A Luxury Afternoon Tea Experience at the Inn on Biltmore Estate

by joeheg

During our previous visit to Asheville, back in late 2020, we were only able to spend a short amount of time in the city. Despite this, we managed to visit the Biltmore Estate, which was beautifully decorated for the Christmas season. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to explore much else on the estate. However, we did come across a fascinating activity that we were unable to experience at the time, so we decided to make reservations in advance for our upcoming trip.

On Thursday – Sunday of each week, the Inn on Biltmore Estate features an Afternoon Tea in the Dining Room. We looked at staying at the Inn until we saw the prices of the rooms and decided we’d be better off staying somewhere not on the Biltmore Estate. Going to Afternoon Tea would be a great way to visit the hotel and look around.

We made reservations for the tea in advance. In order to visit the Biltmore Estate you must have a daytime ticket, a Biltmore Annual Pass or be staying at one of the hotels on the estate.

The Inn on Biltmore Estate

We had day passes and drove to the Inn on Biltmore Estate.

a sign on a stone wall

Valet Parking at the hotel costs $20. We arrived early so we took some time to look around the inn.

a large building with a stone wall and a stone wall

The view from the inn over the Biltmore Estate is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

a landscape with trees and mountains in the background

The Dining Room

The Dining Room is one floor down from the entrance lobby level. You can reach the restaurant by an elevator or take the staircase. As you approach the podium to check in, you’re greeted with a view of the main fireplace, which is flanked by large windows that show a view over the valley to the mountains.

a room with a fireplace and tables and chairs

The Dining Room has a feeling of refined elegance. Rustic enough not to feel stuffy but still with a sense of class fitting of the Vanderbilts.

a room with tables and chairsa room with a round table and chairs

Afternoon Tea in The Dining Room

If you’ve never been to an Afternoon Tea, it’s an event where the presentation is just as important as the food being served. The Afternoon Tea costs $75 per person with alcoholic beverages available at an extra charge.

a menu on a table

To start, we were presented with a tea book from which to make our selections. It came with samples of each tea which you could take out and smell to help you choose your favorite.

a black box with different types of spices

We each ordered different teas – my choice was the Rooibos Breakfast.

a tea set on a table

The first course was the scone service.

a tray of food on a table

After that was the main part of the tea, the savory and sweet canapes. They were delivered on a multi-tier serving tray.

a tiered tray of desserts on a table

a plate of food on a platea plate of food on a traya plate of desserts on a table

The lobster salad and the gingerbread churro selections were my favorites. While the bites were small, as is normal with afternoon tea, we all were quite full by the time we got to the sweets.

Final Thought

Indulging in the Afternoon Tea experience at the Inn on Biltmore Estate felt like stepping into a world of luxury and refinement. The staff provided outstanding service and the culinary offerings were exceptional. The presentation of each item was done with such care and attention that it was almost too beautiful to eat.

But that’s the point about going to something like this. To be taken away from the moment and enjoy the view while sipping on tea and nibbling on tiny sandwiches.

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