chabot, Blackberry Farm Sommelier, addresses the group. His selections were perfection.
Strawberries and cream with vanilla olive oil. Unbelievably good.
Beautiful wood burl decor.
The bathroom had cloth towels to dry your hands. Cloth towels. I loved the concert posters over the sinks.
After dinner, we fairly floated to the bus and relaxed all the way back to Knoxville. It was almost like a dream…but it really happened. Janice and I agreed that it was the best meal that we had ever had. It was, indeed, perfection.
A toast to excellence at Blackberry Farm.