Smoky Mountain High
A perfect day at Blackberry Farm, from a walk through the wildflowers to a twilight dinner.
From the moment we arrived at the Inn at Blackberry Farm, I felt as though I were visiting a friend's stylish but relaxed country house. Co-owner Kreis Beall approached us with a smile and a handshake before we even turned off the engine of our car. Inside the inn, there were fresh flowers in antique vases, a rust-colored chaise, rooms with mountain views and beds like fluffy white clouds. There was even a help-yourself pantry, where we found tonic to go with our gin, made fresh popcorn and raided the small fridge for chocolate-covered ice-cream bars that we devoured after our lakeside picnic (but before afternoon tea).
The recipes that follow are heart healthy, thanks to techniques that John Fleer, chef at the Inn at Blackberry Farm, mastered while cooking for Mary Tyler Moore and her husband, a cardiovascular surgeon. The wines for his dinner menu were chosen by Matthew Regan, the inn's sommelier.