Newsletter | August 2016
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Let the Festivals Begin

Yes, the Festival season is upon us, which you’ll see as you read below.  Cape May has managed to create a tremendous number of events that are sure to give you an excuse to return to Cape May (as if anyone needs to be convinced of such a thing).

The season kicks off next weekend with the 5th annual Craft Beer & Crab festival.  It is followed about a month later by the Cape May Food & Wine Celebration, which culminates with the Harvest Brewfest.  On Columbus Day Weekend the New Jersey Wine Growers association’s fall festival returns to the Cape May area at Navel Airstation Wildwood.  Finally, the fall edition of the Exit 0 Jazz Festival is being held this year on November 11-13.  I’ll be detailing each of these festivals for you in this edition of our newsletter.

If you have any interest in food, wine, beer, or music then you’ve got to be intrigued by at least one of these.  They are all wonderful events and a great excuse to come (back) to Cape May for another visit.

Availability AlertIf you haven’t yet planned your summer visit to Cape May and were thinking it was too late, I have happy news for you.  In addition to the various small openings we have throughout August, we still have a fair amount of availability the week of Monday, August 29, into Labor Day weekend, including a few rooms left for Labor Day weekend itself! 

You know these won’t last long, however, so call us at (609) 884-8702 or visit our website to reserve one for yourself before it is too late.

We’re always happy to assist you
find the best possible room for the dates you want to visit, or the best dates for the room you want to stay in.  Call us at (609) 884-8702 to get started.
Room of The Month
Knightsbridge

I was amazed to discover that I hadn’t featured Knightsbridge in our newsletter in over 3 years.  Not only is this one of our most popular rooms, it was recently remodeled, and now features a wonderful bathroom & incredibly dramatic king sized bed.  In fact, last month I featured the new chairs that were just delivered for Knightsbridge in the “More New Stuff” section of our newsletter.

Knightsbridge is located on the 3rd floor of the Prince Albert building.  The decor of Knightsbridge is subtle, with a soothing, understated elegance that is sure to put you into that relaxation zone that you’re looking for in a trip to Cape May.  The new chairs that we recently put into the room are incredibly comfortable and still manage to convey a sense of style and grace which is missing from most modern furniture (they replaced the vintage sofa you see in the lower right corner of this photo).

If you love a wonderful bathroom, then Knightsbridge is the room for you.  The 2-person/2-head shower, with its amazing skylight above, is the perfect place to start your day.  The tile work, which wraps around the sink and counter, adds drama to the room, while the stained glass window that runs along the adjoining wall is joy for the senses.

Knightsbridge is also conveniently close to the roof deck, so you’ll be able to sneak out for a quick sunset glass of wine before you head out to dinner, or a cup of coffee before breakfast.


Upcoming Special Events
Craft Beer & Crab Festival
August 6th, 2016

This event is by far and away the most popular annual Cape May tradition.  Thousands of people flock to the Emlen Physick estate each August to partake of the tremendous lineup of craft beers, crabs, shrimp, and lots of other great food.  There is live music all day long to help the beer go down smoothly.

Great food, great beer, great music ... what more could you ask for on a beautiful day in Cape May?  This event runs all day long, so you can still manage to attend, even if you want to get some beach time and/or a bike ride in during the day.
Cape May Food & Wine Celebration
September 9 - 18

As you know, Cape May is all about Food & Wine.  With dozens of wonderful restaurants within easy walking distance of The Queen Victoria, and 6 wineries (maybe 7 ... I’ve heard of another that I’m inquiring about) Food & Wine seem to be one of the main focuses of our lives.  The annual Cape May Food & Wine Celebration sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) pays tribute to that heritage.  The festival is full of fun events that span two weekends, including:

  • Cape May Wine Trail, Friday Sep 9 & 16
  • Chocolate Lover’s Feast, Saturday Sep 10
  • Grilling at the Vineyard, Sunday Sep 11
  • Chef’s Dine Around Progressive Dinners, Sun/Mon Sep 11 & 12, Wed/Thu Sep 14-15
  • Cape May Farm to Table Tour (Red Store), Monday Sep 12
  • Gourmet Brunch Walk, Wednesday Sep 14
  • Harvest Brewfest (2nd Annual), Saturday Sep 17
  • Champagne Jazz Brunch, Sunday Sep 18

I’m of the distinct opinion that there is something irresistible among those offerings for anybody who is interested in Food or Wine.  Which one sounds good to you?
Harvest Brew Fest (2nd Annual)
September 17th, 2016

If you’re looking for a great excuse to visit Cape May during one of the best times of year, look no further!  This year the Harvest BrewFest returns to the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, which has got to be the coolest place in Cape May to hang out and enjoy an outdoor festival.  This is an all day event featuring live music from some very talented local musicians, regional brews, food, seasonal vendors, crafts & collectible vendors and family activities.

Patterned after the incredibly popular “Craft Beer & Crab Festival” held in August, this event was a great success last year, and is sure to be even more fun in 2016.  Best yet, the festival is within an easy walk of The Queen Victoria.

Think of it, a weekend at The Queen Victoria, an afternoon of beer, food and live entertainment.  What more could you possibly ask for on a September weekend?

This is going to be a very popular weekend, and we’re already at least half booked, so don’t delay.  It is time to make your reservations!

Lessons of History Lecture & Reception
October 9, 2016

Yes, I’m looking ahead a bit here.  The truth is, I’m already VERY excited about the upcoming 2016 Lessons of History lecture.  I just couldn’t wait to tell you about it!

As you may already know, the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) sponsors a “Lessons of History: Distinguished Lecture Series” each Columbus Day weekend, with a reception at The Queen Victoria immediately after.  Over the last several years we’ve had some great speakers on topics ranging from the Constitutional Convention to D-Day.  History doesn’t have to be ancient to be interesting, and perhaps more importantly, relevant to our lives today.

This year’s lecture, “Our Nation’s Security: How Intelligence Affects the Future”, is being presented by Joan A. Dempsey, who is perhaps the most distinguished speaker we’ve had to date (she is also the first female lecturer!).  Joan is currently the Executive Vice President in Booz Allen Hamilton’s defense and intelligence business, where she leads the National Agencies Account.  During her 25 year career in the federal government, Joan held political appointments twice: first, in President Bill Clinton’s Administration where she served as the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Community Management; and, in President George W. Bush’s Administration, as the Executive Director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

If you’ve attended and enjoyed the Lessons of History lectures in the past, then I know you won’t want to miss this one.  If you’ve never done so in the past, then this is an excellent excuse to plan a trip to Cape May and get the ultimate insider’s perspective on the history of modern U.S. Intelligence.

Exit 0 Jazz Festival
November 11-13

The Exit 0 Jazz Festival (Fall edition) returns to Cape May this November with an amazing lineup of musical talent.  Heading up this group of musicians is the incredible Wynton Marsalis, returning to Cape May for a command performance on Saturday, November 12.  The other headliner being featured is Cecile McLoren Salvant, a 23 year old virtuoso who brings to mind the likes of Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald, who will be performing on Friday, November 11.

As you can see from the image above, the festival is 3 days long and features 45 shows in various venues all around Cape May.

This really has become a World Class Festival, that you won’t want to miss if you are a Jazz fan.  In addition to the headliners, I suggest you check out Davina and the Vagabonds for a fun-filled, up-beat experience.

More New Stuff!
New Stairs at the Queen’s Cottage

I suppose to the casual observer, this may look like just another set of stairs.  To me, however, they look like an incredibly stable, handsome, and beautifully designed and crafted, solid mahogany set of stairs.

What isn’t necessarily obvious at first glance is the exacting effort required to lovingly craft the stringers, risers, newel posts, and finials in our shop (thankfully, the original vintage spindles and rails were perfectly serviceable!).  As is usually the case when working on old houses, one thing leads to another.  Once the steps were replaced, we discovered that we also had to re-lay the brick walkway leading to the steps, and subsequently, reinstall the front gate, which no longer cleared the brick walkway.

In the end, we’re thrilled to have a nice looking set of stairs for the folks staying in Whitehall and Brighton to use.
Cape May Designer House Tour
September 24

Many of you have enjoyed the Cape May Designer Show House over the years.  Quite a few of you have understandably been disappointed that MAC (the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities), who sponsors the Show Houses, has been having trouble finding homeowners interested in donating their homes to be a show house for the summer season.  I certainly share that frustration.

That is why I’m thrilled to announce that despite the lack of a season long Show House for 2016, MAC has come up with a wonderful new alternative: a one day tour of several beautiful Cape May homes recently renovated by professional designers.  On Saturday, September 24, six private homes will be open for a self-guided tour of their warm and intriguing features and exceptional indoor and outdoor living spaces which have been professionally designed by both local and out-of-town interior designers.

The beautiful room featured in this photo comes to you courtesy of Jan Schmidt, the owner of Dragonfly Interiors in Cape May.  Jan has long been a participant in the Cape May Show House projects, designing some of my favorite rooms in those houses.  Two homes that Jan has designed are scheduled to be on this tour, so this will be an opportunity for you to see an entire home of her design.  If you can’t wait until the tour to see more of her work, visit her website for a sneak preview.  You can also contact her at (609) 846-3326 if you’re in search of a designer.

Ticket sales are being limited, so buy your tickets soon!  Click HERE to purchase your ticket now.

The cost of the tour is $30, and it runs between 11:00am and 4:00pm.

Cape May’s New Rotary Park

Most of you have probably strolled past Cape May’s Rotary park on one of your visits to town.  Located between Colliers Liquors and Cape May Stage and Louisa’s restaurant, it was almost inevitable.  Our Christmas season visitors will probably remember it because of the city Christmas Tree which was always displayed in the centrally located gazebo.  For many years the park had been looking pretty forlorn, with overgrown landscaping, a pitiful lawn, clunky concrete form benches with rotting seat planks, and a collapsing gazebo.  I guess you can tell how I felt about the park from my description of it!

Last year a joint public/private effort began to design and build a world class park.  Demolition of the old park finally began in March, with construction commencing immediately after.  Our rainy May weather delayed the completion of the park in time for its scheduled July 4th opening, but we were pleased to see the park officially open on July 22.

The park is absolutely beautiful.  The picture above is obviously taken near the fabulous new fountain, which is located in the center of the park (about where the old gazebo was).  In the background you can see the beautiful new gazebo.  You can also see some of the classy looking benches which line this pathway, and which are distributed throughout the park.  If you REALLY look closely, on the left you’ll see the the gorgeous vintage looking iron fence that surrounds the park.  The lawn is brand new and perfect, of course, and we’re very hopeful that it will stay that way thanks to the irrigation system that was lacking in the old park.

This is now a park that calls out to be visited and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.  It is the perfect place to while away a few minutes and enjoy the serenity of the park in between shopping, dining and your explorations of Cape May.  It is also a tremendous place to enjoy one of the many free concerts that are held in the gazebo almost daily throughout the summer.
Favorite Photo
How Cool is This?

Normally our “favorite photos” are submitted to me by guests.  We got this one in the mail the other day, and I thought it would be fun to use it as my “Favorite Photo” this month.

Anna Marie and I knew that The Queen Victoria was going to be featured in the fall 2016 edition of Victorian Homes, but we were So Surprised to see our beautiful Queen Victoria building gracing the cover!

The Queen Victoria has been featured in many magazines over the years, of course, but not too many covers.  I can’t imagine a more appropriate magazine to make such a big splash in.

If you want to order a copy for yourself, visit their website (starting August 2nd).  You can order individual copies, or subscribe for future fun. 

Featured Gift Shop Item
The Queen Victoria Magnet

Yes, The Queen Victoria car magnet has returned!  Our first generation of magnets was one of our most popular gift shop items ever, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ve decided to feature them again.

All summer long I’ve seen cars lining the streets of Cape May with our vintage magnets, obviously the vehicles of veteran guests of The Queen Victoria.  While those original magnets were attractive, the outside text was a little hard to read.  The new magnets are still classy and good looking, but now it is easy to see that “QV” is The Queen Victoria B&B in Cape May, NJ. 

At only $2.95, the least expensive item in our gift shop, it is easy to take this little piece of The Queen Victoria home with you.  Just imagine being reminded of the wonderful times you had on your vacation here each time you walk up behind your car in the parking lot.

Price: $2.95
Fun Things to do in Cape May
Cape May Free Ride

This is a bit of a departure, as our “Fun Things to Do” are usually oriented towards activities.  I wanted to share this new service with you, however, and I figured it would work in this space.

Cape May is all about being “Car Free” (and care free), but there are times when your destination, be it dinner or an attraction, is a little bit further than you might want to walk.  In the past that generally meant moving your car from your treasured parking space.  This year there is an alternative.

The owners of “Cape May Carts”, who rent golf carts here in town, started up this free service this year to take you anywhere on the island that you might want to go.  We’re THRILLED about it.  It is reliable, fun and free (almost).

Here is how it works:  Call them up about 15-20 minutes before you need to be wherever you are going and tell them where to pick you up.  They’ll arrive shortly thereafter and drive you to your destination in this street-legal, seat-belted, fun vehicle that has seats for 5 people besides the driver.  Though they don’t charge anything for this service, they are actually working for tips. 

Anna Marie and I have used the service a couple of times ourselves to go to Sapore Italiano in West Cape May.  We tipped them $5 for the ride there and walked home after dinner.  Many of our guests have used the service as well, and all of them have loved it.

Barefoot in the Park
(at Cape May Stage)
Aug 3 through Sep 9

Each year we sponsor a production at Cape May Stage.  We always try to do a fun or romantic show, and “Barefoot in the Park” satisfies both of those criteria.

I’m pretty sure that the cast in our production won’t be quite as good looking as Robert Redford and Jane Fonda were in the film back in 1967, but I’m confident that the performance will be wonderful.

Anna Marie and I were planning on reproducing the poster you see on the right with a picture in our new Rotary Park, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put on a suit on one of our sultry summer days this week.  Actually, Anna Marie probably could have persuaded me, but we couldn’t manage to fit a photo shoot into our schedule this week.

If you’re looking for a fun evening out during your upcoming visit to The Queen Victoria in the next few weeks, plan on making it to the theater one evening.  I know you’ll love the experience.
Restaurant Pick of the Month
Louisa’s Cafe
(BYOB, Cash Only)

The other day I recommended Louisa’s Cafe to some of our guests as one of our real favorite restaurants this summer.  They took our advice and loved it (which always makes me smile).  In fact, they loved it so much that they decided to dine there again 2 nights later.  Louisa’s is that kind of place.

Louisa’s is a small, quaint, and charming restaurant located on Jackson street, just off the Washington Street Mall.  It is a farm to table restaurant, and has been since WAY before that trend started.  Who knows, perhaps they were the first one (somebody had to be).  In any case, it has long been a favorite of those in the know.  When you walk in the restaurant, you’ll see the menu on the blackboard at the back of the restaurant.  You won’t see any beef on the menu, but there is always a great selection of offerings, usually with a lot of seafood.

The crab cakes featured in the picture above are certainly one of my favorite go-to dishes at Louisa’s.  Anna Marie usually favors the pan-fried flounder.  We can never resist one of their wonderfully fresh and interesting salads, and desserts are always tempting too.

One of the things I love about Louisa’s is how I feel when I leave.  Louisa’s is “light” fare.  Everything is fairly simply prepared, but perfectly so.  I’m never stuffed when I leave, and I’m usually already planning our return visit.

If you haven’t tried Louisa’s before, I highly recommend it.  I’m pretty sure you’ll love it.  Be sure to make reservations in advance, however, as it is a small restaurant with limited seating, and it has quite a following.
Great Reasons to Visit The Queen Victoria®

Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events
Craft Beer & Crab Festival
Aug 6

Cape May Food & Wine Celebration
Sep 9 - 18

Harvest Brew Fest
Sep 17

Designer Show House Tour
Sep 24

Lessons of History Lecture & Reception
Sun, Oct 9

44th Annual Victorian Weekend
Oct 7-10

NJ Wine Growers Fall Festival
Oct 8,9

Halloween Happenings
Oct 14-31

Cape May Restaurant Weekend
Nov 3-6

Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend
Nov 4-6

Exit 0 Jazz Festival
Nov 11-13


Christmas in Cape May
Nov 18 - Jan 1

Dickens Extravaganza Festival
Dec 4-6
2016 Summer Concert Series

New Christy Minstrels Mon, Aug 8

The Fifth Dimension Mon, Aug 15

Hugh Panaro/Cape May Pops
Mon, Aug 22

Philadelphia Boys Choir Sat, Aug 27

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!

Sincerely,
Doug & Anna Marie McMain, Owners/Innkeepers
The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast