December Visit to Biltmore Estate


Red berries add to the festive mood at Biltmore during Christmas

Brigette’s mom was in town over the Thanksgiving holiday. Whenever she comes, a trip to Biltmore Estate (located in Asheville, North Carolina, about 20 minutes from the Inn on Mill Creek) is a must-do on the schedule.

Since Brigette and her mom have been to Biltmore so many times — too many times to count — they plan specific activities each time they go now, rather than try to see everything. On the docket this time: Touring the Biltmore House to see the Christmas decorations and lunch at the Deerpark Restaurant on the Estate.


Deerpark Restaurant


Trees and plants brought in for the Christmas celebration

Plus, quick stops at the Winery and Brigette’s favorite spot at Biltmore, the Conservatory, were added to the to-do list once we were there.


The Conservatory makes you forget it’s December


Gorgeous orchids in the Conservatory

What we loved during this visit:

  • The beautiful holly garland hung on the chandelier in the Winter Garden (a room near the front entrance that has a glass roof). Guests aren’t permitted to take pictures of the inside of Biltmore House, so we recommend going for yourself to see!
  • Gifts with red ribbon laid out on the servants’ beds on the fourth floor
  • The festive frames around the family photos in the Tapestry Gallery
  • Fireplaces placed in the Conservatory and decorated to match the fireplaces in the House. So clever!

  • Presents (large ones) used as ornaments on the 35-foot tree in the Banquet Hall
  • The shimmering silver garland on the mantel in the Louis XV Room (one of the four newly-renovated rooms that opened to the public this year). The other thing Brigette loves about the Louis XV Room is that it looks out over her favorite garden, the Italian Garden.
  • The Deerpark Restaurant’s butternut squash bisque (shown below with salad), and their gingerbread tart dessert. Amazing food that’s grown on the Estate.

  • The Gingerbread Biltmore House on display in the Main Kitchen. Of note: The Gingerbread Biltmore House is made of 32 pounds of gingerbread!
  • The tree decorated in gold and purple in Mrs. Vanderbilt’s room
  • The balls of garland decorating the lamps in the courtyard of the Deerpark Restaurant
  • As always, the view of the house from the Lagoon on the way to the Winery. Even in December, it’s fabulous:

If you’re planning a visit to Biltmore Estate while you’re staying with us at the Inn on Mill Creek, you can pick up daytime tickets right here at the Inn, at a $10 discount per ticket and those tickets are good for two consecutive days for the price of one. Plus, now through January 3, 2010, for $10 per ticket, you can upgrade your ticket to see the sparkly lights on the trees and the many gorgeous fireplaces aglow in the house during Biltmore’s Christmas Candlelight Evenings. Please allow for 48 hours’ notice for us to take care of your upgrade.

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