News from The Queen Victoria

Endless Summer
Custom Roasted, Fresh Ground Coffee at The Queen Victoria
Coffee Grinders

Lots of you ask me what’s new? when you arrive for a return visit so I’m really pleased to share something new and exciting with you now.
              In about a week our first delivery of The Queen Victoria "Bed and Breakfast Blend" coffee will be delivered in 5 pound bags of beans.  I spent a couple of weeks working with Cape May Roasters to craft the perfect blend of beans from all over South America.  I must admit it was fun, and I was totally energized the entire time.

This photo shows our new grinders, which will grind the coffee just seconds before we put it in the brewer to make a perfectly fresh, steaming hot, wonderfully rich pot of coffee.  Can’t you just taste it already?
              Our new blend is a little bit more flavorful than the Green Mountain coffee we have been serving, but just as smooth.  We had several guests do blind tastings of both, and they unanimously selected The Queen Victoria blend.  I think you’re going to love it!

2nd Annual Craft Beer & Crab Fest (August 10th)
Craft Fest

Are you having a hard time deciding which dates to visit The Queen Victoria this Summer?  I suggest that you’ll want to be here on August 10th.
              After the phenomenal success and popularity of last year’s Craft Beer & Crab Fest, plans were immediately put in place to hold another one in 2013.  I’m pleased to announce that it is now official.  Despite a mostly rainy day and a few "growing pains" problems with keeping the beer flowing and crab boiling, the 2012 event was hugely popular.  For 2013 things are on track for an even better event.

              What will you find when you get there?  At the risk of stating the obvious, there will be Craft Beers and lots of Crab.  My first stop would be a visit to the Craft Beer Tent to enjoy the offerings by:

  • Northstar
  • Tuckahoe Brewing Company
  • Victory Brewing Company
  • Harrison Beverage

              After you’ve sated your thirst, head over to the food tent for some great food, including:

  • Fresh Boiled Crab
  • Pulled Pork
  • Hot Dogs
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Summer Salads (and more)

              Did I mention the entertainment?  There will be music on the outdoor stage all day long.  Between visits to the beer and food tents, check out the old-fashioned Victorian circus with jugglers and acrobats from the The Give & Take Jugglers Little Circus.  You’ll also want to explore the craft vendors, and farmers’ market.


              This is going to be a great event that you definitely don’t want to miss.  It is definitely worth taking a couple of hours out of your beach day to enjoy it.

Shopping in Cape May ... The Queen Victoria Coffee
Retail Coffee

How cool is this?  Not only do I get to announce our wonderful new coffee to you, I also get to feature that selfsame coffee as our "Shopping Tip of the Month".
              Once you’ve tasted our wonderful new blend, I know that you’re going to want to take some home with you.  We will be selling our new coffee in our gift shop starting around the 4th of July this year ... just in time for your upcoming visit to The Queen Victoria.

We’re selling our coffee in very attractive vacuum sealed foil bags.  Both our regular and our decaf will be available for sale, in either whole bean or fresh ground form (we’ll grind it for you when you buy it).

Available in our gift shop for only $11.95 (reg or decaf)

Summer Concert Series
Christopher Cross

Once again this Summer, Cape May is hosting a Monday "Classic Artist" concert series that I’m pretty excited about.  While it is somewhat disturbing to me that the music I enjoyed as a teenager is now considered Solid Gold, I’m gratified that my taste in music is enduring.

This year’s lineup looks like a pretty good one.  Do you remember Christopher Cross?  How about John Ford Coley (as in England Dan & John Ford Coley)?  I honestly don’t know all of these musicians, as some of them are a bit before my time.  Here is the full schedule:

  • John Ford Coley July 8
  • Chad & Jeremy July 15
  • Helen Reddy July 22
  • Ronnie Spector July 29
  • Christopher Cross August 5
  • Herman’s Hermits August 12

              All of these concerts will be held in our beautiful new Convention Hall facility located directly on the beach.  Depending on the stage setup, you may be able to watch the waves roll into the beach while enjoying a nice evening of music.  It sounds like a lot of fun to me!

Now Featuring ... Harney’s Tea
Harney's Gift Tins

We’re thrilled to announce that The Queen Victoria will soon be featuring Harney’s Teas.
              We’ve served Harney’s for years during our Afternoon Tea, to the delight of our guests.  Until now, however, we’ve always served Twinings at breakfast and in our pantries.  Many of you (I’m talking serious tea drinkers, now) have questioned me about that over the years, wondering why we didn’t serve Harney’s exclusively.  To be honest, I never had a good answer for that.

Just about anybody that is serious about their tea will probably agree that Harney’s is a much higher quality tea, with some truly wonderful flavors.  We’re excited to be upgrading our tea offering by making this switch.
              Another exciting facet of this change is that we will now be featuring virtually every tea we serve for sale in our gift shop.  Now if you truly love the tea you had at breakfast, you can purchase a tin of it and take some of it home with you, giving you a chance to re-live the memories of your visit over a soothing cup of tea in your own home.

Each Tin of sachets is $8

Announcing our NEW Garden Seating
PAH Garden Tables

So pretty much everybody wants to eat outside in the summer.  I can’t say I blame them, I would too.  The same thing goes for afternoon tea, we all want to be outside and enjoy the beautiful breezes blowing in off the ocean.
              In years past we’ve had a pretty significant shortage of outdoor dining space for both breakfast and tea.  Anna Marie and I decided to change that this year and double the amount of outdoor seating at Prince Albert Hall.

As you can see from the picture, we’ve added some garden spaces as well, and relayed our brick walkway so it is all pretty and neat.  We’re thrilled with the way it is working out and so are our guests.  This was such a great use for a space that has long been a pretty marginal lawn.
              In the morning we set up a coffee, tea and juice station down on the walkway to make it very convenient for the lucky folks sitting in our beautiful new garden.

Lessons From Lincoln (Oct. 13)
Holzer Lincoln Lecture

Anna Marie and I are very excited about the 2nd Annual "Lessons of History" Lecture returning to Cape May this October 13th.  This year MAC (Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities) is bringing the preeminent Lincoln Scholar and speaker in the country to Cape May to present a lecture entitled "Lessons from Lincoln:The Poetry and Prose of Freedom".
              Harold Holzer is the author of 43 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era, and the historical advisor for Steven Spielberg in the making of his recent film "Lincoln".  He will be examining how Lincoln balanced the prose and poetry of his Gettysburg Address and Emancipation Proclamation, as he recounts the year that Lincoln so deftly balanced the political, military, and historic to preserve government of, by, and for the people.

This is sure to be a fascinating and entertaining lecture.  It is being held at the Presbyterian church, right next door to The Queen Victoria.  Immediately following the lecture we will be hosting an optional Meet the Speaker reception at The Queen Victoria.
              Tickets are $25 before Sep. 2 and $30 after Sep. 2.  The additional charge to attend the reception is $20.

Upcoming Cape May Events


  • Cape May Designer Show House Jun 28 through Oct 31
  • John Ford Coley Concert Jul 8
  • Chad & Jeremy Concert Jul 15
  • Helen Reddy Concert Jul 22
  • Cape May Comedy Fest Jul 26-27
  • Ronnie Spector Concert Jul 29
  • Christopher Cross Concert Aug 5
  • 2nd Annual Craft Beer & Crab Fest Aug 10
  • Herman’s Hermits Concert Aug 12
  • Food & Wine Festival Sep 14-22
  • Victorian Weekend Oct 11-14
  • Lessons from Lincoln Lecture Oct 13
  • Halloween Happenings Oct 15-31
  • Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Weekend Nov 1-3
  • Exit Zero Jazz Festival Nov 8-9
  • Channeling with Craig McManus Nov 16
  • Christmas in Cape May Nov 22 - Jan 1
  • Dickens Extravaganza Dec 8-10


    So it is official.  Summer has arrived.  Amazingly, it got warm almost exactly on the first day of summer.
              While every season has its charms in Cape May, Summer is without a doubt the most popular season.  This year is no exception, with lots of folks in town to enjoy the beach and all the other wonderful things Cape May has to offer.
              While we have lots of reservations already booked for the season, it is not too late to plan your summer visit to The Queen Victoria.  Give us a call and we’ll be pleased to put your name on a room for a few days.

    Beach Chairs

    Don’t you wish these were YOUR beach chairs?

    Featured "Room of the Month" ... Knightsbridge
    KN New bed

    This seems to be the issue of "New Things", so I thought I’d share this photo of the New Bed in the Knightsbridge room.  I’m afraid that my photographic skills and equipment are not quite up to the task of photographing a room well (it is truly a job for professionals), but I wanted you to see this beautiful addition to the inn.
                    The other day Anna Marie and I were in an Estate Sale store and we stumbled across a beautiful king size carved mahogany canopy bed which we thought would look wonderful in the Knightsbridge room.  Of course, we weren’t driving a vehicle which would allow us to take it with us (that is ALWAYS the way with antiques.  If you’re looking for something and are prepared to buy it, you’ll never find it.  You’ll only find things you want when you really aren’t looking for them, but then you have no way of transporting them).

    We finally picked it up a few days later, but then we couldn’t install it until the guests in the room checked out.  We spent most of the afternoon today installing it.  I have to say, it is stunning.  It looks WAY more impressive than the photograph I’ve posted here.
                    We still have a few nice openings in Knightsbridge for the summer, so give us a call if you want to see the new Knightsbridge for yourself.

    Designer Show House Opens This Weekend!
    Show House June 2013

    After the usual (almost expected) delays getting the proper inspections from the city, the 2013 Designer Show House will be opening this weekend!  I know that many of you really missed the Show House in 2012, so this is definitely welcome news.  I’ve always enjoyed the Show Houses, so I’m excited to have one returning for 2013.
                    I’m really excited about this year’s show house.  Like the 2011 Designer Show House, this year’s entry is a brand new home.  That is about the extent of the similarities, however.  Where the 2011 home was basically a high-end town house located near the marina, this year’s show house is located in the heart of town, directly across from the Emlen Physick estate.  This year’s house is a "retro Victorian" Italianate style home that is reminiscent of the Southern Mansion.  As you can see from this photo, construction is nearly complete, with the carpenters apparently applying the finishing touches.  You can’t see it in this photo, but there are signs in the front door windows that say "Use other door, just finished".  I believe that means the designers are already working their magic and transforming this new house into a beautiful modern Victorian style home.

    The house, which has been named the Cavalier Cottage, will be open for tours and your pleasure between June 21st and October 31.  There will be lots of package offerings with restaurants, as usual.  The Tour & Lunch (or Tea) specials at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom located right across the street will be particularly compelling this year.

    Emlen Physick Estate
    Physick Estate Spring

    There are so many wonderful things to do in Cape May, as you probably know.  One of my favorites is a tour of the Physick Estate.  I’ve been through the tour at least a dozen times, but I have to say that I truly enjoy it every time.  In fact, each time I see something I never noticed before.

    Dr. Emlen Physic built this mansion in 1879 at the age of 21, right after he graduated from medical school (medical school was a little less rigorous back then, obviously).  It was the largest home ever built in Cape May and stands proudly today as one of the most beautifully restored homes in Cape May.
                    One of the things that I find so fascinating about the Physick Estate is that it has never been renovated.  It has been restored, but it is basically unchanged from the way it looked in the 1880s.  Same kitchen, same bathrooms, same everything.  You can really see how they lived back then ... pretty well!
                    We usually recommend touring the house as part of the "Combination Trolley Tour", which includes both a guided tour of the Physick Estate and Trolley tour through the Historic District of Cape May.  It is well worth the price of admission.

    Favorite Photos ...  Magnolia Blooms

    I’m guessing most of you have seen our Southern Magnolia trees that separate Prince Albert Hall from the Library parking lot.  They are big, beautiful (and messy!) trees, which have been blooming for the last couple of weeks.

    I know that some magnolias trees bloom completely in a short period of time, but ours seem to have adapted to "Cape May" time and bloom for a month or more, usually starting at the top and working their way down.
                    This beautiful picture was one of several that were submitted by a guest a couple of years ago.

    Cape May Stage - Lend Me a Tenor (thru July 26)
    Lend Me A Tenor

    Anna Marie and I love theater.  We also love comedies.  It should come as no surprise, then, that we’re sponsoring what I believe will be Cape May Stage’s funniest production of the year: "Lend Me A Tenor".
                    Believe it or not, Anna Marie and I haven’t been to see the show yet, but we’re really looking forward to it.  We’ve had several guests who have seen it who were still laughing about it at breakfast the next morning.

    Lend Me A Tenor has garnered 3 Tony awards and 4 Drama Desk awards (I have no idea what they are, but doesn’t it sound impressive?).  Here is the description that Cape May Stage has posted on their website:
                    When a fiery-tempered, world famous Italian opera star comes to town, he finds himself in a compromising situation giving an unexpected star the chance of a lifetime. Confusion and utter chaos ensue as the audience is in on the ultimate game of "who’s who". Passion, double entendres, mistaken identities, and absolute hilarity send this award-winning farce to comedic heights!
                    I was speaking to some guests this morning who saw the show last night and they told me it was better than the Broadway production that they also saw.  That is a pretty good recommendation!  If you’re looking for some fun evening entertainment for your upcoming visit to The Queen Victoria, you might want to consider an evening at Cape May Stage.

    Exit Zero Jazz Festival (Nov 8-10)
    Diana Reeves

    I’m pleased to announce that the 2nd annual Exit Zero Jazz Festival is returning to Cape May this November 8.  Last year’s first effort was successful despite the fact that it was held just one week after Hurricane Sandy visited the Jersey Shore.  It was a great event with some terrific artists.  But I have to say that I think this year’s event will be even better.

    Pictured above is Dianne Reeves, the Friday night headliner and one of the premier vocalists in the world.  She’ll be featuring her new album "When You Know", which is a stunning array of performances of old and new standards along with an infectious, uplifting new original.
                    Other artists featured this year include Eddie Palmieri, a 9-time Grammy winner, Kenny Garrett, the Aaron Diehl Quartet, Lakecia Benjamin, Robin McKelle & the Flytones, Jaimeo Brown, and many others.
                    This is going to be an amazing event.  The folks at Exit Zero Jazz have been working hard to make their Jazz Festival a world class event, and you can see the results.  Now you have to book a visit to The Queen Victoria for November 8-9 so you can experience it yourself.

    Doug & Anna Marie’s Restaurant Pick Of The Month ... The Y.B.

    Have you been to The Y.B. yet?  YB opened a couple of years ago across the street from the beach.  It is owned and operated by our friend Peter who is the younger brother of the gentleman who owns Georges Place (thus the name Y.B., which stands for younger brother).  In fact, Peter was the chef on "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives" when Georges Place was featured on that show.

    OK, so enough of the history.  Let’s talk about the food.  The Y.B. is a contemporary restaurant with GREAT food.  The setting is very casual and the dining is a bit of an adventure.  I say that because the presentation and preparation of the dishes is very innovative and interesting.  Everybody that I’ve sent to The Y.B.  has really loved it.  One couple ate there 3 nights in a row, which I think might have been a bit excessive, but I couldn’t really argue with their choice.
                    Everything is amazing at The Y.B., but I think that the Cod is probably everybody’s favorite.  I know, Cod doesn’t usually inspire a whole lot of enthusiasm, but the preparation is spectacular, served with black wasabi, pearl couscous, and a fruit salsa.  The D.D.D. Turkey (featured on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives) is also a favorite.  Oh, consider an order of the "Duck Fat Fries", which are incredibly good, no matter how strange they sound.  French Fries cooked in Duck Fat (French Fries Con Fit).
                    Finally, The Y.B. is just steps from the inn, is a BYOB (which I love), and only accepts cash.  They don’t take reservations, but ask us to assist the day you want to dine there and we’ll be sure to get you in.

    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, Innkeepers

    The Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast