In a hole in a ground there lived a hobbit – well, not exactly, but it’s easy to imagine when you lay eyes on an oversized round door set into hillside boulders. This is The Preserve Sporting Club’s latest venture, an enchanting private dining experience that transports patrons from Richmond, Rhode Island to Middle Earth.
“Now more than ever, travelers are seeking an escape from reality,” says Daniel A. Hostettler, president of Ocean House Management. “The Maker’s Mark Hobbit House is unlike anything else that exists.”
The storybook feel continues inside with a massive hearth, candlelight, wooden chairs, scattered pillows and faux fur, and custom table. For a price, parties up to eight can reserve the Hobbit House for an immersive evening of chef-prepared courses and cocktails made with Maker’s Mark specialty bourbon. The menu is just as inventive as the setting it’s served in: wild game sausage and local cheeses, bourbon glazed quail, and a winter berry cobbler baked in iconic Le Creuset cast iron. Each course pairs nicely with a particular whiskey, including Maker’s Mark’s exclusive Preserve Reserve, which is the final pour of the night as patrons settle around the firepit under the stars. Even Tolkien might have raised a glass to that.