“Biltmore Blooms” at the historic Biltmore Estate and Gardens beings March 20th and runs through May 25th so this is the time to enjoy their beautiful gardens in full bloom! During the “Blooms” Festival the Biltmore will have live music throughout the estate and you will have a rare opportunity to step down into the Winter Garden to enjoy the exotic orchid display up close. Complimentary gardening seminars will take place in the glass-roofed Conservatory and Biltmore staff will be in the walled garden to answer gardening questions. This package includes 2 tickets to the Biltmore that are good for two consecutive days as well as a bottle of Biltmore wine and a bouquet of spring flowers in your room. You can add this package to any of our rooms for $145. Please specify red or white wine when ordering. Good March 20th until May 25th.
January 21st, 2015 by abedofroses
January 21st, 2015 by abedofroses
The mountains are alive with spring flowers everywhere and the gardens here in the Montford Historic District are bursting with color. Come soak up the spirit of spring on our cozy front porch and stroll through the gardens at the Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore Blooms Festival runs from March 20th through May 25th this year. Start off with a fresh bouquet of flowers, chocolate truffles and a sparkling beverage waiting for you in your room. Then enjoy dinner at your choice of outstanding independent local restaurants. Two tickets to the Biltmore Estate and Gardens as well as Antler Village and the Biltmore Winery are included and they are good for two consecutive days, so you will have lots of time to tour the mansion and enjoy the beautiful gardens. This package can be added to a two night stay at any of our rooms for $230. Good through June 10th.
The History Behind Our Beloved Holiday Traditions and the Best Ways to Celebrate them in Asheville: Part 1- The Christmas Tree.
December 4th, 2014 by abedofroses
T’is the season! We love Christmastime and all the trappings, decorating the tree, singing carols, eating holiday goodies, kissing under the mistletoe, exchanging gifts with our loved ones. But what is behind the traditions we hold so dear? Many of them were popularized during the Victorian era, the period in which our inn, A Bed of Roses, was built. Many started much earlier.
Evergreens have always held special meaning for ancient inhabitants of northern climates, and many believed that they keep away illness, witches and evil spirits. Christians in Germany first adapted these “pagan” practices into their religious traditions by decorating an evergreen tree and bringing it inside. Although the Christmas tree has been a German tradition as early as the 16th century, Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, introduced the custom to the royal family in 1841 and a tinted etching of the decorated tree was published in the Illustrated London News, causing Christmas trees to be all the rage in Victorian England. They decorated the live trees with lighted candles (do not do this!), ribbons, paper chains, fruit and candies. The fashion conscious American East Coast Society quickly followed suit.
While Europeans decorated small trees, Americans, of course, went for the biggest, floor to ceiling trees. In Asheville, the grand Biltmore Estate demonstrates this passion for the biggest and most elaborate Christmas trees. George Vanderbilt first opened the Biltmore House to friends and family on Christmas Eve 1895 and Christmastime has been celebrated there in grand style ever since. The mansion is filled with dozens of uniquely decorated trees, but the most impressive is a 35 foot tall fraser fir that has been raised in the Grand Banquet Hall, ablaze with lights. The most magical and romantic time to see the impressive display of trees and decorations is during the Biltmore Candlelight Evenings. All the fireplaces are aglow as carolers and musicians play throughout the house guiding you from one spectacular holiday scene to another. A Bed of Roses offers several Biltmore Candlelight Evening Packages, customized to let you choose your special holiday experience.
Stay tuned for more holiday traditions and the joyous ways we celebrate them here in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
November 22nd, 2014 by abedofroses
When we at the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association decided to compile a curated list of the best Holiday Shopping destinations in Asheville to share with our guests, New Morning Gallery was at the very top of my list. My family and friends have been the recipients of New Morning Gallery one-of-a-kind gifts every year for nearly as long as the shop and gallery has been open. Long before I lived in Asheville my family introduced me to this exquisite collection of unique arts and crafts and it’s been my go-to place to buy gifts ever since. In that time I’ve witnessed how one man over the course of 40 years spearheaded a renaissance here in Asheville, not just with one wonderful gallery of gifts. When John Cram opened New Morning Gallery in 1972, Asheville was not yet the cultural destination that it is now and he played a big part in bringing art and culture to the city. This is evidenced by the State of North Carolina awarding him it’s greatest civilian honor in Fine Arts in 2013.
He created the Annual Village Art & Craft Fair shortly after opening New Morning Gallery.
He then went on to help revive Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville by opening the Blue Spiral Gallery. He bought the theater next door that was known for screening porn movies and made it into The Fine Arts Theatre, Asheville’s home for art and independent films. Then Bellagio, “art to wear” in Biltmore Village followed with one of a kind fashion and Bellagio Every Day on Biltmore Avenue downtown. We are so honored to have John Cram and his “Blue Spiral” of shops and galleries participate in our Asheville Inn-siders Holiday Package. Watch him talk about his life and how Asheville has grown and come to life in this video.
The Asheville Inn-Sider’s Holiday Package: Stay, Shop & Play Package is available Nov. 19, 2014 to Thursday, Jan. 3, 2015. Add it to any two night reservation at A Bed of Roses now.
October 21st, 2014 by abedofroses
The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands just wrapped up its three day show at the US Cellular Center in Asheville and we never miss it. This juried exhibition with demonstrations and live regional music brings together the very best craftspeople in the area, all members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
We would like to highlight one of these talented artists, Karen Hawkins of Klay Hawk Dolls, based in Leicester, NC. Her figurative sculptures take you to a magical world of elves, fairies and trolls, all richly costumed and expressively sculpted and posed.
Many of these one-of-a-kind dolls are posable and some come with enchanted environments with fellow creatures. The humor and imagination of her work is simply delightful.
With a BA and Masters degree in Fine Arts, Karen taught art in the public schools for many years and now that she has retired she devotes herself full time to creating magic. She continues to teach as well, conducting workshops from her studio for beginner to advanced students. Her work heading up GoFigure, a figurative artists group here in Asheville, continues to connect her to the schools. For the third year, in conjunction with the Buncombe County Library, they are celebrating Reading Awareness Month by providing Storybook Characters to the Library. They will also be visiting local schools during the month of March to share their work and the books that inspired them. All the works will be 3D characters inspired by children’s literature.
Come to Asheville this April to see the celebration conclude with a month-long exhibit at the main branch of the Buncombe County Library in the heart of downtown Asheville. You can also learn more about Karen’s work at her website klayhawkdolls.com or GoFigure’s website.
October 5th, 2014 by abedofroses
It’s easy to get away from the crowds and find fun small communities to explore while you’re in Asheville. Historic and quaint downtown shopping areas, antiquing, hiking and mountain views abound in Western North Carolina. Weaverville, Brevard, Black Mountain, Waynesville and Hendersonville are all worth visiting and are just a short and scenic drive away.
Nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Waynesville is just outside the Pisgah National Forest and sits at an elevation of 2,752 ft. On a recent day trip to Waynesville we found a charming Main Street lined with gift shops, antique stores, art galleries and clothing shops. There’s a small town feel to the historic downtown shopping area. One shopkeeper told us people in Waynesville don’t lock their doors, it’s that kind of place.
After scoping out the perfect antique chair for the Wilkinson Room at “Feather Your Nest” and marveling at Teresa Pennington’s colored pencil originals at “T. Pennington Art Gallery”, we found the perfect place for lunch. The Patio Bistro had outdoor seating in a little courtyard and served the most beautiful spinach and feta quiche I have ever seen. I seriously need that recipe! When the shopping resumed we were drawn into an antique shop by stunning antique stained glass windows and doors that the proprietor had collected from all over including Baltimore and New York. At the back of “Burl Wood Gallery” stood an imposing Napoleon III armoire that we would need to build an entire room to accommodate. Next house! “Gatekeepers” was our last stop to browse for gifts and unique home accessories. Our Halloween decorating will be fun this year with the gourd jack-o-lantern lights we found there! We did go back for the chair too!
All in all it was a lovely day trip.
September 28th, 2014 by abedofroses
The Reed Creek Greenway, just a few blocks from A Bed of Roses is having a ribbon cutting on October 9th as part of University of North Carolina Asheville’s biggest ever Fall 2014 Greenfest running from October 1st through the 11th. The latest stretch of the Greenway now connects the Montford Historic District to the corner of Broadway and W.T. Weaver Boulevard where the UNC Botanical Garden lies and the entrance to UNC’s lovely wooded campus.
As part of Greenfest, the global Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies 2014 conference and performance series will be taking place Oct 2-6.
Paul Winter, the seven-time Grammy-winner, composer and saxophonist will be performing “In Celebration of the Earth” at Isis Music Hall on Friday Oct 3rd at 8:00pm. He will also be leading a workshop, “Adventures in SoundPlay at the conference. Richard Shulman’s Earth and Sky Trio will be performing from 6:00-8:00pm.
Other performers include Fry Street Quartet who will join with physicist Dr. Robert Davies on Oct 2nd in a performance combining music, information, imagery and a “dash of theater”. The resulting event includes the works of composer Laura Kaminsky, painter Rebecca Allen, environmental photographer Garth Lenz and Utah sculptor Lymann Whitaker. “Inusksuit” composed by John Luther Adams, 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music winner will be performed on the UNCA Quad on Oct. 4th featuring 99 percussionists. Performances, workshops, panel discussions and installations continue until Oct 6th.
Other events in the Greenfest include “Lunch with a Farmer” serving up seasonal items from North Carolina farms with the farmers on hand to chat as well as the Bulldog Bike Bonanza. Carnival booths with games and lessons in bike maintenance and safety will be presented by UNCA Campus Recreation, UNC Bike Shop and Asheville on Bikes. The Greenfest Bike Ride will take place on Oct 9th as well, from 2:45-4:15pm, ending up at the Reed Creek Greenway in time for the official dedication of the Greenway.
Everybody’s Environmental Conference will take place Oct 9-10, presented by UNCA’s Center for Diversity Education and Oct 11th is Alumni and Community Service Day. Volunteers will pitch in to continue the work of enhancing the green spaces along the Reed Creek Greenway.
For more photos of the Reed Creek Greenway visit our Photo Gallery.
August 22nd, 2014 by abedofroses
We really do “eat with our eyes first”. How a dish looks on the plate plays a large role in whether we decide to eat it or not and it also enhances the sensory experience tremendously. Even though I was an artist and illustrator before becoming an innkeeper, you don’t have to be an artist to make beautiful, appealing dishes than invite your guests to taste the food and savor each bite. A colorful garnish that looks special can be so easy to put together. Fresh ingredients are always key, but a few slices here and a twist there can make it look really special. Here are some easy tips on decorating the plate.
Remember three rules for creating an appealing plated dish:
- Taste- when garnishing a plate the first consideration should be, will it taste good? Will the taste of the garnish go well with the rest of the meal? A good garnish is edible! Going to elaborate lengths to create a dramatic look is unnecessary and futile if the eater doesn’t want to consume it.
- Color- a plate needs contrast. If all the dishes are monochromatic you lose an opportunity to create interest. Contrasting colors in a garnish like a red tomato and green herbs or bell peppers work well. Complementary colors are at the opposite sides of a color wheel, like red and green or yellow and blue, but use common sense. Not all colors occur naturally in foods and you do want it to look edible! An organic edible flower may provide the right contrasting color too.
Shape- Pleasing shapes can be created just by how the food is arranged. Fanning a sliced strawberry or avocado creates a harmonious shape. Arranging a few slices of plumb tomato in an arc does the same. Think in threes and curves instead of in straight lines.
For a sweet meal, like our orange stuffed French toast or Peaches with orange sauce in a puff pancake, a sliced orange with a small cut from the middle to the outer edge can be twisted to make a lovely nest for a sliced and splayed strawberry or an organically grown flower. I love to use nasturnum. For the strawberry, wash and hold with the stem side down, then thinly slice without cutting to the stem- just enough that you can smoosh the strawberry to splay the slices.
For a savory meal, slice a tomato and decorate it with contrasting colored sliced peppers and a sprig of fresh curly parsley or a scored cucumber. Wash and cut the cucumber in half, then take a sharp tined fork and run it down the sides of the cucumber making shallow cuts at even intervals. Then thinly slice crosswise and place on top of the tomato slice. A bell pepper can be cut in half lengthwise, from stem to bottom, and then thinly sliced across. You can also create a bell pepper ring by cutting a circle around the stem, removing the center seeds and membrane and then slicing across. Arrange the slices by crossing them or the rings by layering them in threes like an Olympic seal.
If your main dish is a spicy southwestern or Mexican dish you can top your tomato with fresh cilantro. To garnish an Italian main dish, like our Italian Egg Cups with Proscuito de Parma, you can top your tomato with a fresh basil leaf or a Rosemary sprig. We always have plenty of fresh herbs growing in our “kitchen garden”. Parsley, chives, thyme, rosemary and mint are easy to grow and always look fresh and inviting on the plate.
Avocado adds a creamy cooling taste to any spicy dish and is decorative as well. While working at a French Restaurant right out of college I learned how to thinly slice a peeled avocado and then gently push on it to splay the slices on the plate. All it really needs is a touch of salt and fresh ground pepper, but you can also slide slices of tomato between the slices or drizzle with a little balsamic glaze. Top it with a shaving of fresh Parmesan Regianno and it’s heavenly to taste and to look at.
July 28th, 2014 by abedofroses
Asheville City Hall is about to emerge, renewed from a 6 million dollar renovation project that began in November 2012. The scaffolding and netting has begun to come down and by the end of the year we will again be able to fully appreciate one of Asheville’s architectural jewels. Several Art Deco buildings of rich variety can be found in Asheville and we count ourselves very lucky to enjoy the ornamental detailing they reveal.
The Architecture of downtown Asheville is incredibly varied and spans several styles popularized between the 1880, when the railroad arrived and doubled Asheville’s population, and the early 1930s, when the Depression hit Asheville hard. At that time construction ground to a halt due to Asheville’s decision to pay off it’s debt rather than go bankrupt. In the 50 years that it took to accomplish that feat many historic buildings were spared from the destruction wrought in the name of urban renewal.
In 1928 both the conservative neoclassical Buncombe County Courthouse and the glorious Art Deco Asheville City Hall were built side by side, offering a striking and delightful contrast in styles. Architect Douglas Ellington designed City Hall as well as several other important Art Deco buildings in the area. The First Baptist Church is an Ellington design. A lovely tiled dome topped with a copper cupola sits above the octagonal main auditorium.
Art Deco decorative patterns adorn a more neoclassical design here, as it does on the Federal Court House built in 1929 and designed by James Wetmore and the Grove Arcade. The Asheville High school by Ellington has many similarities in style to City Hall. Ellington’s S&W Cafeteria in the heart of downtown drips with rich Art Deco detailing as well. The Wick and Green Building, housing Wick and Green Jewelers is a lovely Art Deco design that originated as a gas station!
When visiting Asheville be sure to take advantage of one of the Historic Asheville tours.
- The Asheville Urban Trail is a self guided tour designed by volunteers and created by the City of Asheville to improve Asheville through public art. Symbols representing five historical eras are carved into pink granite along the trail and each of the 30 stations along the walk includes a piece of art or a bronze plaque that describes it. Urban Trail maps are available at Pack Place, The Visitors Center, many downtown stores and most B&Bs, including A Bed of Roses.
- History at Hand offers guided tours of Downtown, the Montford Historic District and the Historic Riverside Cemetery, located right here in Montford.
- Asheville Tours also offers a 90 minute guided Downtown Architectural History Walking Tour.
- Asheville Mountain Magic offers a self-guided walking tour on their website that is informative and covers all of the architectural styles displayed downtown.