Springing into a Beautiful Cape May Season
Spring is just around the corner and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to it.
Spring is such a beautiful time in Cape May as all of the lovely gardens in town come to life. There is nothing like the sight of some gorgeous Spring flowers glistening with dew as the early morning sun’s rays are shining brightly. We happen to have a few of those gardens sprinkled throughout the inn, filled with bulbs that are anxious to burst into life even as I write this.
Like nature in general, Cape May springs into life with the coming of the season. With each passing week, and the increased number of visitors, the shops and restaurants that we all love reopen for the season, thus encouraging even more visitors to come experience this special time.
Spring is also the "Festival Season". As you’ll see in this newsletter, there are quite a few events scheduled during Spring, including two different music festivals and the Spring festival itself. The brand new "Hops Festival" will be making its debut in the first week after Spring ends.
I’m sure you’re thinking it has been too long since your last visit to Cape May. It is time to change that. It is also easy to change that. Give us call or visit us online and we’ll be thrilled to help make arrangements for your overdue return to Cape May.
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.
After spending a couple of months completely redecorating and remodeling our Balmoral suite, I couldn’t resist featuring it as our March Room of the Month.
Balmoral has always been a popular room for a variety of reasons, including its dedicated parking space, 1st floor location, and spacious whirlpool tub. After this complete makeover, I’m pretty sure it will become one of our most popular rooms. In fact, most of my staff have decided it is now their favorite room.
So what is new in Balmoral? First of all, the bathroom is completely different. We’ve replaced the huge 2-person whirlpool tub, with a 2-person bubble-jet tub, that I believe holds even more water. In addition, we removed the little stall shower, moving the toilet into the space it occupied (now you don’t see the toilet when you look into the bathroom), and integrated a 2-person/2-head shower into the tub. Finally, and you ladies will probably like this, we replaced the pedestal sink with a 6 foot long granite counter with sink set into a custom crafted (in-house) solid mahogany vanity. We finished the bathroom off with new "wood look" tile flooring and installing new mahogany door, window, and baseboard trims, finishing them with a rich Danish oil to bring out the magnificent grains.
The bedroom now has an entirely different look too. It is in the same space, but it feels completely different. We started out by eliminating the closet, which was small and always a little difficult to maneuver in, making it an open alcove which now contains the antique dresser. We topped that alcove off with a custom arched facade at the top. We also built (again in-house) a magnificent 9 foot tall armoire with his/hers closet space and built in drawers. We built some space into it for the room safe, and installed a convenient shelf which serves as a charging station for all of your electronics. The armoire was crafted with design elements which match those found in the beautiful new headboard that we installed last Fall, elements that are also found in both the bathroom vanity and alcove archway. Finally, we updated the decor, painting the walls with a really soothing "Coastal Plain" green and topped them off with a beautiful frieze (a very wide border) featuring lots of earth tones. All these new colors called for new drapes, of course, so we had some made, along with a custom bed skirt and bed scarf (pictured at the foot of the bed).
Those of you who enjoy comfortable seating will also appreciate the wonderful new chairs found in front of the window (MUCH more comfy than the Victorian settee Balmoral used to have!).
Of course Balmoral still comes with its own private parking space, which has always been a popular feature.
Discount Packages at The Queen Victoria
The Savings Season - Ending Soon!
Yes, we are still offering our outrageously inexpensive packages. Now is the time to call and take advantage of them while they last.
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!
Winter Escape (only 9 days left!)
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
We’ve had a couple of great birthday party weekends already this Winter, and we’re looking forward to 2 more!
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.
It isn’t too late to book for a March birthday celebration coming up this weekend! We’ve still got a few rooms available. Remember, spontaneity is the spice of life! We can celebrate the arrival of Spring while we’re at it.
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.
There looks to be a great lineup of talent in addition to Pat Metheny as well. I just scanned the list of musicians on the Exit Zero Website and I really got excited about this year’s festival. If you love jazz, then I think this will be a "Must Do" event for you.
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 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.
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. 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.
I’m thrilled to share one of our latest renovations with you! In addition to the Balmoral renovation mentioned in our "Room of the Month" section, we also gave Osborne’s bathroom quite a face lift. Though the charming little water closet remains, everything else in the bathroom was updated, as you can see in this picture. Gone is the awkward heart shaped whirlpool tub installed on an angle, which we’ve replaced with a luxurious 2-person air jet tub. In addition, we integrated a 2-head/2-person shower into the space, and installed a beautiful granite counter on top of the handsome custom crafted mahogany vanity.
If you’ve stayed in Osborne before, then I’m guessing you didn’t love the way the shower was setup (without a curtain). If so, you’re going to love the new shower, WITH a shower curtain.
In addition to the bathroom changes, we reconfigured the closet as well, making much better use of that space and giving you more closet and shelving space.
A new bathroom is a BIG projects for us, and we’ve managed 3 this year. In fact, they’ve pretty much monopolized our improvement schedule this Winter. Next month I plan on sharing the new bathroom that we are just wrapping up in Westminster.
There is something about this photo which really speaks to me. It says relaxation, peace and quiet. Every time I see it I imagine luxuriating in the beautiful sunshine, hearing the chirping of the birds, and simply relaxing away the morning on one of our rocking chairs.
There are LOTS of Spring mornings just like this one that are coming our way this year. I hope that you’ll be fortunate enough to experience one of them and bring this picture to life.
New Rotary Park
Demolition began last week in Cape May’s Rotary Park in preparation for a complete overhaul of that space. The picture to the right illustrates the plans for the new park, which by all accounts will be spectacular. A unique public/private partnership for the project, with local citizens funding a significant amount of the project, resulted in a truly beautiful design featuring very high-end, world class elements, including fountains, fencing, seating, and a new gazebo.
I imagine that many of you will lament the loss of our old gazebo, which has been the home of so many wonderful concerts and Christmas trees. The truth is, however, that it was only standing erect due to steel support cables stretched across the structure. The park has been a bit of an eyesore for years, and I for one am looking forward to its replacement.
Queen Victoria Mug
Have you ever noticed that coffee tastes better in a mug than it does in, say a paper cup? I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I’m pretty sure it is a psychological thing. Perhaps it has something to do with being able to wrap both hands around it and experience the warmth of that steaming brew radiating through the mug. Further, I’ve noticed that the joy of drinking coffee (or tea) in hand thrown clay mugs, like the stunning one pictured here, is far superior than that experienced with a common mug.
You must know that Anna Marie and I want you to live happy, enjoyable lives even when you aren’t visiting us here at The Queen Victoria. It occurs to me that one way to insure your happiness and joy in life continues beyond your visit with us is to bring a couple of these handsome, hand crafted pieces of art home with you. Imagine savoring your morning coffee in this mug, perhaps reminiscing about your breakfasts at The Queen Victoria. What a great way to start any day!
Fun Things to do in Cape May
There is absolutely no better introduction to the wonderful rich history and architecture of Cape May than a trolley tour. If you’ve never taken a trolley tour of Cape May, then you are truly missing out. If you have taken one before, then I would suggest you try it again, as there is so much great information shared, and so many things to see that it is really hard to absorb it all the first time. In fact, Anna Marie and I have taken the Historic District Trolley Tour at least 5 or 6 times, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely each time.
The Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) puts their trolleys back on the road for the Historic District Tour again starting in March. In fact, throughout the month of March we have discounted tickets available at our front desk. As the season progresses they add additional tours, usually with new offerings every year. Each tour takes about 30 to 45 minutes, so a small investment of your vacation time can yield great enjoyment.
Restaurant Pick of the Month
It is certainly true that you don’t have to go very far in Cape May to get a great meal. In fact, you only have to go across the street to get one of the best meals in town at the Merion Inn.
St. Patrick’s Day has long been the re-opening date for the Merion Inn, and we’re thrilled to have them back on our list of dining choices for our guests. As usual, many of our guests, anxious to get back to their favorite restaurant, flooded into the Merion for their inaugural weekend, universally enjoying their dining experience.
Anna Marie and I have always loved the Merion Inn. Besides great food, I think it is safe to say that they also provide more charm and ambiance than any other restaurant in Cape May. When you add live music nightly in the piano bar (and a jazz trio on Thursdays), then it is hard to imagine a better night out.
You might be aware of Anna Marie and my personal preference for BYOB restaurants, but that doesn’t keep us from dining at the Merion Inn. Thankfully, the wine list at the Merion is quite reasonable, with several nice, affordable wines. I’m told they serve a great martini too.
If you’re looking for one of Cape May’s most enjoyable dining experiences for your next visit, keep the Merion in mind (and make reservations in advance!).
Great Reasons to Visit The Queen Victoria
Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events
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
Lessons of History Lecture & Reception
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