The Inn at Evins Mill

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Four years ago, I met this blogger/writer on Facebook. Let’s name him William (cause that’s his name). I learned that he was the owner/operator of the Inn at Evins Mill, a bed and breakfast in Smithville, TN. After taking some time to peruse the website, I really wanted to go there for some time away with my wife. However, for someone who makes a humble paycheck, I knew I would have to do some saving.

Four years later, I took seriously my desire to go to the Inn at Evins Mill. I called to set up arrangements and William answered the phone himself. After we both learned who we were talking to, we made small talk before getting down to business. We set the date and I kept it from Carrie for a month. She knew we were going somewhere but didn’t know where.

When the time came to leave, I called to make sure we were still a go considering that the weather was beginning to turn icy and the weekend forecast stated the ice wanted to come to the Inn also. We dropped off Levi with his grandparents and we were on our way for some much-needed relaxing, sleep, good eating, hiking, and lounging around with no clock to harass us.

Upon arrival, we were taken back by the view of the gristmill across the pond. We stopped just inside the drive and Carrie took a picture of a beautiful setting with its mirror image in the water. We knew by the impressive beginning that we were in for a treat that would prove astounding and memorable.

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We parked beside the log cabin known as the lounge and immediately felt the weight of responsibility taken off our shoulders as the rustic wooden structure captivated our attention. When we entered, we were met with a smiling yet reserved innkeeper named Christopher. We would grow to really enjoy Christopher’s company over the weekend as he served us our nightly dinner. I believe he took to our company well as we cut up together and understood each other’s sense of humor.

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Christopher showed us around the lodge; where the bar was, the bathrooms, the lounge area where we could grab a movie or use the internet that was only available in the lounge area, the dining area, and the office where we would check out. He then led us to our cabin and after walking us into our room, asked us if there was anything else he could do and we said no. The room we stayed in was by far the best. It had a large king size bed, TV (with no cable), desk, a modest bathroom and a loft large enough to contain only a queen size bed.

our room

After a few minutes of resting from the two-hour drive and gathering our bearings, we got our luggage and made house. It was near dinner time when we arrived so we freshened up and put on our “business casual” for dinner and slowly made our way to dinner taking in the views from above the small dam where the gristmill stood.

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Hors d’oeuvres were available an hour before dinner. The fist night we treated on pita bread with a variation of spinach dip and chicken salad dip Also were some type of fruit with a cream filling. They had a sweet taste but not one I had savored before. Afterwards we learned they were apricots. Not sure I would have eaten them if I were told before.

For dinner I had the salmon and Carrie had the pork tenderloin and let me tell you I have never let anything enter my mouth that had that much awesome sauce on it. We had a fireplace just three feet away and an amazing dinner prepared by a gourmet chef who recently had spent time as a cruise chef. We were in perfect land.

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The next day, we woke to our own inner alarm and prepared for an amazing breakfast again cooked by the same chef. He made us our own personalized omelet right in front of us and we were presented with a breakfast spread like no other. Nothing was bad to the taste. Mostly what Carrie and I got excited about was the most amazing bacon we had ever tasted. We learned that Benton Bacon and Hams are highly desired by some of the top chefs in the country and we could see why. Hand cut and smoked for amazing flavor. The BEST bacon I had ever laid taste buds to.

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After breakfast, we walked over to the gristmill where there is a game room and conference hall. We played a game of foosball where she beat me fair and square. We checked out the grinder that looked as if it still worked. I played a little on the grand piano that say in the corner. I only wished I could have smoked my pipe inside.

Gristmill

When lunch time arrived, we went back to the lounge to receive our boxed lunch that had our Turkey sandwiches, two bags of Cracker Jacks, a banana, orange, two granola bars, two bottles of water, and two sets of chocolate chip cookies. We took out what we wanted and put them in my backpack and made our way to the hiking trails to go see Carmac Falls. It was rather cold but not cold enough to deter us from a nice day of hiking.

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The trail was a bit muddy from the ice melting. It took us mere minutes to arrive at the outlook over the cliffs to see the falls. We continued walking to where the trail makes a sharp left turn then drops treacherously down the side of the cliffs. It is advised that only experienced hikers go this far. I think we qualify. At the base of the falls, we wanted to eat lunch but the temperature had dropped along with the wind off of the falls so we sat on the bench and admired the scenery for a spell before leaving to tackle the dangerous trek back up the cliff side.

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We found where the trail breaks away and directed us to an old ropes course so we sat on some primitive style stools and had our lunch in the heat of the sun. Every thing we took to eat, although seemed basic, was still fabulous to the taste. I had never tasted a banana so sweet. The cookies we astounding and the turkey sandwich was gourmet. Even lunch was unmistakably amazing.

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After lunch, we went to our room to rest from such fine dining. We watched a couple of movies we had swiped from the lounge and napped. Dinner time arrived and we were in for a treat again. Hors D’oeuvres were meatballs and for dinner, Carrie had the ribeye and I had the duck. All amazing. For dessert, they brought out a wine glass with chocolate mousse and every one of us in the dining hall were making a buzz about how amazing it tasted.

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After dinner, I had scheduled us to get a massage. She was already set up in our room when we arrived. I had never had a massage that thorough and that well done. By the time we were done, we were well ready for a night’s sleep. I can’t remember the last time I slept so hard.

Sunday morning brought us another fine experience of breakfast and a food spread that bears no explaining other than the repetition of praises that each fork load brought. We gathered our things and by lunch time we were leaving.

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The Inn at Evins Mill is one for the memory books and must be heralded as one the most awe-inspiring places we have ever visited. I’m thankful for meeting William Cochran and his crew and it bears mentioning that the accolades and praises Evins Mill has received are very well every bit worth it. Carrie told me that this has been the best birthday ever and her mother wondered how I will ever top it. I was never trying to top the last best birthday so I think I will go with that.

You can watch a piece Tennessee Crossroads did on Evins Mill HERE.

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About Kevin Riner

child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged
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