Archive for the ‘The Empress of Little Rock’ Category

Best Chocolate Souffle for Valentine’s Day !

February 12th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Red Velvet Souffle

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

Powdered 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.

Best Wedding Venue in Little Rock

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! 
 newlyweds_in_window_iStock_000009493639Small
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, 
oval-weddingsyou and  your groom!oval-event-chairs
 
Our
and
                  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.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Things to do in Little Rock for Valentines Day

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 Victorian Valentine with Scarlet Ribbons at The Empress of Little Rockis 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!!

Excitedly Anticipating The Holiday Season!!

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. Comhornibrook christmas treee 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!.Reflections of Christmas

barber full table edited

Pop Up In The Rock

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:
 
popupintherock

Halloween at Moss Mountain Farm!!!

October 7th, 2013 by Lisa

moss mountain halloween

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!

TSO Comes Back to Little Rock!!!

September 16th, 2013 by Lisa

trans siberian orchestra

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!!!

Little Rock “Staycation” Anniversary, Part 2

August 6th, 2013 by Lisa

I think we left off with me sitting on Pinnacle, crying like a 3 year old…

 

green corner store bench

Fun bench outside of The Green Corner Store

green corner store ice cream

Salted Caramel Ice Cream at The Green Corner Store

So to continue my little kid ways, I demanded…ICE CREAM!  And where better to get ice cream than the Green Corner Store and loblolly creamery.  My husband had some sort of delicious double scoop concoction of Aztec Chocolate and Toasted Coconut and I hit the jackpot with Salted Caramel Ice Cream with bits of waffle cone, salted almonds and swirls of caramel on top.

 

 

 

Then the husband and I drove across town to Ava Bella Day Spa for a relaxing couples massage.  We enjoyed the candlelight, the music and of course, the massages!  We were now feeling ready to climb a mountain (figuratively speaking as we had already failed in that endeavor) and also were REALLY hungry.  So we drove out to The Promenade on Chenal to a place I had been dying to try…Local Lime.  We had a scrumptious variety of dippables.  We started with the 3 salsa sampler (we had tres chilis, tomatillo and mango) and then added the creamy dreamy cheese dip and the made to order guacamole.  All of this with crisp fresh chips.  I was in Mexican food heaven.

 

Energized and ready to get physical again (if for no other reason than to prove my fitness after the epic fail earlier in the day, we decided to head out to the River Trail and do some biking.  Having left our bicycles at home, we went to the RiverMarket and Bobby’s Bike Hike.  We rented two hybrid bikes (maps were included in the package) and headed out on the 15 mile loop that is the RiverTrail.  The scenery was beautiful, especially on the North Little Rock side of the trail and we enjoyed the beautiful setting sun off of the Big Dam Bridge. We went back to the room and showered (in the amazing aromatherapy, hydromassage shower) and then went to dinner.  I wanted dinner in the Hillcrest area, so we decided to go to Acadia.  So glad we did.  Travis loved his oven roasted duck breast and I wanted to marry my buttermilk fried quail.  Yes, it was that good.  The spicy cabbage slaw on the side also made me want to do a happy dance. After all of this fun and excitement, we regretted having to pack our bags on Sunday morning and leave Little Rock behind.

The Deck at Acadia

The Deck at Acadia

local lime bar

The bar at Local Lime

river trail ride

Arkansas RiverTrail

big dam bridge sunset

Big Dam Bridge Sunset

A Little Rock “Staycation” Anniversary Part 1

July 31st, 2013 by Lisa

This past weekend was my 3 year anniversary (yay us!) and I had big “go out of town” plans.  Unfortunately, these coincided with vacation plans of Bob and Sharon (the Empress and her consort).  So I would be spending my vacation at The Empress.  After a brief moment of disappointment, I realized that this was a blessing in disguise.  There was no way I was ever going to find a hotel or B&B nicer than The Empress (in my humble opinion), so I set out to plan an amazing “staycation” anniversary right here in Little Rock.

 

rm-hemmingway

 

 

To start the weekend off with a bang, we stayed in The Hemingway Suite, which I personally believe is the best room in town.  Check out this luxurious room:

 

 

 

 

lulav table

 

 

 

Thanks to a restaurant.com suggestion, we had dinner at Lulav Italian Kitchen.  I must add that this restaurant was also recommended by guests from the week before who said that I absolutely must try to Portobello Mushroom appetizer.  And I did.  And it was every bit as delicious as they claimed.  I had a filet mignon that was heavenly and my husband had Shrimp and Lobster Newberg…I was tempted to lick his plate!  Check out their menu.

 

 

 

root cafe outsideroot cafe painting wall

 

 

After a night in a super soft feather bed (and a whirl in the Jacuzzi tub) we were ready for a busy day.  We got up early and had breakfast at The Root Café.  Only blocks from the Empress on Main Street, this local favorite is a must-do for vacationers.  My eggs banh mi were amazing as was Travis’s omelet and it was all filling, but not so heavy that we couldn’t participate in our next activity:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pinnacle mountain sunset

 

Hiking up Pinnacle Mountain.  I was so excited about this as it is always one of my favorite activities.  Unfortunately this is not one of the times where everything went smoothly.  I somehow lost the path and decided to blaze the mountain with no trail.  Horrible idea.  30 minutes later I was sitting on a rock whining about the pain.  Those trails are marked for a reason people!  Follow them!

 

 

Check out our next blog for lunch, dinner, massage and ICE CREAM!  And the rivertrail!!!

 

The Empress of Little Rock “Only in Arkansas”

July 31st, 2013 by Lisa

sign and flowers

KARK 4 reporter Josh Berry came out last week and met with “The Empress” herself, Sharon Welch-Blair.  The two discussed the historical significance of The Hornibrook Mansion and the beauty of it’s architecture.  So why is this amazing structure so uniquely Arkansan?  In the words of Innkeeper Jessica Ledbetter (that’s me!)” You’re sitting on a foundation of Little Rock blue granite.  All the bricks were construction bricks baked right here on site. Even the wood was milled here in Arkansas.”

Watch the segment on The Empress of Little Rock!

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