February 5 through May 25, 2015, the Biltmore House will feature an exhibit of clothing from the PBS series Downton Abbey. These costumes were worn by the cast.
Currently the House is displaying a gown worn by the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) on the second floor as a preview for the exhibit, “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times.”
Dark Red Dress Worn at Dinner: Black Tail Suit with Waistcoat, White Shirt and Tie Worn for most formal occasions
More than forty costumes exhibited in groupings inspired by the show and real life at Biltmore includes military and servant uniforms along with clothes worn by the aristocracy.
Maids in line
The clothes harken back to a more Gilded Age and comparisons can be made from Downton to the Biltmore, an estate of the same era.
The Biltmore Estate doesn’t have a big collection of clothing from the Vanderbilt family. They have a few great dresses and for some reason, a lot of shoes. These are displayed on a rotating basis at The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village on the estate.
The period costumes in the exhibition cover the period from 1912 through WWI and into the dawn of the Jazz Age in the early 1920s.
Non-pass holders can purchase tickets for a regular estate visit and there is no additional ticket required for the exhibition.
Just before Christmas, Bob and I decided we had earned a respite from the bed and breakfast, so we attended “Gimcrack Day” at the Thomas Wolfe House. It had been a while since we visited the museum and house, so we thought it would be an interesting thing to do.
Thomas Wolfe, probably Asheville’s most famous author, wrote of his childhood, “he was liberally dowered with bright painted Gimcracks upon Christmas Day; and in his heart, he hated those who advocated useful gifts.”
“Gimcracks” can be defined as a cheap and showy ornament; a knickknack. In keeping with Wolfe’s advocacy for cheap and showy ornaments or knickknacks, the museum offered visitors an opportunity to make little Christmas ornaments to take home. Everyone there was so friendly and made the experience so pleasant. They served hot chocolate and cookies while you were busy working.
My Little Angel
Bob and I returned home with our very own Gimcracks, cute Christmas Angels made from coffee filters, which we added to our tree.
While there, after putting our treasured Gimcracks in the car, we went back in to tour the museum and the boarding house that was run by his mother where he grew up. We had a very knowledgeable guide and it was time well spent.
There are so many things to do while in Asheville, but time spent at the Thomas Wolfe House will add greatly to your visit.
One of the best things about staying at B&Bs is that each one is unique. Almost all of today’s B&B’s have on thing in common: They’re run by professional, competent innkeepers. Nonetheless, some outdated myths about bed and breakfasts persist. These myths have their roots in the days before most travelers even knew what a bed and breakfast was. Today, with rare exceptions, they are simply myths. As with hotels, there are good B&Bs and bad B&Bs. With a little research you should be able to find one that fits your preferences.Here are my picks for the top myths about bed and breakfasts.
There is no privacy
The vast majority of inns have plenty of privacy. Your room should be quiet and free from interruption and you won’t be forced to interact with other guests. Innkeepers tend to be very concerned with their guests’ privacy and do everything they can to respect it.
The innkeepers are never available
In most cases, the innkeepers live in the same building that guests are staying in, so they’re never too far away. They’re probably just trying to respect your privacy.
You’ll sit with strangers at breakfast and have to make small talk.
it is true that sometimes breakfast is served at one or two large tables, so guests who don’t know each other may sit together. This has never been a real problem.
Most people don’t try to force conversation when it becomes apparent that you’d rather enjoy a quiet meal.
B&Bs have a staff and a front desk clerk on duty 24/7.
In most cases the innkeeper / owner is the only person (or couple) working at the inn. Sometimes, they might have housekeeping assistance with room preparation in the morning, but by and large that person is handling everything. This means that you should arrive on time, or at least call if that’s not going to be possible. Innkeepers often plan their day (including shopping for your breakfast foods) around guests’ arrival times.
Innkeeping is just a hobby.
Most innkeepers couldn’t make a living just by running their B&B, but that doesn’t make it a hobby. It is a serious business with many facets.
Breakfast is simple to make, and innkeepers can just whip something up.
Most B&Bs plan breakfasts days or even weeks in advance, so you need to let them know ahead of time if you have any special dietary needs or restrictions. The innkeeper is often also the cook, the waiter and the dishwasher. The best breakfasts I’ve ever eaten have been at B&Bs, and that didn’t happen by accident.
B&Bs are very expensive.
There are some expensive B&Bs, but there are also some very affordable ones. It depends on the inn’s location, amenities, and other factors. But if you’ve avoided looking at B&Bs as an option because of the cost, B&Bs can be an amazing bargain.
Business travelers can’t stay at B&Bs.
Many B&Bs have all the amenities important to business travelers, and many will offer a discount for an extended stay. This might have been true 10 or 15 years ago, and is still true to some extent – but many B&Bs now cater to corporate travelers.
Innkeepers are rich.
If they are, it’s not because they’re innkeepers. Although they might own beautiful homes which have been restored and immaculately decorated, most innkeepers don’t even make all their income at the inn.
There will be strange rules and a curfew.
I’ve never stayed anywhere that had what I would call “strange” rules. And no B&B has ever had a curfew. Innkeepers will sometimes ask you to be quiet if you come back to the inn late, out of respect for other guests.
Exciting news from the Asheville Downtown Association:
Oktoberfest is returning on October 11, 2014
Time: 1:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M.
Location: Coxe Avenue Downtown’s South Slope
The festival will begin with a parade down Coxe Avenue. Immediately following there will be a ceremonial tapping of a keg which will open festivities. There will be tastings from many local breweries and many brewers will feature some of their seasonal ales. Brewers will be available to discuss their beers.
The Stratton Mountain Boys (an oompah band) will return for their 6th visit to entertain the crowd with their yodeling and Polka music.
In 1899, Osella and Leva Wright moved into this beautiful home. Levinia (Leva) lived here until her death in 1946. After that time, the house became a boarding house and then the home of an elderly lady living here on her own.
In April 1989, the house opened as the Wright Inn and Carriage Houseafter a complete renovation by the Siler Family under the direction of the Griffin architectural firm. It has been a bed and breakfast inn ever since. We are the 5th family of innkeepers who have welcomed guests to this home. In July of this year, we will have been here an amazing ten years.I often think of how lonely Mrs. Wright must have been alone in this house; and how she had to welcome genteel boarders to help her survive financially. During the period of its’ life, the next owners, the Banks Family, ran a not-so-genteel boarding house. It was during this period of ownership that the house became known as “Faded Glory” . This area turned into a not so nice area of town.
As the Montford Historic Areabegan to spring back to life, so did the Wright House. With loving care it was restored to its former glory and stands ready to welcome you for its 25th anniversary year. It now stands as a majestic link to the past in a wonder, old neighborhood. I know Mrs. Wright would welcome the company.