These glorious retreats serve gourmet dishes made using ingredients produced on site
When you’re miles away from home and feeling a bit nostalgic for the familiar, sometimes it’s the small things that can make you feel the most grounded. A home-cooked meal – one made with ingredients that radiate the love and dedication involved – is a surefire way to warm the heart. These hotels each place a high value on homegrown produce, serving gourmet dishes that incorporate everything from hand-picked tea leaves to centuries-old seeds.
1) Blackberry Farm, Tennessee
Perhaps one of the better-known hotel experiences to merge life on the farm with a luxury getaway, Blackberry Farm underscores the importance not only of sustainable farming, but also of truly knowing your roots. Paying homage to the Appalachian heritage of their Tennessee location, the Farm’s gardens feature heirloom seeds – some dating back centuries –that are deeply rooted in the area’s history. In fact, 100 per cent of the produce grown in the Farm’s gardens is used, whether in the kitchens, in educational programmes or preserved for an upcoming season.
Rooms from £862 per person.
2) Greyfield Inn, Cumberland Island
Once the proud home of the Carnegie family, Greyfield Inn is still run by its descendants. Situated on Cumberland Island just off the coast of Georgia, the island is a virtually untouched paradise, with empty beaches wild horses roaming in herds. With a location so tucked off-grid, it’s no wonder the property aims to produce as much as possible on site. That begins in the garden with Greyfield’s two resident gardeners, Monica Ponce and Russell Honderd. The duo are responsible for sustainable farming for the Greyfield kitchens, the only spot on the island for guests to enjoy their meals. Catering for everything from picnic lunches to formal jacketed dinners, the menu takes a nod from the season’s bounty, all grown in the 1.5-acre garden.
Rooms from £585 to £625 per person.
3) Park Hyatt, Tokyo
Three hundred miles outside of Tokyo, in the deer-filled city of Nara, lie the Inokura tea fields, owned by the Park Hyatt hotel. Back in Tokyo, guests can savour these lovingly picked tea leaves with a selection of black, green or oolong during an afternoon-tea service. The postcard views of Mount Fuji from the Park Hyatt’s Peak Lounge only add to the experience.
Low-season rates for a Park Deluxe Room start from £400 and high-season rates start from £830, excluding tax and service fees.
4) Villa La Coste, Provence
Nestled among the rolling hills of Château La Coste’s vineyards, Villa La Coste takes rustic chic to new levels. The Villa makes up the hotel portion of the Château, a family-owned collection of vineyards, art and culinary experiences, all converging to create an oasis of culture that dovetails perfectly into the Provence environment. Admire the verdant vineyards from your room, then schedule a visit to tour the vines themselves, and end your afternoon at the tasting bar, toasting with the Château’s own vintage. Each season brings a distinct flavour to the experience, from the bustle of harvest to the calm of winter.
Rooms from £564 per person for a Classic Villa Suite.
5) Heckfield Place
Along England’s southern coast in the county of Hampshire, the recently opened Heckfield Place sits on more than 400 acres of land. A biodynamic farm (and yes that is a distinction from simply organic), two walled gardens, and plenty of fruit orchards provide the means for chef Skye Gyngell to create her noteworthy cuisine for the hotel’s two onsite restaurants, Marle and Hearth. Not only is the farm responsible for providing food for its patrons, but the property is also home to a biomass energy center which provides the power for the hotel’s heating and hot water. Sustainability is at the forefront of the design of Heckfield Place (without, it should be noted, any sacrifice on the part of the aesthetic), and to that point they have created an aerobic digester which is responsible for processing the estate’s recyclable waste and doing double duty as a composter for the gardens. All this effort is just an inkling into the thoughtfulness of the team behind Heckfield Place, to curate an experience that goes beyond what you see at first glance.
Rates from £350