Every year, my two best friends from college and I meet up somewhere. When we first graduated, we had all dispersed to different places in the country, and our annual trips were to visit each other in our new homes. Over time, we’ve exhausted our new homes (there are only 3 of us, after all) so we started meeting up in various places on the East Coast.
Last year, we decided to take a retreat to the farms in Asheville, NC.
We stayed in an adorable cottage on East Fork Farm. If you’re looking for a retreat from the city lights, I cannot recommend this farm enough! We took a leisurely walk around the farm to meet all the animals and peeked into the mill.
There’s a fresh Farm Store on site and we were able to purchase some fresh farm products. Luckily we didn’t see any lambs because I thought the lamb sausages were delicious!
Mt. Pisgah Hike
Mt. Pisgah is a part of the Appalachain range and part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a fairly light hike and when you get to the top, there’s a wooden platform that gives you a 360 view of the landscape.
This is the largest private estate in the US and is owned by the Vanderbilts. It looks a lot like European estates, like a castle. The landscape and gardens are beautiful. The estate is huge. We barely made a dent in the garden but really enjoyed our leisurely walk.
The estate was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II, who was a prominent society figure but was not integral to the Vanderbilt shipping and railroad legacy. The home was built during the Gilded Age. As you’re touring the home, everything feels extremely grand and opulent. I felt like I was on set for Downton Abbey. The tour will take you through the house and you’ll see both the upstairs residence as well as the servants quarters. If you’re in Asheville, this is not to be missed! Don’t forget to buy your tickets in advance to get a discount.
It’s not exactly a hopping metropolis, but a quaint leisurely walk. We visited Mast General Store, where you can pick up packaged Southern recipes and take your pick of candy from barrels. We also visited Malaprops Bookstore where I selected a “blind date” with a book. The book is packaged completely so you can’t see the title or author; you can select a book based on the description provided by the staff. We also walked around the town center and popped into a basket shop and honey store.
Since we were on a farm and picked up some farm products, we ended up cooking at the farmhouse for a few meals. It was very casual and fun!
There are quite a few locations. The restaurant name is very apt because the biscuits are HUMONGOUS. They also have a salad-bar style jam and cream cheese that you can pick up for your table. There are classical flavors as well is funky jalapeno flavors. All amazing though! This is a great option for biscuits, but their healthier options such as oatmeal are also quite delicious. Biscuit Head was started by a husband and wife team who love Southern cooking.
These tacos were delicious! If you’re looking for your standard fare tacos, this is not for you. However, if you’re looking for fusion-style tacos, this is a great spot! All the tacos have great and strong flavor and are so so yummy. The queso has a slight kick but incredibly addictive. This is a casual dining restaurant so help yourself!
Biltmore Dining Room
We were already on site for our tour so this just made sense. The food was lovely but it’s very standard American fare.