Diary / Justbobbi / Sep 26, 2022
Escape to New Mexico’s Los Poblanos Farm
Written by: Alexandra Malmed
by Alexandra Malmed
There’s something wildly disentangling from reality about watching peacocks stroll with their regal strides and glistening armor by llamas, who chew wisps of grass and mull around on dry, cracked patches of mud as you sip an almond milk cappuccino and mindfully enjoy an egg white and field vegetable-packed omelet in the bright, Southwestern morning light. If you’re in need of a spring getaway—a potent cocktail of sunshine, un-inhibition, restful sleep in a cloud-like bed, gratifying walks, nourishing, organic meals, and a few bright, citrusy, jewel-toned (actual) cocktails, consider a quick trip to Los Poblanos.
Nestled in the Rio Grande Valley region of Albuquerque, New Mexico and planted amongst twenty acres of lavender fields, farmland, and gardens, Los Poblanos is an organic farm, hotel, and farm to table restaurant and bar. Unlike the neighboring Santa Fe, a treasure of a city, Albuquerque itself is by no means a destination spot. But Los Poblanos serves as a retreat from the otherwise somewhat dull northern New Mexico town—and from your quotidian, bustling life.
The Los Poblanos land was originally inhabited in the fourteenth century by the Anasazi pueblo Indians. Initially designed in 1932 by one of New Mexico’s most esteemed architects and the “Father of Santa Fe Style,” John Gaw Meem, the newly renovated, fifty-room hotel, farm, and restaurant sprawls across a historic 25-acre land. Maintaining its long standing agricultural history, Los Poblanos sustains an active organic farm—the produce from which is incorporated into nearly every dish at Campo, the on-site bar and restaurant. The grounds are lined with ancient cottonwood trees and you can see some greens growing quietly in their rows, but in a very New Mexican manner, the farm appears a bit sparse when compared to those in more luscious, miry environments.
A day at Los Poblanos is one of leisure and grace. You’ll likely sleep late, in thanks to the grey blackout curtains and plush, high-rise beds strewn with doughy pillows and duvets. When you’re finally able to emerge from bed, you’ll walk through the quiet grounds, engaging (or not) with peacocks and other meandering farm animals, and make your way to the nearby Farm Shop for coffee. Also at the Farm Shop you’ll find lavender-infused lotions and potions, snacks like Castelvetrano Olives and chocolate barks, lemony hot sauces, and an array of exquisite spices and (infused and untouched) sea salts. Farm Shop also has on offer a few pieces of locally made silver jewelry, barware, linens, gardening tools, cooking and coffee table books, grand wooden bowls, and the like. It’s a great spot for finding souvenirs and gifts.
After a bit of shopping, make way to Campo, where you’ll find things like shakshuka, sides of local green and red chile, and lavender breakfast cocktails. Campo doesn’t offer lunch, but you’ll likely be back for dinner when the menu is comprised of items like a smokey grilled ribeye, a garlicky lavender chicken breast, and seared sea bass with ash-roasted onion—all of which contain gorgeous vegetables from the surrounding farmland. Prior to and perhaps after dinner, find a seat at the Campo Bar, which offers delicious, crafted cocktails like the Santo de Brooklyn of scotch, maraschino, and palo santo, and a perhaps obvious but never the less impeccable lavender-infused margarita. “Five times James Beard nominated Chef Jonathan Perno and his staff to grow fresh, nutritious seasonal vegetables and herbs to grace the plates in Restaurant Campo," says the Los Poblano team. "Our field to fork bounty travels about 300 yards from farm to kitchen, harvested in the morning, on your plate that day. We work with our sommelier to provide herbs for signature craft cocktails at Bar Campo."
The farm at Los Poblanos also cultivates seemingly endless rows of fresh, vividly colored and potently fragrant bunches of lavender, making the peaceful grounds ideal for weddings and other events. I intend on getting married there. “Our certified organic lavender fields produce several tons at harvest time, which is hand cut, naturally dried, and put through a steam distillation process on site to provide essential oils and hydrosols to our wholesale department,” notes the farm and landscaping director, Wesley Brittenham. “We recycle organic orange peels to distill, as well as wildcrafting other botanicals from around the property. After distillation, all of the spent plant materials go into our compost piles, where, with other resources from our landscapes and animals, we produce a natural soil conditioner that is tilled into our farm fields.”
There is no spa or schedule of activities at Los Poblanos—so the day is yours to roam freely, explore the gardens and farms (by car or by foot), breathe in the thin, clear New Mexican air, recharge, and perhaps make friends with a peacock or two.