The Whitestone Country Inn is a 600-acre bed and breakfast near Knoxville, TN. The property resembles a village complete with farmhouse, cottage and Victorian-style lodging. In addition to a plethora of activities like tennis, boating and hiking, the Inn offers the space and staff for events ranging from corporate retreats to elegant weddings.
I was lucky enough to participate in their bridal show this month, and stayed over the night before for some much needed R & R. The Whitestone Inn calls itself a "sanctuary for the soul," and as soon as I pulled onto the property through their big red entrance barn, I could see why. I felt myself relax a little as soon as I laid eyes on the lovely landscape overlooking Lake Loundon, horse-filled pastures and lovely buildings spotting the rolling hills.
Upon walking into my room, things got even better. A big plush couch in front of a cozy fireplace greeted me warmly, but even more welcoming was the big jacuzzi tub, where I knew I'd be spending a good portion of the evening. I took a walk around the grounds and kept finding more and more that made me want to come back-- a putting green, a boat dock with kayaks and canoes, wooded trails that overlooked the water. Upon returning to my room, I had the chance to sit on the porch as the sun began to set before heading to the Inn's restaurant for dinner.
I dined alone, since my husband was also out of town working, and while I was slightly nervous before dinner that it would be awkward, I had a great time. The staff was attentive and welcoming, and the owner Paul came to each table and chatted with the guests, making sure they were enjoying themselves and that they had everything they needed. We talked about fried pies for a bit, and I promised to share one with him the next day at the bridal show. I ordered their salmon, which was topped with gorgonzola, bacon and spinach with parmesan risotto. It was delicious, and I enjoyed it while hearing snippets of conversations from the various other diners. Most were couples, and many were celebrating anniversaries or other milestones, though some were just spending a weekend of rejuvenation. I was stuffed from cleaning my plate, but most of the other diners ordered dessert and took it back to their rooms. Though I was mostly so delighted and relaxed, it was the point in the evening where I did miss having someone to share a dessert with in front of the fire.
I didn't dwell on it for long, though. I headed back to the room for a fire and a bubble bath before drifting off to sleep, excited for the bridal show the next day. I perused their menu of spa offerings-- massages, facials, manicures, and wish I had another day to spend relaxing.
After setting up my display in the morning, I was able to grab a bite to eat at the breakfast buffet to fuel up for a day of meeting and greeting. I'm a sucker for egg scrambles, and was delighted than in addition to traditional scrambled eggs, the buffet offered a scramble with green chiles, big ol chunks of ham off the bone, and other tasty treats. Also offered: continental offerings like fruit and bagels, plus french toast, bacon, sausage, and of course, biscuits with gravy. I just had dinner, but I'm actually getting hungry just typing this.
The bridal show was lovely! I was really impressed with all the vendors there, and felt proud to be included in a group that had obviously been selected with care. I loved giving pie samples to excited bride and grooms-to be, along with their parents and friends. The Whitestone staff served samples of some of their catering options, and I was touched that they shared them with the vendors as well. I tried so many things, I left stuffed, but my favorites were the fried brie-stuffed olives and the mini soup shots of corn chowder with bacon. Again, I'm making myself hungry. As promised, the owner Paul came over to try my fried pies and gave me his stamp of approval. So I not only left stuffed and relaxed, but also proud of my pies.
If you're planning an event, or just want a relaxing weekend, I can't recommend the Whitestone Inn highly enough. These folks know what they're doing, and they do it so warmly and enthusiastically. I'm planning another trip back there already. And I suppose this time I'll even bring my husband.