NATURAL SKINCARE GURU Tata Harper FINDS NIRVANA at a LUXURY FARM RESORT in Tennessee in the US …
I discovered Blackberry Farm in Tennessee seven years ago with a friend of mine from Venezuela. She knew I had a farm in Vermont – our home and business HQ is in the Champlain Valley – and insisted I visit Blackberry Farm, telling me it was the ultimate chic farm. It’s a luxury resort, but the décor is rustic; it has a sophisticated country feel. Everything there is artisan, with all the furniture made locally. The Great Smoky Mountains are a stunning backdrop and the resort is on 4,200 acres; as soon as you check in you are given a golf cart so you can fully explore the property.
The farm is vast, but inside, there’s an intimate feel. I always feel at home when I visit – the environment is very welcoming and the staff pay attention to every little detail. And I love the attention to comfort throughout. The bed comforter is fluffy and cosy, the sheets are soft, even the carpet is soft; staying there is a very sensorial experience. There are Tata Harper treatments at the luxurious Wellhouse spa – one of my favourites is the Natural Farm-Fresh Rejuvenation, using our highly concentrated, synthetic-free products blended from ingredients grown on our own organic farm. It’s the ultimate relaxation for a busy working mum.
We have three children under ten (one boy and two girls). Both my husband Henry and I were born in Columbia in South America. We were living in Miami and working in real estate when we first visited Vermont in 2004, and decided to move there. Columbia is really where my love of beauty originated; I remember helping my grandmother host spa parties at weekends, making scrubs and masks. Later, when my stepfather was having cancer treatment, I found that his shampoo, moisturiser and so on were too toxic for him to continue using but I couldn’t find anything that was high-quality but toxin-free. I was doing an industrial engineering degree at the time but put it on hold to develop a premium skincare line free from synthetics and potentially toxic chemicals. I worked with a team of chemists, herbalists and biologists for four years, travelling from Europe to Brazil and Egypt to consult with botanists and find the most effective active ingredients. We launched Tata Harper Skincare in 2010.
Food and wine are a speciality at Blackberry Farm. They have an exquisite wine and champagne selection and collaborate with chefs from around the world. Every dish looks like a work of art – so colourful, fresh and full of flavour. I have a sweet tooth so will always indulge; the artichoke ice cream affogato is one of my favourites. The cheese selection is superb (there is a resident cheesemaker) and there are always different food and wine-related events going on.
To offset all this indulgence, I always take part in the wellness retreats and wellness activities on offer: there’s a real 360-approach to overall wellbeing. I might go horseback riding or hiking or do some archery.
Blackberry Farm also breeds the Lagotto Romagnolo (truffle dog); one of Italy’s oldest working dog breeds and quite rare in the US. I have twelve dogs at my farm in Vermont and my dog Vido is from Blackberry Farm.
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