Blackberry Farm, day 3

We took full advantage of everything today.  We got up early, had breakfast and then took out the Lexus.  Lexus has some kind of partnership with Blackberry Farm.  The cars they use are all from Lexus and the guests can sign up to use them.  Emily and I took out the convertible for a little spin.

There were a few options on what to go see but many of them were going to take too long.  This time of the year you can get trapped between a slew of cars driving in to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park so we opted for the Foothills Parkway.  The parkway is its own national park that sits at the foothills of the northern Great Smoky Mountains.  The views are spectacular and besides for a few motorcyclists we were the only ones on the road.  The clouds hang down in the mountains before rising up as the day progresses.  It is pretty awesome.

The views from each stop along the parkway are just spectacular. 

At the end of the road is a lake.  If you go left you can go down to a point but it is a long road and one way only.  We turned around and came back. 

Still had a little time to kill and stopped in an antique store.  Lots of these on the road.  Just rows of this kind of stuff.

Our next activity back at the farm was a cooking presentation.  A little bit like being on the food channel.  Michael Sullivan was the chef.  He prepared our lunch.  We did not learn anything and it went on a little bit too long but was more interesting was the questions that people asked.  Obviously most people want to cook but don't feel completely comfortable doing it.  Lunch was a salad of kale, strawberries, golden beets, caramelized pecans and a lemon dressing.  Hanger steak with a red wine sauce, a potato gratin and sauteed red kale.  For dessert, a banana fosters clafoutis.

Our next activity was truly a highlight.  We went skeet shooting.  I have a nice bruise on my right side to prove it.  I had done skeet shooting once about 25 years ago and riflery at camp as a kid.  The people who took us about were so nice and really great instructors.  All the siblings of the young woman had gotten a full ride to college on shooting.  Here I am.

Emily and I taking ourselves seriously.

We got back to the farm and got ready for dinner.  We stopped by the farm on the way there.  The small shed is where they keep all the supplies.

Here is where the vegetables are grown.

Might have been the best meal we had.  Chicken liver pate with strawberies, watercress and rye toast.  Notice the slates.  I wonder if they came from Brooklyn Slate?

Roasted North Carolina shimp in Anson Mills grits, andouille sausage, preserved tomatoes and pickled pepper emulsion.  This was seriously divine.

We both opted for the duck.  Grilled Peking duck breast with asparagus, spring peas, beech mushrooms, Anson Mills corn crisp and foie gras emulsion. 

After dinner we went down to the wine cellar.  They have 50,000 bottles on site and another 100,000 in storage.  The 50,000 is worth $8m.  The sommelier showed us a bottle for $17k and they have sold two bottles so far.  I am always fascinated that someone would order a bottle at that price but obviously they do. 

Back to the golf cart and home. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Shripriya

    This is awesome. You’re having fun on a non-urban vacation! 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal


  2. William Mougayar

    I noticed their tag line,- Easy to get to. Hard to leave.It’s beautiful. Looks like Canada this time of year.Have you ever been to Banff & the Canadian Rockies?

  3. JLM

    .Ouch — “done” skeet shooting? As awkward as Barack Obama’s Camp David fantasies.”shot skeet”I like the idea of seeing a couple of urban women wielding a shotgun. It is fun, isn’t it?The story of the Great Smokies and how it was created with a jump start from private philanthropy (Spellman Rockefeller) and public funding is one of the great nature success stories in the US.One should absolutely see an “old growth” section of the Great Smokies — say up around Gatlinburg. It is unbelievable. Also, lots of bears.Most of the Great Smokies were logged out and what you see today is second growth but there is still some old growth to be found.BTW, how did you prepare the skeet for dinner?JLM.

    1. ShanaC

      everyone should shoot once

      1. Gotham Gal

        ha. for sure.

  4. Tracey Jackson

    I’m totally going. That’s it. Done. Decided. Just need to find a time to book in the fall.

  5. CCjudy

    you and your daughter look like sistersJ

    1. Gotham Gal


  6. takingpitches

    shooting pics are pretty bad ass 🙂

  7. pointsnfigures

    Virginia is beautiful. Nice cellar. Could be a double entendre pick up line. Went to Bern’s Steak House in Tampa once. Most amazing wine list and cellar ever.

  8. Lally Rementilla

    Love the mother-daughter Laura Croft-like pic. Glad you had a great time!

  9. BlackberryGuy

    Just to answer your question on the slates. No, they don’t come from Boston Slate. When the Main House and Guest House had new roofs put on several years ago, the slates that were on the roof were kept, and are used in the dining rooms!Source: I work at the Farm.