A Gardener's Place: Biltmore flowers to buy
This place, left to the entrance to the Conservatory is full of potted plants and flowers cultivated by Biltmore gardeners. There are also various accesories, tools, and seeds for your garden.
Well, if you are not from the USA, keep in mind that you are not allowed to import any living plants to most of the countries unless you obtain special permission which often is difficult.
What to buy: I liked some beautiful orchids in bloom. Well, they are the largest and most diverse of the flowering plant families, with over 800 described genera and 25,000 species! Did you know?
What to pay: I found potted plants much more expensive than in my homecountry, Poland. But I don't know whether it's typical for the USA or just Biltmore.
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
Biltmore Wine Shop: Great Biltmore wine :-)
This large and pretty designed self-service wine store is located in the Biltmore Winery and offers white, rose, white and sparkling wine produced at place from a variety of grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Viognier.
Biltmore wine is unavailable abroad. Even in the USA it is not easy to find and exclusively in some states. I tasted one kind of wine in the store (from plastic little cups) and many more kinds in the seperate, large tasting room (go there first).
There are also gourmet chocolates, coffees, condiments, and recipes on stock.
What to buy: I bought three bottles of Biltmore white wine (Chardonnay) I had already tasted and asked about in the tasting room.
I got to know that it was aged some half a year and fermented in oak barrels. The other Chardonnay - less expensive and much worse in my opinion - wasn't oak-aged. Did it make the difference? I surely asked and got to know that it's possible but apart from that about half the wine I bought went through malo-lactic fermentation which made significant difference in taste.
What to pay: Buying three bottles I've got special gift pack and saved 10%. So, I paid about $12 per bottle. It's a reasonable price for very good wine, I think.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
- Wine Tasting
Deerpark Exhibit Hall (Biltmore Estate): Quilts by known artists
At the end of my visit to the famous Biltmore Estate I hit my car to what was signed as Deerpark. I entered a huge, wooden hall where numerous, colorful patchwoek quilts were hang on walls around. To my surprise it was more than the exhibit. I could buy these colorful quilts.
A quilt is a type of bedding, a bed covering composed of a quilt top, a layer of batting, and a layer of fabric for backing. Nowadays it is more and more often made by artists and used exclusively to look at. This way from useful craftwork to "unuseful" art begun in the 19th century and, as I noticed, is continued in North Carolina and generally the South.
What to buy: They sold quilts, hand-made by known (not for me though :-) quilters, including Genevieve Grundy and Tynne Karas. I've got to known that the most famous creators of art quilts are or were natives to Virginia, Georgia and both Carolinas.
What to pay: Expensive in my opinion but original artworks by known artists. From some $100 to over $500 - see my pictures.
- Luxury Travel
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
Carriage House: Biltmore gifts
The Carriage House is the Biltmore Estate gift shop. you can find almost every gift and souvenir imagineable.
What to buy: I bought a Biltmore Estate cookbook and Christmas ornament for my mama. I looked for a shot glass with the Biltmore Estate logo for my daddy. It happened they were out of shot glasses at the time, but they do mail order online.
Biltmore Village: Shopping where Biltmore servants used to live
Constructed in the 1890's for the house workers at the Biltmore Estate, the historic cottages of Biltmore Village have been converted to all kinds of shops, restaurants and boutiques.
What to buy: Fine coffee and tea, jewelry, antiques, arts and crafts.
What to pay: It leans to the upscale.
Lexington Ave.: Thrift Stores!!
This road is so much fun!! It has an art gallery, thrift stores, a used music store, a coffee shop, a juice bar, antiques, boutiques, T.S. Morrison's (Asheville's oldest store--worth going to just for the homemade ice cream from Ultimate Ice Cream Co.), and on and on.
The Asheville Mall: Shopping like in a living room
Certainly not one of the biggest malls I've been to, but not one of the smallest either. What makes Asheville Mall special is that is has a carpet. Doesn't sound to exciting, does it? But the carpet on the floor makes the shopping trip more comfortable. It's a mall to feel fine in - not so sterile like other malls. Talking bout the shops - well, they are the same as in all the other malls. Foot Locker, Sears, Payless Shoe Source, Victoria's Secret, music stores, clothing stores and a nice food court.
What to buy: 124 shops, 4,600 parking spaces, 891,701 square feet
New Morning Gallery: Art For Living in Biltmore Village
If you've never been to New Morning Gallery, you've never seen anyplace quite like it. Two floors filled with an overwhelming and exquisite variety of unique handmade ceramics, art glass, furniture and jewelry.
Featuring master artists from around the country, New Morning Gallery, is a 30 year old fixture in Asheville created and owned by ecclectic visionary John Cram. Mr. Cram also opened a fine art gallery downtown on Biltmore Ave. called Blue Sprial 1 which houses the largest collection of work by artist Will Henry Stevens.
There's something for everyone for sale at New Morning Gallery and most of the items make you gasp at their imagination and originality. This is a store that embodies the spirit and grace of Asheville and is a must see for all who pass through.
What to pay: Work in the gallery ranges from moderately priced home accessories, prints and t-shirts and jewelry to one-of-a-kind pieces worth thousands. Though very little is truly "cheap," the average shopper could easily find something they couldn't live without, and it's always a nice feeling to pay artists for their brilliant work.
- Arts and Culture
- Luxury Travel
American Folk Art & Framing: Southern Folk Art
Seagrove is generally considered to be the epicenter of the North Carolina pottery industry but this little shop first caught my eye because a Seagrove potter is now prominently displaying, and selling, his work here. This shop has been open for about six years and has become well known as a great place to find an excellent cross-section of Southern folk art.
What to buy: Pottery, paintings, sculpture, and other items not as easily classified. My favorites are Daniel Johnston, the Seagrove potter, Ivy Billiot, a sculptor/woodcarver, Mike Ball, a more whimsical Catawba Valley potter, and Rudy (Rudolph Valentino) Bostic, a painter given to great displays of color and generally using cardboard as his canvas.
What to pay: As little as $40-50 up to several thousand dollars.
Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe: Always buy independent!
I am an admitted sucker for an independent bookstore. I love the atmosphere, I love the idea of someone hand-picking the selection of books, and mostly I love the way communities will rise up and support their local bookstores. You can find the most interesting natives in the local bookstores. I just stopped in to look and wound up walking out with four new books, none of which I really NEEDED, but all of which I'm glad to have.
What to buy: Malaprop's had a great section filled with books by local artists. Treat yourself to a Rita Mae Brown in their cafe - it's an espresso drink with cinnamon, vanilla and hazelnut. Yum.
What to pay: List price for books.
Chevron Bead Co.: Small Local Shops
Chevron provides an immense selection of beautiful beads. I recommend making your own jewelry because it is much more inexpensive than buying it--plus you get to customize the piece to your tastes. I recommend making a necklace at the store. Ask the clerk for a planning board, select your beads, and they will finish it for you right there!
What to pay: It really depends on the beads and other accesories you choose. Anywhere from $3-$50.
Enviro Depot: Green!
Enviro Depot is an environmentally "correct" toy shop. I took the snap not knowing whether to put it here or as a local customs because it points out the surprisingly hippie character of Asheville.
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