Blackberry Farm

I don’t even try to hide it anymore. I love fancy hotels. I think I pretended I could do the whole hostel thing, but even in my 20′s I had no desire to sleep in a bed bug infested hell-hole. Nope. Send me over to the cute B & B or the well-appointed hotel and I can travel anywhere in the world.

I learned this the hard way when we celebrated Luke’s 30th Birthday in India. One of these days I will put up our pictures. The trip was amazing. But we were on a budget and we didn’t stay in the nicest of hotels, but we were not staying in hostels. A good middle ground. For Luke’s actual 30th birthday we were in the incredible town of Udaipur. Since it was his birthday I offered (my treat) to stay a couple of nights at the Taj – an old stunning maharaja palace where one of the James Bond movies was actually filmed. Sounds amazingly romantic right? His answer was the instead of a nice hotel, he would like to stay in a hostel. An Indian hostel. What? As calmly as possible, I agreed. How bad could it be? Well it was worse than I could have imagined. Our first night there was fine – hard bed with sheets that had not been washed in a while. Bathroom was a little gnarly but I could deal if I walked on my tip-toes and didn’t touch anything. On the morning of his birthday we decided to climb to the top of the highest temple in town. As soon as I got to the top it hit me. Delhi belly. It was miserable to every extent of that word. Miserable. Best part was, instead of a nice hotel to go back to and rest up, I went back to a hostel. One of the lowest points in a person’s life is probably when they are getting sick in an Indian hostel’s toilet. It was rough. So I now have made a rule. No. More. Hostels. Ever. Plus, I get to pick the hotels.


Since I am picking, this is what I am choosing next. Blackberry Farm. Yes please. Have you heard of it? Located in the Foothills of the Smokey Mountains in Eastern Tennessee, it looks amazing. Rustic yet plush – the best kind.  Set on 4,200 acres, Blackberry’s 62 rooms are spread throughout the main house, three guesthouses, and 20 cottages. Rocking chairs line the front lawn to watch the sunset with a cocktail. Owner Sam Beall, whose resume includes cooking at French Laundry has made this a food destination.  It has won many awards, most notably an award for food lovers from Bon Appetit. It is right up alley. The property has sheep, chickens and even llamas, and pretty much any activity possible.

Check out these pictures – don’t they look amazing?


I actually just bought their cookbook. I was planning on using it more like a coffee table book – you know one of those cookbooks that are too beautiful to actually cook out of? But in reading the recipes (which is one of my favorite things to do at night in bed) they look amazing!
I started to make a list of all the things I wanted to make from it. It got long really fast. I love that the book  is organized by season. There is a peach tart in there that looks fantastic which might be on my list for the weekend.

Sadly I have no plans to make it to Eastern Tennessee anytime soon, but if and when I do, we are staying at Blackberry Farm.I would love to go in the winter time. Hole up at a beautiful hotel drink some hot toddies and eat amazing food!  Dogs are even allow too! Road trip?

What do you think – do you like to stay in hostels when you travel? Am I just high maintenance?

(Images via Beall +Thomas)


  1. dad says

    Delhi Belly– great name — I recently had it — but I was in Argentina– I called it Buenos Aires Belly– but I was in a great hotel— I took your advice. DAD

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