Posts Tagged ‘Bed and Breakfast in Little Rock’

Great War Memorial Balloon Race

August 27th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

balloonThis year the Great War Memorial Balloon Race celebrates it’s 3rd anniversary. This three-day event takes place on August 29-31 and in addition to filling the sky with spectacular balloons for three days, there will be jazz music, food, vendors and more. There will also be children’s activities, such as a splash fountain, carnival games, inflatables, interactive projects and fun foods like ice cream, shaved ice, lemonade and corndogs.

Take a tethered balloon ride 50-100 ft. into the air or attend a church service with music. There is plenty to do for the whole family! Stay the whole weekend at The Empress to get all three days of fun and the third night is only $79! (call 501-374-7966 for details)balloon race

Chihuly Exhibit at Clinton Library

August 21st, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Looking for something unique to do while staying at The Empress?  Through January 5, 2015, the Clinton Library will be hosting the artwork of renowned American artist Dale Chihuly.  Born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1941, Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from craft to fine art.  He is renowned for his ambitious architecturaChihuly_Exhibit_Clinton_Library_Little_Rock_4095-001l installations around the world in historic cities, museums and gardens.

This exhibit is described as an immersive and astounding visual presentation of color, shape and form.  I would describe it as simply, amazingly, beautiful.  Glass is twisted into amazing gardens and beams of light and color.  The incredible variance of shades and colors is breathtaking.  This is a definite must see for all looking for beauty that is a bit outside of normal.Chihuly_Exhibit_Clinton_Library_Little_Rock_4080-001

Quapaw Quarter:Where Little Rock’s History Lives

August 14th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

curan hallThe Hornibrook Mansion is a spectacular building sitting in a neighborhood of spectacular buildings. The beauty of this beloved historic district will be highlighted during an exhibit at Butler Center Galleries. The exhibit, titled Quapaw Quarter:Where Little Rock’s History Lives, will be displayed through November 1st.

The Quapaw Quarter is the moniker typically used for downtown Little Rock and the surrounding neighborhoods of historic buildings. An overview of the area will give a representation of the growth and the changing of tastes and lifestyles that has taken place form the time of the oldest surviving structure (The Hinderliter House, from 1827) all the way to modern construction. We plan to visit and enjoy this glimpse into past decorating trends and other interesting tidbits, and hope all of our guests will do the same!

Stay in one of the famed Quapaw Quarter Mansions…The Empress of Little Rock! Book now by calling 501-374-7966.

Jimmy Kimmel and Ted Danson discuss “South on Main”

August 11th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

south-on-mainSoMa’s own South on Main got a shout out on The Jimmy Kimmel Show. During a recent appearance, Kimmel and Ted Danson discussed the popular restaurant co-owned by Danson and wife (and Arkansas native) Mary Steenburgen along with Steenburgen’s niece Amy Bell’s and her husband (and chef) Matt Bell. The restaurant has become famous for its cocktails and live music (in conjunction with literary magazine Oxford American).

Watch the video of Danson, and then visit South on Main yourself!!!

Little Rock Restaurant Month

July 31st, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

A beloved annual tradition is about to make restaurant monthits return to Little Rock…Restaurant Month!!!  Restaurants from across the city put together a variety of weekly specials during the month of August, offering goodies such as discounts, free appetizers and desserts, or even specially priced prix-fix menus.  It is the perfect time to try that place you heard about a year ago, or for vacationers to try out all of Little Rock’s finest…while getting great values on delicious food!

Little Rock has a vibrant, diverse, oft-awarded dining scene that we hope our guests get to explore during their trip.  So get some southern food, or something with a locavore flair, or maybe something that is a bit more international.  You can find a new favorite during Little Rock Restaurant Month!

Check here starting August 1st for all of the weekly specials.

 

 

 

SoMa in Southern Living

July 31st, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Southern Living bernice gardenmagazine is an institution in the south.  Our favorite recipes, decorating ideas and crafts all come from its glossy pages and colorful online stories.  So of course, SoMa residents were thrilled to see our neighborhood featured as “The Next Great Neighborhood” on The Daily South blog.  For those new to the neighborhood or just visiting, SoMa is what we call the area on the south end of Main Street.  Slightly separate from the bustle of downtown, SoMa still maintains a vibrancy that you can only get in an urban setting.  Regulars enjoy the fresh baked breads and goodies at Community Bakery and Boulevard Bread Company.  We walk down streets that are adorned with art to our own community garden.  We eat locally grown food at The Root Cafe and enjoy small batch ice cream at the Green Corner Store.  And we often enjoy a band and nightcap at South on Main.  We love our neighborhood.  We love that this area surrounded by tree-lined streets and historic houses is once again home to a thriving business, art and entertainment scene.  Wboulevard breade hope you will join us at The Empress and learn to love it too!

If you want to read this article and look at their beautiful pictures, go here.

 

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!).

Tour an Award Winning Distillery in Little Rock

July 23rd, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

rock town Want to know where your bourbon comes from? How about your Gin? Just want to know how a distillery functions? Well Little Rock’s Rock Town Distillery is the place to learn all about what you pour over rocks…or do you take your shaken? Located in downtown Little Rock, this artisan craft distillery welcomes visitors to learn more about their products during a tour and taste. Enjoy the lively tour, which introduces you to the “grass to grain” approach of using local grains, and then take the opportunity to taste Rock Town’s spirits. What kind of spirits? How about Brandon’s Vodka and Gin, Young Bourbon (this one won Best American Bourbon in London’s World Whiskies awards!), Hickory Smoked Whisky, Riverboat Rum, Arkansas Lightning and Apple Pie Lightning.
rocktown tour After your taste and tour, get a cab (or a sober friend) to take you back to The Empress. We are sure Mr. Hornibrook (the house’s original owner, who also happened to be a successful saloon owner) would appreciate your choice of activities.
The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Forty-five minute tours are 4 p.m. during the week and 1:30 and 3 p.m. on weekends. Tours explain the process of making spirits, from selecting the grain to filling the bottles. Tastings are restricted to ages 21 plus. $7/adult. RockTownDistillery.com.

Cultural Cuisine at Forty Two

July 17th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Want a uniquforty two atw wineglassese and fun-filled dining experience while staying at the Empress?  How about an opportunity to explore the world, while leaving your passport at home?  Forty Two, the restaurant at the Clinton Presidential Center, offers this opportunity at its Around the World dining event.  Every third Thursday of the month, they invite guests to explore the sights, sounds and flavors of countries across the globe.  A different country is featured every month, giving diners the chance to have their taste buds take a tour from Italy to India, without having to leave Little Rock.

 

A five-course tasting menu provided, with a bargain price of only $27.95, giving visitors the unique chance to sample distinctive flavors from around the world while enjoying a beautiful waterfront Arkansas setting.  Enjoy the culture of Melbourne, Australia on July 17th, and then come back for Jeonju, South Korea on August 21st!forty two plates

Reservations are required, as this event is extremely popular and seating is limited.  See more at Forty-Two’s website.  Or you can call them at 501-537-0042 to make your reservation.

 

 

 

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”