With food-conscious jet-setters on the rise, it’s no wonder that farm stays are increasing in popularity. After all, what could be more idyllic — or epitomise the “farm-to-table” movement more, for that matter — than enjoying your breakfast in the shade of the very orchard which produced the fruit in your juice and breakfast jam? Add in the fresh countryside air, the bucolic scenery, plus the feel-good emotions associated with partaking in sustainable “agritourism” and the charm of a farm stay is easy to understand.
It’s the ultimate chance to unwind and truly reconnect with nature, with many B&Bs offering guests unique activities such as fruit picking, cooking classes and tending to the livestock. But in case you were associating “farm” with bare-bones, rough-and-tumble accommodations, rest assured: Farm stays can be as stylish and swanky as their urban counterparts, as evidenced by these luxury farms around the world which invite you to hit the hay in 5-star surrounds.
Blackberry Farm: Tennessee, U.S.
Nestled in the Appalachians and spread across 4,200 acres, Blackberry Farm is a bucolic dream: beautiful grounds filled with verdant green lawns, colourful gardens, rustic barns and a stylish farm-to-table restaurant with adjoining wine cellar. Here, guests can enjoy horseback riding, fly fishing, morning yoga sessions and evenings spent uncovering the gems of the extensive wine cellar. The land’s natural bounty supplies the three restaurants on the property, with meals specially curated by Blackberry Farm’s all-star team of chefs, gardeners, cheesemongers, bakers, butchers and sommeliers.
At fine diner The Barn, Appalachian ingredients are paired with a 9,000-bottles-strong wine list; breakfast is a deeply nourishing affair over at the Main House, with poached farm eggs and hoe cakes, stone cut oatmeal with local fruit, and homemade buttermilk biscuits. Between meals, guests can fill their time with cooking demonstrations and workshops, treatments at the on-site spa, or leisure time in their own charming cottage complete with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. The team have also launched sister property Blackberry Mountain just last month; for more information, visit here.
Blackberry Farm, 1471 West Millers Cove Road, Walland, Tennessee 37886, United States, +1 865 984 8166
Babylonstoren, Western Cape, South Africa
Set in the otherworldly backdrop of the Cape Winelands, an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Babylonstoren is named after the Hanging Gardens of Babylon — a luscious eight-acre, 300-year-old homestead composed of sun-drenched vineyards, overflowing gardens, and charming, colonial-inspired estates. As one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, Babylonstoren’s story is that of the land itself, making it an attraction for anyone who passes through this way. If you’re lucky enough to spend a few days here, prepare to experience world-class accommodations in one of the original 17th- and 18th-century buildings, from the stately Manor House with its charming, old wood-burning stove and fully stocked library; to the more contemporary white-washed cottages, with luxurious en-suite bathrooms, lounges, and open gables built in the Cape Dutch style.
At Babylonstoren, adventure abounds at every turn: Roam through the 3.5-hectare gardens on a tour with one of the gardeners, enjoy a wine tasting at the vintage cellar against the breathtaking view of the Banghoek Mountains, brew your own herbal tea with the Tuesday Tea Ceremonies in the central garden, or relax in the sauna and vitality pool at the calming spa oasis. When hunger strikes, two fine restaurants — Babel and Greenhouse — serve up artisanal treats with produce plucked from the garden, matched with a superb list of wines.
Babylonstoren, Klapmuts Simondium Road, Simondium, 7670, South Africa, +27 (0)21 863 3852
Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall, England
What do you get when you combine the talents and fastidious locavore mindsets of two of U.K.’s top chefs? The rural farm slash foodie retreat Coombeshead Farm, set across 66 acres of pristine English countryside. An instant food mecca for gastronomes both near and far, the food from chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield could very well be described as near-spiritual: The freshly foraged produce is elevated with rigorous technique but presented with a homely spin, whether it’s a hearty winter warmer of lamb shoulder and mushroom porridge, or a simple snack of sunflowers dipped in fresh curds.
A feeling of communion injects warmth into every meal as you meet your fellow guests and Adams himself, who lives just across from the 16th-century farmhouse with his girlfriend and business partner, Lottie Mew. With the B&B consisting of just five rooms, the social shared-house aspect is very much a part of the experience, but fret not, there are pockets of calm and serenity in equal measure: from sojourns through the green meadows grazed by sheep, to a sundowner sipped as the evening sun dips below the horizon, completely free from digital distractions (there’s no mobile signal here, so prepare to put your phone away).
Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick, Cornwall PL15 7QQ, United Kingdom, +44 0 1566 782 009
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Hawke’s Bay is known for producing some of the finest wine in all of New Zealand, so it’s a pretty fair assumption that the wine list is is going to be of superlative quality at this serene farm retreat nestled off the coast of the Pacific Ocean. With magnificent views stretching across the coastline, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers encompasses a 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm, with an adjoining Tom Doak-designed golf course (ranked 22nd in the world). A stalwart of New Zealand’s world-famous portfolio of luxury lodges, Cape Kidnappers is the sister property to Kauri Cliffs and Matakauri Lodge, all three standout accommodations on the North Island.
Perched on a headland, the property itself is sunny and spacious, with beautifully furnished rooms and light-filled dining rooms with windows which are perpetually open to let in the balmy ocean breeze. Chef James Honore pays tribute to the Hawkes Bay region with a farm-to-fork menu buoyed by fresh flavours and intriguing ingredient combinations. Daily fruits and vegetables are picked from Cape Kidnappers’ own garden, with other ingredients sourced solely from local suppliers in the area. To walk off meals, The Farm provides guided tours where you can get acquainted with the cuddly livestock.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, 446 Clifton Road, Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay 4180, New Zealand, +64 6 875 1900
Fattoria Casamora, Tuscany, Italy
With the term agriturismo invented by the Italians, it’s no surprise that working farm accommodations can be found all over Italy. Given the country’s natural beauty and endlessly good weather, you’ll find some of the world’s best farm stays in this Mediterranean slice of heaven. Agriturismo stays in Italy are relatively affordable, but for a classy accommodation with an upscale bent, pay a visit to Fattoria Casamoro, located in Pian di Scò, an hour southeast of Florence. The agricultural estate is known for its premium olive oil, which it exports all around the world, but few know that it also operates as a farm B&B, offering everything from standard suites to 3-bedroom villas. Covering 1,000 hectares, the residential portion of the estate has its origins as a convent dating back to the late 17th century; in its modern incarnation, it’s a true Eden-like paradise of fragrant olive groves, idyllic woodlands, and natural springs peppered by a bounty of varied flora and fauna. Aside from learning how the olive oil is cultivated and taking a turn on the farm press, guests can fill their days with laps in the outdoor pool, cocktails sipped in the garden, and candlelit dinners enjoyed on the portico of the main restaurant, savouring the spoils of Tuscany’s ripe farmlands.
Fattoria Casamora, Via di Casabiondo 5, 52026 Pian di Scò, Castelfranco Piandisco, Italy, +39 055 960046