The past few days have been loads of fun!
My Yaya (greek for grandma…and I know we spell it incorrectly, it’s how we’ve always spelled it :P) , my mom and I had wanted to do a special trip together after my graduation. We had toyed with the idea of going to Europe, but it became impractical after some health issues my Yaya was facing as well as my mom’s current fear of going over there 😛
We ended up staying in Yaya’s home state of North Carolina and taking a road trip to Charlotte and Asheville. She and my Papou live in Wilmington, so we knew we needed a stop to break up the 6 hour drive to Asheville. That’s where Charlotte came in!
it’s about 3.5 hours from Wilmington and my parents had been there earlier in the year and loved the food tour that they went on, so we decided to do that. We also love food, so the food tour was a great option because of that as well 😛
I have to say that the tour was great! The tour was called Feast Food Tours and it was a tour of 6 different restaurants in Uptown Charlotte. The food was so so so soooo yummy and the tour guides were outstanding!
Our first stop was a restaurant called Roosters where we were given a choice of craft beers, some pimento cheese (SO GOOD) and a specialty pizza. I tried the Three Spirits Apircot Ale, which is a local brewery there in Charlotte and I really enjoyed it!
The pizza was a combination of duck sausage, potatoes, mushrooms and some sort of cheese that I’m having trouble remembering. It was pretty good even though I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms!
The pimento cheese…I loved this one 🙂
Next we went to The Asbury, which is a farm to table restaurant. The style of the tour was Chef’s choice, so the chef here chose to have us plate some fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, blackberries, and a few other items with his chive-y, creamy sauce.
It was delicious…look at all those colors!
The tomatoes were quite possibly some of the best I’ve ever had 🙂
Our next stop was Fahrenheit, which is the first of two rooftop bars in Charlotte. It’s right on top of a hotel/apartment complex and the view was pretty cool! They even have a garden right there on the roof!
They served “Charlotte Nachos” which were home-spun chips with bacon, cheese, and green onions on top…They were on of my favorites 🙂
We were also given a fig stuffed sausage or a sausage stuffed with fig…I cannot remember which it was, but I do know that it was pretty yummy and a little bit spicy!
Our drink at Fahrenheit was a vodka, lime, jalapeno homemade syrup concoction that was pretty good! I couldn’t finish it because it was a little strong for me, but it was one of my Yaya’s favorites.
The view from the rooftop overlooking Charlotte!
The Meridien/ Evoke was our next stop and I had to take a picture of the sign because there is a Meridien connected to my office in Arlington.
The decor was fun and my mom said it looked like something out of the 70s. It definitely created a fun vibe for the restaurant and hotel!
Here they started us with this giant signature cocktail of black raspberry chambord, peach schnapps and prosecco layered in the glass. It tasted good, but I still think chambord tastes a little like cough syrup, which is something I’m not too fond of 😛
Evoke is where we had hands down my favorite dish. It was a bacon and crab gnocchi that was spectacular! I loved it so much…it was the only dish I wish we could have had more of!
A fun fountain right outside of our last stop, Mimosa Grill.
Mimosa Grill started us of with some kind of watermelon cocktail that was okay…definitely not my favorite, but at that point there had definitely been too much alcohol for my liking haha 😛 It was a pretty color though!
Here we had some kind of white fish, I don’t remember the name, with some beans and corn. It was quite delicious and probably my second favorite to the gnocchi!
Afterwards, we decided we were craving some chocolate so we went to Amelie’s for some dessert and coffee. My mom and I had both been to Amelie’s on separate occasions and loved the coffee there, so we knew we wanted to go back! We lucked out with this new uptown location that was right across the street from our hotel! So so so good 🙂
This place has such cute decor!
I had a chocolate and peanut butter petit four that was to die for! Yaya had a raspberry and chocolate one that I didn’t get a picture of 😛
And my mom had a raspberry and chocolate tart 🙂
We went back to Amelie’s (a different location on North Davidson) for breakfast the next day…we bought 4 bags of coffee…we might have a problem 😛
I just love their cute style…it’s so much fun to walk in there and start looking around at all the fun wall decor and different lamps. Not a single one seems to be the same!
After breakfast, we headed to Asheville to tour the Biltmore. It was a couple hour long drive, but nothing too bad! When we got there we immediately went to the house to go see the wedding dresses on display. They were having a special exhibit of wedding dresses (and a few other dresses) from famous movies and some from Vanderbilt family members. It was so cool! I love looking at wedding dresses 😛
This room might be my favorite simply because of the purple and gold colors…Go dukes! 😛
How cool is this swimming pool?! I didn’t even know they had pools let alone indoor ones back in the time this house was built. Our guide told us that after they swam, all they did was press a button and a servant would be notified to come help them undress and get back in their normal clothes…and that they changed 7-8 times a day which is crazy!
One of the Vanderbilt family dresses and veils (just a recreation from pictures). They man who created the dress from photos is the same guy who designed all the costumes for Downtown Abbey (which is one of my favorite series if you’re looking for a good one! They just finished the last season over the winter).
Another one of the family wedding gowns…This one had so many intricate details!
After we went and saw the dresses, we went to do a wine tasting! If anyone goes to the Biltmore, I highly recommend the tasting. It was so much fun and it’s included in the price of your ticket!
This rose was definitely a favorite of mine!
After our long day of driving and touring the house on our own, we went to a place called Avenue M in downtown Asheville. Oh my gosh did they have some of the best food I’ve ever had…I had homemade fettuccine noodles with meatballs and a slightly spicy sauce and a salad with the best balsamic vinaigrette. The vinaigrette had some garlic in it that was absolutely delicious and something I’d never thought to put in a dressing before!
I didn’t get a picture of my salad, but my mom’s salad was fantastic as well!
The next morning we headed out to Sunny Point Cafe for breakfast because I had heard fantastic things and all of those things were correct! I love love love breakfast and this one was out of this world good! We waited about a half hour to be seated and then another half hour to be served our breakfast but it was 200% worth the wait! I had something called the mighty good breakfast which was a homemade and deliciously flaky biscuit with two scrambled eggs, some cooked up potatoes, and some incredible maple black pepper bacon. If I had to pick one place to eat at for the rest of my life, this place might be it…I’d go back to Asheville just for that breakfast!
Then we had a guided tour of the house! I learned so much…the house is 4 acres worth of square footage, they had running water and electricity throughout the house immediately, they had call buttons for servants, they had refrigeration…basically the house had the best technology that was available at the time, which is so freakin cool! I really wish we could have seen more of the house, but it’s not open because they want to preserve it which makes sense. The house and all the land is still privately owned and run by the Vanderbilt family, though they have a different last name (cecil? I can’t remember) and they seem to do a wonderful job…I mean they have 1.2 million people come visit every year! I definitely want to go back at Christmas time and see it all done up in Christmas decorations 🙂
After the tour, we rushed over to the Biltmore Inn for tea. It’s a tradition with my mom, my yaya and I to go to tea for Christmas every year and we used to got to the Ritz Carlton every year and then decided to try a bunch of new places, but the Ritz is still our standard 😛 This tea came pretty close! My mom and I had the Myan Chocolate Truffle while Yaya had the Coco Chai…I don’t know if you can tell or not, but we love chocolate 😛
The little tea sandwiches were pretty good too! They were interesting for sure…Either the duck (at about 1 o’clock) or the mincemeat (about 6 o’clock) were my favorites!
The Mayan Chocolate Truffle tea (with a little bit of honey:)).
THE CHEESE AND DESSERT PLATTER! aka the only part we all cared about 😛
The cheese was delicious…I love cheese a whole bunch and the desserts were pretty darn tasty too! My favorite was either the vanilla cream puff or the lemon blueberry scone. My least favorite was this carrot cake thing with banana filling…I like carrot cake, but the filling was just too weird.
The vanilla cream puff 🙂
Mint chocolate dessert with a beautiful chocolate design 🙂
All in all we had a pretty wonderful few days in Charlotte and Asheville and I can’t wait to go back someday!
I hope everyone has a lovely Fourth of July Weekend celebrating our independence! and thank some servicemen while you’re at it 🙂
————————————————————————–What’s your favorite place to visit?
-typically mine is Topsail Island, NC