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Posts Tagged ‘holidays at the inn’

Ready or Not Here Comes Santa! Christmas in Asheville

November 21st, 2012 by abedofroses

Santa and his wife

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Asheville Holiday Parade

The Biltmore Estate Candlelight tours have begun, Asheville held its Holiday Parade this past Saturday and the Grove Park Inn’s Gingerbread Competition winners have just gone on display. In spite of my stubborn reluctance to even think about Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, I can’t help but start to give in to the excitement surrounding the holidays. The Christmas season is here, like or not, and I absolutely love this time of year. There’s something magical about the decorations and the music, the parties and even the shopping. Downtown Asheville has a holiday shop window competition that brings out everyone’s creativity and helps get you into the spirit.

Snowman at the Spa

Mr Snowman at the Spa

Sensibilities Spa won the competition with their clever snow-people enjoying the spa treatment, complete with a snow ancestor portrait above the fireplace! The holiday parade was quite an extravaganza with innumerable floats, performers, marching bands playing holiday music and our own Olympic silver medalists, Lauren Tamayo and Manteo Mitchell serving as Grand Marshals of the parade. Santa was the last to arrive with his entourage of festooned live llamas, bobbing Christmas-tree characters, and dancing reindeer people. Families camped out along the parade route and excited children darted into the street to catch a glimpse of what was coming.

Kids at the Asheville Holiday Parade

The cutest float at the Holiday Parade

It was great family fun. The Gingerbread Competition winners are always amazing to see and it gives you an excuse to enjoy the outstanding Arts & Crafts Architecture and original mission furniture of the Grove Park Inn. These are not run-of-the mill gingerbread houses. They are amazing edible sculptures and the bakers come from as far away as Massachusetts to compete. There are no less than 6 productions of The Nutcracker or variations thereof in Asheville this year. They range from the Asheville Puppetry Alliance’s “In the Nutcracker Mood”, featuring holiday music, to a modern interpretation with all dance and no singing or speaking at the Flatrock Playhouse and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre‘s “The Return of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” a surreal, imaginative telling of “The Nutcracker”. And of course, the Asheville Ballet will perform the full original ballet from Imperial Russia.

Biltmore at Christmas

The Biltmore Library at Christmas

There will be choral performances and parties as well, but nothing can compete with the Grand Biltmore Estate in full Christmas regalia. By candlelight, with harpists playing and choirs singing in the Conservatory, the myriad of trees sparkle even brighter. My own 9 foot Christmas tree has arrived from Balsam Hill trees and it’s all I can do to keep from setting it up now. Right after Thanksgiving it’s going up! Happy Holidays!

Christmastime at A Bed of Roses

December 13th, 2011 by abedofroses

Sasha under the tree

Sasha loves to sit under the tree

Last year was our first Christmas at the inn and it was a White Christmas straight out of the storybooks. The snow was gently falling all Christmas day. We had closed the inn and moved into the Revell Room, our favorite, with the cats until Monday. Snug in the house making Beef Wellington (for the first time) for Christmas dinner, we relished that quiet peaceful time. For me, Christmastime has always been special and magic. I love the decorations and the lights, the sparkle and the lush opulence of Christmas. I get to be creative, adding ribbons and lights and greens to every nook I can find. Every year comes out a little bit different. This year we found great new garlands from Balsam Hill to drape outside along the porch and the balcony as well as inside up the stairway.

Christmas Tree in the Foyer

The decorated foyer

My sisters helped me decorate the tree with ornaments Bill and I have collected over the years. Some I had even before meeting Bill, like the Byzantine Star that tops the tree, and they all have special memories attached. I enjoy finding that special gift that’s perfect for a friend or family member, but it’s not about presents for me. It’s all about creating the magic of the holiday in our home and in our hearts.

Asheville has so many magical things to do over the holidays too. We spent the afternoon touring the National Gingerbread Competition winners displayed at the Grove Park Inn. The Montford Players are performing A Christmas Carol, and last weekend Biltmore Village hosted a Dickens Festival with performers roaming the historic streets and shopkeepers dressed in Victorian garb. The Biltmore Candlelight Evenings are a special treat that we got to enjoy last Christmas. Seeing the magnificent estate filled with ornately decorated trees, totally decked out for the holidays, by candlelight and accompanied by live celestial music is dazzling and entrancing.

This year, instead of closing the inn, we’re sharing our snug Christmastime Getaway with a house full of guests! We’re having a Christmas Wedding at A Bed of Roses! We’re all very excited. What could be more magical and romantic than a Christmas Wedding!

Decorations from outside

Our front window decorated with stars

Visit our photo gallery for more photographs of A Bed of Roses in her full holiday regalia.