Hi all and welcome back to Tm-Dancer! I hope you are all keeping well and are enjoying the start of autumn! This post today is another one in my Honeymoon series. Today I will be talking about the Fontanel Mansion just outside Nashville in Tennessee. We were at a loss one day as to why to do so as usual I headed over to Groupon and found a voucher for a tour of the Fontanel mansion. A quick Google search later and I realised that this is a popular thing to do while in Nashville especially if 1) You are a country music fan or 2) (like me) a house and interiors fan.
So what is the Fontanel Mansion some of you may be asking?! I know I was when I first came across the Groupon offer. Well it is the former house of country music star Barbara Mandrell. It is in the area of Fontanel, a beautiful rural area about a 20 minute Uber ride outside of Nashville.
When you first arrive in Fontanel you cannot see the mansion. The Uber driver drops you off and you go into one of the quaint little wooden buildings to activate your Groupon voucher or to buy your tickets for the mansion tour. The tours runs on a schedule every hour if I remember correctly. So while you are waiting for your tour to begin you can explore the little shops, restaurants or take a walk through the grounds. There are some trails through the woods which look nice but we didn’t brave as we were short on time. One thing we did do though was head over to Pritchards Distillery and we got to do a free liquor tasting of many of the drinks that they distill. We tasted delicious rums and chilled vodkas among others. The workers in here are very friendly also and are generous with their samples and knowledge of the distillery.
You meet your tour guide at the bus stop. You board a bus and the driver brings you up the 5-10 minute journey through the grounds further up the hill to the mansion. The driver was very knowledgable and told us lots of fun fact about the house and its’ former owner and her family.
I got very excited as we neared the house and I got my first glimpse of the mansion. It is a massive log cabin, an architectural marvel. It was love at first sight for me. I felt like I was in a movie (not a scary Cabin in the Woods-esque movie), rather a romantic love story, happily ever after in this beautiful log cabin-esque movie!
You are greeted at the front door of the mansion by your house guide (a budding country singer song writer). He informed us that all tour guides have to be interested in music and must have a desire to better their musical career. This is a stipulation set out by current house owners Dale Morris and Marc Oswald. They wanted the workers in Fontanel to have access to the house for song writing and musical needs. They can come up to the house anytime they wish and hold song writing sessions.
The entrance hall has a stunning high ceiling which allows for amazing acoustics.
You then go into the living room. The walls in here are filled with guitars of the rich and famous. Gary, a musician himself was thrilled to discover that these guitars and pianos were not just for show but could be taken down and played. He was delighted to play BB-Kings guitar.
The dining room contains the same majestic dining table and chairs as when Barbara Mandrell lived there.
Upstairs you are left to explore at your leisure. There is plenty to see from a games room to guest bedrooms, to Barbara’s walk in closet to her bedroom, still decorated the way it was when she lived there.
The bathroom on this floor deserves a special mention! It is absolute bathroom goals!
Back downstairs and the group all go into the kitchen. You can sit at the dining table or on the couches and you are treated to a song or two from your tour guide. Our tour guide sang his version of “I want to dance with somebody” as well as one of his own compositions, accompanied by him playing the ukulele. To me it was magical. I welled up as the acoustics of the room treated us to this unique musical performance.
The final stop on the tour is back downstairs to the indoor swimming pool which is no longer a pool as the condensation in this room was wrecking havoc with the wood and causing structural damage. So the pool has been covered with perspex glass. Just adjacent to the pool room is a shooting range. Unique and quirky.
The gardens are beautiful also!
This is a completely unique house tour. It is definitely like no other I have been on. Everything in the house can be touched, sat on, laid on, photographed, tried on or played. Nothing is off limits (except the dining room table). You don’t have to be a huge country music fan to appreciate the wonder of this property. I highly recommend this tour if you find yourself in or near Nashville.
I hope you liked this post. More pictures can be seen on my Instagram @tm_dancer89
Tm-Dancer x x