Newsletter | June 2016
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Summer Has Arrived (Almost)!

According to the calendar Summer will start in about 2 weeks.  For many of you, Memorial Day is the start of summer, which turned out to be a beautiful weekend this year.

The way that I can tell that summer is really right around the corner is the volume of telephone calls for reservations and online bookings that come in.  I’m happy to say that based upon those indicators, Summer is surely upon us.

Though the reservations have been rolling in at a record pace this year, we still have a nice inventory of rooms for you to choose from.  Don’t delay too long, though, as it gets more limited every day.

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
Regent’s Park

This is the room that more of you ask about than any other room.  I suppose the adorable little cottage sitting all by itself in the rear part of the Prince Albert Hall yard is nearly irresistible.  In fact, I took 2 couples for a tour of Regent’s Park just this morning.  They both loved the cozy sitting room with its rich Chesterfield sofa near the gas-log fireplace, the charming bedroom with queen sized bed, and the spacious bathroom, and the dedicated parking space.

We completely redecorated Regent’s Park a few years ago, giving it a rich, welcoming, and cozy feel.  The large bathroom was also updated at that time and features a luxurious 2-head/2-person “roll-in” shower, which is great for everybody, especially people with mobility challenges.

Last year we completely rebuilt the front porch railings and posts, installing the same intricate Gingerbread designs found on Prince Albert Hall.  The result was to make the Regent’s Park even more special.

Regent’s Park is one of our most popular rooms;  one of those rooms that guests book a year in advance, year after year.


Upcoming Special Events
Cape May Music Festival
May 29 - June 16, 2016

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 was 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 still coming up:

  • June 12   5th Annual George Mesterhazy Tribute Concert
  • June 14   New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players
  • June 15   Bach’s Lunch (12:30)
  • June 16   New York Chamber Ensemble

You might have noticed that most of these concerts fall on Sundays, Tuesdays & Thursdays.  That means that you can take advantage of our great mid-week discounts when you reserve a room at The Queen Victoria for some of these concerts. 

As always, we’ll be happy to present you with tickets for free admission to any concert you might like to attend if your reserve a room for at least 2 nights (not valid for Jazz Brunch or Bach’s Lunches).
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 possible 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 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.

More New Stuff!
New Bathroom in Hampton Court

Last month I shared our new bathroom in Westminster with you, stating that it was the last major renovation project of the winter.  In a sense that was true, because it was completed by the official end of winter.

In another sense, however, it turned out not to be true.  About a month ago we discovered that we had a major plumbing issue with the whirlpool tub in Hampton Court that resulted in an emergency bathroom renovation.  The fact that we were well into Spring and Hampton Court was already heavily booked gave us the motivation to complete the job in less than 2 weeks.  The rapid pace didn’t impact the outcome of the job, though, as the new bathroom is absolutely beautiful.

Though we couldn’t order another custom whirlpool tub in the necessary time frame, we were able to obtain a very nice cast iron bathtub, which we integrated into a very stylish custom tile job.  The bathroom also got a new sink as well as upgraded hardware throughout, all matching the new shower faucet hardware.  The end result is a more spacious, very attractive, brand new bathroom for the already stunning Hampton Court suite.
Favorite Photo
The Early Bird Gets the View

I absolutely love this photo.  Some people are all wrapped up in sunsets, but I think that a beautiful sunrise can be every bit as stunning.

This was taken from the promenade just before sunrise on a morning following a rainy evening.  I don’t mind rain at night, especially if I’m rewarded with something this dramatic.

Of course, you have to get up pretty early to catch a sunrise, especially in the summer.  I suggest you make the effort.

View Photo Gallery >>
New Events in Cape May
Cape May Hops Festival
June 25, 2016

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 early Summer 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!
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 to eight 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.

The cost of the tour is $30, and it runs between 11:00am and 4:00pm.
Featured Gift Shop Item
Sun Screen

In my youth, longer ago than I care to admit, I would smother myself in baby oil in an effort to accelerate my tan.  Remember those days?  That was obviously a bad idea.  These days we all take much better care of ourselves.

I can’t tell you how many times guests have asked us where they can find sunscreen.  Maybe you have been one of them.  We always thought it would be a great thing to sell in our gift shop, but we were thinking of branding it with our logo like we do everything else.  Ultimately, we figured that our guests would be more comfortable with an established, recognized brand.

We introduced Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen in our gift shop last summer, and it was an instant hit.  We’ve just received our first shipment for the summer of 2016, and we wanted to tell you about it.  If you don’t bring your own sunscreen for your summer visit to The Queen Victoria, we’ve got you covered.  Our gift shop is a lot more convenient than CVS, and the price is about the same.

Price: $12
Fun Things to do in Cape May
Explore Cape May on a Bicycle

I’m willing to bet that our most popular amenity at The Queen Victoria is our fleet of bicycles.  I’m guessing at least half of you take a ride every time you stay at The Queen Victoria.  This article is for the rest of you.

If you haven’t explored Cape May and the surrounding environs on a bicycle, then you’ve missed a lot of Cape May.  There is something about riding a bicycle through our beautiful tree lined streets, feeling the breeze blow through your hair that is truly special.  You also see things from a different point of view from the seat of a bicycle.

Here are a few of my favorite bicycling destinations/routes in Cape May:

  • Cape May Lighthouse
  • Sunset Beach
  • Willow Creek Winery
  • Higbees Beach (and the Alpaca farm)
  • Beach Drive (end to end), including the promenade before 10:00 am
  • Cape May Point (near the lighthouse)

Beyond those specific destinations, just cruising up and down the streets in our historic town is an experience not to be missed.  Personally, I use the bicycles for most of my errands around town in the warmer months.
Restaurant Pick of the Month
410 Bank Street

I find it incredible, but as far as I can tell, I’ve never featured 410 Bank Street as our Restaurant Pick of the Month.  It is incredible because 410 Bank Street has always been one of our favorite restaurants.  In fact, it has been a tradition of ours for many years for Anna Marie to take me there for my birthday dinner.  I always look forward to that dinner, and every other visit to 410 Bank Street throughout the year.

So what’s good?  Everything.  My own personal favorite for the last couple of years has been the Gumbo.  Yes, gumbo.  You guessed it, 410 Bank Street is a New Orleans style French Creole restaurant.  Think explosions of flavor!  For this year’s birthday dinner I opted for the Soft Shell Crabs special, which are hard for me to resist at any restaurant.  They were magnificent.  Despite the style of the restaurant, 410 Bank Street also offers a nice variety of non New Orleans type dishes, including Anna Marie’s favorite Cape May Mahi Mahi in a macadamia nut crust with vanilla island rum sauce and Polynesian rice.  I can’t remember the last time we didn’t order the Blackened Sea Scallops appetizer.  They are terrific!

410 Bank Street is within easy walking distance of The Queen Victoria.  Its name is also its address, which makes it pretty easy to find.  Those of you who are really Cape May savvy will be aware that Decatur Street (which is visible from the inn) turns into Bank Street as it crosses LaFayette, the main road into town.

Like most of our favorite restaurants in Cape May, 410 Bank Street is a BYOB establishment.
Great Reasons to Visit The Queen Victoria
Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events

Cape May Music Festival
May 29 - June 16

Cape May Restaurant Week
June 5 - June 12

Cape May Hops Festival
June 25

Craft Beer & Crab Festival
Aug 6

Cape May Food & Wine Celebration
Sep 10 - 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

Halloween Happenings
Oct 14-31

Christmas in Cape May
Nov 18 - Jan 1
2016 Summer Concert Series

Rita Coolidge Mon, June 27

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage
Mon, July 11

Chubby Checker Mon, July 18

Cape May Summer Club (with Jeff Coon)
Sat, July 23

The Hit Men Mon, July 25

The Spinners Mon, Aug 1

Cape May Summer Club (with Jeff Coon)
Sat, Aug 6

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