Nature’s Healing Powers The self-healing powers that pervade the natural world have inspired scientists and medical practitioners for centuries, and they inspire us at Southall. We take inspiration from the tree, which can seal itself from a fissure that might otherwise destroy it. From the leaf, which can clean itself…Read More
It is true: a stay at Southall will usher guests away from the pressures and pace of everyday life. And yet, what visitors will find in coming here is an experience defined not so much as an escape from something but as an immersion in something else…the sublime nature and warm spirit of the region, the robust energy of the farm and the culinary marvels it produces, the joy of gathering and the peace of feeling fully restored.
The statistics of today tell us what we most likely already know. We are indoors too much, on screens too much, and it’s not good for us. The average American spends 93% of time inside and an average of 10 hours a day on some sort of screen, be that a phone or computer or TV. This way of life—our way of life—has serious consequences, which many of us feel on a daily basis: fatigue, anxiety, depression, emptiness.
What is the cure?
It’s simple, really, and what the burgeoning science of ecopsychology—which explores the relationship between human beings and the natural world—tells us is the wisdom of the ages: we, as people, need nature. We need to eat food that grows freshly from the nearby earth, we need to breathe the air that these very plants have generated for us through photosynthesis, and we need to soak up the Vitamin D whose source is the sun overhead. It is proven that being outside in nature helps reduce stress, raise energy levels, and enhance feelings of wellbeing. This is why Southall is first and foremost an immersion in nature.
As a state, Tennessee has three strikingly different geographical zones, with East Tennessee dominated by the Great Smoky Mountains and West Tennessee by the low-lying fertile valley of the Gulf Coastal Plain. Here in Middle Tennessee, we are literally the middle ground. Rather than rugged mountains or flat expanses, we have rolling hills and beautiful creek beds. We have farmland dotted with forests. What we lack in drama, we make up for in peace. This is a place people come, feel welcome, and stay. This is a place of deep wellbeing.
The wellbeing of our guests is our very reason for being. Those who visit Southall will encounter nature in every layer of the experience, be that a plate of freshly harvested micro-greens, a tincture custom-prepared with passionflower to improve sleep, or an afternoon of plein air painting. Guests may choose to sleep in a luxurious treehouse or visit the spa for a gingerroot soak to aid digestion and inflammation. However you choose to spend your stay, it will always be deeply connected to nature.
A key piece of the Southall experience is the working farm tended by Chef Tyler Brown and his team. The farm embodies the broad Southall approach of bringing innovation to tradition within a framework of right and respectful stewardship. With advanced hydroponics and aquaculture technology, terraced orchards and rotational grazing areas, the farm is ever mindful of the wellbeing of the land and the wellbeing of the people who eat and gain nourishment from it. The ingredients grown and raised in Southall’s fields, greenhouses, and hillsides will feature prominently in Chef Brown’s culinary programs and in the inn’s signature restaurant. Ours is a seed-to-fork approach that transforms nature into nourishment in a way that sustains both the land and our bodies.
Likewise with the spa. The Spa at Southall will bring innovative techniques to ancient healing practices, fusing the modern and traditional in a way that always puts nature first. With open air treatment options, a meditation garden, and organic farm-fresh ingredients, the Spa at Southall will be the focal point of a wellness philosophy that ripples out into all aspects of Southall life.
The result of this layered agrarian experience is delight at the deepest level. With each taste of our home-whipped honey, with each hillside hike and still moment in the sunshine, guests will be invited to sink deeper into their very being. Soon the landscape we observe around us becomes the landscape we cultivate inside us. Then, our soul understands what it’s like to be the soil, tended and watered and capable of new growth.