Checking into the Land of Plenty
Bounty to bar. Harvest to hearth. Call it what you will — a fresh crop of farm-focused destinations from South Africa to the Smoky Mountains are getting back to the land, nourishing the body and soul.
By the Numbers
Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm pioneered the chef-led, farm-stay concept and now its soon-to-open sister property, Blackberry Mountain, adds adventure to the mix. Hike, bike, climb and rappel throughout thousands of acres of untouched Great Smoky Mountains dotted with hidden waterfalls and a series of soaring water towers. Meals are no less intrepid: Executive Chef Josh Feathers heads the foraging expeditions in search of mushrooms, beets and more. Trail-side, open-flame dining includes the fruits of your labor supplemented by Blackberry Farm’s famed cheeses, charcuterie and more. Blackberry Mountain opens February 2019.
Soar sky high at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort with its heli-foraging tours of a Maui plantation. Ride with the chef to a private tropical farm ripe with native produce and drop down into fields of white ginger, Tongan taro and more. Then reap the rewards of your harvesting back at the oceanfront retreat for a cooking class starring your fresh-picked haul.
Who's Growing What, Where
Rambutan: Native to Southeast Asian, this spiky-rind, lychee-like fruit can be plucked by guests at the 10-suite tea estate Kahanda Kanda, Sri Lanka.
Calabash: AKA bottle gourd or long melon, the fruit grows alongside the golf course at the West Indies’ Kittitian Hill where caddies will point you to the ripest of the bunch.
Maracuya: A member of the passion fruit family, this sweet and seedy fruit can be picked at La Huerta at Hacienda AltaGracia in Costa Rica, diamond-set amid lush treetop canopies of the Talamanca Mountains.
Burlat, Moreau, Napoleon & Griotte: Four of 16 varieties of cherries grown at Le Domaine D’Ablon, a collection of humble farmer’s cottages gone opulent in Normandy, France.
There’s the cliff-top golf course above Hawke’s Bay, the infinity pools and the luxury lodge suites, but New Zealand’s Cape Kidnappers is also a working coastal farm, which means that everything — meat, fish, fruit and vegetables — are sourced directly from the spot. Better yet, you can experience that bounty beyond the dining table: Head for the gardens with hotel chefs to pluck the night’s meal, or spend a day with your kids working alongside shepherds as they guide flocks across the rugged terrain and river flats of this high-drama landscape.
INTRO: @Le Domaine D'Ablon
LAUNCH PAD: @Blackberry Mountain
THE BRAG: @Andaz Maui
INN CROWD: @Cape Kidnappers