Archive for the ‘The Empress of Little Rock’ Category

The Empress is Once Again “Best of the Best”

May 31st, 2012 by Lisa

AY Magazine published their annual “Best of The Best” edition in May.  The magazine polls Arkansans, asking for their favorites in areas ranging from medical care to nightlife.  Here at The Empress, the category we are most interested in is, of course, best Bed and Breakfast.  And the winner of this prestigious award?  Once again it is The Empress of Little Rock!!!  Other Bed and Breakfasts receiving runner-up rewards this year were The 1890 Williams House Inn and Lookout Pointe Inn, both in Hot Springs.

We would like to congratulate these and other winners in categories such as favorite restaurant, shopping center and bank.  And thank you to all of the AY Magazine readers who voted for The Empress as Arkansas’ Best Bed and Breakfast!

See a digital copy of the “Best of the Best” issue at:

The Rep Welcomes you to Girls Night Out!

March 7th, 2012 by Lisa

Need something to do while staying at the award-winning Empress of Little Rock?  If soaking in your jacuzzi tub or sitting in our gardens is too relaxing…the Rep offers ladies some excitement!

On March 29, 2012, from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m., enjoy wine, lite bites and shopping in The Rep’s Main Lobby and Foster’s Bar.  This is followed by The Wiz on the Rep’s Mainstage at 7:00 p.m.

Arkansas Repertory Theatre hosts Girls Night Out at The Rep featuring chic fashions, shoes and accessories from N’chole Ferorce, Vogue Visage, Princess Breeze Boutique, Scentsy and DSW. Thursday, March 29 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. shop some of the latest spring fashions then at 7:00 p.m. watch see the cast ease on down the road in the musical The Wiz on The Rep’s Mainstage.

Explore two floors of clothing, shoes and accessories at Girls Night Out at The Rep while listening to the soulful jazz melodies of Rodney Block. Enjoy lite bites and delectable desserts from Brown Sugar Bakery. The first 100 ladies at Girls Night Out will receive an exclusive gift bag and receive one voucher for a free drink in The Rep’s new bar, Foster’s.

Call The Rep Box Office for tickets to Girls Night out at (501) 378-0405.


The “Victorian Martha Stewart” always a success!

December 19th, 2011 by Lisa

We all enjoyed seeing The Empress’ Sharon Welch-Blair once more appear on Daybreak and demonstrate why she has been nick-named the “Victorian Martha Stewart”.  Her Sweet Potato Vichyssoise looked amazing and I want to make those Peanut Noshes tonight!!!

Don’t forget, there is still time to buy tickets to our New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance, where the Vichyssoise and more recipes chosen by and prepared with the personal attention of Sharon will appear!  Call 501-374-7966 before December 26th and your ticket is only $200.  There are also still a few rooms left that weekend for a Romantic Getaway to start the year off with an amazing bang!  CALL TODAY!

Check out the Video of Sharon’s appearance!

And here is the recipe for that amazing Sweet Potato Vichyssoise:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 leeks (white part only) well
rinsed, dried and sliced

6 cups Berta’s chicken stock or
canned chicken broth

1 ½ cups dry white wine

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled
and chopped

Grated zest and juice of one

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy or whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste

Peanut noshes or thin lime slices


  1. Melt the butter in a
    large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and sauté until soft
    and transparent
  2. Add the stock, wine,
    and sweet potatoes.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer until
    the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lime
    zest and juice, milk and cream.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Puree the soup in
    batches in a blender until very smooth.
  5. If you are serving
    the soup hot, gently heat it and serve it with peanut noshes.  If you are
    serving the soup cold, refrigerate it for several hours and serve it garnished
    with lime slices.



Peanut Noshes


18 slices Pepperidge Farm
sandwich or other firm white bread

1 ½ cups chunky peanut butter

1/3 cup vegetable oil


  1. Preaheat the over to
    350 F
  2. Trim the crusts from
    12 slices of the bread and cut the trimmed bread into ½-inch squares.
    Place the squares flat on a baking sheet and bake just until lightly browned.
  3. Place the trimmed
    crusts and the remaining 6 slices of bread on another baking sheet and bake
    until golden.  Process in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel
    blade to fine crumbs.  Remove to a shallow bowl.
  4. Heat the peanut
    butter and oil in a small saucepan until blended and warm.  Dip the
    toasted bread squares completely into the peanut mixture and then coat with the
    bread crumbs.  Let the bread dry flat on the baking sheet.  Store in
    an airtight container.

8 dozen

Google names The Empress winner of a National Contest

September 19th, 2011 by Lisa

The award winning Empress of Little Rock Bed and Breakfast

Grande Dame of the Ozarks


See the Video: google uptick video

The Empress of Little Rock has been named winner of the Google Upticks Awards contest.  Five winners were chosen nationally based on their ability to tackle business challenges, increase business productivity and tap into new opportunities.  As part of the award, a film crew from Google and the Arkansas Small Business Development Center recorded a professional video highlighting the unique features of The Empress and the staff’s progressive use of Google internet tools that was featured at the 2011 Small Business Development Conference.

When apprised of the award, marketing director and owner Sharon Welch-Blair was elated.  “We’ve worked very hard during this recession to come back even stronger than we began.  Thanks to wonderful programs like the Arkansas Small Business Development Center, their incredible employees and tools like Google Analytics, we’ve emerged on the other side ready for the new 21st Century economy.”

Even More Great Outdoors!

July 11th, 2011 by Lisa

Teatripster gets a taste of The Empress

June 28th, 2011 by Lisa

The TeaTripster is a branded Airstream, ready to spread teawareness with people who appreciate loose-leaf teas and want to share this passion with others. The TeaTripster tour begins June 13, 2011, covering 24 U.S. cities, including Charleston’s 300-variety tea plantation… the zen of San Diego tea… and Chicago’s hip tea scene. Follow on and on Facebook, and share your own tea experiences.

Here is what the teatripster had to say about their recent visit to The Empress:
it’s in the dining room that you’ll find beautiful tea accoutrements (and tea). this is where overnight guests are offered tea at breakfast. it’s also where afternoon tea on sundays is served, an affair that consists of tea sandwiches and sweets and an amazing pomegranate tea that is steeped with fresh oranges, cinnamon and cloves and served in teacups that change with the season (red and white china today to match the fourth of july theme).

the sunday tea (by reservation) includes a tour of the house and swelled to 40 guests for mother’s day this year. besides sunday tea and special events such as showers and receptions and even an upcoming 90th birthday celebration for 20 people, the empress of little rock offers daily tea with 24-hour advance reservation.

after a tour of three floors of the inn today, we relaxed with the wonderful pomegranate tea, a chocolate-dipped cherry, cranberry scone, clotted cream and fabulous lemon curd, making an afternoon in little rock memorable. wish we could be here for the july 4th brunch!

Independence Day in “The Rock”

June 14th, 2011 by Lisa

It is going to be a Star Spangled Fourth of July in Little Rock and at The Empress! Join us for a brunch on the grounds before heading out to Little Rock’s Independence Day attractions!
Activities in Little Rock include:
Free Admission Day at The William J. Clinton Presidential Library
Fun on The Fourth! at Pinnacle Mountain State Park (includes tug-of-water, water balloon volleyball, relay races and more!)
POPS ON THE RIVER- Arkansas’ Largest 4th on July Celebration includes a performance by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, firework and concessions of beer, soft drinks, corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, etc.
Our Star-Spangled Package gives you easy access to all that Little Rock has to offer. It includes:

•Three nights in room of your choice
•Fourth of July brunch on the grounds
•Two gourmet breakfasts by candlelight
•Feather Beds, hammock and porch swing
•$15 entree gift certificate to Ciao Italian Restaurant
•Complimentary wine at cocktail hour
•Your choice of Spa Suites
•Free admission to Clinton Library and Festival
•All the (old fashioned) fun you can stand

Empress named “Best of the Best”

May 24th, 2011 by Lisa

AY Magazine’s May edition includes it’s list of “The Best of Arkansas.”  The readers voted The Emprss of Little Rock their favorite Bed and Breakfast!  Other Bed and Breakfast receiving honors were Mount Victoria in Eureka Springs and Hamilton House Estate in Hot Springs.  The readers also voted on favorite restaurants, shopping centers, museums and educational institutions.  We want to congratulate all of the winners and thank AY’s readers for voting for The Empress!

See a digital copy of the “Best of” Issue by clicking this link

Working the Puzzle

February 16th, 2011 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Kidnapped by the Puzzle-a great winter pass time by the fire


Kidnapped by the Puzzle-a great winter pass time by the fire

“Kidnapped” by the Puzzle

Winter brings some special delights along with it’s bluster and cold.  The opportunity to relax from the labors of lawn and garden and inducement to just STOP.  These guests at The Empress literally got “kidnapped” in front of the fire working the puzzle.  Sometimes a couple days away from the TV and the telephone are just what the Doctor ordered.  Books also tend to catch our guests from time to time when they visit.


Last week, though, caught us scrambling to make sure we had milk and bread before the big winter storm of 2011.  I thought you’d like to see some of the beautiful pictures of The Empress in a very unusual snowy landscape, a rarity for us here in the South.  It’s also a great time to write.  So I thought I’d introduce something new to our blog, the ongoing Saga of “Upstairs, Downstairs at The Empress“.  The concept is of a parallel life, one that resides in 1888, and one that resides in the here and now.  In the meantime, enjoy the great winter pictures, and stay tuned for excerpts from the “parallel” lives of those who “live” upstairs, and those who live downstairs, at The Empress!


New website for The Empress of Little Rock AR

December 7th, 2010 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Great news! The Empress now has a new elegant website design, by InsideOut Solutions. Larger photos of our beautiful rooms and gardens and grounds give you a enticing preview of the rich Victorian atmosphere. More features include Google attractions map, online gift certificates, and more!