Dish rooms are my joy, my thrill, my raison d’être. Well, maybe not quite that much, but y’all know how much I love dishes.
When we began to plan our visit to the largest private home in the United States, I hoped to see lots and lots of dishes. Gobs of dishes.
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore House and its surrounding estate was imagined and created between 1889 and 1895 by George W. Vanderbilt and his all-star team of Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted. It is still held privately by descendants of George and Edith Vanderbilt and is open to the public. There is a general tour of the house with an available audio guide that takes about two hours. There are also auxiliary guided tours of areas that are not on the main tour. We spent two glorious days exploring this beautiful estate.
In addition to the regular tour of the house, we also signed up for the Butler’s Tour, which took us “downstairs” into kitchen and mechanicals areas not seen on the other tours. This two-story butler’s pantry just took my breath away.
I’ll share lots more about our trip to the glorious Biltmore Estate, but today I’m going to start with a visit to the gift shops on the grounds of the Estate. After all, it’s dishes that we are interested in — right?
These lovely reproduction plates are available in the gift shop and online. (Sorry for the blurry image — it was pretty dark in this corner of the Stable gift shop.) They are available in a full range that is a reproduction of one of the Vanderbilt’s sets of china — c.1888.
I did not buy any of these dishes because they do not meet my dishwasher requirement, and they are pretty pricy. Still beautiful, though!
In the Traditions gift shop at Antler Hill Village, we encountered another type of Biltmore-ish china — a modern tablescape using pieces with classic design and day-to-day functionality.
I loved the whimsical nature of the mix of color, pattern, and texture — especially the oh-so-trendy navy blue polka-dot napkin with the ornate glassware.
While Music Man is waiting with bated breath to see if I buy anything in gift stores, I am usually just looking for inspiration. I loved these turquoise carafes, but spent quite some time thinking about what I have at home that I could use to create a similar look. I have all of those blue Ball jars…
I’m happy to say that I’m finally able to link up with Christine at Rustic and Refined for her Table It party. Between vacation, a family wedding, and then a week of the flu, I’ve been absent quite a lot from blogging in the last few weeks. It’s good to be back and be able to visit with the creative bloggers at Christine’s party.