Quintessentially Victorian; Biltmore Estate
As a Victorian I seek out places that exude the beauty and grace of days gone by. This is the first official "Quintessentially Victorian" travel review! The Quintessential Victorian will review Victorian venues by using a 'parasol rating scale' with one being the lowest rating and five being the highest.
For years I'd longed to visit the ever popular Biltmore Estate. Online photos showed elaborate architectural details and sumptuously decorated interiors tempting us to tour this American icon. Granted, the current exhibit featuring historical movie costumes was a driving force in our choice of vacation venues. I'd been advised by many to pay the extra fee to take the "Upstairs/Downstairs tour." We followed suit, in addition to embarking upon the Architectural/Rooftop tour. Despite my love of Victorian interiors, not to mention having a serious fear of heights, I enjoyed the Rooftop tour more than the Upstairs/Downstairs tour. While the behind the scenes stroll through servant quarters and elaborately decorated bed chambers was a feast for the eyes, the roof top tour allowed for spectacular views of the eight thousand acres surrounding the manse and an up close glimpse of gargoyles guarding the property. Both tours shared a wealth of history. If I had to choose between the two private tours, I would highly recommend the Architectural Rooftop tour. It should be noted that both tours require the physical ability to climb up to 300 stairs. An elevator is available; however, some of the docent presentation would be missed.
Extensive gardens are open for promenading at your leisure as well as the opportunity to peruse numerous plants thriving within the glass walls of the greenhouse. Rose gardens scent the air with the delicate perfume of velvety petals while colorful blooms of various flowers provide an opulent backdrop to the century old stone manse.
Several choices for food and beverages were available at a reasonable cost. The ice cream shop had a nostalgic atmosphere and delectable ice cream selections. Military and Veteran discounts were offered in restaurants and gift shops.
The past is alive and thriving in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina at the Biltmore Estate. Needless to say, if you are enamored with all things Victorian, Biltmore is a must see. I give this venue a resounding five parasol rating!
Victorian Lady Kim