August 04, 2010

Biltmore House - Home of the Vanderbilts in Asheville, NC

It's been a month since our family got back from the Florida road trip and I'm only writing about it now. Shame on me! =/ Anyway, on the way home, we took a pit stop in Asheville, NC to see the home of the Vanderbilts - Biltmore House.
Hello from Biltmore!
The grand staircase facade
Lounge around here to see...
...this view from the terrace

I wish I can show actual pictures of what's IN the house but no photography was allowed. I didn't mind it so much as this allowed me to take everything in and imagine what it must have been like to live here in the early 1900s. As much as I like taking photos, it can be a distraction and you miss out seeing what should be seen. The self-guided house tour was very organized. You kind of just go with the flow of people. The pace was just right. We saw a bazillion rooms specific to what an elite family might need. Banquet halls, breakfast rooms, winter gardens, sitting rooms, a gymnasium complete with bowling alleys and an indoor pool, dressing rooms, a whole floor just for guest bedrooms, a bachelor's wing that had smoking and gun rooms, a tapestry gallery, servants' quarters, a pastry kitchen, a rotisserie kitchen, walk in refrigerators, laundry and drying rooms etc... etc... Enough rooms for ya? Read more here

I picked two favorites. 
1.) The Library - it was just...lovely. Is it proper to use lovely as an library adjective? To me, it is! The Biltmore guide stated that the collection ranged from American / English literature to religion, arts, philosophy, history and architecture. I read somewhere that George W. Vanderbilt was quite a reader. It was floor to ceiling, wall upon wall of books. The chess set and gaming table they used was previously owned by no less than Napoleon Bonaparte.  
This is him by the way. See, a book!
The woman of the house Mrs. Edith Vanderbilt
(photo credits:

2.) Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedroom - This too was lovely because it was just that - lovely. It was feminine and was the perfect boudoir. From that portrait of her, she looked like a lady who appreciated fashion don't you think? Love it! 

We walked the entire garden too. Gardens are soooo relaxing. Good ones that is. 
My dad and niece
towards the greenhouse
water lilies

a little creepy don't you think? 
gumamela? let's make bubbles
such happy flowers!

After touring the house and gardens, we stopped by Antler Hill Village for Biltmore wine tasting. The village had small exhibits and al fresco dining. Their car was there. It is one of only 10 model C-Six that's believed to still exist today. 
click for more info!
this is the model C-Six!
And this was the typical driving outfit that time. Talk about being covered. 
The wine stash
wine tasting
I downed two glasses of different wines I think
My winner!

I can't help but compare it to the last big estate and house I've been to - Versaille is a loooot bigger and more opulent which just blew me away. Biltmore, inspite of its size, felt homey. Maybe because it was owned by self made people and not monarchs? That I like a lot. I feel like I 'saw' the house. Anyways, old money's fascinating isn't it? To know more about the Vanderbilts - click here. Anderson Cooper, you lucky, lucky man!

The only thing I knew about Asheville was that the first family came here last April. I didn't expect much from a small town but everyone enjoyed this leg of the road trip!
Yay for Asheville, NC!!!
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