Little did I know my birthday getaway back in early March would be the last “normal” outing before the pandemic hit and everything got flipped upside down. We really had no idea what was coming. I say this to acknowledge that I feel incredibly lucky and thankful to have been able to experience such a wonderful birthday.
Although this post is not about the pandemic, our new reality is inevitably sprinkled into this narrative in one way or another. Sure, this trip happened before it all went down but writing about it now, I am reliving the memories and I can’t help but feel extremely grateful. So many little things we took for granted, breakfast buffet? Seems like such a luxury now.
Anyways, in this post I want to share more about my 48 hour stay at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Remember, this is all from back in March so please visit their website for their latest updates.
Why Biltmore? Living in Atlanta, Asheville is only about 3:30 hours away without traffic which is not bad for a weekend getaway. For my birthday celebration, I wanted a mix of a few things I love. We balanced out our fancy stay at the Biltmore with a night in Asheville for breweries and bbq… it was perfect.
Where to stay in The Biltmore Estate? There are actually a few options for lodging, the most popular seem to be The Village Hotel and The Inn. We stayed at The Inn because it was in the same building as the main restaurant and from what I read, it had a more upscale vibe which was perfect for our celebration. I don’t think you can go wrong with either. They also provide a shuttle that takes you around all the locations within the estate, making it super easy and convenient.
Touring the Biltmore Estate
The Biltmore House is quite fascinating. They claim it’s actually America’s largest home and with 65 fireplaces, I don’t doubt it. They offer a self-guided tour which I think does a good job describing what it was like when the house was being lived in. They added layers of history from the outside world to make it a well-rounded journey. I also loved the connection to the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island.
As someone who grew up in Puerto Rico, high tea was not really a thing. When I was introduced to it a couple of years ago, however, I fell in love. I enjoy trying all these wonderful tiny bites, the tea is always excellent and the whole idea of taking a break in the afternoon to enjoy the little things is just about perfect. I must admit I was slightly disappointed with the location for high tea at the Biltmore. I had this idea in my head that we would be having tea at the actual Biltmore House but it’s actually served at the same restaurant where we had breakfast and dinner at The Inn. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really nice room, just different from what I was imagining. The rest of the experience, however, did not disappoint. The photo above may look like an upside down ice cream cone but it was actually goat cheese with a balsamic glaze. Every bite was an adventure.
I’m not going to lie, the fact that there is a winery at the Biltmore was a major factor in our decision to come visit. They offer a a generous free tasting with your visit. We had to wait in line but once it was our turn our server was super attentive and explained everything we were tasting (which we got to choose too!). In addition to the free tasting, we also booked one of their wine tours. At our tour, we learned more about the history of the winery and got to go behind the scenes to learn more about the process. At the end of the tour you also get to do a round of tasting (more wine!).
More on Food
We started our stay with dinner at the Library Lounge. The live piano music, velvet decor and crackling fireplace transported you to another era, setting the stage for the rest of our visit. As always, wine and cheese were involved.
We went to the The Dining Room for my birthday dinner and each course was carefully paired with a different selection of the Biltmore wines. Same as the rest of our visit, service was truly great.
I totally recommend a visit to The Biltmore Estate, whether it’s for a stay or just for the day. In addition to our stay at the Biltmore, we also stayed a night in the city of Asheville and got to ho around different breweries. The bow that tied everything up perfectly was our visit to Looking Glass Creamery. If you are a cheese lover like me, you should definitely give them a visit next time you are in the area. History, wine, cheese, high tea and a breakfast buffet… what more can a girl ask for?
Have you visited The Biltmore Estate before? How was your experience?