Sometimes I just love my job! Southern Bride & Groom has been part of our local Triangle Chapter of NACE (National Association of Catering & Events) for about fifteen years, and it is a constant source of professional growth and inspiration for our team. We gather monthly at a local venue for a full-fledged event featuring the talents of our local professionals, for networking and education. Our NC NACE chapters – including our own Triangle Chapter, the Charlotte crew, and the new Appalachian chapter – recently united at an extravagant joint meeting at the prestigious Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. For today’s inspiration Monday, we thought we’d share a bit of this wonderful two-day event – if you are planning a Biltmore wedding, or even a bachelorette trip to the beautiful Asheville area, consider some of these ideas among all of the wonderful activities available at this incredible national historic landmark.
We were privileged to stay on property at the beautiful Inn on Biltmore Estate, a destination in its own right. After checking in and taking in the phenomenal views afforded by our rooms and the hotel lobby, we headed straight for the winery, for a fabulous educational session on food and wine pairing with talented Biltmore wine expert, Chuck Rutter. The wines were all quite impressive and delicious – especially when complemented with the perfect pairings!
Next we headed to the majestic Biltmore House for small group tours. We were hosted by expert guides who led us through the house and regaled us with stories of the Biltmore family and history of the home. An we had a special surprise ending – a champagne toast on the rooftop. This was experience I don’t think any of us in attendance will ever forget – the views, the company, the sunshine, and oh my goodness, the wind! This is an occasional private event site for intimate gatherings, provided the weather cooperates!
After a quick rest at the Inn, we headed to another nook of the property, Lioncrest. This is a very popular location for wedding receptions, with its romantic atmosphere – a glass lodge set in the woods, lit by twinkling string lights. We enjoyed a six – yes SIX – course (plus dessert) beer pairing dinner. The talented culinary team worked hard to create a fantastic menu and featured lots of local breweries. I think it’s safe to say everyone was blown away! Anyone who gets the opportunity to dine at Biltmore is in for a treat!
Sweet Grass Mussels & Clams
Bacon Lardons, Charred Bread
Paired with Oskar Blues Pilsner
“Peking Style” Sapporo Glazed Duck Wings
Gochujang Chili and Honey
Paired with Sapporo
Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Tots
Paired with Green Man IPA
Grape Wood & ESB Smoked Lamb Chop
Paired with Green Man ESB (Green Man Brewing)
Outmeal Stout Braised Beef Short Rib
Fresh Pasta, Whipped Herb Mascarpone
Paired with Black Mocha Stout (Highland Brewing)
Chocolate Porter Cake
Paired with Oatmeal Porter
The next morning, we were up and at ‘em for more fun! We had a delicious brunch at Cedric’s Tavern, part of a new area at the estate, the Antler Hill Village, which has a very European vibe. We were treated to an inspiring presentation by Julie Isphording, one of the women on the first ever women’s US Olympic running team. Despite the fact that she was injured and unable to complete her Olympic trial, she overcame all predictions that she’d never run again to run marathons again, and continues to run every day! In honor of this speaker, we ended the weekend with our very own “NACE Olympics” in which we competed in games such as napkin folding, running with trays of water, and event pro trivia.
Our little getaway was jam-packed with fun, but y’all, this is just the tip of the iceberg at Biltmore – an 8,000-acre estate! For more activities check out Biltmore’s activity page.