Recently, Starr Style traveled to the beautiful town of Asheville in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa.
Our first glimpse at the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.
After a very pleasant drive on a gorgeous fall day we arrived in Asheville and checked into Room 2025 (such an appropriate number) at The Grove Park Inn. We were immediately mesmerized by the breathtaking view from our room. We knew right then and there that this would be a very restful and renewing getaway.
We were anxious to see more of this beautiful resort and to get familiar with everything it had to offer us during our stay. It had been 25 years since we last visited this inn and the building and grounds had undergone major changes during that time. Here are some of the sites we enjoyed during our initial walk around (my first sans crutches)!
The Main Inn
The Sunset Terrace
The Terraced Gardens
The Harvest Decor in every Nook & Cranny
The Sammons Verandah
Everywhere, a gorgeous view!
The Main Hall
After a long mountain walk one evening, at the sunset hour, scarcely more than a year ago, I sat down here to rest, and while almost entranced by the panorama of these encircling mountains and a restful outlook upon green fields, the dream of an old-time inn came to me – an inn whose exterior, and interior as well, should present a home-like and wholesome simplicity, whose hospitable doors should ever be open wide inviting the traveler to rest awhile, shut in from the busy world outside.
~ Edwin W. Grove ~
July 12, 1913
Founder – The Grove Park Inn
Our First Sunset
Every morning, Denis prepared our lattes and we enjoyed the view while planning our activities for the day.
Have Espresso Maker, Will Travel
And, of course, we cast our votes for Adrien’s video.
Then we enjoyed the lavish and scrumptious breakfast buffet each morning in the Blue Ridge Dining Room.
Our favorites from the buffet had to be the made-to-order veggie omelettes, the juicy fresh fruits and the outstanding potato casserole. A hearty meal, indeed!
The view at breakfast was the best part of the meal!
We had many delicious dinners as well, but of special note was our anniversary dinner on the Sunset Terrace.
Our waiter, Claudio, was wonderful, but not very good with a camera!
We started with our favorite Martini (Dry, Vodka, Extra Olives). Stuffed Portobello and Fried Green Tomatoes for starters, next was the best ever Butternut Squash Soup. Our entree was a dense and richly seasoned veggie version of Pasta Puttanesca paired with the Grove Park Inn Cabernet Sauvignon. It was so delicious, but we were so full that just a few bites were enough. We boxed up our desserts, Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Truffle Torte to be enjoyed at another time! A nice, long after dinner walk was in order!!
Wherever we go, we like to take a city tour to get familiar with the lay of the land. I particularly enjoy these tours on a trolley bus on a gorgeous day, as was the case in beautiful Asheville.
There was so much to see and learn about this historic city. Here are a few examples of the inspired architecture that is so prevalent in the downtown area:
There is a residential neighborhood in Asheville called Montford Park. If you considered moving to this part of North Carolina, this is probably where you would want to live! The homes are gracious, most of them sitting on gently sloping hillsides. The area parks are lush and inviting. It was here that we spotted a lovely little grotto.
We returned to that spot on our anniversary to share the same vows that we did 25 years ago.
Renewing our Vows in Montford Park
I take you, Denis/Starr, to be my husband/wife and these things I promise you: I will be faithful to you and honest with you; I will obey, respect, trust, help and care for you; I will share my life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and God, through the best and worst of what is to come until death parts us.
And then, it was back to the Grove Park’s Sammons Verandah to witness yet another flamboyant sunset while we toasted our long and happy marriage with the same champagne glasses we toasted from 25 years ago. And, as is our yearly anniversary tradition, we reviewed our 5-year plan and gave thanks for the many blessings we enjoyed this past year (and in this case the past 25 years) and kudos to ourselves for making plans for our lives and then living our plans.
Along with the GPI’s wonderful hotel, spa, dining rooms, nightclub, open spaces, gardens and golf course, the resort also boasts some world class shopping. There are beautiful boutiques for clothing and jewelry, a shop just for items emblazoned with the GPI signature logo and a gourmet cooking store with cafe. At Treasures in the Park you can find delightful home decor items and the cutest toys and accessories for babies and children. At Christmas in the Park, I chose the perfect ornament to hang on our Travel Tree this Christmas!
Perfect for our Travel Tree!
And to satisfy our tea time tradition, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea with all the accoutrements at Chelsea’s Cafe & Tea Room in the Biltmore Village.
The tea room was perfectly pink and chintzy, but the day that God had made was so delightful that we chose to sit outside on the cobblestone patio.
Raspberry Black Tea for Denis. Tippy Assam for me!
We both chose the Vegetarian Tea Plate.
The Savories included a Stacked Caprese with Basil Pesto, Asparagus Quiche, Tomato Topped with Broccoli Slaw, Parmesan Wafer Topped with Truffle Cream and Brown Bread Topped with Pickled Zucchini & Carrots.
The Sweets included Rice Pudding, Layered Lemon Cake, Layered Coconut Cake, 3 Varieties of Cookies (Gingerbread, Chocolate & Butter) and Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookies.
For the Bread Course, Crumbly Cinnamon Scones with Cream and Raspberry Jam.
There were 3 shops inside Chelsea’s, one for tea time items, one for home decor and upstairs the most adorable boutique for children.
Loved this Party Hat Chandelier!
Tea Time Serving Pieces Galore!
Annexed to the Grove Park Inn is an artists’ community called Grovewood which claims to provide its visitors with a magical experience of art, craft, history and old world charm. And, indeed it did, during one afternoon that we spent there.
The Gallery represents over 500 artists from the United States, mostly from the southeast.
There are two museums, the Homespun, which showcases memorabilia including letters, artifacts and woven samples for its historical overview of Biltmore Industries, and the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum. You can take a studio tour where you can see artists creating jewelry, furniture, pottery and glass art.
We ate a tasty meal at the Grovewood Cafe. We shared a real home-style, southern vegetable plate consisting of the creamiest mac & cheese ever, surrounded by roasted parsnips, beets & asparagus and garlic spinach. It was yummy!
Our favorite part of the Grovewood consortium was the Sculpture Garden.
During a late afternoon drive around town, Asheville was ablaze with fall colors…
This little shop was Starr Styling!
View from Grove Park Inn 2025
View from Grove Park Inn 2025
Alas, it was time to turn our thoughts toward home, with the promise that we would not let 25 years pass before returning again to the enchanting Grove Park Inn!
Farewell, Sunset Mountain!
Twenty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary. Check!
PS – Here’s a Blast from the Past…Enjoying ourselves at the GPI 25 years ago!