Newsletter | January 2016
Now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are behind us, it is time to look ahead to a wonderful 2016 at The Queen Victoria.
It is going to be a great year for lots of reasons. First of all, and I may be jinxing myself here, this winter looks to be milder than the last couple, which makes all of our great discount packages that run through April even more appealing.
As usual, we’re in "improvement" mode during the winter months, which means that we’ll have lots of exciting new things to share with you on your next visit to The Queen Victoria.
We’re also entering into the Spring event season, with lots of great reasons to come visit Cape May on the horizon.
I’ll just come out and say it. EVERY year is a great year at The Queen Victoria! Cape May is always a wonderful destination, any time of the year. The Queen Victoria will continue to be your comfortable, relaxing, and fun home away from home in Cape May in 2016 that it has always been. I know you’re looking forward to your next visit!
If you haven’t already planned your next trip to The Queen Victoria, then it is probably time to start. I’ll be sharing lots of information in this newsletter that should help you determine when the perfect time to visit is. And remember ... the earlier you book it, the better your choice of rooms will be.
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.
Without a doubt, the Empress, from the day we opened it in September of 2012, has been our most popular room. It is not hard to figure out why.
The Empress has it all. This first floor room in the House of Royals building really has it all, including a king size bed (and what a bed it is!), lots of drama, with 13 foot ceilings, and elegant, yet bold decor. It has beautiful furniture, including a striking antique armoire and a custom crafted gas-log fireplace. In the bathroom, which feels a lot like a spa since the commode is in a separate water closet, you’ll find both a 2-person air jet tub and a 2-person/2-head step in shower. The beautiful marble medallion set into the bathroom floor, along with the beautiful lighting, and custom decorative tile work combine to create a very special experience.
The Empress also comes with its own parking space, which is ever popular in the summer.
If you’re hoping to give the Empress a try, then I suggest you plan your visit to The Queen Victoria well in advance! It books up very early.
Special Booking Opportunities
As most of you probably know, we have 2 and even 3 night minimum stay requirements for most weekends throughout the year. While I personally can’t imagine wanting to visit Cape May for less than 3 or 4 days, I know that some of you just can’t manage to get away for that long.
If you are one of those people, then you’re going to love this.
I just scanned ahead a bit and found several 1 and 2 night openings that are coming up in the next several months that I’m pleased to share with you here. Here they are:
- 4/23/16 Benjamin Disraeli room, 1 night Saturday
- 4/29/16 Queen Victoria room, 1 night Friday (pictured above)
- 6/17/16 Princess Beatrice room, 2 nights Friday & Saturday
- 7/1/16 Prince Albert room, 1 night Friday
- 7/2/16 Queen Victoria room, 1 night Saturday (Pictured above)
- 8/20/16 Regent’s Park suite, 1 night Saturday
- 9/10/16 Queen Victoria room, 1 night Saturday (Pictured above)
- 9/10/16 Prince Albert room, 2 nights Saturday & Sunday
- 9/10/16 Balmoral suite, 2 nights Saturday & Sunday (this room is currently under a complete transformation and it will be VERY special!)
These are some great opportunities for you to avoid our minimum stay requirements and enjoy a short (and hopefully very sweet) visit to The Queen Victoria. Don’t wait to call, as these will disappear quickly!
You can book these online or call us at (609) 884-8702 and put your name on one (or more) of them.
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!
The New Vanity for the Osborne Suite
Sometimes I just can’t wait to share the newest thing at The Queen Victoria with you. This is one of those times. The truth is, I’m out of new things that are already completed and installed.
We are currently hard at work completely upgrading the Osborne suite’s bathing area. The work includes a new 2-person air jet tub with an integrated 2-person/2-head shower and this lovely, custom made vanity made from solid Mahogany (yes that is our workshop in the background). It is actually nearly complete, and is just awaiting the installation of the doors and hinges you see sitting inside of it and the application of the finish. It will be topped by a gorgeous granite counter and back splashes, which are going to look simply amazing. I know you’ll love it!
I’m sure I’ll be featuring both Osborne and the other room we’re completely remodeling, Balmoral, as "Room of the Month" features in the coming months, so this is really just a sneak preview of some really exiting, BIG new stuff that is in the works at The Queen Victoria.
Sunny Spring Morning on the Prince Albert Porch
If this picture doesn’t brighten your day, I can’t imagine what could. Seriously, this is just about as uplifting and cheery a scene as I can imagine. Every time I see it I get a smile on my face.
This was taken on a beautiful early June morning a few years ago. I’m pretty sure we’re going to experience many mornings just like this in the coming months, so you’ll have an opportunity to experience the same view in person. You don’t even have to get out of bed early for the sunrise, as it takes a while for the sun to rise this high.
Tea Pot & Cozy
I know that a lot of you are tea drinkers. I know this because I serve tea to so many of you every day in a lovely tea pot and cozy similar to this one. One of the fun parts of that effort is to select a different cozy for each guest each day, so they get to enjoy a variety of them during their visit. Thankfully, the company that makes our cozies for us is constantly changing their fabrics and coming up with new and interesting patterns.
Now I’m guessing that once you return home, you might not have the pleasure of using one of these for your own tea service. I’m pleased to inform you that you CAN enjoy the same great pleasure (and hot tea!) at home, because we sell these wonderful pots with cozies in our gift shop. We have several different designs, all crafted to perfectly fit this traditional and very high quality tea pot. Be sure to take one home with you for yourself or one of your tea loving friends during your next trip to The Queen Victoria!
Price: $29.95 (includes both tea pot & cozy)
Fun Things to do in Cape May
Visit the Marketplace at Teaberrys
During the months that the beach is not the main attraction in Cape May, it is sometimes fun to venture out and explore the entire Cape May region. One of the standbys for Anna Marie and me has always been a trip to "Teaberrys". I can’t tell you how many times we’ve spent a chilly afternoon in the winter exploring the depths of the enormous building which is filled with 60 vendors offering an almost endless variety of wares. Interestingly, Anna Marie and I had a booth there for about year to sell furniture and gift shop items as we transitioned some of the decor in The Queen Victoria to our current look. In fact, they still stock some of our puzzles and cookbooks for sale because they are so popular (but you should buy them directly from us ... it is cheaper that way!).
The marketplace @ Teaberry is just up the road, about a 20 minute drive from The Queen Victoria. It is a pleasant ride, with lots of other shopping and sight seeing opportunities either on the way there or back. There is even an Avalon Coffee & Bagel coffee shop and cafe located on the premises, so you can plan a lunch into your visit.
Restaurant Pick of the Month
I’m willing to bet that you’ve eaten at The Lobster House before. If not, I’m sure it has been recommended to you by friends who visit Cape May. I say that because it is by far the most frequented restaurant in Cape May. The Lobster House is more than a restaurant. It is an institution. It is a tradition. It is one of the busiest restaurants in the entire United States. No Kidding!
The amazing thing is that they manage to maintain great standards despite all of that, consistently serving great, super fresh seafood, which is presented by a courteous, friendly staff day after day, 363 days a year (they are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas). Perhaps I should point out at this juncture that the Lobster House is also the home base for one of the largest fleets of fishing boats on the East Coast of the United States. Did I mention how fresh the seafood is?
So why don’t we send our guests to the Lobster House all year long? Honestly, Anna Marie and I enjoy the Lobster House a LOT more in the Winter & Spring than we do in the summer, for a couple of reasons. The first one is the wait. They don’t take reservations at the Lobster House, so the wait in the summer is usually well over an hour. Further, the Lobster House is 1.7 miles from The Queen Victoria, so it is not really within walking distance for most of our guests. In the cooler months, it doesn’t seem as crazy to get into your car and drive to dinner.
Great Reasons to Visit The Queen Victoria
Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events
January Birthdays Party
The Queen Victoria, January 30
Presidents Day Weekend/Valentines Day
Crafts & Collectibles in the Winter
The Queen Victoria, February 20
Queen Victoria Wine Blending Weekend
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
March Birthdays Party
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 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
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