Our expectations prior to our visit to Blackberry Farm were high - VERY high! Visiting The Farm was on our vacation shortlist for years, so anticipation built for some time, especially after reading countless, effusive articles about it in Town & Country, Vogue and elsewhere. Needless to say, our expectations were blown away!
While Blackberry Farm is an obvious spot for a romantic getaway, we travelled with our two young children and enjoyed one of our favorite family vacations yet. Maybe it was the stunning home (Elkmont) we had the opportunity to stay in? Perhaps it was watching our kids jump out of bed and run to the dairy to check on the animals and help collect eggs (our daughter, who's favorite color is pink, collected a light pink, speckled egg for the chef to use in making her breakfast that morning)? Or maybe it was the romantic and delicious brunch my husband and I enjoyed, while our kids ran on the expansive lawn and played on the most fantastic tree swing in existence? Or perhaps it was the long workout and soothing massage in the new Architectural Digest-worthy spa? Or the long hikes in the Smokey Mountains? Or the multi-course gourmet meals we had delivered to "our very own" lakeside pavilion with an outdoor fireplace and s'mores pit (this may be the best kept secret at the Farm by the way - they'll deliver your meals anywhere on property)? Or the horseback rides? Or the fishing? Or the family golf cart races (Elkmont had TWO for our racing pleasure)? Or feeding the sheep? Or catching crawfish in the river? Or curling up under layers of thick, wool blankets to enjoy an early evening rain shower on Elkmont's screened-in porch from an oversized, swinging sofa? Realistically, it was the combination of all of these precious moments taking place in a pristine setting with the people we love most in the world that led to such an unforgettable vacation.
*We should mention too that we highly cherished staying in a home. Elkmont itself was an experience. The home is spacious, exceedingly comfortable and (most importantly) private, as true retreat. We're spoiled now. Yes, we'll be back to Blackberry Farm. And yes, we'll plan our visit around Elkmont's availability.