Thursday, November 10, 2016

Little Rock Famously Offers an Incredible Scope of Restaurant Experiences

The small city with the big appetite for great food ... that is the best way to describe Little Rock's checker board array of restaurants.  And, the best experiences with food are probably in Historic Downtown.  We like to send Rosemont and Rosehaven guests to local eateries that are just minutes away.

Starting with the tony Cache in the River Market District with a menu that matches its upscale decor.  Located on Clinton Boulevard with outdoor and bar dining available in addition to the more formal dining room.  Cache also offers valet parking in the over-crowded River Market; you probably want to take advantage.

Take a total 180 degree turn to the Root Cafe in SoMa (South Main District) known for its award-winning fresh, locally sourced food and an eclectic menu far more sophisticated than its oil cloth table cloths and Mason jar glasses would lead diners to expect.

Not to be  missed is the family-owned Bruno's Little Italy on Main Street.  Bruno family members have owned and operated their restaurants since 1945 and they still cook and run them.  Food is outstanding and so is the ambiance ... indoors and outdoors.  Sitting right next door to Bruno's and sharing valet parking is another family-owned restaurant, Samantha's Tap Room & Wood Grill. A bit more trendy but in a fun, casual way and, do they ever have a way with desserts!  You want to plan ahead.
For the best neighborhood pizza, sandwich, salad & bar, Raduno's can't be beaten.  There is always a crowd for their very original Sunday Brunch.  Sunnyside Up Eggs on Boulevard Bread with sliced tomatoes and a sauce that is indescribable. 
Its down the street, in Soma, from the Root Cafe and almost next door to the equally unique South on Main Restaurant. Owned by Mary Steenburgen (a local gal) and Ted Danson, South on Main offers a near-radical New South menu that is priceless.  Almost as priceless as the Live Local Music served up center stage in this iconic converted warehouse ... very southern,  very urban.

Restaurant recommendations review could go on and on in Little Rock but we will wrap it up with the one of a kind Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro on River Market Drive, a few doors down from Zin Urban Wine Bar. 
With a raucous indoor decor that is truly over the top, Dizzy's redefines fun, colorful dining.  Outdoors is a downtown version of a front porch with a curbside view of pedestrian goings on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fall Foliage in Little Rock Paints the City in Beautiful Seasonal Color

Red, orange, gold, bright yellow and russet shades decorate the Maple trees along Main Street and throughout the River Market and SoMa Districts.  Rosemont is dressed in full Fall regalia and so
are the urban neighborhoods in Historic Downtown.  Never is the desire greater to take a leisurely stroll or sit on our cozy front porch and watch the world go by.

Many of Little Rock's outdoor dining patios and cafes also feature spectacular color as an extra added attraction.  The air is turning crisp, so if you plan to eat outdoors after the sun goes down, bring a sweater or light jacket.  

Plan to take a drive toward the Big Dam Bridge, Pinnacle or Petit Jean Mountains, and, be prepared to be awed by the endless color. For outdoor types, our hike, bike and walking trails are at their best at this time of the year.  Bring your own bike or rent one at the River Market. Walking trails along the river and through the nearby State Parks are exceptional for those who like to keep it simple and close to nature.

Fall color and landscapes around the city will take your breath away ... we are not called the Natural State for no good reason.
All the usual pleasures and entertainments in Little Rock will be open and ready to please. Incredible Fall color and weather are just a special reason to put this perfect city on your Must Visit list


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Experience the Vibrant South Main District for a Total Urban Getaway

Raduno's on Main Street
Rosemont Inn and Rosehaven Cottage guests are within walking distance of South Main.  So many unique places to visit!  South on Main Restaurant, Root Café, Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom, Boulevard Bread Bistro and Community Bakery Café ... choose any of these one-of-a-kind eateries. Just a few blocks down Main Street are two more exceptional restaurants:  Bruno's Little Italy and the very sophisticated Samantha's Taproom and Wood Grill.

South Main is more than restaurants.  It is also the creative shopping experiences of Moxy Modern Mercantile, Green Corner Store, Sweet Home Vintage Finds plus the exceptional Esse Purse Museum and Museum Store.  Not to be missed ... a few restful minutes sitting in Bernice Garden perhaps enjoying an ice cream from Loblolly Creamery.  No malls, no over-priced tourist shops, no chain restaurants or high rise hotels; just tree-lined sidewalks, dog friendly shops and restaurants, bike lanes, and the extraordinary energy of an urban historic neighborhood.

MINUTES AWAY BY CAR:  River Market District, Clinton Library, Verizon Arena, Arkansas Art Center, Central High Museum, Stones Throw Brewery & Bistro, plus spectacular walking and bike trails. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Things to do in urban Little Rock start on South Main and are walking distance from neighborhood lodging.

Vibrant South Main offers some of Little Rock's newest and best local eateries starting with South on Main Restaurant. Closed on Monday but open every other night and daily for lunch with the extra added kick of live music on Wednesday nights.  Less upscale but a whole lot of fun and great fresh, organic food would be breakfast or lunch at the Root Café.  On a mild day, you can sit outside at an oilcloth covered table, tether your dog, eat, and watch the world go by. For a casual menu and good downtown energy, Prio's is the perfect choice. Gourmet pizza is their signature offering but the appetizer options are broad and appealing as is their wine selection.  Also, its a great wine bar for before of after other events. Rounding out the group is Boulevard Bread and Community Bakery, both have pastries so luscious they break all the rules plus soups, sandwiches, salads and other house specialties. Outdoor seating is available and a view of Main Street. 

Not to be missed is Esse Purse Museum, just two doors down the street from Root Café and one of only three purse museums in North America.  It is a cultural history of our country as seen through the things women have carried over the years, and, the Museum Store holds untold treasures.  More treasures await you down the street at The Green Corner Store, Moxy Modern Mercantile and across the street at Sweet Home Vintage Furnishings. Prowling through these stores is a step back to the days when shops were fun!  Loblolly Creamery has an old-fashion ice cream counter and shop inside the Green Store ... definitely worth the time and calories.  Everything Loblolly serves is organic, fresh, and local.

On Sundays a visit to the Farmer's Market at Bernice Garden is a must. Grab something sweet from one of the vendors selling handmade pastries and coffee, then enjoy the seasonal bounty on display. Eye candy extraordinaire are the sculptures in Bernice Garden. If you are lucky enough to be in Little Rock on the right Tuesday night of each month, treat yourself to Tales of the South, the popular NPR program recorded live at Best Impressions Restaurant at the Arkansas Arts Center located in McArthur Park. These outstanding neighborhood venues make for a unique evening out.

Other nearby Little Rock points of interest include the River Market District and the Clinton Library where you just might run into the former president and the former Secretary of State.  Regardless of your politics, it is a rush to meet Bill or Hillary Clinton in the hallway, restaurant, or strolling down the street.

A sharp turn to the west from South Main and you can visit the acclaimed Central High Museum or head straight down Main Street to The Rep, one of the finest repertory theaters in the country. Perhaps you will want to enjoy a before-performance Italian experience at Bruno's Little Italy or more trendy fare at Samantha's Tap Room & Wood Grill, both are on Main Street and are owned by long time local restaurateurs.

Attractions in Little Rock are bountiful.  This is only a small sampling of ways our guests spend some of their time in Little Rock. Great outdoor adventures also await you such as the numerous Bike Trails and the phenomenal Big Dam Bridge.  Not to mention shops and restaurants galore in other nearby historic neighborhoods. So much to do ... so little time!  That's why many visitors come back again and again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Things to Do in Little Rock Within Walking Distance of Rosemont Bed and Breakfast and Rosehaven Cottages

Things to Do in Little Rock Within Walking Distance of Rosemont Bed & Breakfast and Rosehaven Cottages
South on Main Restaurant continues to pull in enthusiastic visitors and locals alike for the Live Local music every Wednesday starting at 7:00 PM served up with the restaurants trendy New Southern menu that is truly upscale urban-country!  Not to be outdone during daylight hours, The Root Café pleases with its fresh local and organic menu that keeps folks lined up daily and, in good weather, sitting at the outdoor oil-cloth covered tables.  Winner of both a $25,000 Growing America: A Journey to Success grant and the much bigger $150,000 Mission Main Street Grant from Chase, Root Café still serves guests daily but a lot of big things are also starting to happen on the property.
 Half block from the café is Esse’s Purse Museum and Store.  Don’t think this is just any old museum  ... Esse is one of only five museums of its kind in the United States and it is virtually a cultural tour of the last 100+ years as seen through the accessories used by women of multiple generations. Plus, the shopping is extraordinary! Wile away a pleasant afternoon between the Corner Green Store with its Loblolly Ice Cream Shop, Moxy’s Modern Mercantile, and Sweet Home Antiques.  These incredible shops are a simpatico blend of new and retro and promise a fun treasure hunt adventure.
On a mild day, a quiet stroll through Bernice Sculpture Garden calms the shopping beast and then you can recover from the exhausting fun with a cup of coffee or tea and a scrumptious pastry at either Boulevard Bread or Community Bakery.  All of these attractions are within a 2-block area of each other and an easy 4-block walk from Rosemont Inn and Rosehaven Cottages.
The more robust of our guests walk the additional 6 blocks or so to the Arts Center for the latest exhibit, lunch at the wonderfully sophisticated First Impressions Restaurant, and then a tour of McArthur Military Museum also located on the grounds of McArthur Park along with the Arts Center. All in all, a true urban experience in Little Rock’s most vibrant neighborhood.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Hotels in Little Rock are exceptional in every way but the truly unique hotels are the historic few that still offer the grace and charm of another time. Topping the list is the Capitol Hotel, originally opened in 1873, with an unusually large elevator rumored to have been created to convey President Grant and his horse to his room. Considering the unrivaled elegance of the hotel, this writer thinks the rumor unfounded!  It was the quintessential lodging of a fledgling city introducing a newfangled invention called electricity.  The Capitol Hotel has undergone many changes and updates in its long history but has never compromised its original image.

Like the other historic hotels and boutique lodging in Little Rock, the Capitol Hotel is in historic Downtown.

Eight years later in 1880 Rosemont was built by a gentleman farmer as his in-town estate and, over time, became Rosemont Inn & Cottages.  Rosemont’s charm is the antithesis of the Capitol Hotel’s claim to fame. Instead of  extravagance, Rosemont offers an understated luxury with strong emphasis on charm and comfort.  The Inn is a well preserved Italianate farmhouse with two restored cottages on the property located in a thriving urban area.  Little of the early architecture has been lost and remains in well restored condition.

A decade later in 1890, what is now Rosehaven Cottages was built as the city’s first guest cottages serving travelers who wanted more space and privacy than the hotels of the day offered.  Still serving the same traveling population, Rosehaven Cottages have continued to thrive and have been “modernized” but still boast original hardwood floors, wood windows and many of the original light fixtures and fireplaces.

Following on the heels of the Capitol Hotel, Rosemont Inn, and Rosehaven Cottages, in 1913 the Hotel Frederica was erected with the lofty claim of being “the finest hotel in Arkansas". The corner of Capitol Avenue and Gaines Street was chosen as the site which was the very edge of the business district at the time.  It flourished and was purchased in 1935 by Sam and Henrietta Peck who “reinvented” the hotel transforming it into the Sam Peck Hotel. Three years later, Edward Durrell Stone, one of America’s premier architects and a Frank Lloyd Wright protégé, designed the still visible annex creating an art deco building recognized as one of the classic examples of design in Arkansas from that era.  Renamed today as the Legacy Hotel, the new name is a knowing nod to the hotel’s old history.

Another memorable historic lodging in Little Rock is The Empress, a small luxury hotel. Originally built in 1888, it was designed to be an example of ornate Victorian architecture in the Gothic Queen Anne style.  Owner, James Hornibrook, was a saloonkeeper who moved to Little Rock from Canada following the Civil War.  His equally wealthy rival had just completed the Villa Marre … famously known as the Designing Women house. Refusing to be bested, Hornibrook proceeded to build the premier mansion of the day. Owing to its flamboyant style characterized by a three and-a-half story turret, stained glass skylight and 8-sided rooms, The Empress remains an excellent example of a historic, boutique hotel.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Rosemont Inn & Cottages and Rosehaven Cottages will start WINTER WHITE SALE rates on Monday, January 5.  The reduced rates will be in effect through Thursday, February 5, 2015.  Other Little Rock lodging may well be offering the same inducements to bring visitors to the city to enjoy a milder winter season and take advantage of the countless Things to Do that are easily accessible when roads are not clogged with snow and ice.

Bed and Breakfast lodging, guest cottages, and hotels offer highly personalized hospitality because it is a quieter, more-manageable time of the year.  They all shine with welcoming guest rooms ... look for really special ones with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs for long, leisurely soaks.

Throughout the winter months, Little Rock’s bike and hiking trails are open and well-used for those hardy folks who brave the outdoors even when temperatures dip to the 40s. Not to be missed is a trip to Pinnacle Mountain and the Big Dam Bridge.  Pinnacle is less than 30 minutes from Downtown and the bridge is the longest (and we think the most spectacular) pedestrian bridge in North America. For more moderate visitors, the city’s River Market District, countless museums, specialty shopping, and outstanding restaurants offer hours of enjoyment.
Guests will be directed to the best possible venues for food that is bountiful and seasonal. Theater and concert offerings will be at their best since so many people are looking for indoor pleasures.  Little Rock is an excellent destination choice all year round and is not to be overlooked in January and February.