Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rest and renewal for body and soul

My husband and I enjoyed an all too short 3-night stay at Berry Springs Lodge following a conference I had attended in Nashville. I cannot imagine a better bed and breakfast-style retreat in which to rest and renew than the lodge. Its peaceful and beautiful mountain top setting seems light years away from the Nashville nightlife and the now over-commericalized Sevierville-Pigeon Forge-Gatlinburg strip. Owners Patrick, who is the "front of house" host, and Sue, who prepares the amazing 3 course breakfasts and decadent nightly desserts, have created a true haven from the busyness of life.
Our well-appointed room came complete with comfortable king bed, fireplace, a great reading area and a private balcony. The en-suite bathroom was large and, like everything at the lodge, immaculately kept. Housekeeper Melissa does a great job. The lodge's large, covered back deck afforded spectacular views of the rolling hills of the Great Smokey mountains and proved to be our favourite place to read, birdwatch and enjoy some conversation with other guests. Because the weather was warm and we wanted to be outside, we didn't spend much time in the indoor living spaces, but we could imagine ourselves curled up on a counch by the fire at another time of the year. We took advantage of the amenities down by the bass and catfish ponds. While we didn't fish or canoe or shoot some pool at the table that can be found in the loft of the barn, we did play ping-pong and croquet for the first time in years. Each morning we wandered the trails in the woods, well worth the hike as there are lovely views to be had at each turn.
It had been 30 years since we were last in Tennessee and we'd camped out that time. After such a wonderful stay at Berry Springs Lodge, we know we won't wait so long until our next visit. The scent of the honeysuckle, Patrick's passion for the mountains and the lure of Sue's wonderful cooking will draw us back soon to the piece of paradise they are stewarding - and sharing- so well.  May 29, 2010  Guelph, Canada

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