Summer has arrived! The days are long and the weather is warm.
Nothing is as wonderful as wiling away an afternoon at George Vanderbilt’s beautiful home, the Biltmore Estates, in the Blue Ridge and I don’t believe I have ever seen the Italianate Gardens look as wonderful as they do this summer.
These little guys were very excited at the prospect of treats!
The Biltmore Estates in Asheville has been welcoming guest since 1895. Here, the winter garden is dressed for a celebration.
Built over a hundred years ago by George Vanderbilt, the estate has expanded and today includes the Biltmore Winery, Inn at Biltmore and Antler Hill. One day is just not enough to experience everything the Biltmore Estates has to offer.
That’s why there are great advantages to becoming an annual pass holder and coming back to experience the estate through the seasons. I’m very fortunate to live close enough to visit a few time every month and come up to dine, shop and explore.
After strolling in the gardens, hunger set in. Fortunately, I had a reservation to enjoy afternoon tea in the library at the Biltmore Inn, a four star property.
The inn is situated high on a hill overlooking the estate and offers stunning mountain views.
It is the only vantage point on the estate that one can view the house. You can just barley see if over to the left.
The service was wonderful along with the selection of teas. You’re brought all the tea choices and allowed to sniff each one to help you decide what to drink. I chose a cherry blossom chamomile tea. I was then served an amuse bouche, a fruit smoothie, to cleanse the pallet and prepare for the tea.
After discussing local wineries and breweries with my knowledgable server, a selection of savory tea sandwiches appeared.
All delightful but the mincemeat pie was the best! It’s the one closest to the front. It almost looks like it has a little pastry hat on.
Then came my favorite. The sweeties. When he brought this one out, I wanted to eat them all but couldn’t quite manage it. If you go for tea, be sure to go hungry as there is a lot of food to sample including some very tasty cheeses served with honey and cracked black pepper.
Devonshire cream, lemon curd and jam were also provided. The Devonshire cream and lemon curd were to die for! Sugar and honey were available to sweeten my tea and everything was beautifully served and explained. Many thanks to my server Wilson!
A peek at the afternoon tea menu.
A final farewell from the Biltmore Estate.
Tomorrow it’s off to Boone and Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, NC. If you like candy, Mast General Store is the place. You can be a kid again and feel like you’ve arrived in paradise:)
Love, peace and tea time,