The Biggest Dish Room in the United States? — Biltmore Part 1

The original photo of the two-story butler's pantry at Biltmore is courtesy of The Biltmore Estate.

The original photo of the two-story butler’s pantry at Biltmore is courtesy of The Biltmore Estate.

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.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

22 thoughts on “The Biggest Dish Room in the United States? — Biltmore Part 1

  1. Oh Jennie, count me as your newest follower – we dish crazies have to stick together, lol! So fun to share these – I have only recently begun sharing tablescapes of what I’ve collected. I’m from WV so, naturally, there’s a lot of glass and tableware (Blenko, Fenton, Homer Laughlin, Fiesta to name a few), although I’ve not gone crazy on it all (yet). My husband & I visited the Biltmore and did the glorious behind the scenes tour – wouldn’t you just love to have that pantry?!

    It’s nice making your acquaintance – thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself via Christine’s link.

    • As we travel, my husband and I refine the list of requirements for the perfect retirement home, and for me, it includes a butler’s pantry and a floral/craft room. I’m also really envious (I admit it) of Susan’s screened in porch (BNOTP); you know who I mean. Thanks for visiting and following me!

    • I’ve always been a sucker for a dish room, and this one was amazing! Thanks for visiting, Wanda.

  2. Gasp Gasp Gasp!!! Love love love! More more more! Holy bleep you had me at “Biggest Dish Room”….Now THAT place is going on my bucket list!

    • It’s hard to describe or even photograph the glories of Biltmore — especially when they don’t let you take photos inside the property. I even asked nicely, but the guides were firm. You definitely need to visit, Christine. You will love Biltmore!

  3. Wow, Jennie! You’ve just introduced me to another place to visit on my bucket list!! I’m in CA, but there may be a visit to the east coast in my future. I’d love to see that butler’s pantry, and spend much time in that gift shop!! Thanks for sharing. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

    • Have you been to visit Hearst Castle, Rosie? I remember that as being a wonderful place to gawk at fabulous antiques. Thanks for visiting!

  4. I’m so sorry you weren’t feeling well, but glad you’re better now. That flu is so crazy…just makes you sick literally AND figuratively!!!

    I think I’ll be packing my bags to move into that butler’s pantry right away! Oh, my gosh! What I would do to have a pantry like that here at home!!! I think that place wins hands down on Alma’s “Where Do You Put It All?” blog party! 🙂

    I’ve never really minded washing dishes by hand. It gives me a chance to love on them a little bit. Most people get a dog. Me? I snuggle up to dishes!!!

    Thanks for sharing this! Welcome back to blog world!!!

    • You always make me laugh, Alycia. I kinda like my dishes too, but I’m not all that fond of washing them by hand.

  5. Jennie, I am so glad you are feeling better. The Summer flu can be so nasty. Ugh! I have been MIA too. Way to many little life crises going on along with confirmations, birthdays, and graduations for me to handle. I love going to the Biltmore Estate, now I will have to go and take the butlers tour. That is a dish room to die for and the gift shops are fabulous.

    • I highly recommend the behind-the-scenes tours at Biltmore. They gave more depth to the visit. Thanks for commenting, Candy!

    • Needless to say, I thought about you, Jessie, when I saw those burlap napkin holders. They were too pricey for a present from your auntie, but I’ll bet someone crafty would duplicate them. 🙂

  6. I’m glad you’re feeling better, and I missed you. I was wondering what you were up to! OK, I cannot wait for every post you have up your sleeve featuring Biltmore. We’ve toured in summer, at Christmas, the house, the gardens, the stable (lunch!). Jennie, if we were in college right now, I’d call you up and say, “Pack your bags – we’re headed to work at Biltmore for the summer! We’re applying for a job there. Any job!” My fingers would be crossed for the dish room, dining room, or the garden. I would mop floors, direct tours, anything. Anything! What about you? Are you with me? Lol!!

    Thanks for sharing the china. Yes, the stable gift shop is dark! But, that china pattern is beautiful. I enjoyed your post tremendously.

    • Kim, you are spot-on about working at Biltmore. One of my retirement goals is to work in a living history museum or a fancy home that is open to the public. It would be fun to work at Williamsburg…

  7. Can’t wait to see more of that butler’s pantry…what I wouldn’t give for something like that to store my dishes and accoutrements!
    Hope you are over your illness.

    • I keep trying to figure out where I could put a butler’s pantry in my split-level home. It just does not compute, unfortunately.

  8. Love this, Jennie! I love Biltmore Estate. I haven’t taken the Butler’s tour, but I’ve done the Rooftop tour, which was great. All those dishes are so wonderful, but they don’t come cheap, do they? Glad you are feeling better, I’d noticed you’d been quiet. Don’t forget the History & Home link-up, you are most welcome to join! -Dawn

Comments are closed.