Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rustic Retreat

When we were asked to join our friends John and Harrison Shuck to celebrate Harrison's birthday at Moonshine Hill, I was instantly intrigued. I've heard about this spot several times over the last couple of years, but not yet had the chance to experience it firsthand. What I found was so much more special than I imagined.

The open air pavilion overlooking the water
For starters, the evening was low key. Burgers cooked over an open flame at the gorgeous stone firepit surrounded by funky but fitting antique chairs, cocktails on the hill overlooking the lake and a casually elegant table under the stars were all part of the mix.

One small table for essentials and one under the trees for dining. Perfect! 
What I am super excited about is booking a weekend here for the fall (and possibly during the holidays as well).  With the fully stocked kitchen, comfy living room, two bedrooms and multiple outdoor seating areas on 22 rolling acres, it is the ultimate get-away without having to go to far. We can be there in less than 25 minutes from our West Nashville address. Talk about easy!

The main cabin is such a welcoming spot. Porches and outdoor gathering spaces are on every side

I can already imagine inviting friends to come out to historic Leipers Fork for a lovely dinner, followed by guitar playing around the fire and nightcaps in the pavilion overlooking the lake. I am usually a 'city girl' and all about plush hotels. I don't generally gravitate towards anything too rustic, and have managed to escape (aka:avoid) the whole 'mason jar decor' trend that has been such a big deal for entertaining and party planners. But, somehow this was different. In a word, it is authentic.

The 'distillery cabin' is such a fun spot on the property
 For owner, Ann Johnson, creating the space for guests has been a labor of love. She is currently working on an amazing wedding chapel at the top of a breathtaking hillside. I'm thinking we will just use it for a late night slow dance when we return solo. She also stocks the baths with all natural products and fills the shelves with candles, and the kitchen with spices. She loves this 'cabin' and treats all guests very well.

The 'pond' is massive with very creative seating and dining areas all around
Her efforts are evident in every cup of house-blend coffee as well as on every step of the carefully designed stone and rock pathways between buildings. It is like stepping into a dream, but one with luxury in mind along with the throwback/country vibe.  It's not a bed and breakfast, as the owners do not live on site. I never like that kind of set up. But instead, a truly private haven for those electing to rent the place for an event, romantic weekend or for a big weekend of entertaining.

Possibly the best libation ever invented. No mixer needed

As a party favor, we got to take home a yummy jar of their custom "White Lightening" moonshine. It tastes exactly like Apple Pie (which is a bit dangerous for me), and is such a nostalgic touch. Even the wrapping tissue resembled old-fashion ticking fabric. As with everything else at Moonshine Hill, the attention to detail was a treat. I cannot wait to get back, and to share this very special place with my friends.

Hand crafted bird houses adorn the trees

What is your favorite escape close to home? Do you know of another similar retreat? If you do, please share. If you've been to Moonshine Hill, please give some details (or a photo). I am giving away a Southern cookbook collection for the best post here this week. Do follow the Southern Sophisticate for more inspiration and giveaways this month!