About an hour outside of St. Louis, MO, along a country road, you’ll reach a town on the Mississippi River that resonates with the soul of Mark Twain. Clarksville, Missouri, may not be a place where you’d expect gourmet meals and first class accommodations, but let me clear that up for you.
With Nathalie Pettus, the proprietor of Overlook Farm, you will be in good hands.
Nathalie inherited this sprawling property on the rolling hills and bluffs that overlook the mighty Mississippi River and has taken great pains to see it restored to its original glory. Originally a vast orchard, the farmstead – a gift to her great-great-great- grandfather from the King of Spain – once supplied produce to the White House.
The property has been entirely remodeled in exquisite period furnishings…
….and the grounds include reflecting ponds, a Victorian-style garden, an oversized outdoor chess set,
and an open-air seating area and firepit situated on a bluff high over the river valley.
The farm also boasts a first-class restaurant, and in the hands of award-winning chef Timothy Grandinetti, diners are treated to delicacies such as duck flatbread, Missouri lamb ragout, roasted baby beet salad and a menu that showcases sustainable seasonal ingredients.
Clarksville is also home to a number of antique and specialty shops. After a sumptuous brunch at Overlook Farm (I like Nathalie’s Scramble with basil and cream cheese), take a go-cup of coffee and wander down Howard Street. There you’ll find craftsmen turning wood on a lathe to create a stunning array of Windsor chairs, and the Bent Tree Gallery, which sells exquisite bent willow tables, baskets and handmade leather goods.
After you’ve purchased that one-of-a kind coffee table and loaded it into the car, head on down to River Front Park. There you can watch locals angling for catfish, sink your feet into the world-famous Mississippi mud and maybe, if you look closely, catch a glimpse of Mark Twain’s ghost.