Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas B&Bs’

Ahh…to be young…

July 26th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

The Blair’s granddjena blairaughter Jena has spent the summer busily working at The Empress.  She has been a huge help, doing everything from answering phones and taking reservations to cleaning rooms and checking in guests.  Another great thing she brings to the table is the optimism and ingenuity of youth.  A great example of this young, fun attitude is a recent birthday celebration we had for Shana, Sharon’s executive assistant.  A birthday of a staff member is always celebrated with a card and a cake (or sometimes cupcakes!) and it fell on Jena to order the cake and buy the card for this particular celebration.  The cake was ordered in plenty of time (and, being from Community Bakershana birthday picy, was absolutely DELICIOUS) but the card was forgotten until the last minute.  Instead of a last minute dollar store run or a quick search for appropriate clip art, (solutions we old people would embrace)  Jena wasted no time in breaking out her youthful creativity and art skills  and quickly created a card using nothing but paper, pens, sharpies and a lot of imagination.  Shana pronounced it the best card to ever be presented at The Empress (and the cupcake wasn’t all that bad either!).

Green Thoughts about Rising Food Costs

July 17th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Homemade loaves of bread

Fresh out of the oven!

I’m guessing you’ve already figured out foods are going up in cost rapidly.  What a challenge it has been to continue to provide a rich and varied menu that makes a meal special and stay within a budget.  In the last couple of years, we’ve been looking at ways we can improve the experience while cutting the costs, from food to cleaning.  With nine guest rooms, it doesn’t take long to add up.  So here’s a couple of things we’ve come up with that we feel good about that might work for you also.

1-Make you own bread (bread makers make it easy and you know what’s in it) .  But mixes are very expensive.  We decided that making our own mixes made sense and making 10-12 at a time and putting them in zip lock bags allowed us to buy flour in bulk.  We can rinse and reuse the bags, so we don’t add more plastic to the environment.  It costs less than $1 a mix making that many at a time, including your time.  Our guests love the smell of fresh baked bread wafting thru the house.  But they really love the 1″ thick slices of decadent french toast and the cheese strata made with the heels and tops of the loaves.

2-We have our own “Victory Garden” where we raise our own herbs, squash for our golden breakfast pie,  cucumbers for our tea sandwiches, figs we use as fresh fruit and we even created a new fig soup for the fall, and now we have our first crop of grapes.  We’ve also added a persimmon tree, and we have blackberry canes as well.

Tune in for more “green” ideas and how our experiements have worked out.  We’d also love to hear about what unusual thing you’ve done to reduce costs and be “green”

So Much to Celebrate in May!

May 1st, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Swing Garden at The Empress

 

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Welcome to May!  Especially after  cold winters  like the past one, we’re excited to WELCOME SPRINGTIME!!  May is a month full of  holidays, so The Empress staff wants wish all of you the best as you celebrate Mother’s Day, as well as  Cinco de Mayo and most of all remember our nation’s service men and women on this Memorial Day.

Looking for the Best things to do with  Mom on this Mother’s Day?  The Empress is once again hosting Mother’s Day Grand High Tea. Step her back in time to the Victorian Era where  beautiful big hats & gloves  were the norm.  Or book her one of our beautiful Spa Suites and let us arrange for her hour long relaxing message with Leslie.

History buffs, this one’s for you. Located in downtown Little Rock, the Quapaw Quarter Spring Tour of Homes May 10 & 11th, The tour contains Little Rock’s most historic homes and mansions, some predating the Civil War and many on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wanting to celebrate  Cinco de Mayo?  Visit South Main Street restaurants for your Cinco de Mayo  celebration.

Travel Rally Day!  Tuesday, May 6th from 2:00-2:30 The Bernice Garden, South Main District (SoMa)  1401 S. Main St. National Travel & Tourism Week (May 3-11)

Riverfest Weekend in the Rock!    Music lineup  includes: Chicago, Cello Green,  Hank Williams Jr,  The  Fray, Three Days Grace, Lee Brice, Buckcherry,  Easton Corbin,  Robert Randolph,  Jamey Johnson & The Wallflowers. The Family Zone will offer free entertainment for families!  In the Family Zone, you will find tons of activities and entertainment including the Family Stage, the Super Retriever Crown Championship Series, the Weenie Dog Derby, the K-9 Friz-B-Crew, Ruff on the River Pooch Parade, the Rock ‘N Ride Poker Run, the Rock ‘N Stroll Fun Run 5K, Arkansas Renewable Energy, International Village activities, a Baggo Tournament and much more. Or you may choose to visit part of history at The  Clinton Center while at Riverfest!  End your weekend with the Fireworks Show on Sunday, May 25 at 9:00 p.m.  Music will be simulcast throughout Riverfront Park and broadcast on The Point 94.1. You don’t want to miss Arkansas’ most spectacular show!

Mark your calendars  now to enjoy Springtime in May with us at The Empress,  call Lisa  and book your  reservation now.

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South Main Streets Marching into Spring

March 11th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Riding along the Big Dam Bridge, Little Rock, Arkansas

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 .

The Empress Recevies Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

June 17th, 2012 by Lisa

We want to thank all of our guests for making our “2012 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence” award possible!  We continually strive for excellence and are so glad that our guests go away saying “we knew it would be good, but it was so much better than we expected”.  The Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence awards hospitality excellence.  This exclusive accolade is given only to establishments that consistently receive outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.  Approximately 10% of all accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

We hope guests both returning and first-time come to enjoy the amenities that make The Empress deserving of the title “Excellent”.

The Empress makes Pancakes on KATV

November 14th, 2011 by Lisa

Sharon Welch-Blair of The Empress of Little Rock stopped by KATV Saturday morning to make pumpkin puff pancakes….mmm!  While there she discussed the upcoming specials being offered for the holidays.  Watch the video here!

Here is the recipe for Sharon’s amazing Pumpkin Puff Pancakes (with delicious hot cider syrup):

PUMPKIN PANCAKES USING BISQUICK

2 Cups Bisquick

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (check color of mixture to make sure this is enough can go up to ¾ cup)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup milk

2 slightly beaten egg yolks

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons oil

4 egg whites beaten till they form peaks

Combine milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, & oil to Bisquick- stirring just to blend.

 

Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter.  Check thickness – if necessary add more milk

 

HOT CIDER SYRUP:

3/4 CUP APPLE CIDER

1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR

1/2 CUP LIGHT CORN SYRUP

1/2 TEASPOON LEMON JUICE

1/8 TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON

1/8 TEASPOON NUTMEG

Combine ingredients and heat 20 minutes to reduce.