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Danna Lorch


Blackberry Farm



Guests journey from all corners of the world to experience a stay at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. Nestled on 4,200 acres of gardens and fields in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the intimate luxury hotel is an ideal year-round retreat for gathering with friends and family to enjoy farm-to-table feasts, the ever-changing outdoors and true southern hospitality.

The farm, which underwent an interior renovation in 2022, has remained in the Beall family for generations. Proprietor Mary Celeste Beall says, “Blackberry Farm has evolved out of a love for family, adventure, food, and enjoying the company of those around us. We’ve never been a place that someone would consider trendy.”

In fact, the best thing about Blackberry Farm is how nature is constantly changing around the classic property. It feels so comfortable and welcoming there that it’s easy to forget you’re visiting a hotel and not a friend’s charming home.

The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee

The Barn at Blackberry Farm combines rustic elegance with a refined dining experience

Jason Bell, Director of Design, thinks of the landscape as “living art.” He says, “There’s nothing better in the spring than to sit on the patio for a meal and take the view down in the valley, with Blackberry Mountain in the distance. Everything is lush and bright.”

Bell and his team took these views as inspiration for the redesign of the guest rooms, suites, and cottages—spaces that are continually updated and renovated as needed. The addition of floral textiles, contemporary paintings, and new light fixtures updated the accommodations, while the antiques and favorite furniture returning guests know and love were left in place.

Blackberry Farm Proprietor Mary Celeste Beal

Proprietor Mary Celeste Beall says that Blackberry Farm evolved from a love of family, food, and adventure.

The original bar at The Dogwood, the restaurant located in the Main House, was previously too narrow to linger around comfortably. Remedied by a comprehensive redesign, it is now a coveted spot at Blackberry to sit and enjoy an inventive cocktail after an afternoon outdoor adventure. Meanwhile, The Dogwood dining room took on a palette of local stone, dusty sapphire, and topaz—splashes of color that Bell attributes to Beall’s influence.

Cassidee Dabney, Executive Chef of one of the other restaurants at Blackberry Farm, The Barn Restaurant, curates bespoke seasonal menus based on what is ripe for the picking on the farm.

“In the spring, the menus are a welcome change from the heartier foods of winter,” says Dabney. “Foraging for greens and mushrooms to incorporate into the meal really connects us to our food.”

Ripe tomatoes yield such a bountiful summer harvest that Dabney and her team make large jars of tomato paste to last the rest of the year. “The Wolf induction burner is the perfect tool for making the tomato paste,” she says. “The constant heat helps maintain a precise temperature for reducing the tomatoes.”

“You feel that southern hospitality the moment you arrive.”
Seasonal food recipes at the Blackberry Farmstead

Seasonal menus use fresh ingredients grown at the Blackberry Farmstead.

Down at the Farmstead, the working farm on the property, Director Dustin Busby says it’s this time of year when the ewes eat the lush spring grass and produce the protein-rich milk needed to prepare their signature Singing Brook Cheese, which ages for up to a year before it is plated.

Beall knows it’s finally spring when the Lenten rose, a pink-dappled flower, begins to bloom. Next, daffodils and clover shoot up with wild abandon, and baby lambs are born right around Easter weekend, a time when Blackberry Farm is bustling with guests who come for the special menus and activities.

The options for enjoying Blackberry Farm beyond the Main House are constantly expanding. Guests can take a guided tour of the Farmstead gardens and heritage livestock pasture, flyfish, go for a mountain biking expedition, or horseback ride along miles of trails. Afterward, it’s possible to truly relax with a massage at the Wellhouse spa or simply pause in quiet wonder, taking in the view as the mist rolls in from the mountains.

Blackberry Farm offers countless activities and adventures for the whole family

For younger guests, there are wide-ranging regularly scheduled children’s activities and family time events. There is also Camp Blackberry, where campers experience time away from their families to enjoy tailor-made adventures, such as culinary, fine arts, and outdoor adventure, and Blackberry Youth Discovery, an opportunity for youth ages ten and older to delve into more in-depth learning in areas such as painting, ceramics, and farmstead activities.

Blackberry Farm offers countless activities and adventures for the whole family

Regardless of the season, Blackberry Farm offers countless activities and adventures for the whole family.

In summer, when the garden is at its lushest, guests can pick native wild blackberries, dip their toes in the creek, and take in the majesty of lightning bugs and clear star-filled skies at night. It’s hard to think of a more classic way to celebrate the Fourth of July than at Blackberry Farm. “It’s such a big event here,” says Jason Bell. “We have a big barbeque, fireworks, and flags and banners are everywhere. You feel that southern hospitality the moment you arrive.”

Whatever the season, when you visit Blackberry Farm, it’s impossible not to unplug from the worries of modern life and become besotted with the living, natural beauty of the moment.

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