|The Sights of Summer|
This has got to be one of my favorite Cape May scenes (besides The Queen Victoria, of course). There is something special, perhaps even magical, about Cape May’s life guard stands and rescue boats. I’m not sure if it is the shape, the colors, or the font used for the name, but something always catches my eye and makes me smile. This is most certainly a sight of summer in Cape May.
We’ve had a great Summer so far in Cape May and at The Queen Victoria. Mother nature has been good to us and we’ve been pretty much full all season long. Though most of our August is completely booked, we still have some availability in the last week of August for both 1 and 2 night visits. Surprisingly, we’ve also got some prime availability the week after Labor Day, which is when our rates drop down to their Fall level. So, if you thought you had missed your opportunity to visit Cape May (and The Queen Victoria) this summer, you’re getting a reprieve.
Beyond Summer ... It’s funny, but every summer about this time I find myself discussing other seasons in Cape May with our guests at breakfast and tea. You’d think it was me bringing up the topic in an effort to promote the upcoming seasons (it is the kind of thing I do), but it usually isn’t. Everybody seems to have Christmas on their mind right now. I’ve never been one to accelerate the seasons, and it drives me crazy when stores roll out their Christmas displays earlier each year. Having said that, I should mention that December is starting to book up at The Queen Victoria. It isn’t too late to book yet, but it is certainly time to start thinking about your Christmas visit to Cape May. I’ll be featuring some Christmas content in this newsletter to get you in the mood.
Best of Cape May, 2014
Help us make it 7 years in a Row!
Since 2008 our wonderful guests (that’s you!) have turned out in droves and voted The Queen Victoria as the “Best of Cape May”. Please take a few minutes to vote for us again.
It looks like there are 3 categories which we might contend for this year. I hope you’ll help us by voting us best “Bed and Breakfast” and “Couples Friendly” in the Accommodations section, and “Favorite Victorian Building” in the Leisure section.
Remember, this is for bragging rights for you too! Wouldn’t you love to be able to say your favorite bed and breakfast is also the “Best of Cape May”?
Thanks so much!
Craft Beer & Crabfest
This festival has quickly become the most popular event in Cape May. Best yet, it is virtually the only summer festival, as most of our festivals were designed to attract visitors to Cape May in our “Shoulder” seasons.
Now I’m sure you don’t need any extra incentive to plan a trip to The Queen Victoria in August. Cape May is “hopping” with a plethora (I love that word) of dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities. On the other hand, a fun-filled event like this definitely adds an extra element of fun and excitement to an already great weekend.
Admission to the festival is free, as are the activities. Food and beer are purchased separately. The festival features:
The first two of these festivals were wildly successful, so much so that it was a struggle to keep the beer and crabs in sufficient quantities. With 2 years of experience under their belts, the folks at MAC have gotten all the kinks worked out, so there will most assuredly be plenty of crabs and beer for everybody.
- All day live music
- An old fashioned Victorian Circus
- Crafts & food vendors
We’re already sold out for this weekend, but those of you lucky enough to have reservations should definitely consider making this part of your weekend. If you live close enough, make it a “day trip”. I’m sure it will be worth it!
Food & Wine Celebration
I love food. I love wine. It stands to reason that I would look forward to Cape May’s annual celebration of both in September.
I’m guessing that if food & wine are important in your life, then you’ll enjoy our annual celebration as much as I do.
I don’t have enough space in this article to fully describe each of the wonderful events scheduled for the celebration. Instead, I’m listing them for you. I’m pretty sure that after you finish reading the list, and perhaps checking them out further on your own, you’ll be calling us to make a reservation to attend. We still have a couple of openings that week.
Lessons of History
If you were to ask me what I’m most looking forward to this year, I would tell you that this year’s Lessons of History lecture is it. I’m TRULY looking forward to meeting David O. Stewart and listening to his discourse on our founding fathers and the manner in which our constitution came to be.
3rd Annual, October 12th
I just finished reading his book (pictured above) and I can honestly say that I’ve never enjoyed any non-fictional writing as much as I enjoyed this book. The amazing thing about it, was that it didn’t feel like history. It felt like a great story that I couldn’t wait to get back to between sittings. Mr. Stewart is a supreme story teller, who happens to be telling a true and important story. I can only imagine how compelling he will be in person!
We hear the word “constitutional” all the time, but I think few of us probably have much appreciation or understanding of what our constitution actually says, who the men who wrote it were, what the issues that formed it were, and how (or even when ... see the title of the book) it came to be. I was certainly one of those reasonably intelligent, educated individuals that was basically clueless about the topic. And I’ve always loved history! Go figure.
If you’re the least bit curious about how our great nation came to be, and nearly fell apart in its earliest days, then I highly recommend you make plans soon to attend this lecture. You’ll be very happy you did, I’m sure.
More New Stuff!
Tapestry in the Sitting Room
This is the beautiful new handmade tapestry that we installed in the sitting room in the Queen Victoria building. It really is a wonderful addition to the decor of the room.
Asian motifs were popular in the Victorian era, as they fancied all things exotic and different. This is a particularly interesting tapestry that we were thrilled to hang in our comfy little sitting room. Take a few moments during your next visit to check it out!
| Christmas in Cape May!|
As promised, I’m teasing you with some thoughts about Christmas.
If you don’t already know it, let me tell you that Cape May is THE place to experience Christmas, either before hand to get into the spirit of the season, or during the holiday itself. There are magnificent tours, fabulous decorations, festive events, great shopping, and as usual, wonderful dining. There is probably no place else in the U.S., or perhaps the world that is as well suited to exemplify Christmas as Cape May, given our Victorian era architecture. Cape May looks like a living Dickens Village (usually without the snow). Imagine stepping into the little village of Studio 56 ceramic houses that you decorate with at Christmas and it suddenly coming to life. We’ve even got Carolers and strolling musicians for some of our Christmas tours. Let’s not forget the Christmas parade on the 1st Saturday of December, either.
The Queen Victoria is completely decorated for Christmas, of course. In fact, we’ll be completely decorated by Thanksgiving, giving you a special treat if you want to spend it at The Queen Victoria.
We’ve been taking a lot of December reservations for both the Christmas season and New Year’s Eve the last couple of weeks. We still have some nice availability, but it is going fast. I’d definitely call us soon if you’re hoping to visit in December.
On December 19th, 1843 Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol”, changing our perception of Christmas forever. Since the early 1980s, Cape May has been celebrating the season, the author, and the era with a 3 day festival full of entertaining performances, great feasts, fun tours, wine tasting, receptions and interesting lectures about Dickens, Christmas, and all things Victorian. Perhaps best of all is the fun group of guests that always attend this event.
The last couple of years have witnessed the revival of this wonderful Cape May tradition, with the return of Elliot Engel, the incredibly entertaining Dickens Scholar who really got it started 30+ years ago. Believe me when I tell you that Elliot could literally have you laughing hysterically about the phone book if he read it to you. This year his talented performance partner Quinn Hawkesworth will be returning to Cape May to charm us all as well. It is shaping up to be the best Dickens Festival ever!
The Dickens festival is also an amazing value. It is pretty hard to beat 3 days of programming, two dinners, a wine tasting and a reception for $160 (in addition to your room, of course). When you combine that with the terrific discountws rates at The Queen Victoria, this festival is by far the best value of the year in Cape May.
Great Reasons to Return to The Queen Victoria
- Craft Beer & Crab Festival Aug 9
- Concert: Rita Coolidge, Aug 11
- Concert: The Kingston Trio, Aug 18
- Concert: Philadelphia Boys Choir Aug 23
- Food & Wine Festival, Sep 13-21
- Cape May Dragon Boat Festival, Sep 27-28
- Sea Glass Festival, Sep 27-28
- Oktoberfest, Oct 4
- Victorian Weekend, Oct 10-13
- Designer Show House, Oct 10 - Jun 14
- Concert Philadelphia German Brass Band, Oct 11
- Lessons of History Lecture, Oct 12
- Halloween Happenings, Oct 10 - Nov 1
- NJ Lighthouse Challenge, Oct 18-19
- TEDx Cape May: Pursuit of Happiness, Oct 19
- NJ Audubon Autumn Festival Oct 24-26
- Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend Nov 7-9
- Exit Zero Jazz Festival, (Fall) Nov 7-9
- Channeling Weekend, Nov 15
- Concert: “Broadway & Beyond”, Nov 15
- Christmas in Cape May, Nov 21 - Jan 3
- Dickens Extravaganza, Dec 7-9
- Poperazzi Holiday Concert, Dec 13
- January Birthdays Party, Jan 3
- Channeling Weekend, Jan 10, 2015
- Channeling Weekend, Feb 7, 2015
- Wine Lover’s Weekend, Feb 20-21 2015
- February Birthdays Party, Feb 28
- Big Cheesy Party, Mar 6-7 2015
- Whiskey Challenge Weekend, Mar 13-14
- March Birthdays Party, Mar 21
- April Birthdays Party, Apr 18
Room of The Month
Brighton is one of our newest rooms at The Queen Victoria, and I believe it represents one of the best values. Let me tell you why.
Brighton is a very private room on the 2nd floor of the Queen’s Cottage building. It is a standard room, meaning it is one of our smaller rooms, and thus one of our least expensive rooms. What makes it such a wonderful value is the access it has to a semi-private parlor and large pantry located just around the corner from the room. While most of our parlors are shared by 10 rooms, this one is shared with just one other room. Nobody staying in any of the three main buildings or on the lower level of the Queen’s Cottage has access to it. This parlor space is a wonderfully bright, cheery and large space with a sofa, 2 wing chairs, a game table and central air conditioning. The pantry is very spacious, with a full sized refrigerator which we keep stocked with soda, juice, bottled water and has plenty of room for your stuff too.
So while Brighton is not a huge room in and of itself, when you consider the parlor area that you’ll have access to, it becomes one of our most spacious rooms.
I should mention that Brighton is also the only room whose private bathroom is not located within the confines of the guest room. The private bath, accessed via the Brighton room key, is located in the hallway, just outside the door. Speaking of the bathroom, it is large and comfortable, with a very pretty, large step-in shower.
Some of our most frequent visitors have made Brighton their “Go To” room for the reasons I’ve mentioned above. If you’re looking for spacious luxury at a great price, then you should consider it too.
Rent both the Whitehall & Brighton rooms for couples traveling together and the space works like a 2 bedroom condo.
Gift Shop Featured Item
The Queen’s Feather Pillows
Are you one of the many guests that have commented about how much you love our pillows? If so, I probably informed you that you could purchase them in our gift shop.
Your pillow is a pretty important part of your sleeping experience. We always purchase very high quality mattresses, but I’m pretty sure that our pillows are just as important to your comfort as those mattresses are.
Our feather pillows are custom made by the Standard Feather Company. Lance over-stuffs them for us to create the perfect, plump, wonderful pillow you’ve come to expect at The Queen Victoria.
Anna Marie and I purchased some for ourselves a few years back, and I can honestly say that I have trouble sleeping on any other pillow when we travel.
If you want to experience the same restful night’s sleep at home that you have at The Queen Victoria, one of our feather pillows may just do the trick.
Price: $75 each
Our Blooming Crepe Myrtle “tree”
If you’ve been reading my newsletters for a while, then you won’t be surprised at all that I’ve managed to work an image of The Queen Victoria building into my favorite photo shot. Shameless promotion!
This “tree” (crepe myrtles are typically thought of as bushes) is blooming beautifully this summer, despite our fears of losing it after some severe snow storms a couple of years ago. Last summer I think we got about 3 blooms on the tree and it just didn’t look healthy at all. Now look at it!
It is interesting to note that several of our plantings seem to be thriving this year, even after our brutally cold winter. I hope that isn’t what it takes to get great blooms every year!
By the way, I haven’t seen many guest submitted photos coming in lately. If you’ve got images of Cape May or The Queen Victoria that you want to share, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be pleased to use them here and post them to our website gallery.
Many of you had heard that Craig McManus had become so popular and busy that he wasn’t able to schedule any visits to Cape May for our Channeling Weekends. I honestly assumed that was the end of our Channeling Weekends.
I was lamenting the loss of Craig with one of our guests who had attended one of his events at The Queen Victoria and she mentioned that she knew of a medium/psychic that was at least as good as Craig who she had experience with. That was high praise, indeed.
I’m pleased to report to you that after extensive communication and discussions, we have invited Debbie Wojciechowski to become our new “resident” medium/psychic.
Debbie is a Certified Psychic Medium and a Certified Master Teacher, both c/o Lisa Williams International School of Spiritual Development. She has been trained, assessed and certified by Lisa Williams (International Psychic Medium). Debbie became a full time medium/spiritualist after retiring from a 25 year law enforcement career. She also holds a Master of Science degree from John’s Hopkins university.
Debbie will be doing two sessions for each scheduled Saturday event, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Participation is limited to 10 guests per session. Each participant is guaranteed at least a 10 minute reading.
Price: $ 60/person
Next at Cape May Stage
(Aug 6 - Sep 19)
Anna Marie and I are proud to be the sponsors of Cape May Stage’s next production “Blithe Spirit”.
Many of our visitors to Cape May are fascinated with ghosts. They seem to have been popping up all over Cape May in the last several years. If you’re one of those folks that is intrigued by ghosts, and you love a good comedy, then Blithe Spirit should be just the ticket for you.
Here is what Cape May Stage has to say about it ...
“Noel Coward brings one of the funniest ghost stories to the stage in the classic Blithe Spirit. A zany medium accidentally stirs up the temperamental ghost of a novelist’s first wife after a séance that goes awry. It’s a hauntingly hilarious good time as wife #1 does her best to spook her husband’s current marriage to wife #2. This clever comedy is filled with the eccentric characters and witty dialogue that is Coward’s trademark. It may not send shivers up your spine, but it’s guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. You may die laughing!”
Historic District Trolley
The finest tour in town.
When I’m asked about the best introduction to Cape May and the history of the town, I never hesitate to suggest the Historic District Trolley Tour. It is without a doubt the best tour in town.
This time of year most of our guests are coming for a few days at the beach. Lots of you are looking for a little something more than just sand and surf, however. A big part of Cape May’s attraction, beyond that lovely beach, is the historic nature of the town. There is no better way to explore that history and get a really good look at Cape May than this tour.
First of all, the tours are professionally designed, and presented by trained guides who really know Cape May. All the history presented is thoroughly researched and factual. Sure, a carriage tour of the town is charming, but the information you get from the driver isn’t nearly as reliable as what you’ll receive on your trolley tour.
Tickets can be purchased at the Information Booth at the Ocean Street end of the Washington Street Mall. The trolley picks you up directly across the street from the booth.
This time of year the trolleys run almost every hour. You should also consider the “Combination Trolley Tour”, which pairs the Historic District Trolley Tour with a guided tour of the Emlen Physick estate. I highly recommend it!
Restaurant of the Month
Our long-time guests and friends always ask us if there are any new and interesting restaurants in town. We usually don’t have much to tell them about, but I’m thrilled to share one of Cape May’s wonderful new restaurants with you this month.
M’ Ocean is located in the space that was formerly occupied by Martini Beach, and long ago by “Maureen”. Our first visit to M’ocean was a spontaneous one last Wednesday night. We were fortunate enough to manage a table on the front porch with Cape May’s finest view. Waiting for a few minutes in the bar enjoying a drink (and the view) was not a problem.
Our dinner was excellent. To start things off we ordered a couple of appetizers. The Seafood Mac & Cheese was simply incredible. Anna Marie ordered the Chilean Sea Bass, and I had the Chili Rubbed Tombo Tuna. We both enjoyed them immensely. The presentation of each meal was beautiful and the sides were just as good as the entrees themselves.
Though we limited ourselves to the main menu, we were also impressed by the bar and raw bar menus.
One of the many things we enjoyed about this dining experience was the wine list. The wine list is quite impressive and features quite a selection of wines priced under $30. We thoroughly enjoyed a very good Napa Cabernet called “Educated Guess” for only $29. For die-hard “BYO” fans, that works pretty well (the wine retails for about $20).
Visit The Queen Victoria Soon!
Cape May’s Premier Bed and Breakfast
Make your reservations today for a romantic getaway at The Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast. We are looking forward to helping you plan your next visit!
Doug & Anna Marie McMain, Owners/Innkeepers
The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast