Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, here in Asheville, NC has had as its sub-title, "A Bit of Britain Close to Home" since I renovated this wonderful 1909 Colonial Revival house in Asheville's Montford Historic District and founded the bed and breakfast Inn in 1993.
The English roots belong both to me, as well as to the house. While I did not know it at the time I purchased the house and renovated it from top to bottom to make it Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, the architect who designed it for Asheville business-owner D.L Jackson and his family was a man named Richard Sharp Smith. And Richard Sharp Smith had been the on-the-ground, supervising architect for the five years it took to build Biltmore House and Biltmore Village for George Vanderbilt from 1890-1895.
The connection of Richard Sharp Smith to this Asheville bed and breakfast was discovered in January 1994, after I had opened the house as Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn. Some friends were at the Historic Archives at Asheville NC City Hall and found an entire set of floor plans, on hand-made linen paper, each page signed by Richard Sharp Smith. It also turned out that Richard Sharp Smith was himself British.
As for "A Bit of Britain Close to Home", the name Abbington Green originates as one of the places in the U.K. where my father's ancestors had lived, generations ago. And on my first visit to Britain in the mid-1980s, I felt as if I had 'arrived home'. Very odd, I thought at the time, but also enitrely unmistakable. I am indeed, an unabashed "Anglophile", loving their gardens, ancient architecture, literature, music and art...and indeed their language! So, it is really not surprising that this Asheville bed and breakfast reflects the spirit of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland in our gardens, furniture and furnishings.
So, will you be watching on Friday for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London? Coverage on various networks will start here in the U. S. Eastern time zone at 3am or 4am or 5am! So, while I hope to watch it "live" on the 55" HD LED 3-D TV in the Kensington Garden Suite here at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, I am happy, as you probably are, that we have DVR or similar devices to record this wonderful bit of British 'pomp and circumstance'. I do believe that nobody does a huge royal event like the British. And also, nobody does millinery like the Brits! Can't wait to see all the hats!