Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Day at The Biltmore House

If you follow along on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat (you should!), you would have see that Christian and I made our annual trip to The Biltmore House in Asheville on Friday.  We have done this every year since getting engaged, and it is truly on of my favorite days of the year.
We spend the entire day just soaking up time with each other with no distractions. We get to move at our own pace and do exactly what we want with no real responsibilities. So. Much. Fun.

Today, I want to share my "insider" tips to the Biltmore. I'm also using the term "insider" very loosely here since there's still SO much we haven't done yet.

Before you head to Asheville, you need to make a few decisions first:

1. Which tour will you do?
  • Daytime tour: These run until about 4pm everyday and the house closes at 5p to set up for the night tours. They are cheaper than the night tour. 
  • Candlelight Christmas tour: These start after 5pm and there's carolers in the house and it's darker with the lights all lit up. 
If it's your first time, do the Candelight tour. Now that we go every year, we pick the latest day time tour so you still kind of have the feeling of a Candelight tour, but it doesn't cost as much.

2. Where will you eat dinner?

There are SO many choices. Our favorite is the Deerpark Restaurant. They do an all you can eat Christmas buffet for $39 and it's all SO good. We've done this every year because the price is completely worth it - especially compared with the other restaurants.

Deerpark deerpark buffet2 850x563
Deerpark deerpark buffet2 850x563
This year's menu included: an antipasto station, shrimp cocktail, a bread and butter bar, salads, sausage and apple dressing, mashed potatoes, trout, turkey, prime rib, buttered green beans, and collard greens for appetizers and the main course. To finish they had the amazing desserts: chocolate peppermint pie, gingerbread cheesecake, chocolate mousse, brownies, apple cider donuts, apple dumpling and seasonal ice cream. 

Needless to say, we usually take a couple of hours for dinner so we can fit it all in!

3. Do you want to do an extra tour

There are so many different tours you can do. There are extra house tours that go behind the scenes or on the roof (which we did last year!), in depth tours of the grounds and even winery production tours or wine and chocolate tours. 

Now that you've made these decisions, I'll give you a quick itinerary:


If you're making it a day trip, I suggest getting your butt up, grab some coffee and get on the road ASAP. There's so much to do that you want to make the most of your day!

Once you arrive, head straight to Antler Hill Village. There are plenty of things to do here. If you haven't had breakfast yet, I suggest grabbing some lunch or a snack here before your wine tasting. There's Cedric's Tavern, the Bistro, the Creamery and The Smokehouse.

After you've gotten a little sustenance, it's wine tasting time! If you've made a special wine tasting tour, schedule it for earlier in the day. We always do the free wine tasting. The have about 9 whites and 9 reds for you to taste in their gorgeous tasting room. All of the employees are SO helpful in explaining what it should taste like, how to serve it and what it's good with - which is awesome for someone like me who knows so little about wine!
Once you've tasted all the wine your heart desires, you can grab an actual glass of wine or pay for the premium wine tasting. I suggest doing this FOR SURE. Live it up. This year we also grabbed a cheese plate and it was delightful.

After all the wine drinking, you can grab a few bottles to take home or move on to the next part of your adventure!

As you're leaving the winery, there is a store called Traditions that has great items for gifts and ever changing exhibitions! Across the way, there is a barn and some farm animals to visit, a very old barn that is decorated beautifully, a welder that is usually working, a place to grab some hot chocolate and a store full of local, handmade items so make sure you check it all out.


Now that you're full of wine, I suggest heading on over towards the house. It takes a few minutes to drive over there and then you've got to take a very quick shuttle right to the door of the house. Spend some time staring at the house and soak in all the details. Head down the road and look at the HUGE Christmas tree and soak in the views from this angle, too. Keep an eye out for an engagement, too!

Once you've soaked in the house view, head to the barn on the right and grab some hot chocolate or a coffee because it's very likely you're cold by now. From there, head into the shops in the barn. There is a toy store, book store, candy store and a few Christmas shops. Each of them is so unique and fun to look through.

Now that you've warmed up a little and shopped, it's time to head into the house! It does get a little toasty, so I suggest taking that coat off now. Don't rush through the house - there are SO many details to take in: starting with the insane Christmas tree in the main dining room. They replace this thing halfway through the year because it is so big and soaks up so much water!
You will be going up and down some stairs - but it's nothing to excessive. Take time to look around and see just how many stairs you don't even go near. It's craziness. You won't even see half of all the bedrooms or bathrooms, so think about that, too, while you're there. In the basement kitchen, they have a real Gingerbread house that is different every year and it's always so intricate.


Now that you've gotten all your exercise in the house, it's time to stuff yourself silly at dinner before heading home! Again, I recommend Deerpark. We usually reserve about an hour and a half/two hours for dinner so that we don't feel rushed and can just enjoy a good meal.

If you have never been to The Biltmore, I hope this helps you plan a good first trip! And if you're going,please take me with you ;)

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