We decided to go to the Bilmore Estate in Asheville, NC over the fall break. My kids and I had driven to Anderson, SC to meet up with my husband who was working there. On Sunday morning, we left for the 90-minute drive to Asheville. We were a little early for the spectacular fall foilage, but did see some various shades of orange, yellow, and red.
This is the market area next to the main house. It contains a bakery, ice cream palor, various shops, and the Stables Cafe.
We ate lunch at the Stables Cafe. It was originally the stables next to the main house. The beautiful structure and bones of the stable remain. My husband and I ate here for the first time over 15 years ago on our honeymoon. We enjoyed taking our kids here for their first visit to the Estate this weekend. We were seated in our very own "stall" as if they anticipated that our children would behave like bucking broncos...
You can't take photos inside the house so I had to settle for a few outside shots. It was a beautiful day. All of the windows were open in the house and a cool breeze stirred the sheers and they billowed from the windows like spirits beckoning us inside.
There are two lion statues that flank the main doors leading into the house. I was lucky to take this photo in peace since the place was packed with tourists. Our waiter said it was the busiest day they had had since April. Of course, it would be...
Here are a few shots from the garden. Statues abound.
The inside of the house is surreal to say the least. Over the years, I'm still overwhelmed that I'm standing in a place where the great writer Edith Wharton visited and enjoyed. But, I think that I connect to the spirit of the house more from the outside than the inside. I like to think that Ms. Wharton spent her afternoons in the garden looking out over the landscape and crafting The House of Mirth.
One of my favorite areas on the grounds. I channel Jane Austen whenever I see this. Now, do I prefer Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley? Darcy, of course!
I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.
And, back to reality...
But, one final look back before chasing down my children...
The garden in all its fall splendor.
There were thousands of mums!
The conservatory...I just like saying it.
Resting before the climb back up to the house. I waited for a horse and carriage to pull up and whisk me away to my car but it never came... I'm actually still here at the Biltmore, waiting!