blackberry diary

Blackberry Farm hosted the fourth annual G&G Secret Society Weekend and a very swell time was had by all. Julia Reed reports from the front.


The kick-off dinner was held on the lawn of the main house. While we munched on grilled clams and oysters, Blackberry owner Sam Beall and G&G editor Dave DiBenedetto welcomed us, and then we sat down for a delicious dinner lifted from the beautifully illustrated pages of Beall’s latest cookbook, The Foothills Cuisine. I sat next to my friend the great sculptor James Surls, whom I’d profiled for the magazine earlier this year. Neither of us could get over the stunning view.


Saturday’s lunch featured BBQ and Bloodies. When I have to make my own I use Charleston Bloody Mary Mix, garnished with Blackberry’s perfectly pickled okra spears. After lunch we had the BEST entertainment–Mike Stewart of Wild Rose Kennels brought his fab Labs, who demonstrated the benefits of Mike’s awesome training. Read all about him here.


Blackberry’s pork sliders served on their homemade biscuits and garnished with their bread and butter pickles may be the most addictive things I’ve ever eaten in my life. Seriously sublime! The good news is that you can make your own. Order up these tasty buttermilk biscuits and pickles and just add a slice of seared pork belly (or a piece of pork tenderloin).


I adore Blackberry’s great looking Farmstead Chargers–especially when adorned with a menu card promising such a divine meal to come. After dinner we listened to the songs of the hot new duo Johnnyswim. It was the perfect end to the perfect weekend. Hope to see you next year. In the meantime, check out more photos here.



About Julia Reed

Julia Reed is a columnist at Garden & Gun magazine and a contributing editor at Elle Décor. She also contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and The New York Times, and makes frequent appearances on MSNBC. She is the author of five books, including But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria, Adventures in Eating, Drinking and Making Merry and One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.

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