Posts Tagged ‘Bed and Breakfast in Little Rock’

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”

July 4th Brunch at The Empress

June 10th, 2014 by Sharon Welch-Blair

June 10,2014 by Lisa

little kids 4th image

Join us for a tradition at The Empress, Brunch potluck with Mimosas on the grounds, July 4th at 9:00 a.m.  Bring a breakfast dish to share and we will enjoy good times and friendly conversations.  Brunch starts at 9 am.  Coffee, mimosas and  juice  for the kids will be provided by The Empress! Orange juice for the mimosas is sponsored by the Downtown Neighborhood Association.   We can’t wait to see you.  Afterwards, treat yourself to a free day at the Clinton Presidential Museum and then listen to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra serenade you as fireworks explode at POPS at the River!  Weekend getaway package specials are also available  at 501-374-7966!

Happy Independence Day!!

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 .

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

South Main Cornbread Festival, a Taste of the South

October 30th, 2013 by Lisa

southern-cornbread-c

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:

http://pinterest.com/arkcornbread13/

https://www.facebook.com/ArkansasCornbreadFestival

 

https://twitter.com/arkCornbread13

 

Contact Information

Cindy Hedges
501-663-4181

cindyhedges@me.com

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!