A famed foodie destination replaces gluttony with wellness

At the celebrated luxurious lodge Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., a jar of pimento cheese welcomes each arriving guest. The subsequent morning, that visitor can order a breakfast with one or all the following:  biscuits with foothills sausage gravy, grits with bacon jam and lemon poppy seed griddle desserts with pecan butter and spiced maple syrup.

There are now not any plans for biscuits at Blackberry Mountain, determined 8 miles from Blackberry Farm on 5,200 acres of pristine land within the Great Smokey Mountains. The focus of the brand new sister property, slated to open in Feb. 2019, is wellness. Owner Mary Celeste Beall anticipates that some visitors will hike from examine in to the Watchman cabins on the ideal of the mountain, a 1.5 mile uphill trail. When they come on the mountain’s peak, they’re extra possible to be greeted with black eyed pea hummus than pimento cheese.

Blackberry Mountain’s healthy level of view taps a health tourism segment that grew from $563 billion in 2015 to $639 billion in 2017, a 6.5 percentage increase, according to the nonprofit Global Wellness Institute. (The world health enterprise was a $4.2 trillion enterprise in 2017 according to the institute). It represents a principal bet from a belongings who're famous for his or her over-the-top Southern hospitality.

“We have considered fitter diets at Blackberry Farm,” says Food and Beverage Director Andy Chabot, who heads up James Beard-winning team. “People are constructing vacations round events, that may or may now not contain a race jersey. They love huge meals and wine but desire to really experience good, too.” He adds: “But trust me, we’re now not speaking roots and berries.”

Programs at Blackberry Mountain will emphasize the terrain. Activities contain lots of mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, and path working as nicely as aerial yoga on a mountaintop platform, 2,843 ft up.

“It’s like your personal personal nationwide park,” says Chabot. It’s also a destination for non-elite athletes. “The rooms’ soaking tubs have huge views,” says Beall. Likewise, whereas the delicacies emphasizes native protein, vegetables, and grains, there’s all the time the choice of indulgence. “There are caviar and chips,” says Chabot. “For visitors who ask for it, the reply is all the time ‘Yes.’ ”
Breakfast bowls and beyond
In the all-day eating room, Firetower, apart from the 360-degree lookout above the restaurant, there’s a view from virtually each one in every of its 72 seats-and much of bowls, beginning at breakfast. Chef Joel Werner’s menu will characteristic dishes similar to candy potato hash with fried eggs and avocado drizzled with a fermented hot sauce made with Aleppo peppers from the garden. There’ll also be  quinoa granola paired with oatmeal and citrus.

At lunch, he’ll supply a curried lentil rice bowl with cashews apart from contemporary vegetables and crisps to accompany that black-eyed pea hummus. Werner will make flatbreads a Firetower specialty, topped with seasonal ingredients, similar to asparagus and spring mushrooms, or tomato and contemporary cheese with housemade salami.

A protein-heavy definition of wellness
The property’s flagship restaurant, Three Sisters, is determined halfway up the mountain, alongside with the spa and pool. The eating room’s image home windows forget the mountains with most desirable seats on the porch.

Chef Josh Feathers, a Blackberry Farm alum, is emphasizing the recreation and fish that’s ample on the mountain. He’s providing pumpkin a la plancha (i.e. grilled), served with walnut butter, to bounce as nicely as a foragers salad with onion vinaigrette. Feathers is excited concerning the native trout: amongst his preparations are whole-roasted with herbed lemon and pan-roasted with marinated crawfish. A residence specialty is venison with a coffee-molasses rub that was created by means of way of the past due proprietor Sam Beall.

“It’s a protein-heavy definition of wellness,” says Feathers. He is making a burger, of course, accessible on the adjoining Whippoorwill Lounge and on the pool.

A 10,000-bottle wine cellar will talk about small producers and sustainable wines, as nicely as a number of bottles from big names similar to Chave and Gaja. Up on the Firetower bar, there could be a talk about clean spirits.

“Because you know, that’s what’s proper for daytime drinking,” says Chabot. He’s also placed collectively a broad range of Rip Van Winkle bourbon and lager and saison from the Blackberry Farm Brewery.

Blackberry Mountain may even take benefit of the terroir by means of way of providing tenting tours at Chestnut Flats, an overnight defend close to water cascades a number of hours hike away. There are cots, a fireplace, a big eating table, fire pit, horseshoes, and darts with further workforce accessible to arrange trailside bocce ball courts. Live-fire dinners and breakfast, will all be catered by means of way of Feathers.

The Blackberry Mountain belongings will supply other courses of cabins, from six Watchman cabins to 18 single-unit stone cabins, with amenities similar to fire pits, as nicely as five multi-room homes. Rates bounce at $895 a night.


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