Article by Contributor Tricia Bielinski
“This is the story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected.”
Whether you are a Lord of the Rings fan or not, the fact that there is an actual hobbit house at a resort in Rhode Island, serving up a four course meal with Maker’s Mark pairings is enough to keep reading. A new addition to The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences in Richmond, the pictures of this alone were enough to prompt me to book. But I had to wonder, what would it actually be like that in person? This whimsical and charming fantasy brought to life where I’m really eating in a hobbit house?
I booked a Friday evening with three friends recently to check it out. I had never been to The Preserve and truth be told had never even been to Richmond despite being a Rhody for 16 years now, so this was a new experience through and through!
The Preserve is a luxury resort offering the best in outdoor experiences, all set on their 3,500 acres. They have lodge suites, cozy cabins and even treehouse retreats. The property is sprawling and is the perfect setting for golf, clay shooting, fly fishing and so much more. If it’s wellness you seek, yoga, stargazing and a luxury spa are what you will find.
Once we checked in for our dinner, we got back into our cars and one of the resort’s numerous John Deere gators led the way for us to begin what would truly be an adventure in dining we will never forget. Of course it was dark out at this hour, and we had to joke amongst ourselves as to where we were being taken, and what waited for us out in the wilderness. Our guide continued to lead in the direction of the steps that would take us down the path to what is an incredible recreation of Tolkien’s “middle earth.” Two fire pits helped to light the way for us, one is for guests to enjoy after dinner.
The bungalow (hut? house? I don’t even know what to call it!) is entirely encased in stone and boulder, the round wooden door with the black iron circular handle at its center. Stepping inside, it was truly enchanting and every single one of us gasped in unison at the cozy and intimate interior, complete with Celtic music playing. Stone, a long rustic wooden table, candles and cozy cushions made it so easy to slip right into the moment, and feel like you have been taken back in time. It was already well worth the investment, but then the food came and we were even more blown away. We started with cheese and charcuterie boards and our first Maker’s pairing. Then came stuffed quail, short ribs, salmon, cornbread, vegetable and a potato galette all prepared in cast iron cookware. It was good to the very last drop of Maker’s (they also serve house red and white wine). So good, in fact, that I could only manage a couple of bites of my berry cobbler with homemade whipped cream that of course was also done in cast iron.
It was a perfect evening with friends. We left full and full of wonder, talking about how we will never have another experience like that one again (unless, of course, we book it again which we’ve already discussed). They are booking dinner Wednesday through Sunday as well as lunch on Saturday and Sunday. It’s just one seating for each as you can’t rush a hobbit meal so call to book yours before it’s too late!