The Departure: Asheville

By Lotuff Leather

Last week, our creative director Lindy McDonough traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for the Rolls Royce Owners Club’s annual meet. Having never been to the area before, Lindy was struck upon arrival by how friendly its people were and how much its convivial atmosphere reminded her of Providence itself. The days she spent in Asheville were replete with fantastic experiences- here are her picks for where to go and what to do. 

For starters, begin at the Biltmore Estate. As the largest privately owned house in the entire country, this was the chosen site of the Rolls Royce event, but George Vanderbilt’s 120-year-old property deserves a visit at any time of year. From its stunning gardens and greenhouse to the home’s lavish interior, the Biltmore is just the place to stop by and lose track of time in and around. 

North Carolina is well-known for its barbecue scene, so be sure to try some of the best this state has to offer at 12 Bones Smokehouse. It’s President Obama’s favorite, and it’s not very hard to see why upon trying the menu at this lunch-only spot. Lindy thought 12 Bones was amazing, and gave props to Buxton Hall as well for its traditional Eastern-Carolina-style offerings. This place is tough to get into, as its chefs are James Beard Award winners; be there early in the day for the best chance at snagging a table. Otherwise, there’s always The Admiral: it’s not barbecue, but Lindy calls it “crazy good”, as this restaurant has the ability to tantalizingly blend Southern comfort food with more eclectic cuisine.  

To round out the dining tour, make one last trip over to the funky brewery that is The Wedge. Then move on to Paul Taylor for a bit (or a lot) of shopping, where the owners expertly make gorgeous custom sandals and belts to fit any style. Other stores Lindy loved were Vintage Moon, where she found a pair of pants hand-printed by a local artist, and Spicer Greene, a 90-year-old family-owned jewelry store with some wonderfully rare pieces. Her favorite, though, was Jackson’s Western Store, with its wall-to-wall cowboy boots, Levis, Wranglers, and more. Finally, unwind from the past few hours at the underground, cavelike spa at the Grove Inn. Or, take another route and close out the night with a drink in hand at Top of the Monk, whose handcrafted cocktails are a total delight- a fitting finale for a day spent enjoying beautiful things in a new city. 

Lindy brought our Luna bag along with her to Asheville. It's fun, unusual, and functional; in other words, it fit the occasion flawlessly.