Coming soon, September 13-15, is Eureka’s Jazz Festival, a whole weekend of some of the best Jazz you’ll hear around! We’re particularly excited about the headliner at the Auditorium, Spyro Gyra! This band is a jazz fusion band that formed in the mid-1970s (and we remember listening to them for many a night in high school!). The band’s sound has its roots in traditional jazz, but combines elements of R&B, funk and pop music and is known for their mastery over their instruments and the energy for their live performances. They have performed over five thousand shows, released twenty-nine albums selling over ten million albums, achieving one platinum and two gold albums. Next year Spyro Gyra will celebrate forty years as a band while showing little sign of wanting to slow down, having earned Grammy nominations for each of their last four albums! They will be performing Saturday night at the Aud.
The Fayetteville Jazz Collection will be performing Friday night, in the Basin Park, for free! With over two centuries of combined jazz experience, the 18 Piece Fayetteville Jazz Collective has been thrilling audiences all around the 4-state region of Northwest Arkansas. Attendance at one of the Fayetteville Jazz Collective’s performances is sure to impress, excite and entertain any listener. An evening with the FJC is one that you will never forget and one that you’ll want to share with both family and friends.
There will continue to be live *** free *** Jazz music all Saturday afternoon at Basin Park and Sunday afternoon, as well.
The weather is forecasted to be extremely gorgeous – sunny and in the mid-80s – so come spend some time with us, sit back and enjoy the music.
We LOVE to eat in Eureka Springs, it’s one of the reasons folks come here. We’re so excited about a new restaurant that just opened up, not too far from the Bridgeford House Bed & Breakfast. It’s called Farm to Table Fresh – for good reason – and you have to go eat here the next time you’re visiting. For those of you that have been coming to Eureka for a while, it’s located in the old Cafe Sante Fe building on Main St., which has been totally renovated into this new bistro but also includes a small gallery space that you’ll want to visit.
Jeff had the roast beef sandwich and I had the turkey 1/2 sandwich, because I just had to have their everyday homemade onion soup with Gruyere cheese, which is a big favorite of mine. Both plates came with a wonderful coleslaw and homemade potato chips.
All of their sandwiches are served on their homemade bread. Anything “homemade” is extra good, in my opinion!
And do not, under any circumstances, skip dessert. Pack it up and take it with you if you have to. Jeff had an apple popover of some kind and I had something I’ve never had before and is to die for, a chocolate brownie with a cookie inside! Yep, try that as your next experiment, I bet you don’t make it half as good as these folks did.
These folks have also purchased one of the historic buildings across the street, which had been an art gallery at one time (what building in Eureka hasn’t?) but they have fixed it up and turned it into Deja Vu, a unique antique and home decor shop. After you’re stuffed from their good food, walk across the street and buy fun stuff.
A fairly new weekend festival has really taken off in popularity, called Fleur Delicious Weekend, a French-themed festival, with a street fair atmosphere. Its intent is to celebrate all of the senses: Taste, smell, sight, touch and sound! Restaurants, bars, art galleries, boutiques, spas and music venues all participate with French-inspired indulgences in food, wine, spirits, art and entertainment. That includes us here at the Bridgeford House Bed and Breakfast, where we will feature French-themed cuisine in our morning menu. (And, of course, we will feature Sophie, the German dog with the French name!)
Enjoy some cool refreshing drinks
Events start out early on Wednesday, July 3, with the Ciroc Vodka Bartender Competition. Things really start hopping in Eureka starting Thursday, July 11th. Check out the entire schedule. (We’re particularly excited about Frankie the Monkey coming back that weekend to star in the show at Intrigue Theater – he steals all the thunder!).
The Stonehouse Wine Bar will be featuring a “Regions of France” wine tasting Thursday, Friday and Saturday that weekend – and the Stonehouse by itself is worth the visit! Another major favorite of ours is the Grand Tavern, featuring special menu items and French wines all weekend (in addition to all their other fabulous food!), as well as DeVito’s (although normally Italian), who does a personality change for the weekend, serving a special Fleur Delicious menu and French wine flights (in addition to the regular wonderful food, of course).
Come join us that weekend – park your car for the duration and walk around our lovely town, enjoying the sights, sounds, smells, touch and – most especially – the taste France! And a special bonus – the Grand Illumination event will run in conjunction with Fleur Delicious, featuring tons of Oriental silk and paper lanterns (including our B&B!) decorating our lovely Victorian architecture, all over town.
We love hanging out the lanterns during the Grand Illumination!
We have been doing Murder Mystery Weekends in conjunction with another B&B in our neighborhood since about 2005. To say that they make for a good time is an understatement! We provide fun, food, drink, history and even plenty of downtime for you during one of our exciting weekends. We only have them three or four times a year, so when you see a date posted, mark your calendars and call to book us as soon as you can, rooms often go quite quickly. Next one is July 26 & 27th, The Sure Pop Oil Well Scandal! Your MM package price ranges from $439-579, for two, depending on the room that you book, and includes all food, your room for both nights and usual amenities provided, and the MM activities. The only thing not included is any rental on a costume, should you choose to rent (rental is not a requirement but wearing a costume of some kind is!) and lunch on Saturday.
For a little preview into one of our stories:
We have four different stories, all written by innkeeper Jeff, so there is something for everyone. For those of you that are always asking how the weekend works, here’s a recap:
We assign you a character for the MM about 2 weeks out and mail you a package with all the information you’ll need, including a timeline of events. You will each get a booklet (that you will need to bring with you) that recaps all the characters and a little bit about them. Your particular character will have a bit more information that you’ll not want to share with others (shhh, your shady background is a secret…for now!). Our MM weekends are rather unusual in that they are entirely ad-lib. We do not give you lines to say and there are no actors doing a play for you – you are the actors! We will give you clues each round that we want your character to be sure to bring up in conversation but the rest is up to you – and believe us, it makes for some wild red herrings!
We would like everyone to check into the B&B by 5:00 on that Friday (earlier is fine, too, we are usually for sure ready for you by 3). If you are renting costumes from Celebrations and Traditions (our local Victorian costume shop), you’ll need to give yourself plenty of time to get by there to get fitted for your costume and be checked in by 5.
Each round lasts about 2 hours. The first round will be at 6:00 on Friday evening, in full costume, and is usually a celebration of the major “event” happening in the story – in July it will be the celebration of the local oil well that everyone expects to get rich from. So Friday is a full table of heavy appetizers (enough for a meal) and drinks and it’s a celebration…until something…uh…happens. Everyone then becomes a suspect and advised not to leave the county, yadda, yadda, yadda…
The second round will be after your huge breakfast at the B&B, at 11 a.m., for a little “breakfast dessert”. (You will not come away from this weekend hungry in any way.) The story is moved along by the bumbling detective and usually involves forensic reporting and other clues dropped by all the characters. You’ll want to bring a pen to take notes in your booklet! You are then left to spend Saturday afternoon in any way you wish, but be sure to spend some time hunting for clues that we’ll provide you. It will be fun to try to figure those out as you shop and eat lunch in our beautiful historic downtown. The shopkeepers love to be involved in this.
Round 3 is Saturday night, at 6, and involves…yep, more food. A buffet dinner is provided and we will have you share the last of the clues before the big reveal of “who done it”. We usually have a small awards presentation and yes, you’ll still have time to go out on the town afterward. We have many of our guests, who have made fast friends with other characters/guests, go out and party at some of our local hangouts. You can even call for the pink limo in town to take you back and forth. Be sure to go in your costumes, the townspeople love that.
Sunday morning, of course, you will receive another large breakfast at the B&B, with checkout not until 11 a.m.
So if you’ve always wanted to do one, here’s your chance! We also will be glad to schedule a MM weekend for a particular group, if you come up with a minimum of 12 people on your own, we’ll come up with a weekend date that works for all of us. We have had family members all come together and it’s great fun! We’ve had one particular family that has participated in our MM weekends at least 4 times – and at least one story they’ve done twice! The story is never the same and we are able to change the ending (and the murderer) any time we want.
Please feel free to call us with any questions at all about our Murder Mystery weekends and we look forward to seeing you at one of them soon!
The first weekend starts out with one of our favorite events, the ARTrageous parade, Saturday, May 4th (2:00 p.m. – bright, colorful, loud and joyful!). Tied for first place in favorites is the 23rd Annual White Street Walk on Friday, May 17th, from 4 to 10 p.m. The entire street becomes a street fair, with resident artists opening up their homes to guests (lots of free food and wine provided by these wonderful hosts) and there are more than 40 street exhibits as well from other artists, displaying and selling art in the form of weaving, watercolors, jewelry, oils, pottery, stained glass and much more.
Sunday, May 19th, you will find Books in Bloom attracting crowds at the Crescent Hotel (just a few steps up the hill from the Bridgeford House). From noon until 5, you can meet and listen to such well-known authors as Catherine Coulter, James Grippando, and Craig Johnson (he of the A&E “Longmire” mystery series, a favorite of ours) and many others. Again – one of our favorite events – how can we have so many?
Check out a full schedule on the festival’s website. These are only a few of the major events going on during the weekends, but there are true artist events and showings during every day of the week in May. May is a beautiful month to visit our lovely little town in the Ozarks, so make your plans today!
Whenever guests come to stay with us here at the Bridgeford House Bed & Breakfast, they’re always interested in the history of our quaint Victorian town. It truly does have a fascinating history, so from time to time, we’ll do a blog with some historic photos (we have TONS that are available in town at various places) and some of the interesting aspects of our history. There is nowhere quite as interesting as this little mountain town tucked away in the beautiful green Ozark Mountains!
A very interesting site that we get a lot of our information from is eurekapringshistory.com. This site is researched and put together by a Katrina-transplant, Dan Ellis. Some excerpts from one of those pages:
Eureka Springs 1879-1881
In the Beginning
“One of the first men reported to have been at the healing springs was Dr. Alvah Jackson who brought his son there to cure his eye disease. The internal and external use of the spring water was effective in the cure.
Dr. Jackson then recommended that his friend Judge Saunders pursue a water treatment. The Judge went to the spring in May of 1879 and while there taking the “cure.” he recalled a Cherokee Indian who he had encountered in 1835 during the “Trail of Tears,” had told him about a healing spring located in North Arkansas on a tributary of the White River. Several years later, the Judge, while conversing with a Spaniard, was told the story of a Great World Healing Spring.
Judge Saunders remained there under a tent for nearly two months during which time he was cured of his disease, lost 40 pounds, and his yellow-whitish hair turned black with new growth.
On a later occasion, the Judge suggested to Dr. Jackson, that with the increased notoriety of the waters and new folks arriving each day, that the area should be called Jackson Springs. The Doctor rebutted, “No, it should be called Saunders Springs.”
With that, young Buck Saunders jumped up and exclaimed, “Eureka! — I found it!” — claiming that was what Ponce de Leon called the Fountain of Youth in the book he was reading. Thereafter, the site, memorialing the land of healing springs, became known as Eureka Springs.”
Today this spring is called Basin Spring, in downtown Eureka Springs:
At 1750 feet above mean sea level, Eureka Springs is situated in the White River mountains at the headwaters of Leatherwood Creek, a tributary to the White River.
Obviously it looks much different today! For some more details on these two early Eurekans, read further.
Just a 5-minute walk down from the Bridgeford House Bed and Breakfast is one of our favorite day spas, Gryphon’s Roost. It’s where we send all our guests when they purchase a package, and from whence they return as loose as a “wet noodle”, as my old boss used to say.
Unique to one of our many spas in town, Gryphon’s Roost has an outdoor hot tub on their back deck, which overlooks the Christ of the Ozarks statue and West Mountain.”Oh, the water…” is a favorite package item of our guests, which include 1/2 hour soaking in the hot tub, following by one of their awesome 1-hour massages. Of course, they also have facials, wraps, a cedar sauna and hot rock treatments. We always books our folks into the “couples room”, which we believe is unique for the spas in our town. So romantic!
They also have a very colorful gallery on their street level that includes art, jewelry, bath and body items. It is truly a delight for your senses.
So always remember one of the number one things to do when you come to Eureka Springs – relax! And visiting one of our many spas is the best way to do it. Sophie is just disappointed that they don’t do pet massage. At least not yet.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is rich in colorful history. From time to time, we will devote a blog to some of the more interesting aspects, a lot of which you can learn about first hand on a visit to Eureka. As you walk this beautiful town, you will come across historical plaques and photo placards that allow you to look at a site in person, to see how it has changed. Here is a photo of Mud St. (now known as Main St.), which is quite different from what you see today:
Verbiage that explains this photo: “Mud Street” is shown taking a rather deep grade downward. The building at right just past the City Drug Store shows its “pilings” that hold it in place. All the buildings on the right side are suspended across the Leatherwood (Creek) Branch which “Mud Street” runs parallel to. The buildings at left butt up to limestone walls that holds up Spring Street fronting the Basin Spring.
More than a dozen laborers and onlookers are in this Main Street scene.” This photo was reportedly taken between 1882 and 1884.
Today, folks find it hard to believe that there is a creek that runs the length of Main Street, under all those buildings (on the right), including the Courthouse and the Auditorium. You can go into the basement of the Auditorium and open trap doors that look down into the creek. “Mud St.” was built up a level in the late 1800′s, due to the flooding of that creek, which caused that street to be very, well… muddy! So there is a whole level of buildings down below street level, most of which are closed off to the public today (but we hope will be opened up in the future, as part of the Underground Tour). For a nice view of one of these buildings underground (and a fabulous lunch!), go eat at the Mud St. Cafe.
We send many of our guests to Eureka Van Tours, which is the best city tour in town for the money. $25 per person (adults) for a 2 1/2 hour tour, Michelle will take you to places in Eureka that you didn’t even know existed! She’ll fill you in on gossip, both current and historical, and take you to places you do know about, including Thorncrown Chapel, the haunted Crescent Hotel, St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, and Carrie Nation’s house, as well as some wonderful views of the Ozarks.
The proprietor, Michelle McDonald, also owns Celebrations and Traditions, which has a collection of historical garb that you would not believe. She dresses folks for weddings, plays, town events and our own murder mysteries!
If you are here in Eureka looking for some great nightlife, look no further than the Voulez-Vous Lounge in the historic downtown. Directly below the New Orleans Hotel, this swanky and sexy bar provides a one-of-a-kind atmosphere, with a wide variety of musical events. It has lots of room, with some of the seating on cushy couches. There’s a huge bar with a lot of specialty cocktails and champagnes, cognacs, scotches, and wines, many that you would not find elsewhere. Their staff is always dressed up in burlesque-type clothes, so you feel like you’ve gone back to a much bawdier time.
French food – to die for! Crepes and croissants, hummus and cheese plates. What more could you ask for: good food, good drinks and good music, which all add up to a wonderful time! Check out the video below of their first night open – if you look hard enough, you can see a couple of clips of us in there! And, yep, easy to walk to from our place.