Newsletter | May 2016
Wouldn’t You Rather Be in Cape May?

I think the answer to that question is an obvious YES. Of course you would. Perhaps I’m biased, but I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be at any time, under any circumstances.

Now that the weather is turning warmer, and your thoughts are turning to summer, it is natural to agree with me. But wait, it isn’t just about summer. Summer is amazing, of course, but as I gaze around town, watching the gardens coming to life, the leaves bursting out of the thousands of trees lining our streets, and the dolphin returning to our beautiful waters, I can’t help but think that this must surely be the perfect place to enjoy spring too.

It happens to be raining today in Cape May, but all of our guests are still thrilled to be here. Perhaps they would prefer a bright sunny day, but their spirits aren’t dampened by a little “liquid sunshine”. No matter the weather, there are so many wonderful things to do in Cape May, including sight seeing, shopping, wine tasting, beer tasting, museums, tours, and great dining, that anybody not enjoying themselves simply doesn’t want to.

There really is no bad time to visit Cape May. If you ask me, the best time to visit Cape May (and The Queen Victoria) is any time that you can.

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
Mayfair
I haven’t featured Mayfair in a long time, so I know I haven’t shown you the bathroom upgrade that we did last year. After struggling with leaks in the tub, we decided to replace the small one-person whirlpool tub with a large, spacious, and elegantly tiled step-in shower (visible in the mirror in this photo). Though the bathroom in Mayfair isn’t huge, it is very efficiently laid out, with a spacious marble counter for “set down” space. It turns out that bathrooms are amazingly difficult to photograph, and sometimes require a creative approach, as is evident here.

Mayfair is a bright cheery room on the second floor of the Prince Albert Hall building. Mayfair is also a comfortably large room, and you can see in the background of this photo that it has a lovely Victorian era full sized sofa to go along with a beautiful Victorian dresser. Like most of our rooms, it features a queen sized bed, which is set into a charming 4 poster canopy bed frame.

Mayfair happens to be the first room that Anna Marie and I ever stayed in at The Queen Victoria, and it certainly contributed to our decision to purchase the inn. That must say something for it.


Upcoming Special Events
Spring Festival
April 29 - May 8, 2016

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 INNteriors Tours
  • Cape Mayhem Trolley Tour
  • Cape May Time Capsule Interactive Trolley Tour
  • Carroll Gallery Exhibit: “Tommy’s Folly: The 200th Anniversary of Congress Hall Hotel”
  • Dr. Physick’s Neighborhood Walking Tour & Cafe Combo
  • Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour
  • Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley 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
  • Spring Festival Crafts & Collectibles Show

This really is going to be a couple of great weekends. Start planning yours soon!
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 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 1 Bach’s Lunch (12:30)
  • June 2 Deirdre Reilly, Traditional Irish Music (Free!)
  • June 5 Champagne Jazz Brunch
  • June 5 The Jost Project (Jazz/Rock Fusion Quartet)
  • June 7 New York Chamber Ensemble
  • June 8 Bach’s Lunch (12:30)
  • June 9 Bay Atlantic Symphony
  • 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 (not valid for Jazz Brunch or Bach’s Lunches).
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 Westminster

Our final big room renovation for the season was the Westminster room. Though we didn’t redecorate the entire room, or even the entire bathroom, we did give the bathroom a major upgrade.

As you can see from this photo, we pulled out the 1-person whirlpool tub, replacing it with a stunning, large, 2-person/2-head shower. We also upgraded the flooring, replacing the old and tired looking white and black check tile floor with a really beautiful marble like surface (it is actually porcelain tile that looks like marble but has a non-slip texture).

What you can’t see is the tasteful and elegant built in shelving we installed as you walk into the bathroom (to the left of the shower in this photo), which gives you LOTS of room to set your toiletries down, something that Westminster has always lacked in the past.

The final result is a bright, cheery, and very practical and fun bathroom with the same comfortable feeling the room has always had. Westminster really didn’t need any help to become one of our most popular rooms, but I’m quite sure this bathroom will make it more popular than ever.

Favorite Photo
The Perfect Start To Any Day

This photo tells its own story. Can’t you just picture yourself enjoying a cup of coffee or tea on a beautiful June morning, hearing the birds chirping in the background? I know that many of you start your day at The Queen Victoria in just that way, so perhaps you’re reliving it right now, as you recall the pleasure of the moment.

Of course breakfast will be served just around the corner on the porch, or down in the garden seating area, so you won’t have far to go for your next stop of the day. How much better can a morning get?

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 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!
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 over the years, 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
The Queen Victoria Cat’s Meow

OK, I’ll admit that I am not personally a Cat’s Meow collector. I will tell you that some of my favorite people in the world are, however. Perhaps you are included in that group!

For years we were unable to carry a Cat’s Meow image of The Queen Victoria, because there was a shop in town that had commissioned one and were selling it. When that store closed, Cat’s Meow allowed us to step in and commission one of our own. Personally, I think that ours, with its 3-D graphics, is much better than the one that store used to sell.

So, if you are Cat’s Meow collector, no matter if you have the previous version or not, you’ll be thrilled to know that you can purchase this delightful decorative treasure in our gift shop. If you are not a collector, but still want a great memento of your visit to The Queen Victoria, this is certainly something you should consider.

Price: $18.50
Fun Things to do in Cape May
Visit the Physick Estate

Lots of you mention how much you enjoy stepping back into the past at The Queen Victoria during your visits to Cape May. The truth is, though, that The Queen Victoria, with all of its renovations, additions, and modern conveniences, is a bit different than it would have been back in 1881.

If you’re looking for the real deal, a glimpse of what it was really like to live in Cape May in the late 1800s (at least how a rich young man lived), then you should definitely consider a tour of the Emlen Physick Estate.

Built in 1879, just 2 years before The Queen Victoria was built, it is an 18 room mansion that has never been renovated. It HAS been beautifully restored, of course, back to its original state. That means you’ll get a chance to see the original decor, including many of the original furniture pieces, along with the original kitchen equipment, and magnificent fireplaces.

Every quarter or so the curator of this house museum changes the focus of the guided tours to highlight different elements of the Victorian lifestyle and the family who lived in the house. No matter how many times I take this tour, I enjoy it immensely and learn something new.

Adjacent to the house, on the grounds of the estate, you’ll also find the Carriage House Cafe & Tea Room, gallery and gift shop. It is a great place to grab a quick cup of locally blended and roasted coffee, have an incredible dining experience, shop, or simply enjoy the free exhibit being displayed in the gallery.

This photo happens to be perfectly timed for this edition of our newsletter, with its pretty display of Tulips and spring flowers. I’m afraid I can’t take credit for that. It was simply serendipitous.
Restaurant Pick of the Month
Mad Batter

The Mad Batter has long been one of Cape May’s most famous restaurants. Initially it gained its fame for the breakfast service, though few of our guests were ever willing to venture out to experience that, for obvious reasons. In recent years they’ve been expanding their focus to the lunch and evening meals, and with great results.

Anna Marie and I love the fun, upbeat atmosphere at the Mad Batter. The food is great and the menu is large, with a terrific variety to choose from. The crab cakes featured in this picture speak for themselves, though I’m willing to attest to their excellence.

The Mad Batter also has live music every night of the week, featuring lots of wonderful local artists. Sunday is “Open Mic” night, so you can even bring your own instrument and step up to the microphone if you are so inclined (a few of our favorite guests are regulars).

The Mad Batter has a fun bar, as well, with a great assortment of beers on tap (including Cape May Brewery), as well as a nice wine list. They’ll also be pleased to mix up your favorite cocktail.

The Mad Batter is a great choice for either lunch or dinner (we already talked about breakfast!), with both indoor and outdoor seating options which are sure to please. I know you’ll be pleased with your selection if you make the Mad Batter a dining destination during your next visit to The Queen Victoria.
Great Reasons to Visit The Queen Victoria
Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events
Cape May Spring Festival
April 29 through May 8

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
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

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