Not far from downtown Asheville, North Carolina, and overlooking Mount Pisgah is The Grove Park Inn. Per the vision of business man and elixir peddler, E. W. Grove, the inn was built in 1913 in only twelve months. Reminding me of a time when buildings were actually beautiful, the façade was constructed using boulders, stones and rocks of all sorts from the local area and paired with a red roof. Upon entering you will be warmed by two 14 foot fireplaces on opposite ends of The Great Hall. Here you can sit in a rocking chair or order a cocktail and enjoy the evening time piano playing.
Our trip to Asheville did not include a stay at The Grove Park Inn, but rather dinner and drinks on the Sunset Terrace. Arriving an hour or so before our reservations for dinner, we enjoyed a cocktail in the Great Hall from the specialty list. We also immensely enjoyed the people watching (our favorite pastime) and the incredible cross breeze sweeping over the mountains and through the rather large front doors of the inn.
Dinner on the Sunset Terrace, can include many options and activities, but most important being the sunset. Sipping on white wine, we enjoyed the views of Mount Pisgah, and the Asheville skyline (we are grateful it is so meager as to not interrupt our view), and feasted upon a selection of seafood appetizers. As our dinner progressed and as day transitioned to night the stars began to show themselves during the entrée course and another bottle of wine. Some of our entrée selections included the pork chop (order it without any sauces – you don’t need them), Springer Mountain Farms chicken two ways, and a curried fish selection. All delicious. While I am still on the quest for the “best meal of my life,” all was perfectly cooked, timed well, and the outdoor atmosphere of family, wine, sunset and stars created a perfect evening. Truly, I could not ask for more.
On your trip to The Grove Park Inn, you will find a few other restaurant options, including a buffet style, and one which permits wine pairings and tastings. The Spa is ranked #13 in the world according to the 2008 listing by Travel and Leisure Magazine of Hotel Spas. Golf is included on the premises, as well as, shopping, a fitness center, children’s activities and of course, downtown Asheville is only moments away.
After my first trip to The Grove Park Inn, I hope to return to stay overnight, dine on more delicious food and experience the views of beautiful North Carolina.
Top photo from groveparkinn.com. All other photos from www.sweeticedtea.net.