Friday, July 29, 2011

A Home for Entertaining

Recently, the minnies and I visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Many of you correctly guessed my vacation spot earlier this week when I posted some preview pictures.

The Biltmore Estate was inaugurated in 1895 on Christmas Eve when George and Edith Vanderbilt celebrated with their guests as they enjoyed the many comfortable amenities of the property. Designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the home was mean to be a retreat for the Vanderbilts and their friends.  As you travel through the woods to arrive at the house, your breath is immediately taken away be the sheer awesomeness of the house. You could hear a collective “WOW” on the shuttle bus as the house entered our view.

The home is a staggering 175,000 square feet in size and is the largest privately owned home in the United States. Yes, that’s privately owned, and yes, the owner is married, as the guide told one inquisitive lady. There are over 43 bathrooms in the Biltmore House at a time when indoor plumbing was quite rare.

The minnies were very impressed by the Biltmore Estate. Natalia asked if it was “the only castle in the United States.” She’s correct in assuming that this is a castle. It sure looks like a castle and the châteauesque architectural style of the home actually means castle-like. My favorite areas in the home were the library with over 23,000 volumes in the collection and the indoor pool. The minnies loved the Halloween Room, a room in the basement that Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil painted with whimsical scenes for a party in the 1920s. They also loved the two lane bowling alley.

The grounds and gardens at Biltmore Estate are equally as impressive as the home. The gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. This is a view of the home from the Italian Garden. Visitors enjoyed the koi and goldfish in the pools and I loved the water lilies.

The walled garden is a kaleidoscope of color and beauty.  The seasonal flowers are incredible and varied. 

Doesn’t this look like something out of a fairy tale?

After a busy morning of touring the Biltmore House and Gardens, we enjoyed a delicious lunch in a unique venue. The Stable Café is a restaurant housed in 19th century stables that have been delightfully transformed into a fun dining experience.

Biltmore Village is a charming little community at the entrance of the Biltmore Estate that Vanderbilt created. It served as a self-contained and self-sustaining community. That influence is seen today through the many restaurants that use items from local farms and many original cottages, buildings, and a church that have been preserved. There’s even a special limited edition Lilly Pulitzer Lexie crew tee for Biltmore Village. It’s gorgeous!


Hotel Review on raveable


  1. You look great in that first pic and I love that one of your minnies is wearing the same blue shift dress I have! I think it's one of my favorite Lilly dresses! I've never been to Biltmore but am dying to go!

  2. I love the Biltmore Estate! It is so gorgeous. I'm hoping this fall to take a road trip with my roommates since the last of us is turning 21 and the winery would be the perfect weekend celebration!

  3. It looks beautiful there. Thanks for sharing pictures!

  4. I just love visiting the Biltmore! I've had several friends who got engaged there. I think it's prettiest at Christmas.

  5. We visited Biltmore a few years ago during was amazing to see that house decorated for the holidays! And, I loved Biltmore Village, too. Wonderful shops. Asheville is a really cool town. Enjoy!

  6. So amazing. I've always wanted to go. My aunt lives in Maggie Valley not too far from there. Hope to make it some day.

  7. What a great trip!! I love the Lilly shirt!! If I would have gone there, it would have made the trip so much more special!!


  8. Thanks for your sweet comments. Biltmore Estate is truly amazing. And Tallahassee Belle, the shirt DID make the trip a lot sweeter.

    Happy Weekend to all of you!




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