Saturday, August 29, 2015

Party Like A Vanderbilt - Season 2

Party Like A Vanderbilt - Season 2
April 29 - May 1, 2016
Biltmore Estate
Asheville, North Carolina
Party Like A Vanderbilt in April 2015 was a glorious event!  It was to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience where costumers could indulge their passion in the beautiful and historic surroundings of Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  It turned out to be perfect with the Downton Abbey Costume Exhibit and the Biltmore Blooms events coinciding with our costume weekend.  I took this photo as I was walking from the Biltmore Gardens back to Biltmore House on my final day and had already been approached about a repeat event.  With 30 people from 8 states attending in 2015 and a wait list for another event, the decision was made and, yes!, there will be a Party Like A Vanderbilt - Season 2!

Your Invitation
You are cordially invited to join those who share your love and enjoyment of wearing historic costume in both an elegant and fantasy setting for a spectacular weekend of fun!
Your Accommodations
The Inn on Biltmore Estate is our luxurious home for the weekend.  George Vanderbilt's dream was to built a place where friends and family could stay together to experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Inn has fulfilled Mr. Vanderbilt's dream and our dream as well.  We have reserved a block of rooms especially for our group at a negotiated rate of $359 per night for a King or Double Deluxe for Friday and Saturday nights and $239 for Sunday night plus taxes.  There is a $30 charge for triple occupancy and $60 charge for quad occupancy per room per night.  Reservations and room charge will be separate from the weekend event charge.  Upon receiving your paid reservation deposit you will be emailed the password to make your reservations at the Inn on Biltmore Estate.  As guests at the Inn on Biltmore Estate we will receive complimentary shuttle service to all of our events as well as service during your free time to explore and enjoy Biltmore Estate.

 Our Events

Friday - April 29 - Costume Theme:  Vanderbilt Era 1890s thru 1930s - Biltmore Estate is world-renowned for its wine, food, and service and we will experience all of that in the elegance of the Champagne Cellar at The Winery.  A walk through the hallway....
...and into the dining room....

...where we will be served our first sumptuous meal of the weekend.
First Course
Risotto Carbonara, Crisp Bacon Lardons, English Peas,
Shaved Pecorino Cheese, Poached Quail Egg
Second Course with Biltmore Wine Pairing
Baby Arugula Salad, Shaved Fennel, Ricotta Salata, Salted Pecans,
Lavender Honey Vinaigrette
Lemon Basil Sorbet
Entrée with Biltmore Wine Pairing
(Guests will choose one entrée table side)
Roasted Scottish Salmon, Toasted Pinenuts, Preserved Lemon Beurre Blanc
Pan Roasted NY Strip and Natural Breast of Chicken, Braised
Swiss Chard, Bordelaise
Sage Brined Pork Tenderloin, Buttermilk Fried Shallots, Apple Cider Gastrique
Chef's Dessert Sampler
Homemade Breads with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Biltmore Blend Coffee or Tea
Saturday - April 30 - Costume Theme: Vanderbilt Era 1890s thru 1930s - Today is all about Biltmore House and Gardens!  Your weekend event package will include a length-of-stay pass to all Biltmore Estate areas including the Biltmore House and Gardens, The Winery, and Antler Village attractions.
  We will begin our day at Biltmore House where a special exhibition entitled "Fashionable Romance - Wedding Gowns In Film" will be in progress.  In addition to the display of wedding gowns beginning with the Regency period films, we will see the newly recreated version of Cornelia Vanderbilt's wedding gown.
Biltmore House and Gardens always has something new to offer as rooms as continuously renovated and opened to the public.
Our weekend in April will be during the Biltmore Blooms season where the gardens and Conservatory are a special treat.

Saturday, April 30 Evening - Costume Theme :"Moguls and Movie Stars of the 1920s and 1930s" - Saturday evening has been arranged as a private and special event for our weekend - a Guided Tour and Rooftop Reception.  Yes!!  You read that correctly!!  Our tour will showcase un-restored areas of the house not open to the public, including the attic, and provides stunning views of the estate from various balconies and rooftops.  Following our tour we will be escorted via a circular staircase to a rooftop deck for a private reception.
Reception Menu
House Tasso Ham and Pimiento Cheese on Toast
Salmon Tartare with Preserved Lemon
Sliced Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream and Crispy Leeks
Brie and Raspberry Tart with Almonds
Smoked Trout Mousse on Brioche
Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Brochette
Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina
Biltmore Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley
Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blanc Brut
Bottle Water
Sparkling Water

Biltmore Estate has been the setting for 14 major movies and in that theme we will enjoy our reception paying tribute to the ladies and gentlemen who entertained the Vanderbilt's from the silent movies to the "talkies".  Costume as your favorite movie star:  Greta Garbo, Rudolph Valentino, Jacqueline Logan, Clark Gable, John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow.  Or your favorite movie mogul:  Cecil B DeMille, Jack Warner, Louis Mayer, or Samuel Goldwyn.  Glamour and style are the words for the evening!
Sunday, May 1 - Day - Sunday is a day of your choosing!  You may choose to sleep in, return to the Biltmore House and Gardens, hike the trail, take tea at the Inn, or explore The Winery or other areas and exhibits in Antler Village.  You may also choose from some optional scheduled costume events that will be organized for us by the Biltmore Estate staff.  Those events include:
                            1.  Carriage Rides
                            2.  Equestrian Trail Rides
                            3.  Sporting Clays
                            4.  Falconry
After you have made your reservation deposit you will receive a personal email asking for interest in any of these events.  Once we have determined potential interest, the Biltmore Estate staff will give us times and costs for varying size groups and that information will be forwarded to you and you may choose based on that information.

Sunday - May 1 - May Day Courtyard Feast and Masquerade Ball - Costume Theme:  Vanderbilt Fancy Dress/Masquerade 1890s thru 1930s
A Fancy Dress/Masquerade event was held at Biltmore House on Cornelia Vanderbilt's 21st birthday in 1921.  The event was covered in the local paper and Cornelia's costume is on display in Antler Village today.
Cornelia on pillow lower left, Edith Vanderbilt seated next to Cornelia.
On Sunday evening we will gather at Deerpark Lodge on Biltmore Estate for a May Day Courtyard Feast.
Weather permitting, the Feast will be held under the twinkling lights of the Courtyard.  Weather not permitting we will be served in the glass enclosure facing the Courtyard.


May Day Feast Menu
Beef Short Ribs, Pumpernikel Gnocchi, Peas, Brown Butter,
Arugula, Warm Carrot Vinaigrette
Strawberry and Parmigiano - Leaf Lettuce, Strawberries,
Shaved Parmigiano, Marcona Almonds, White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Combination Entrée
Seared Salmon, Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Pearl Onions, Porcini Truffle Butter
Chef's Seasonal Selection
Served with Chef's vegetable and starch
Biltmore Blend coffee, iced tea, and bread service
Cash Bar Available during Feast and Ball
And now....
The Grand Finale - The May Day Masquerade Ball!
In April 2015 the San Diego Vintage Dance Society scheduled their Vintage Dance Week following our Party Like A Vanderbilt weekend event.  They introduced Asheville to the music of Spare Parts, an extraordinary group specializing in music from the Regency Era and into the 1920s.  Spare Parts will be brought to our event from their home in Massachusetts for our evening ball!
Sharon Guli, our Dance Mistress for our May Day Masquerade Ball has the magical ability to take a ballroom of novice and experienced dancers and lead them into the perfectly coordinated movements of a true historic event.  Sharon Guli has led dancers of all ages and abilities on her Victorian Dance Cruises, and numerous events both in the United States and Europe.  We are bringing her from her home in Colorado and with the music of Spare Parts at her side, our dance promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event on the beautiful wood dancefloor of Deerpark Lodge.

Be inspired!


The Details
1.  As of this writing, 8/29/2015, the final times for our separate events are still being set.  Not to worry!  When you purchase your reservation and provide your personal email, updates will be sent to you well in advance.
2.  The total cost for the Friday evening Champagne Cellar dinner, Saturday daytime tour and length-of-stay pass for Biltmore House and Gardens and Estate, Saturday evening private Guided Tour and Rooftop Reception, and Sunday evening May Day Courtyard Feast and Masquerade Ball is $544 per person.  An initial deposit of $136 will be taken through the Brown Paper Tickets website beginning 9/1/2015 at 12:00PM EDT.  There are 30 full weekend openings, with 70 additional openings for the Sunday evening Feast ($108 per person)  and Ball ($85 per person).  Feast and/or Ball only tickets are payable immediately.  The full weekend tickets will have 3 more payments due on 11/01/2015, 2/01/2016, and 4/01/2016.  Refunds (less the handling charge if credit card is used) will be given providing the ticket is resold.
Party Like A Vanderbilt - Season 2
April 29 - May 1, 2016
Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
$544 per person payable in 4 payments:
includes Friday evening dinner in the Champagne Cellar,
Saturday Biltmore House and Gardens tour,
length-of-stay pass to Biltmore Estate,
Saturday evening Private Guided Tour
and Rooftop Reception,
Sunday evening May Day Courtyard Feast
and Masquerade Ball
May Day Courtyard Feast only - $108 per person
May Day Masquerade Ball only - $85 per person
Tickets available here:
Looking forward to seeing you in April 2016 when we Party Like A Vanderbilt!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award

Right there in the middle of so much chaos and so little time was the most wonderful surprise!  Crystal nominated my tiny corner of Blogdom for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award!

I'm stunned, I'm happy!  I see all the stats that show that people from all over the world are reading my tiny blog, but I don't really know who most of them are or what they think of my little stories.  And then there is Crystal reading my blog and I'm happy!  I love her blog and what she shares is wonderful so please get a cup of tea and give her blog a read. 

The Official Award Rules are:

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2.  Put the Award logo on your blog.
3.  Answer the ten questions sent to you.
4.  Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5.  Nominate ten blogs.

With the first two rules finished, here are my answers to Crystal's questions:

1.  Why is your blog named what it is?     My blog is named The Perfect Touch because I believe that accessories and details are what make any costume or creation unique and beautiful.  The perfect little hairpiece, the perfect shoes, the perfect trim....the perfect touch.  And you know it when you see/create it because it makes your heart happy and brings a smile to your eyes.

2.  What made you decide to start blogging?  As a self-taught costumer I wanted to share and hopefully inspire others to dive in and go where their imagination could take them.  I share my failures and tears as much as I share my successes and smiles because it takes both to learn.

3.  What do you enjoy most about blogging?  I consider the costume/project finished when I have written and shared the final result in the blog.  I love feeling that I am always connected to those who read the blog and share this hobby/passion.

4.  On average, how much time do you spend sewing?  The sewing takes the least amount of time and I probably spend double the sewing time in ironing.  Truly!  I'm a stickler about pressing every seam as I sew.  Over the past year I've sewn a lot of projects and tried to spend at least an hour a day in the sewing room.  Now how much time do I spend daydreaming or researching?  A lot!

5.  Of your favourite eras, do you prefer having patterns pre-made or making your own?  I'm fortunate to be an average size and that most pre-made patterns fit me well.  I don't yet know how to draft my own pattern but I've become good at customizing and designing so that I'm happy that my final costume in unique.

6.  Speaking of favourite eras, which one is yours and why?  Without a doubt my favourite era is the early bustle period of the Victorian era.  The trims!!  The trims!!

7.  What is the most unconventional object used in a previous project?  (Either in the making of, or actually in the item.)  The parts to a vintage Singer sewing machine.  Yes!  It was a Steampunk costume called Steamstress No. 1 and this crazy assortment of parts became pieces on the hat, a necklace, and a corselette and the flywheel became part of the bustle.  Very fun!

8.  Describe your ideal sewing area.  Absolutely has to have easy access to hot water and teabags.  Otherwise I can sew anywhere.

9.  Care to share your favourite sewing tip/trick?  Chopsticks.  They are amazing for creating those beautiful points of a collar.

10.  Coffee of tea?  Plain or doctored?  I'm simple in that I love Starbucks Columbian coffee for the morning and Lady Grey Tea for the afternoon.  Nothing added.  Well, except a chocolate bar.

Here are my 10 questions for the blogs I nominate for this award:

1.  What is your favorite fabric?
2.  What era would you most like to visit?
3.  Does anyone else in your family share your hobby/hobbies?
4.  What part of the world have you not seen and would love to visit?
5.  Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?  Or neither?
6.  Have you ever ridden a horse?
7.  Do you have your blog printed?
8.  Are you a morning person?
9.  Have you invented something?
10.  Do you use Pinterest?  If so, how many pins do you have?

My nominees are:

1.  Trudy @ D'Nalof Design
2.  Gretchen @ Part Time Lion Tamer
3.  Loretta and Isabella @ Two Nerdy History Girls
4.  Juniesy @ The Serial Hobbyist Girl
5.  Leimomi @ The Dreamstress
6.  Lauren @ Wearing History
7.  Val @ Time Traveling in Costume
8.  Cindy @ Broke Costumer
9.  Black Tulip @ Black Tulip Sewing
10.  Kat @ Madame Modiste

All these bloggers have inspired me in my passion and I thank every one!

Love always,