a CULINARY EXPERIENCE At The Biltmore

by CY Cooper

In my last post for THIS IS YOUR BEST YEAR, I told all about my trip to see the Incredible Biltmore Estate for the Christmas Holidays.  As I explained in my last communication, I actually stayed at one of the hotels on the estate grounds…..The Village Inn.  Not only can you stay at one of the two hotels on the estate but there are also amazing restaurants on the property where you can dine.  The Biltmore has seven restaurants that offer a wide range of fine and casual dining choices.  The menus showcase fresh produce and meats that are raised and harvested on the Biltmore estate.  

Since we were arriving in Asheville, North Carolina in the afternoon, I went online before the trip and checked out the menu, reviews and made a reservation for the dinner buffet at DeerPark Restaurant.  If I have to say so myself, it was a great choice.  This buffet had everything from slow roasted prime rib, herb crusted turkey breast to citrus roasted salmon.  Let’s not mention the many appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes and of course numerous desserts including, a crepe station, black forest pavlova and eggnog cheesecake.  ALL the food was DELICIOUS.  

Now since we were staying at The Village Inn and had purchased the Christmas Tour Package, breakfast was included with the stay.  As you may know, I absolutely LOVE breakfast and the morning meal at the Village Social restaurant definitely started off each day in the correct way.  For some reason each morning I ordered the Social Breakfast which included two eggs (over medium) heirloom potatoes, toast and thick cut bacon.  Service was exceptional right along with the food.  

Because each day was started off with a satisfying breakfast, there really was no need for lunch.  Maybe a stop here and there for snacks but not a full blown lunch.  Next to the actual Biltmore estate,  there’s a section where there are shops and a restaurant called The Stable Cafe.  It’s a fitting name as it was once the estate’s actual horse stable.  The Stable Cafe features Appalachian comfort food for lunch including house smoked meats, Carolina barbeque, classic burgers, and salads.  The Dinner Menu at the Stable Cafe is simply OUTSTANDING. The dining room for dinner is located on the 2nd level.  Decorated beautifully for the holidays, the dining experience at The Stable Cafe was simply AMAZING.  Service was fantastic and the food was wonderful.  I ordered the Bone-In Pork Chop with sweet potato puree, fried brussel sprouts & apple sage butter.  My friend ordered the Shrimp & Grits with sauteed shrimp, Anson Mills blue corn grits, lobster butter, andouille sausage & scallions.  Please note at the end of the meal there was nothing left on either plate.  

As I mentioned in the previous post, this was my second visit to this magnificent house.  On my first trip I enjoyed afternoon tea in the Library Lounge at The Inn on Biltmore Estate.  The Inn is a 4 star hotel located on the grounds with incredible sweeping views of the estate.  On this trip I booked their Holiday Tea located in The Dining Room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate.  With Mount Pisgah in the background, we enjoyed a full service afternoon tea with delicious scones, sandwiches & desserts.  As you have come to expect with anything associated with The Biltmore, service along with the food was impeccable.  

Enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays at the Biltmore was a dream come true for me.  BUT there was another perk that was added in that I didn’t see coming and that was……The Downton Abbey Exhibition currently on display at the Biltmore until April, 2020.  More about that in my next post.  

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and savor the moment.


A New Tradition–Holiday Tea

*Guest post from Tea Lover CYCooper

Is it me or do the holidays seem to pass by quicker every year?  Christmas 2018 has come and gone, but even with all the hustle and bustle the holiday season brings, yours truly managed to travel across Highway 30 for a small staycation at the the MAGNFICENT Adolphus Hotel In Big D (that’s Dallas, Texas for some of you who don’t know).  I’ve stayed at the Adolphus  on a number of occasions, but this legendary hotel recently completed a 3 year renovation.  Yes, it’s more up to date but it hasn’t lost it’s old world charm and elegance.  Built in 1912 by “The King of Beers” Adolphus Busch, The Adolphus has hosted notable visitors including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, U2, Maya Angelou, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England.  

Besides being a top tier hotel, The Adolphus is also noted for its Afternoon Tea Service or High Tea which it serves throughout the year.  However, during the Christmas season the hotel offers its famous Holiday Tea. This tea is extremely popular and sells out quickly each year.  So, when reservations opened up on Monday, October 1st, @ 11 am, I got on my phone and called.  Let me tell you, it actually took me over 1 1/2 hours to get through and make my reservation.  

My sister and I attended The Adolphus Holiday Tea earlier this month and YES it was definitely worth spending that 1 1/2 hours on the phone to get that reservation.  The Holiday Tea takes place in the SPECTACULAR French Room Restaurant of the hotel.  The French Room, included in the recent renovations, has been restored to its original glory.

The Holiday Tea starts with a glass of Rose Champagne, followed by the first course of finger sandwiches, scones and a light delicious tea from China. The second course of tea cakes & sweets is accompanied by a slightly bolder tea which compliments the desserts.  Looking around The French Room on that December day, we saw women/girls of all ages (and some men) enjoying this delightful and refreshing experience.  The food, tea and service were EXCELLENT.  Much like attending the Texas Ballet Theater’s production of THE NUTCRACKER, having Holiday Tea at The Adolphus may become an annual Christmas tradition.  

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.