I discovered an email from Erin Wolff on my flight back from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, several months ago.
My boyfriend Patrick and I were already mourning the end of our incredible vacation, the highlight of which was ‘glamping’ right outside Yellowstone National Park. If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘glamping’ essentially refers to a camping-style experience, which offers some of the luxuries of home. The best of both worlds!
I don’t know if Erin saw our Yellowstone glamping adventure on Instagram, or if it was absolute serendipity, but I was OVER THE MOON when I read her email. Erin was inviting us to stay at Pomelo Grove: a woman-founded, environmentally-friendly, nature-centered glamping site right around the corner from us?! We were 100% IN!
Inspired by her love of hospitality and a desire to offer a ‘product’ that promotes community more than consumption, Erin built Pomelo Grove from the ground up (literally). Pomelo Grove is a boutique eco-camp, with three gorgeous, sustainably-outfitted campers that are as chic as your favorite niche hotel. Currently situated on Bloomsbury Farm, Pomelo Grove is intended to be a pop-up ‘glampground’; we just got lucky with the first location!
We returned from our weekend at Pomelo Grove several days ago, and I cannot believe it was a 35 minute drive from downtown Nashville. As soon as we arrived, we felt transported—able to release the tensions and responsibilities of ‘real life’ for a few days. We stayed in Shaddock, the darling green camper you see first when you drive in. Every single detail inside and outside of Shaddock was thoughtful, beautiful and eco-friendly. In particular, the bed was a dream and we slept like babies both nights (plus the soft hum of the outdoors helps).
The first night, we brought the makings of a charcuterie board: cheese, salami, red pepper jelly, pickles, crackers and wine, and we set up in the lovely outside seating area right outside our camper. We sat under the stars and snacked and chatted; the perfect way to begin our time at Pomelo Grove.
The next morning (Saturday), we took advantage of the French Press and ground coffee blend from Stay Golden to get our caffeine fix, and we leisurely prepared a wonderful brunch box from The Party Line. The campers offer lots of yummy snacks (like pretzels and nuts), but glampers are responsible for their own meals. You can either bring food to cook (make sure to check the list of what’s available in the kitchen), grab something locally in Nolensville/Smyrna, or you can order one of the catered meal optionsHERE. Using our Party Line box, Patrick cooked bacon on our personal grill, and I made pancakes and eggs on the camper induction stove (so easy to use). The brunch included mimosa-makings as well, and we took our time eating and sipping and soaking up the sunshine.
In the afternoon we hopped in the car for a little adventure! We wound up in College Grove nearby and grabbed an apple hand pie from Sip-n-Scoop, which I highly recommend. The Tennessee countryside is so beautiful, and we spent almost an hour just drive-wandering with the windows down.
Back at Pomelo Grove, we were ready for some more time outside. Bloomsbury Farm is typically open for visitors, and it can provide entertainment for much of the day, but they happened to be closed for a private photoshoot. Not fazed in the least, we instead discovered a gorgeous hiking trail right down the road, and we had a blast exploring the beautiful forest.
Eventually we returned to Shaddock to clean up and start dinner. I had prepped the fixings for grilled burritos, and y’all—they turned out so well! I brought cooked taco meat, rice, tomatoes, black beans, shredded lettuce, cheese and sour cream, as well as Siete Foods burrito-sized tortillas. Pomelo Grove offers several cast-iron skillets (I used one for pancakes and eggs earlier), and I started by pressing a tortilla in the largest skillet. Then I topped it with fillings and placed the whole skillet on our charcoal grill. After 10-15 minutes, the cheese had melted and the tortilla was golden-brown on the bottom. I folded the sides over, then carefully flipped it, which ‘sealed’ the burrito-shape. I allowed it to grill another few minutes before removing and repeating the process! We enjoyed more wine and some of the complimentary pretzels while we made dinner :).
Each camper also includes a s’mores kit from Bang Candy Company, and Erin makes sure that the communal fire pit is roaring after sunset, so of course we took advantage! We ended up spending most of the evening chatting / making friends with another couple, which is exactly the kind of experience that Pomelo Grove fosters. Erin has curated the features, set-up and culture of Pomelo Grove to encourage guests to connect with each other, with themselves, with nature and with activities that don’t require the internet (Erin even includes thought-provoking books to pick up throughout your stay).
I can also confidently say that this was one of my favorite weekends with Patrick to-date, simply because we were encouraged to be PRESENT and soak in every moment together. If you are feeling particularly stir-crazy these days (who isn’t?!), and you’re looking for a unique experience within a few hours’ drive of Middle Tennessee…what are you waiting for?! Note that news of Pomelo Grove is spreading quickly, and Erin is booked through November, except for a few Thursdays and Sundays, so make sure to plan ahead. Guests can expect decorations, Christmas trees, hot cider and bourbon during the holidays!
NOTES / TIPS:
It is a popular option to rent all three campers with a group of friends; we might do this the next time we go.
Make sure you keep your doors closed at all times. The buggies are in their element, not the other way around! And definitely bring bug spray :).
Bring compostable plates and napkins to use less water and make cleanup easier.
Stop at Mill Creek Brew Co for a beer and appetizer/burger on your way there or back.
The campers are powered by a small but efficient generator. Help it out (and Erin) by doing one thing at a time that uses power (shower/boiling water/AC).
If you have Verizon, you will not have much service, so take this into consideration if you need it for emergency purposes (note that you can usually get in touch with Erin).
This was my first experience using a composting toilet, induction stove and power solely from generator. I think it is AMAZING that Erin is utilizing these eco-friendly options, and I found it helpful to read her FAQ section to understand them better.
It might be worth bringing an extra blanket or two to lay in the grass during the day!