Monday, May 6th, 2013
They really did have a lovely breakfast at the Biltmore Inn. I quite liked the ‘make your own omelette’ station, the fresh fruit and bran muffins.
We decided to head out right after breakfast (while the weather was nice, albeit very cold!) and started our day with the 2 mile round trek down to the gardens/conservatory. They were pulling up the tulips when we got there (as the cold weather had finally done them in.)
With our spring celebration package, we got a audio tour… One of the things I noticed, was that many of the rooms we had seen on previous tours of the house, were now closed off and separated into different tours.
- Edith Vanderbilt was 6 ft tall.
- Cornelia Vanderbilt (later Cecil) was born in 1900.
- George Vanderbilt was 33 and unmarried when Biltmore was completed. He was also the youngest of 8 children, and never had a job. So when he built the estate he knew that he was going to have to come up with a way to make the estate pay for itself. (Wine, Dairy farm, Cattle, Sheep etc)
- His father left a 200 million dollar fortune (worth 4 bill in today’s money) and it was all untaxed.
- George Vanderbilt died at 51 from complications due to an appendectomy.
- Cornelia was only 13 when her father died, and she was married to a Englishmen John Cecil in 1924 at 23 years of age.
- Only 8,000 acres remain to the Biltmore Estate’s lands, most have been sold to the government for parks and real estate.
After our walk through the estate, we headed back via shuttle to Antler Village where we stopped at Cedric’s Tavern for a ‘spot’ of lunch. Cedric’s is named after the favorite of 5 St. Bernard’s owned by the Vanderbilt family.
Tired from our long day, we headed back to the hotel for a bit.
We made a brief trip out the Biltmore Village to check out the olive oil shop Tree and Vine.
We called for room service around 7pm (available 24 hours a day, and quite a good value!)
All in all a very exciting busy day! Stay tuned for Day 3.