Newsletter | February 2016
I may be "jinxing" myself, but I’m pleased to report to you that overall we’ve been experiencing a much milder winter than we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years. What does that mean to you? It means more opportunities for you to visit your special getaway destination, of course.
Sure, we’ve had a few small snow falls, but we’ve also enjoyed many days with temperatures well into the 60’s. Every where I look I see bulbs popping up out of the ground! This picture was taken the day after our last snow storm. You can see just a hint of snow on the roof above the Prince of Wales room on the left. You can also see that the following day was beautiful and sunny; a wonderful winter day!
While winter is certainly the quietest season in Cape May, it is probably also the most relaxing. It is also a perfect time to explore and do things that you just can’t drag yourself off the beach for in the warmer months.
Winter and spring are also when many of our best festivals and big events in town are, as well as all of the special Queen Victoria sponsored events. Add to that the great discount packages that we offer our guests in winter, and you’ve got a recipe for a great vacation.
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.
Westminster has been in my thoughts a lot lately, as we’re about to embark upon a bathroom renovation in the room. We’re still in the planning stages, but I can assure you it will be beautifully done. The new bathroom will have a stunning, large, 2-head/2-person step in shower. Lots of fun!
Beyond the new bathroom, Westminster will continue to be the lovely room it always has been. It is certainly one of my favorites in the inn, and I recommend it frequently.
Westminster is a second floor room in the Prince Albert building, located just at the top of the stairs. It is a large room with a queen sized four poster canopy bed, two seating areas which feature both Victorian seating and a comfy, plush love seat (the love seat is newer than this photo). Westminster is also a bright, cheery room with lots of windows that face West for a great sunset glow as the evening arrives.
I think of Westminster as a room that many of our guests eventually select as their favorite, which is not surprising. I’m guessing you’ll like it a lot if you try it for your next visit to The Queen Victoria. You might have to plan ahead a little bit, however, because Westminster is pretty popular.
Celebrate at The Queen Victoria!
We’re all about romance here at The Queen Victoria, so we always love it when Valentines Day rolls around. This year Valentines coincides with the President’s Day holiday weekend, so it gives you a nice long weekend to plan something special for your lover. What better place to celebrate the romance in your life than The Queen Victoria?
There is a lot going on in Cape May that weekend to make it even more exciting, including:
- Crafts & Collectibles Show
- 2016 Re-opening of the Cape May Lighthouse
- Wine & Chocolate Trail Weekend (Hawk Haven & Natalie Vineyards)
- 5 Course Vintners Wine Pairing Dinner at Willow Creek Winery
- Live music at Cape May Winery
If you haven’t made plans yet, then you’re probably thinking "I wish I had thought of booking a weekend at The Queen Victoria for Valentines Day!" (you are thinking that, right?).
Believe it or not, it’s NOT TOO LATE to plan a romantic Valentines Day getaway to The Queen Victoria. We still have some rooms available!
Can’t get away this weekend? Don’t forget that the promise of a trip to The Queen Victoria, with either an actual reservation or a gift certificate, makes a great Valentines gift too!
Obviously, it is coming up quickly, and we don’t have many rooms left, so don’t wait. Call us today at (609) 884-8702, or click here to reserve your room now.
Discount Packages at The Queen Victoria
The Savings Season
While we have seasonal discounts in all non-summer months, starting in November, we roll out our super discount programs. We have two different ones that are very popular with our guests.
222 Discount Package
From November 1 through April 30, excluding holidays, the week between Christmas & New Years, and President’s Day weekend, we offer two nights in a standard room for $222 (plus tax), for reservations Sunday through Thursday evenings. The "222 Discount" can be expanded to a 333, 444 or even 555 for 3,4 or 5 night reservations. Upgrades to larger rooms are also possible, simply increasing the cost of the room by the incremental difference between the class of room chosen and a standard room. If you’re able to travel mid-week, this is a fantastic deal!
Starting January 1 and running through March 31, the Winter Escape package features ANY two nights (including weekends) in a large standard room and a complimentary cheese tray and a complimentary wine tasting for $325 (plus tax). This is a great opportunity for those of you who are limited to weekend travel, and are looking to enjoy discount savings on Winter weekends. Like the "222", upgrades are possible for premium rooms and luxury suites for the incremental difference between the class of room chosen and a large standard room.
These discount packages cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions. Third Party gift certificates (like bedandbreakfast.com) cannot be used for payment.
There is no bad time to visit The Queen Victoria, and when you consider these great discounts, the cooler months of the year become very attractive. I hope you’ll be saving lots of money on your next reservation at The Queen Victoria.
2016 Birthday Weekends
Every month during the Winter and early Spring we host a birthday celebration weekend at The Queen Victoria. If you or your loved one are looking for a fun way to celebrate your birthday, and an excuse to escape from the house and chores for the weekend, this is your ticket!
It is always a fun afternoon, celebrated during Afternoon Tea. We bake a big birthday cake, we have gifts, we sing Happy Birthday to anyone that it applies to, and a good time is had by all. We won’t be checking IDs, so you’re welcome to participate and join in the fun even if you aren’t celebrating a birthday in that month.
Wine Lover’s Weekend
We are once again partnering with Cape May Winery to create a special event/package for true wine lovers. On February 27, 2016 The Queen Victoria® is hosting its annual "Wine Blending Challenge". On Saturday afternoon, our participating guests will join us at Cape May Winery to craft the perfect blend of red wine.
We’ll break up into teams of 4-6 people at a table laden with bottles of the various red wines right out of the barrel and trays of cheese and snacks. Each team will craft & document different blends, ranking them among themselves. Once each team has selected its “finest blend”, we’ll all break for a tour of the winery while the winemaker creates the blends we’ve chosen. Following the tour, we head back to the blending room and do a "blind" tasting of the chosen blend of each team. We’ll all vote on the best blend, which will then be bottled for us with a special "Queen Victoria Cellars" label.
Each participant will get a bottle of the final blend (2 per couple), the labels of which will be customized with your names and the blending details.
This exclusive event is only open to guests of our bed and breakfast and will only occur once this year. Anna Marie and I LOVE this event. I know you will too.
Big Cheese Weekend
Our annual Cheese Tasting party is a wonderful event and we’re really looking forward to it again.
Anna Marie and I will be filling The Queen Victoria® dining room table with a wide assortment of cheeses from all over the world. There will be about 16 cheeses for us to taste and each one will have a write up about its origin, how it is made and any other fun tidbits of information. We’ll also have breads from one of our local bakeries along with an assortment of specialty olive oils and other tasty goodies.
This event is held during Afternoon Tea time on Saturday at 4:00. Now I know that for some people it is impossible to eat cheese without having a glass of wine in your hand, so we’re welcoming everyone to bring their own wine and make an afternoon of it. The wine tends to become communal so bring something you feel comfortable sharing.
The really good news is that this is a free event for all of our guests staying with us that weekend.
Singer Songwriter Cape May
Each March Singer Songwriter Cape May returns to Cape May, bringing with it an amazing lineup of musical talent. This March they’ll be featuring over 150 musical performances in 17 different venues all over Cape May. The event showcases Singer/Songwriters of all genres. The best part is that you can attend most of the performances for FREE!
Last year one of the event’s perennially most popular performers, and a good friend of ours, Avi Wisnia (pictured here), performed an exclusive concert for the guests of The Queen Victoria. It was a great performance and a good time was had by all. We put out a nice buffet of hors d’oevres, many guests brought bottles of wine, and everybody enjoyed themselves immensely. Avi has graciously offered to perform for us again this year, so we’re doing it all again! On Saturday March 19 we’ll turn our regular afternoon tea into a concert reception. I know it is going to be even better than last year. I hope I’ll get to see you there (here). Once again, this concert is free for all guests staying at The Queen Victoria that weekend.
Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Weekend
Yes, it is that time of year again. Each March (and November) Sherlock Holmes returns to Cape May to solve whatever mystery beguiles the city. This time the mystery is set in the famous (and mythical) Horatio Theatre, where Dr. Watson has long regaled the audience with tales of the famous Sherlock Holmes. Now that same audience (you in this case) will be called upon to assist in the solution of this latest Holmes Mystery. The Game Is Afoot!
Anna Marie and I love the Holmes Mystery Weekend. It is a weekend filled with stage performances, a house tour to collect clues while mingling with the characters from the stage performance, and a grande finale brunch. Guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite Sherlock Holmes character, with a judging and prize for the "Best Dressed" participant. Everyone always has a great time, even if they don’t manage to solve the mystery.
By now, despite the fact that we’ve had a very mild Winter so far, I’m already aching for Spring. I’m guessing you are too. It isn’t so much the colder temperatures of Winter that are so oppressive for me, but rather the shorter days and the darker, more dreary landscape. All that changes with the coming of Spring and what better place to celebrate than Cape May? You like daffodils? We’ve got daffodils! You like tulips? We’ve got tulips! Of course we always have tree lined streets filled with beautiful homes and some amazing gardens.
This year Cape May is once again celebrating Spring with a festival that is full of fun and entertaining activities and events that are sure to please you. In fact, I can’t believe just how many events are planned for the week! Check them out ...
- Cape May After Dark Trolley Tour
- Cape May Cocktail Week
- Cape Mayhem Trolley Tour
- Cape May Time Capsule Interactive Trolley Tour
- Cape May Wine Trail
- Carroll Gallery Exhibit: "Tommy’s Folly: The 200th Anniversary of Congress Hall Hotel"
- The Doctor Is In
- Dr. Physick’s Neighborhood Walking Tour & Cafe Combo
- Chocolate Lover’s Feast
- Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour
- Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tour
- Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery Tour
- Historic Haunts Combo Tour
- Historic Haunts House Tour
- Jazz Brunch at the Estate for Mother’s Day
- Mother’s Day Brunch & Fashion Show
- Murder Mystery Dinners
- Private Homes Tour
- Self-Guided Wine Trail
- Self-Guided Wine & Brewery Trail
- Show Us Your Undies Fashion Show & Brunch
- Spring Festival Crafts & Collectibles Show
- Winery Cellar Tour & Tasting
This really is going to be a couple of great weekends. Start planning yours soon!
Exit Zero Spring Jazz Festival
As you can see from this poster, the folks over at Exit Zero Jazz continue to bring in bigger and bigger acts with each and every festival. Pat Metheny has long been a giant in the jazz scene and he’s bringing it to Cape May this April. The full schedule is not yet published, but it is definitely time to start planning your trip to Cape May to experience the Exit Zero phenomenon.
Cape May Music Festival
Since 1990 Cape May has been hosting an annual Music Festival in the late Spring. This year’s 27th annual event promises to be just as entertaining and wonderful as we’ve come to expect.
The Cape May music festival is a little different than most, as instead of packing all of the music into a single weekend, the programming is scheduled at a much more leisurely, measured pace, with several concerts a week for several weeks.
This year’s festival is being kicked off on Sunday, May 29 with a FREE concert in Cape May’s Convention Hall featuring the award-winning, national champion, Atlantic Brass Band (pictured above) performing a rousing program of American music. What a perfect way to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend!
Here are the other programs scheduled:
- May 29 Atlantic Brass Band (Free!)
- May 31 New York Chamber Ensemble
- June 2 Deirdre Reilly, Traditional Irish Music (Free!)
- June 5 Champagne Jazz Brunch
- June 7 New York Chamber Ensemble
- June 9 Bay Atlantic Symphony
- June 12 5th Annual George Mesterhazy Tribute Concert
- June 14 New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players
- June 16 New York Chamber Ensemble
You might have noticed that most of these concerts fall on Sundays, Tuesdays & Thursdays. That means that you’ll get to take advantage of our great mid-week discounts when you reserve a room at The Queen Victoria. As always, we’ll be happy to present you with tickets for free admission to any concert you might like to attend.
Cape May Hops Festival
The folks at MAC (the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities ... you can see why they need an acronym) are always trying to come up with exciting new events in Cape May. This June they are launching the first of what is sure to become a staple of Spring Cape May entertainment.
If you loved the Craft Beer & Crab Festival in August, then you should be really excited about the first annual Cape May Hops Festival. That’s right! This is your chance to get in on the ground floor of an exciting new tradition. Think about it ... not only can you attend and have a great time, sample some great beer and food, and enjoy some great live entertainment, but you’ll also be able to purchase the first of many annual event t-shirts, making you one of the few people on the planet with a complete set (a few years down the road, anyway). To do that, however, you need to make plans to attend this first one. The important first step in that direction, of course, is to reserve a room at The Queen Victoria for the weekend of June 24th.
This really is assured to be a tremendous event that will certainly become something you’ll want to attend every year. I love traditions!
Lessons of History Lecture & Reception
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. Of course, history doesn’t have to be ancient to be interesting, and perhaps more importantly, relevant to our lives today.
This year’s lecture, "Our Nations 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.
Convenient New Charging Stations
This is a bit of a departure for me, as I typically feature a single new object that we’ve recently introduced to The Queen Victoria. This month I’m featuring 33 new items.
The other day Anna Marie and I saw these really cool electronic device charging stations and just couldn’t pass them up. We bought one for all but two rooms, which already have a special charging dock built into the room.
We installed them today and we’ve already gotten great feedback from our guests. Not only is it convenient for charging your phone, tablet, etc., but you don’t have to unplug your bedside lamp or refrigerator to do so. Maybe I’m just a geek, but I especially like that the USB port glows red instead of green when a device is actively charging. Once complete it is green again.
I hope that these incredibly convenient additions to our guest rooms excite you as much as they do us. Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference in your day!
Even a dark, scary looking bank of clouds can’t spoil a great day in Cape May. This dramatic photo was taken by our friends and guests the Rothschilds during one of their visits to The Queen Victoria. It was taken from the back deck of the Cape May Convention Center, looking towards Delaware.
Though this photo was taken in November, it reminds me of what our beach looks like in the late winter (as in the next few weeks). What a perfect setting for a long walk on the beach!
Queen Victoria Cookbook
The Queen Victoria cookbook is certainly our
most popular gift shop item. I’m not sure if more of them are purchased for personal use, or for gifts for friends and relatives, perhaps as a thank-you for baby, pet, or house sitting during a visit to The Queen Victoria.
If you enjoy the food we serve at The Queen Victoria, then you’ll love our cookbook. Every single thing that we prepare can be found in it! In addition, each page is adorned with photos of The Queen Victoria. It is almost too pretty to leave in the kitchen.
A purchase from our gift shop is always a great way to take a piece of The Queen Victoria home with you. Our cookbook is perhaps the best way to do that.
Fun Things to do in Cape May
The Cape May Lighthouse is undoubtedly the most popular attraction in Cape May (besides the beach, of course). It is located in the Cape May Point State Park, which is a 2 mile walk along the beach, or a 3 mile drive from The Queen Victoria by car.
Anna Marie and I love the lighthouse. Though I’m not sure which of us enjoys the 199 step trek to the top, we both love the walking trails which wind their way through the wetlands. Wandering along the Red, Yellow or Blue trail (or all three) is a great way to spend a serene afternoon communing with nature.
The lighthouse is reopening for the season on Feb 13, so if you’re planning a visit to The Queen Victoria to celebrate Valentines Day, then you have an opportunity to be among the first visitors of the year. It will be open Saturday through Monday, Feb 13 - 15, but will only be open on Saturdays after that for the next month or two.
Restaurant Pick of the Month
I’m pretty sure you know that Cape May has a ridiculous number of wonderful, fine dining restaurants. One of the greatest challenges for many of you during your visits to The Queen Victoria is to choose which one to dine at. What a problem!
Not all of our great restaurants are fine dining establishments, however! In fact, one of the best little gems in Cape May, and certainly a local’s favorite, is the Depot Market Cafe, which honestly feels like a charming, quaint sandwich shop (complete with beverage cooler along the wall and step-up counter where you place your order).
The Depot Market just re-opened for the year this week, which inspired me to feature them as our pick of the month. Though it has long been a favorite of ours, we’ve been enjoying it even more since new owners, John & Josephine, took it over last year. Though they are new to the Depot Market, the new owners are not new to the Cape May restaurant scene. You might remember them from their days operating Martini Beach, which so many of you loved and now miss.
Now the Depot Market is not Martini Beach. It is truly a little, cozy cafe which serves great lunches featuring fresh soups, salads, and an amazing assortment of entrees offered up every day. The Depot Market doesn’t serve dinner, but is open 10:00 to 2:00 for a great lunch. They are a wonderful take-out option for those clever guests thinking of a visit to one of our local BYOF (bring your own food) wineries or the Cape May Brewing Company.
They are currently open week-days only, as they are doing renovations, but that will be short lived, and they’ll soon be open daily. In the summer the Depot Market stays open until 7:00, which serves well for an early dinner. They welcome you to bring your own wine or beer, if you are so inclined.
We really love the Depot Market, and I’m sure you will too.
Great Reasons to Visit The Queen Victoria
Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events
Presidents Day Weekend/Valentines Day
Crafts & Collectibles in the Winter
The Queen Victoria, February 20
Queen Victoria Wine Blending Weekend
The Quietmen Free Concert
Convention Hall, March 5
Queen Victoria "Big Cheesy"
Cheese tasting party, March 12
Singer Song Writer Cape May
Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend
Avi Wisnia Concert
The Queen Victoria, March 19
11 Annual PAL Comedy Night Social
Convention Hall, March 18
The Queen Victoria, March 26
The Queen Victoria, April 30
Exit Zero Spring Jazz Festival
Cape May Music Festival
May 29 - June 16
Cape May Restaurant Week
June 5 - June 12
Cape May Hops Festival
2016 Summer Concert Series
Tanya Tucker Sat, May 28
Rita Coolidge Mon, June 27
Rhonda Vincent & the Rage
Mon, July 11
Chubby Checker Mon, July 18
The Hit Men Mon, July 25
The Spinners Mon, Aug 1
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
Lessons of History Lecture & Reception Sun, Oct 9
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