Monday, March 28, 2016

3rd Annual Easter at Biltmore

Wishing you, and yours a Happy Resurrection Day.

Palm Sunday

In our home, Easter is celebrated all week long. On Palm Sunday we had a homemade brunch, and made hot cross buns. Growing up, my mum always had hot cross buns throughout the year. She'd slice them open, lightly toast them and serve with fruit preserves. Ours turned out a little small, but tasted scrumptious.

 Good Friday

My hubby got Good Friday off work, so we had brunch under the canopy on our pool patio. I made fresh rolls with ham and cheddar, asparagus casserole and strawberries. Here's a picture of the canopy we put up a few weekends ago.

Asparagus Casserole

1 package of herb stuffing
1 can of cream of chicken

Mix together. Then sauté

Freshly picked basil and cilantro
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 a diced yellow onion
tablespoon of butter
teaspoon of ground garlic

Season with salt, pepper and creole seasoning. Mix together

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Our dogs were more than happy to try a little asparagus casserole.

Sophie aka Soph
On the right - Oscar aka O man or Oskie

Kelsie aka Kells Bells
Kelsie doesn't come in the pool area often, otherwise she'd eat all my heirloom roses, as well as my veggie and herb garden containers. They are a blessing.

Easter Sunday

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.

Matthew 28:6

We celebrated our 3rd annual Easter at Biltmore, in Asheville, NC.

We had Easter Sunday luncheon at The Deerpark. Once seated, you walk into this grand hall and make a plate from the stations. There's usually seafood and salad, a meat station with ham, beef, and salmon, southern comfort food, an omelet bar, and a bread bar. I could never eat all of that, so I like to walk around and see what my favorites are before serving.

After lunch, we strolled around before heading to Antler village. If your an annual pass holder (like us) you can go to Antler Village to collect your tour tickets and house time tickets and avoid any lines.

One of my favorite photos from the day.
This Spring and Summer, Biltmore is exhibiting Fashionable Romance. We started at Antler Village where we saw the wedding dress of Cornelia Vanderbilt. She was married ninety-two years ago on April 29th, 1924 to Hon. John Cecil

A poem written by Mrs. Vanderbilt’s sister, Pauline Merrill, painted a beautiful picture of the high society wedding.

The First Bride of Biltmore

The sun rose clear and beautiful from the hills that surrounded Biltmore.
All the world seemed happy on that day.
The daughter of the house was to be married.
The beautiful Cornelia who knew all the mountain people;
The Cornelia who loved the house and grounds;
The Cornelia who was loved by all.
The wedding bells pealed joyfully from the belfry of the little old church.
The tenants were crowding to the gate to behold their beloved mistress.
The guests crowded into the church.
The musicians played his best of the little organ.
Finally the bride entered the church escorted by eight bridesmaids and leaning on the arm of her widowed mother.
She looked more beautiful than ever before.
John Cecil, her bridegroom, had reason to smile proudly on his pretty Cornelia.
The marriage service was gone through with, and when Cornelia walked out, with a radiant smile on her face, the children streamed flowers at her feet.
Then they went back to the house.
The enormous rooms were fuller than ever before as the crowd surged forward to congratulate the first bride of Biltmore House.
Her English husband shook hands with a proud smile.
But, at last, it was over and the setting sun shone rosily over the young couple as they started on their honeymoon.

You can read more about her wedding here.
We also saw the wedding dress of Mary Lee Ryan Cecil. She was married fifty-nine years ago to William Cecil (grandson of George Vanderbilt).

The rose point lace veil was first worn by Margaret Merritt Lee. She was married a hundred and sixteen years ago to  James Lee. Afterwards, it was worn by her granddaughter, Jacqueline Bouvier. She was married sixty-three years ago to well-known future President John Kennedy. Mary, who was also a granddaughter continued the tradition.

 You can read more about that story here.
We went on the upstairs downstairs tour - a behind the scenes look at the everyday life of Mrs. Vanderbilt and her ladies maid. Then, we  took a coffee break in the Stables, after browsing the stores for more memorabilia to add to our collection.

When we came back into the house, we toured the first floor, with anticipation. They must have looked through our wedding album, as our colors were peaches and cream, too.

The Winter Garden

The Banquet Hall

A few weeks ago, the family decided it would be okay to take pictures indoors (without flash). So we obliged. The banquet hall is an impressive seven-story room, with Flemish tapestries adorning the walls from the 1500's. The costumes displayed were worn by actress Keira Knightley in the 2008 movie, The Duchess.

The organ loft houses a 1916 Skinner pipe organ.

In the salon, the costumes displayed were in the 1992 movie, Howard's End. The movie starred the lovely Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson and Susie Lindeman.

On the portico, overlooking the blue ridge mountains.

The Tapestry Gallery

The tapestry gallery is one of my favorite rooms. The room is ninety foot long and has two fireplaces (I believe). It was here the family would enjoy afternoon tea and play music. I especially enjoy looking at all the family photos adorning the room.

This tapestry, one of three in the room, is part of a set of seven known as The Triumph of the Seven Virtues; they represent charity, faith, and prudence. This one was especially poignant on this Easter Sunday.

This costume was worn in the 2002 movie, Bertie and Elizabeth. I cannot wait to see the movie. It's a replica of the Queen Mother's wedding dress to her sweetheart, Prince Albert in 1923. Her veil was gifted to her from her mother-in-love, Queen Mary.

This costume was worn by Joely Richardson in the 2005 movie, Wallis and Edward. The movie tells the story of how the twice-divorced American charmed and married Prince Edward in 1937.

We toured the first floor, and then headed to the French Bistro for a light dinner before heading home. We'll be back to look at the other costumes in June - when we're coming to see my favorite author Susan Branch. It was a wonderful 3rd annual Easter at Biltmore.

Hope your Easter was as joyous as ours,

Kiki Nakita

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