March 11th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair
A beautiful ride over the Arkansas River
Just a few short blocks from The Empress is South Main and we’re excited
about welcoming Sweet Home furnishings, great new antique architectural pieces or
shabby chic, now located at 1324 South Main Street, and Moxy
Modern Mercantile – Vintage Store, home to 500 modern
shabby chic & great new items. These add to the Green Corner Store which
has many unique gift items & great
home style ice cream, YUM! Both new business now OPEN!!
Speaking of South Main, has anyone tried the new bike lanes out yet? Now that the weather is warning up the cabin fever can come to an end, we’re ready to burn off some of those winter pounds so put on your helmets and roll the spokes! If biking isn’t your thing then you may want to stretch your legs in the Downtown Dash 10k/5K Run on March 15th 8:00 AM, presented by the Junior League of Little Rock.
Little Green in your blood? Ok, Ye Lucky Irish Lades there’s plenty for you too. Starting out on March 15th with the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The Parade Route begins at Fourth & Rock in downtown Little Rock, passing Dugan’s Irish Pub at Third & Rock, travels east on Third, turning north on Sherman, then west on President Clinton Blvd through River Market .
February 12th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair
Reel in your Valentine with this decadent Red Velvet Souffle
Make this EASY Red Velvet Soufflé for your special sweetheart this Valetines! It’s quick, easy, and can even be made with a sugar substitute. Bon Appetit’!
Red Velvet Soufflés With Whipped Sour Cream
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
5 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. red liquid food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 6 (8-oz.) ramekins with butter. Lightly coat with 3 Tbsp. sugar, shaking out excess. Place on a baking sheet. Microwave chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute to 1 minute and 15 seconds or until melted, stirring at 30-second intervals. Stir in 4 eggs yolks, ¼ cup sugar, and next 3 ingredients. (Discard remaining egg yolk.)
Beat 5 egg whites and salt at high speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 2 Tbsp. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into chocolate mixture, one-third at a time. Spoon into prepared ramekins. Run tip of thumb around edges of ramekins, wiping clean and creating a shallow indention around edges of mixture. (This will help the soufflés rise.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 24 minutes or until soufflés rise and are set. (A long wooden pick inserted in centers will have a few moist crumbs.) Dust with powdered sugar; serve immediately with whipped sour cream.
Whipped Sour Cream Makes about 2 cups
¼ cup whipping cream, ½ cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp. sugar
Beat together all ingredients at medium to high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 45 seconds or just until lightly whipped and pourable. Serve whipped sour cream immediately.
January 28th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair
Need an incredible, unique, intimate setting
in a Nationally Recognized, Award Winning
Victorian Mansion for your wedding?
is waiting for you!
We specialize in weddings and elopements ranging in size from two to one hundred.
Our wedding packages are designed to allow you to focus on what’s really important,
you and your groom!
are designed to take the pressure off of the busy bride!
Just bring your groom and your dress and we’ll do the rest!
Packages includes: personalized invitation & napkins, minister, bridal & bridesmaid bouquets, wedding cake, groom’s cake,
heavy hors d’oeuvres, nuts, mints, champagne fountain, and punch. We also provide a rehearsal before the wedding day, music system for both ceremony and reception and the Most Romantic Honeymoon Suite accommodations with either the Romantic Hideaway or Honeymoon Package. End your special day riding away in a Victorian Carriage or Limousine.
January 23rd, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair
Valentines Day is on Friday this year, Monday is Presidents Day, so most of us actually have a three day weekend to really enjoy a getaway for Valentines. What a great time to do something really special with your Sweetheart and Little Rock is just the place to come! Many of the Great restaurants in town will be offering special menus and dinners just to make you look like a hero Or heroine. (Gals can do this also, Guys!). The Empress of Little Rock even has a gourmet romantic wine dinner for guests that evening! Don’t forget to make reservations early because EVERYTHING will be booked early.
There will be some fun things going on in the area also: Wildwood Park for the Preforming Arts offers the “Lantern Festival”, a uniquely magical evening designed to delight all. “Lanterns” celebrates the first full moon of the lunar year with a profusion of lantern light, gourmet treats, entertainment and warm beverages. Lighted walking paths and fire pits along the lake lead visitors into magical woodland vistas from different eras, cultures, and geographical locations from Venice to Germany to the Caribbean! Fabulous!!
Murray’s Dinner Theatre also has a great new presentation,”Weekend Comedy”, a fun romp for two couples who accidentally overbook the same cabin in the woods. The fun begins when two very different generations try to make the details work and “meet” in the middle! A great dinner goes with the fun, live, on stage performance.
How about a romantic the carriage ride in that full moonlight. Can’t get much more romantic than that! Book right thru the Empress and as a guest, they’ll pick you up right at the front door and provide a one hour tour in the moonlight. Snuggle up under our great fur throw and have some of our Brandied hot Cocoa! These are just some of the “romantic” things going in Little Rock. Enjoy your respite!!
December 12th, 2013 by Sharon Welch-Blair
Downton Abbey at The Empress
A New Years Eve Downton Abbey dinner party is our biggest special event of the year. An elegant gourmet meal paired
with hand selected wines by our house sommelier gives everyone who loves an elegant intimate evening a chance to wear their black ties and gowns and then
dance the night away to live musicians and then toast the new year at midnight, just as they did a hundred years ago. The event is known as the most sought
after in Little Rock and is limited to 20 couples, so make your reservations now at http://theempress.com/packages/offers/2010-new-years-eve-package/.
Or call us now for all the added details for a special romantic getaway package which includes the dinner, two – four nights in suite of your choice,
gourmet candlelight breakfasts and special New Years Brunch on New Year’s Day. Mention you saw our blog and get a complimentary bottle of champagne in a silver server with your getaway package (minimum two night stay, please).
Empress Dining Room just before New Year’s Eve preparations
November 7th, 2013 by Lisa
As the seasons are changing we at the Empress are excitedly anticipating the Holiday Season. Our Christmas decorations will go up right after Thanksgiving with decorated trees in every room and our grand rotating Victorian Tree in the parlor. Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church puts on a Christmas Tour of Homes and the Empress is honored to be included in this years itinerary. So, mark your calendars early as we look forward to see you and sharing the Spirit of Christmas!
The fun doesn’t end at Christmas, it’s never too early to make your New Years Eve Reservations. Come toast the New Year with us at our annual New Years Downton Abbey Wine, Dinner & Dance. We will have live music to dance to in the Victorian Fashion, a four-course gourmet meal with wine pairings, and a toast to aud lang syne as the clock strikes twelve. A quick stroll up the stairs as the party winds down will take you to one of our incredibility romantic suites. Seating is limited at this exclusive “Downton Abbey” style event, so make your plans early to reserve yours!.
October 30th, 2013 by Lisa
Only 5 blocks from the Empress is Main Street’s own Bernice Gardens, home of the Annual Arkansas Cornbread Festival. The event will draw people throughout the state to the South Main neighborhood of Little Rock. Focusing on the South’s history and one of it’s favorite dishes (Cornbread!), the festival brings local restaurants and amateur chefs to the table to cook up their favorite cornbread recipe to win cash, prizes and Cornbread Glory! Join the Empress along with party goers from all over Arkansas as we enjoy delicious cornbread, local music, and handmade craft vendors the first Saturday of every November.
Follow the Cornbread Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest:
October 15th, 2013 by Lisa
Last year, the Pop Up Project Street took over South Main in Little Rock. For one weekend, Main Street was transformed with bike lanes, outdoor areas, farmers markets and food trucks. Expect more of the same this year at 7th and Ringo on October 26th.
Pop Up in the Rock is an urban demonstration of what is possible on a given street and within the city. There will be demos of transportation, including walking, cycling, public transit and automobiles. Also included are activities for families.
Below is a map of some of what you can expect on the big day:
October 7th, 2013 by Lisa
A spectacular event is planned for October 26th at Moss Mountain Farm! Celebrate Halloween in a totally unique way, with a bonfire, music to dance the night away and a Halloween feast provided by Scott McGehee, the genius behind ZaZa’s, Big Orange and Local Lime! The event benefits the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.
Interested in the Menu? I sure was!
Hors D’oeuvres: Goat Cheese with Fig and Peach Jam, Thyme and Toasted Hazelnuts. House Made Country Pork Terrine with Dijon, Cornichons and Pickled Onion. Caponata with Eggplant, Peppers, Tomato, Currants, Pine Nuts and Green Olive.
Dinner: Turkey and Pumpkin Chile with Fried Sage and Sour Cream (vegetarian version will be available). Ruby’s Skillet Cornbread with Fresh Corn and Green Chilies.
Sweets: Arkansas Black Apple Caramel Apples with Spiced Pecans. Ginger Cake Squares with Salted Butterscotch and Crème Fraiche. S’mores Bars with Bruleed Fresh Made Marshmallow Cream.
So are you ready to sign up? Tickets are $150 per person and space is limited. Call 501-519-5793 to book!
Need a place to stay? The Empress would love to have you! Call us at 501-374-7966 for a room! We are decked out in creepy decorations and ready to celebrate!
September 16th, 2013 by Lisa
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is an American progressive rock band founded in 1993 by producer, composer, and lyricist Paul O’Neill, who brought together Jon Oliva and Al Pitrelli (both members of Savatage) and keyboardist and co-producer Robert Kinkel to form the core of the creative team. The band gained in popularity when they began touring in 1999 after completing their third rock opera, “Beethoven’s Last Night.” By 2007, The Washington Post referred to them as, “a touring juggernaut” and describing their music as, “Pink Floyd, meets, The Who, meets Yes.” TSO has sold more than 9 million concert tickets and over 8 million albums. The band’s musical style incorporates classical, orchestral, symphonic, and progressive elements into hard rock and heavy metal. The band has released a series of rock operas: Christmas Eve and Other Stories, The Christmas Attic, Beethoven’s Last Night, The Lost Christmas Eve (the final installment of their Christmas trilogy), and their two-disc Night Castle. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is also known for their extensive charity work and elaborate concerts, which include a string section, a light show, lasers,”enough pyro to be seen from the international space station”, moving trusses, video screens, and effects synchronized to music.
Both Billboard Magazine and Pollstar have ranked them as one of the top ten ticket-selling bands in the first decade of the new millennium These numbers are even more impressive when you factor in that TSO is the first major rock band to go straight to theaters and arenas, never playing a club, never having an opening act and never being an opening act.
See this amazing show in Little Rock on Friday, December 20, 2013! This show sells out nearly every year here in the Rock, so get your tickets now! Bring your friends or your significant other and enjoy a weekend at The Empress topped off by the TSO playing The Lost Christmas Eve!!!