Holiday High Teas

December 17th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

hd-christmas2High Tea at The Empress of Little Rock is always a treat, but during the holiday season it is something truly special. Christmas music wafts through the parlors and dining room, along with the scent of fresh evergreens. Victorian decorations adorn each room of the mansion, creating an authentic 1880s Christmas experience for our guests.
High tea evolved from the custom of ladies of the Victorian era taking a mid-afternoon respite to an elegant and formalized excuse to showcase one’s finery while entertaining friends. High tea was traditionally more of an evening meal; today’s high tea experience showcases dainty tea sandwiches, specialty teas, elegant finger sweets, and scones with clotted cream and lemon curd. Today it’s an opportunity to don one’s gloves and pull out grandmother’s china, crystal or silver, and have a time set aside to focus on ourselves and our friends. Victorian High Tea accompanied by your host’s warm hospitality is a hallmark at The Empress.
We would love to have your family, friends or group join us for a holiday high tea that will they will talk about for years to come. Call the Empress to schedule your tea, and enjoy a complimentary tour of the home in all of its holiday finery!

The Holiday Fun Continues in Little Rock

December 11th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

big jingle jubileeThe holiday fun continues this weekend, Dec. 12-14! Ballet Arkansas presents its annual production of “The Nutcracker” and Burns Park lights up the night with a free Holiday Lights Festival. Plus, Garth Brooks visits North Little Rock to play three highly-anticipated concerts at Verizon Arena. All these events and more are included in our top 8 picks for families this weekend!

1. Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood at Verizon Arena: Don’t miss the electrifying return of country legend, Garth Brooks. The star makes his first Arkansas appearance on The World Tour and his first time in North Little Rock in more than 23 years. And, believe it or not, tickets are still available! $73.25. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 11-13. For info: (800) 745-3000, VerizonArena.com.

2. Ballet Arkansas Presents “The Nutcracker” at Maumelle Performing Arts Center: Ring in the holidays with Tchaikovsky’s magical score performed live by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and a classic performance by Ballet Arkansas. With enchanting costumes and original choreography, the tradition of “The Nutcracker” will create unforgettable memories for children of every generation. $20-$52. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 & 13; 2 p.m. Dec. 13 & 14. For info: (501) 666-1761, BalletArkansas.org.

3. Holly Trolley Day in Downtown Little Rock & North Little Rock: Ride the trolley free all day and take a picture with Santa from 2-5 p.m. at the trolley barn in North Little Rock. 2-5 p.m. Dec. 13. For info: CAT.org. FREE!

4. Dashin’ Thru the Lights at Burns Park Softball Complex: Run, walk, or stroll through the Hometown Holiday Lights in Burns Park. The display is about one mile each way, and you can complete the course as many times as you like during the event. Wheelchairs and strollers are welcome at any time during the event. Leashed pets welcome after 5:15 p.m. A shuttle will be available to return participants to the parking lot. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. $5, $10 per family. 5-6 p.m. Dec. 13. For info: (501) 791-8543, NLRPR.org.

5. Holiday Lights Festival at Burns Park Softball Complex: Immediately following the Dashin’ Thru the Lights run, families can enjoy a bright festival at the Hometown Holiday Lights. Enjoy games and activities for the whole family and don’t miss photo opportunities with Santa and Dasher. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13. For info: (501) 791-8543, NLRPR.org. FREE!

6. Living Gift Market at Heifer Ranch in Perryville: Stroll through the show barn, decorate cookies, find unique gifts in our international gift shop and support the work of Heifer International. Warm up with hot drinks and light snacks and enjoy a roaring bonfire. Snap a pic at a photo booth with an animal, too! 5-8 p.m Dec. 13 & 3-6 p.m. Dec. 14. For info: (501) 889-5124, Heifer.org. FREE!

7. Holiday Hayride at Pinnacle Mountain State Park: Jostle, bounce and laugh your way across the fields and through the woods on a guided hayride. Then enjoy a warm campfire, stories, hot chocolate and marshmallows. Advance payment required. $12, children ages 6-12 $5. 3-5 p.m. Dec. 13 & 27. For info: (501) 868-5806, ArkansasStateParks.com/PinnacleMountain.

8. Arkansas Chamber Singers Holiday Concert: Christmas at the Old State House Museum: The annual Christmas at the Old State House concert features traditional music of the season, music of new composers and music popular during the American Civil War. The combination of the acoustical magic of the hall and the glorious voices of the Arkansas Chamber Singers promises to pack the house for all three thrilling performances! Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 12 & 13; 3 p.m. Dec. 14. For info: (501) 377-1121, AR-ChamberSingers.org. FREE!

It’s not too late to book your suite for this weekend!  Call the Empress of Little Rock at 501-374-7966 or visit us at www.theempress.com!

 

Christmas Celebrity Karaoke

December 9th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

KaraokePromo14Every year during the holiday season, sports radio station 103.7 The Buzz gathers a group of local celebrities to celebrate the season and raise money for a good cause.  The 2014 Christmas Celebrity Karaoke is presented by Roadrunner Convenience Stores, and benefits Youth Home.  The 10th Anniversary of this local favorite will be held at Verizon Arena on Thursday, December 18th at 7pm.

See all of your favorite Buzz personalities joined with local celebrities from KATV, KTHV,  KARK, and FOX 16 PLUS some special guest celebrity surprises!  Tickets are on sale now, find them here.

Afterwards, make sure to join your favorite 103.7 The Buzz personalities following this years’ Christmas Celebrity Karaoke at the official after party at Cajun’s Wharf! No cover charge if you show your Christmas Karaoke ticket stub at the door!

Didn’t get to attend Christmas Karaoke? You can still take part in all the Christmas Celebrity Karaoke fun at the after party at Cajuns! It’s gonna be a great night of great food and great music including drink specials all night on Thursday December 18th with the Christmas Celebrity Karaoke after-party with 103. 7 The Buzz at Cajuns!

Make sure to book your room at The Empress for your fun celebrity-filled weekend.  Call us at 501-374-7966.  Check out our packages page here to find more fun activities for you Holiday getaway!

Holiday Pop Up Shop

December 5th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

pop up store2Looking for beautiful art and local gifts? Don’t miss SoMa’s fun Holiday Pop Up Shop at Studio Main with Erin Lorenzen, The Green Corner Store, and many local artists and products! Open weekends from now until Christmas, the shop includes local artisans Robinson Lane Jewelery, Julie Holt Pottery, Eco Social Events, David Monteith, Vincent Griffin, Michael Church, Kent Walker, Loblolly Creamery, Honeysuckle Cheese, Geek Eats, Bo/Knit/A, Southern Girl Soapery, Southern Salt, Kat Wilson and more!  The following facebook pages can provide more information on these fun holiday sales:

www.facebook.com/thegreencornerstore and pop up storewww.facebook.com/erinlealorenzen

This Holiday Pop Up Shop would be a perfect addition to the Empress of Little Rock’s shopping package .  Bring your purchases back to The Empress for our “elves” to wrap while you cuddle up in front of a roaring fire!  Don’t forget that the Christmas decorations are now up and the Empress staff is ready to make your holiday stay merry and bright!pop up store 3

New Year’s Eve…Empress Style

December 2nd, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

barber full table editedHave you decided what you are doing for New Year’s Eve yet?  If not, do we have a great event for you!

New Year’s Eve “Downton Abbey” Wine Dinner Dance hosted by Sharon Welch-Blair and Bob Blair. Book your reservations now for this annual New Year’s Eve  “Victorian Affair”.  Known as one of the top New Years Eve events in Central Arkansas area, The Empress of Little Rock will host an evening of food, wine, dancing, entertainment, excitement and the beginning of the New Year in a Downton Abbey experience .  Our own wine sommelier has hand chosen the “fruit of the vine” for each elegant course.  Our chef, the “Victorian”  Martha Stewart has watched over the preparation of each of the four courses so it is served at the height of perfection.

Step back to New Year’s Eve,  December 31st, 1889, the Hornibrook family’s first new year in their magnificent mansion.  The butler ushers in the specially invited guests arriving in their flowing gowns and tails. The elegant food is all prepared. The Victorian mementos are elaborate and arranged, waiting for you, their invited guest.  Music from the 1870’s square Steinway wafts throughout the house. The laughter, magic and anticipation are mounting with each minute that draws closer to midnight.  Draw your loved one closer, the witching hour approaches.  It’s time for a champagne toast to “Auld Lang Syne” and a kiss to last the years…..
Join us December 31st for a magnificent wine dinner dance beginning at 8:00 p.m. followed by dancing in the parlors just like “the olden days”of Downton Abbey.  Receive custom made Victorian mementos.  Dine to the strains of the 1870’s Steinway piano and live musicians. Make a Champagne toast at midnight. 

Downton Abbey Dinner

Victorian “Girls at Work”

  • Black Tie Event
  • Seating limited to Maximum of 40 guests
  • *$200.00 per couple with a night stay, plus the price of your chosen room.
  • *$250.00 per couple without stay. *Limited Seating.
  • Book three nights during this extended New Year’s Eve holiday, and receive your fourth night FREE.
  • Call for great price for extra 5th night.

MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS EARLY FOR THIS EXCLUSIVE EVENT.       501-374-7966 for details!

SEATS ARE AVAILABLE FOR WINE DINNER DANCE WITHOUT PACKAGE.  PLEASE CALL FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS

*18%Gratuity added to all Wine Dinner Dance Reservations.

New Year's Eve Downton Abbey Style

Downton Abbey at The Empress

10th Ever Nog-off includes The Empress!

November 26th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

The Empress of Little Rock is excited to be a participant in December’s 2nd Friday Art Night with the 10th Ever Nog-off, a friendly competition for the best eggnog in town!  Join us at the Historic Arkansas Museum on December 12 from 5 – 8 pm and enjoy Live music, the opening of two new exhibits, and (of course) lots and lots of eggnog!
Egg-Nog-2013
The Noggers (to date): Cache Restaurant, Capital Hotel Bar and Grill, Copper Grill, Loblolly Creamery, The Empress, Bridget Fennell Farris; John Selig,  and Stone’s Throw Brewery.  There will also be celebrity tasters present.

We can’t wait for this culinary celebration of a favorite holiday drink, and friendly competition for the best eggnog in town. Three awards will be given with the prize being bragging rights: The People’s Choice (by popular vote), The Taster’s Choice (awarded by celebrity tasters) and new last year, The Not Your Great, Great, Great Grandfather’s Eggnog award for the best unconventional entry. This award alludes to past winner, Nicholas Peay’s Eggnog, a traditional eggnog which actually is Museum Director Bill Worthen’s great, great, great grandfather’s eggnog recipe.

Book your room at the Empress and get a head start on the festivities by tasting some of our eggnog in front of a roaring fire in the Holiday bedecked parlor!  Call now for the best choice of rooms, or check us out online at www.theempress.com

Holiday Celebrations across Little Rock!

November 24th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

HolidaysInThePark2014Logo_tstFirst Security Amphitheater in Downtown Little Rock is really going all out with this year’s holiday celebration and will be transformed into a winter wonderland of lights this holiday season. Visitors are invited to enjoy a ten minute light show that has been specially  choreographed to music.  This amazing exhibit will be on display throughout the holiday season. What else will be offered in the downtown area?  There will be a meet & greet with Santa Claus, and an official lighting ceremony on November 29th. All ages are welcome to the River Market Pavilions to enjoy holiday cookies, beverages, crafts, games and much more!

Also in Little Rock for the Holidays is…The Velveteen Rabbit at The Arkansas Arts Center’s Children’s Theatre, The 7th Annual Holiday Celebration of Lights at The Promenade at Chenal, Hayride and Campfire at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, and more!

And don’t forget one of our favorite Little Rock holiday traditions, the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade! The Annual Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade, sponsored by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau (LRCVB), will return to Little Rock Saturday, December 6, 2014. Serving as this year’s Grand Marshal is Miss Arkansas 2014, Ashton Campbell.big jingle jubilee

Beginning at Second and Broadway, the Holiday parade will start at 3:00 p.m. and travel south on Broadway, turn west onto Capitol Avenue and end at the State Capitol. The lighhd-christmas2ting and fireworks display will follow at dark or approximately 6 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Campbell will join Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudy the Reindeer and many of their friends for this year’s highly anticipated holiday parade. Bring your camera and kids to watch decorated floats, marching bands, dancing troops and more make their way through the streets of downtown Little Rock.

Make sure to book your weekend at The Empress of Little Rock and attend one or all of these fun events!  Call us at 501-374-7966 to reserve your room today!

Bernice Garden Tree Lighting and SoMa Holiday Open House

November 18th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

bernice garden open houseThe Holidays are quickly approaching and lighting displays will soon be popping up all over the Little Rock Metro area. Over the next few weeks we will discuss several of these displays and the celebrations surrounding them, but we would be remiss if we did not start the Holiday Celebrations Series with our own SoMa district display. Thursday, December 4th will be a very special night in our very special neighborhood. Area merchants and The Bernice Gardens welcome you to celebrate The Bernice Garden Tree Lighting and SoMa Holiday Open House. From 5-8 p.m. Santa will host an evening of music, treats, shopping and more! The fabulous Bernice Garden Christmas Tree will be illuminated at 5:30 to kick off the holiday cheer!

The Empress is the perfect spot to begin and end your SoMa holiday celebration. Lounge in front of a warm fire in our parlors or your own cozy suite, and then slip into your scarves and gloves for a short walk to Bernice Gardens. When you return to the mansion, enjoy our Victorian Holiday Wonderland as you peruse all of your new purchases. The softly playing Christmas music will help you maintain your Christmas spirit long after the celebration ends! Call today to book your suite in the nearest lodging to the party, The Empress of Little Rock.

Tenth Anniversary Celebration for the Clinton Library…

November 13th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

http://www.littlerockdecadeofprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Clinton10thInfographic.jpgThe Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) is announcing plans for a 10-day citywide celebration with many local partners taking place over November 9-18, 2014 in honor of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library’s tenth anniversary.

It’s been nearly ten years since the opening of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on November 18, 2004; a true landmark that has drawn millions of visitors to Little Rock, and has spurred unprecedented cultural, economic and social progress.

The opening of the Clinton Center (Clinton Presidential Library, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the Clinton Presidential Park) has forever changed the landscape of Little Rock, and was undoubtedly the catalyst that has propelled more than $2.5 billion in economic development to the central Arkansas area.

“The 2004 opening of the Clinton Presidential Center put Little Rock on the map as a true visitor destination,” said LRCVB President & CEO, Gretchen Hall. “Tourists from around the world have come to Little Rock specifically to see the Library, and have chosen to extend their stays to experience our wonderful city,” she added.

The Empress is proud to be a part of this wonderful, fast-growing city and has grown with the city this past decade.  “When the Presidential Center was built, we had five room,” says Sharon Welch-Blair, owner of the Empress of Little Rock, “but we have felt the need to grow with the city and now offer an additional four spa-suites in addition to those five original rooms.”  A part of the thriving SOMA district, which has also taken advantage of the economic boom in Little Rock, The Empress urges guests to come enjoy the history of Little Rock as well as the progress. “The Empress occupies the historic Hornibrook Mansion,” says Welch-Blair, “which is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic Queen-Ann Architecture in the region.  We are also surrounded by the Quapaw Quarter Historic District, an area of lovely homes and buildings that have maintained their historic identity while the area has adapted to the new era.”

The video below is a timeline of the past decade and the changes that Little Rock has seen during this time.  The city continues to grow and thrive and The Empress hopes to be a part of the future as well as the past!

New Shopping Package delights guests!

November 10th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

victorian shoppingIt is the time of year for holiday parties, lavish decorations, and…shopping…!!! Lots and lots of shopping!  Brown paper packages tied up with string!!!  I think you get the point…

Join us from November 1st thru November 24th for a two night  shopping getaway with your sister, your Mom,  or your best friend, for an old fashioned Christmas Shopping Getaway-Miracle on 21st Street Shopping Package!  Time to shop ’til you drop, and then join us back at The Empress for Hot Apple Cider (spiked if you like) and a massage to loosen up those muscles and rejuvenate those tired aching feet.  Then enjoy a wonderful dinner at one of our many outstanding restaurants (let us make your reservations for you) Ciao, Brave New Restaurant, Ristorante’ Capeo, Bruno’s, Cache, they’re all great.

Join us for breakfast each morning and be pampered with Pumpkin Puff Pancakes with Hot Cider Sauce, or Ham Bundles with Hollandaise and then shop all over again, OR relax by the fire, sip on hot cocoa, eat peanut brittle, and enjoy the relaxation while an elf wraps your packages!  The miracle will be that you ever shopped any other way!

  • Two nights in the room of your choice
  • Directions to all the best shopping in Little Rock
  • Two Gourmet Breakfasts to start the each day off right
  • one hour massage for each of you (pkgs. quoted for 2 people)
  • Pre-Christmas goodies!! (we make a whale of an old fashioned eggnog!!)
  • Holiday Gift Wrapping (gifts must be boxed; wrapping done by good natured elves who need plenty to time to do it justice)
Prices start at $276 per person (tax and gratuity extra)

 

Please call for prices and reservations!! 501-374-7966

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