Welcoming Spring Equinox with Hidden Doorways!
March 3, 2023 by Perrie Hartz
Along with longer days and balmier weather, spring also ushers in a time of renewal and regrowth. Hidden Doorways highlights some incredible properties from across the globe that are celebrating spring in many different ways, from delectable seed-to-soul cuisine, to blossoming flower gardens, exciting culinary partnerships, and even honey tastings!
Farm-to-Table Tastings at Southall Farm & Inn
Situated close to Nashville just outside the charming small city of Franklin in the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee, the farm-focused luxury resort Southall Farm & Inn is all about farm-to-table dining and sustainable living. With 325 acres of lush forests and picturesque pastoral landscapes, this superb resort is the perfect place for a Spring Solstice retreat, providing guests with the opportunity to explore the region’s agricultural customs, local flavors, and natural beauty.
The property’s spectacular restaurant, Sojourner, offers a superb seasonal menu that reflects a truly modern take on classic Southern hospitality. Spring menu highlights include the Southall Salad made with Greener Roots lettuces (which are grown on property in Southall’s hydroponic greenhouse!) and a fresh Sorghum vinaigrette, biscuits and gravy made with sock sausages and thyme, and a delectable burger made with local Bear Creek beef, onion jam, aioli, Kenny’s cheddar, and a pillow-soft brioche bun.
Spring activities on property include honey tastings and wine and food parings at the Jammery, where guests will get to meet one-on-one with the Executive Chef, Head Beekeeper, and Head Sommelier to discover the incredible seasonal bounty that Southall has to offer. Southall’s Food Fables is also a great activity where guests taste the local harvest and see how it is best prepared. They’ll join a Southall farmer and chef to tell a story about the journey of a vegetable from seed to plate on the farm. The farmer will also go over the detailed life cycle of the highlighted vegetable and all of the tips necessary to grow that crop at home, if the guests so choose! It’s an incredible way to feel connected to nature and to explore all the incredible seasonal wonders of springtime in Tennessee.
In Full Bloom at Heckfield Place
A 45-room Georgian estate set on 400 rolling acres of picturesque Hampshire countryside, Heckfield Place reflects classic English hospitality and stately grandeur, and is the perfect spot for a peaceful weekend escape as the weather warms up this spring. Wake up to chirping birds and sweet-smelling grass dotted with morning dew, and explore the estate’s 50,000 tulips that have burst into full bloom in the property’s many bucolic walled gardens. This is the time to see the famous English Springtime in all its colorful and sweet-scented glory. Flower lovers will see everything from Brown Sugar ( with their gorgeous coppery hue) to Apricot Impression, as well as the fuzzy and wild blooms of the Parrots like Nachtwacht. Tulip bulbs are some of the last to go into the ground before Heckfield puts their gardens to bed in late November, and yet they are among the first to pop up in the early days of Spring, just after daffodils, paper whites and snow drops. Heckfield Place offers many tours where guests may experience the most of this year’s incredible floral show.
Also, stay tuned for Heckfield’s culinary team, led by Culinary Director Skye Gyngell, to unveil their spectacular spring menu at Marle and Heath restaurant, which serves the freshest seasonal ingredients sourced directly from their on-property farm.
A Grecian Cooking Adventure at Lesante Cape
Located on the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, Lesante Cape is a luxury resort property and modern Grecian oasis in the Ionian islands that honors local culture and reflects the stark and stunning beauty of its natural surroundings. This spring, the property offers an incredible chance to experience true Zakynthian culture with a selection of regionally-themed cooking lessons aimed to familiarize guests with gastronomy secrets and customs found throughout the Ionian Islands, Crete, The Cyclades, and The Peloponnese region.
These classes provide one-on-one attention and will teach guests how to make incredible Greek cuisine using only the freshest seasonal produce. Sample menus include: simple yet delicious tomato salad with feta cheese and fresh oregano, ultra-fresh and tart tzatziki, and succulent stuffed lamb with greens and herbs that melts off the bone. Other delectable classic dishes include traditional Greek fish fricassee with herbs and greens and tender beef Sofrito in a deliciously fragrant gravy served with fluffy mashed potatoes. You may not immediately think of the Greek Isles when it comes to spring travel destinations, however this gorgeous area of Europe is perhaps even more appealing in the months leading up to summer, when there are less crowds of tourists and one can enjoy the peace and quiet of a balmy afternoon under the warm Grecian sun.
Fresh Israeli Cuisine at Pereh Mountain Resort
Pereh Mountain Resort is a luxury property located on a private estate on a hilltop overlooking mountains and valleys of Israel’s magical Golan Heights region. Surrounded by breathtaking views, rolling vineyards, lush gardens, and orchards, the property is a true gem of sustainability that boasts an incredible culinary experience of organic, local produce and the freshest of seasonal ingredients. Many surrounding farms offer artisanal cheeses, beef and sheep grown in open pastures, Syrian olives, local herbs, and of course, incredible wines, while the resort’s on-property garden grows sage, parsley, lavender, thyme, mint, cumin, mustard seed, curry, rosemary, and coriander.
The culinary team at Pereh Mountain Resort showcases this seasonal abundance and immense diversity in its creative and inventive menus that are always changing. The newest menu offers fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth homemade oven-baked gnocchi glazed with fresh tomato butter, a trout from Dan (a local kibbutz) accompanied by fresh sweet corn, and a cold Labneh (made from local goat’s cheese) cheese cake with white cantaloupe, pistachio crumble, and freshly-picked zaatar leaves. A visit to Pereh Mountain Resort offers guests outdoor adventure, relaxed luxury, and a truly incredible culinary experience that reflects the best of what Israeli has to offer.