News from The Queen Victoria
Christmas ... Already ?
Cape May Jazz Festival, Nov 12 & 13

As hard as it is to believe, the Cape May Jazz Festival is returning in just a few days! Sure, summer is over, and winter is on its way, but the music will be HOT for the 17th annual Cape May Jazz Festival. In April our friends at Cape May Jazz brought us the incredibly exciting, talented and popular band Spyro Gyra. I'm pleased to say that they've managed to top that spectacular act for their fall festival.

The headliner this time around is the Yellowjackets, a band that has achieved wide popularity and fame throughout the world for many years. For a long time Cape May Jazz seemed very focused on traditional jazz and fans of fusion movement like me always felt a little left out. Obviously I'm thrilled that the mindset has changed a bit and we're being treated to great new jazz sounds.

If you've never been to Cape May for Jazz Fest, then you can't imagine the energy and excitement that is visited upon our fair town. There are great acts all around town all weekend long, with music bursting out of every imaginable venue. Anna Marie and I bought a pass last April and spent an entire evening bouncing from one act to another, all over town. What an amazing experience!

If you love music and Cape May, then start planning your visit soon. Don't wait, our rooms are going quickly!

Cape May Christmas Parade Sat Dec. 4

It occured to me that I've never really featured the Cape May Christmas parade in any of my emails before. Believe me when I tell you that this is certainly one of the biggest events of the year in Cape May. When I say big, I mean BIG!

When was the last time you went to a parade that people tailgate all day for? How about restaurants on the parade route that take reservations a year in advance for window seats on parade night?

The parade is popular because it is fun. It is basically an old fashioned small town parade with the usual cast of characters. A parade that you really won't see much in America today. You'll see Santa sitting atop an amazingly lit up fire truck (just about every fire truck in the county will be in the parade) throwing candy to the kids. There will be floats from organizations all over town which will amaze you with the quality and scale. The marching bands from several schools will be participating, as will baton twirling drill teams. You'll even see one or two mummer string bands strutting their way through Cape May in their last big practice before the New Year's parade in Philadelphia. Yes, you'll see just about everything you would hope to and probably a little more. Best of all, you'll be in Cape May.

By the way, once you've had your fill of the parade, join the Candlelight Tour, which will take you through about 25 beautifully decorated inns and homes throughout Cape May. It is the biggest, most popular tour of the year and it runs the first three Saturdays of December.

Designer Show House, Nov 19 through Jan 2, 2011

This year's Cape May Designer Show house is open and looks great. Anna Marie and I attended the Gala Opening the other night and really enjoyed it. It is a little different than our previous show houses because it is in an operating bed and breakfast. That means that only the first floor spaces are open, but they are magnificent. The good news is that the price is half of what it has been in past years, so it is a great entertainment value.

The location can't be beat this year either ... it is right next door to The Queen Victoria. If you're looking for something new and dfferent to do this year, check out the show house. I think you'll enjoy it.

Spend Christmas at The Queen Victoria

Everybody celebrates Christmas a little differently. For a surprising number of folks, it means gathering at The Queen Victoria in Cape May for a relaxing, special and memorable celebration. In fact, many of our guests simply view The Queen Victoria as their home away from home for the holidays.

While many of our guests return every year to celebrate Christmas, each year we're joined by couples who are either looking for something different, or find themselves away from their normal Christmas tradition for one reason or another (children away with either friends or in-laws, etc.).

Whether you are looking for a new Christmas tradition, or just need someplace special and magical to spend Christmas this year, give us a call. We've already got a record number of Christmas reservations, but we still have room at the inn for you.

Gift Certificates ... Truly the Perfect Gift

So, with the looming Christmas season comes the agonizing search for the perfect gift. Since I'm such a thoughtful guy, I've decided to step in and take this burden off of your shoulders. You see, it is so incredibly easy. The perfect gift for your special loved one is obviously a gift certificate to The Queen Victoria.

Sure, it might seem like my suggestion is a little self serving. If you step back and think about it, though, I'm sure you'll agree that a Queen Victoria gift certificate truly is the perfect gift; for so many reasons. First of all, it is sure to please whoever you give it to. Who wouldn't like to be given a trip to Cape May? Secondly, there are absolutely no concerns about size or color. Depending on who you give it to, you might also get to enjoy it yourself as well, which definitely enhances the appeal of the gift. Perhaps the best thing of all, however, is the ease of it all. One 2 minute phone call is all it takes (and a credit card, of course) and you'll be done shopping. Could it possibly be any better?

Give us a call today and order the gift certificates you need (Notice my use of the plural. Imagine getting ALL of your shopping done with one phone call!).

Best of Cape May! (again)

Well, it is official! Thanks to you The Queen Victoria has been voted best in Cape May for a third straight year. Anna Marie and I are obviously very pleased. What pleases us the most, however, is that we've got so many wonderful guests who are willing to take the time to get on the website and vote for us. Thank you VERY much for making this happen for us.

Once again, we were awarded "Best of Cape May" in multiple categories, including Best B&B, Favorite Victorian Building, Best Accommodation Customer Service and Best Over All Customer Service. I can't tell you how much it means to us that you feel this way about us. Thanks for putting us on top again!

Upcoming Events

  • Designer Show House - Nov 19- Jan 2
  • Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend Nov 5-7
  • Cape May Jazz Festival Nov 12-13
  • Christmas Preview weekend Nov 19-21
  • Christmas in Cape May Nov 19 - Jan 2
  • Christmas at The Queen Victoria Dec 24-25
  • New Years in Cape May Dec 31

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      I know, you feel like I do that the Christmas season starts WAY too early these days. Have you been to a store yet that already has all their Christmas decorations out? Really, it is way too soon for that. I'm still wearing shorts, for goodness sake.

      It is NOT TOO EARLY to start planning for your Christmas season though! In fact, it is definintely time to start planning your Christmas season visit to Cape May and The Queen Victoria. We've been taking lots of reservations for December in the last couple of weeks, so you are definitely in good company.

      Christmas in Cape May is very special. I don't know exactly what puts so much cheer in everybody's heart when they visit during Christmas. Maybe it is all the beautifully decorated old homes. Perhaps it is the Christmas parade or the big Candlelight tours. Maybe it is the shops all full of Christmas ideas for that special person (that is probably not what does it for the guys). Whatever it is, most people I know agree that Christmas in Cape May is very special to them.

      Whether you are planning a December weekend in Cape May or want to spend Christmas at The Queen Victoria, it is probably time for your planning to turn into action. Give us a call and be sure to get the room you really want.

      Featured "Room of the Month" ... Buckingham

      Back in my 2nd ever newsletter in July of 2006 I featured Buckingham (yes, I've featured all 34 of our rooms over the years), but I've never shown you the new bathroom we recently put in the room. The time has come to tell you about this great room again. Many of you already call Buckingham "your room" when visiting The Queen Victoria, but many have never seen this gem.

      Buckingham is located on the 3rd floor of the Queen Victoria building, one of only two rooms on the 3rd floor. It is a quiet, cozy room with some great architectural features and a fantastic bathroom. You'd be surprised how many people are passionate about a great bathroom.

      When you walk in the room you'll notice the deep window wells created by the sloping "Mansard Roof" walls. The walls are sloped, but the ceiling is high, so it doesn't give you that closed in feeling at all. One of the windows even features a glimpse of the ocean!

      A couple of years ago we took out the rather sad old fiberglass bathtub and replaced it with a beautiful custom 2-head/2-person walk-in shower. Whether you're looking for a romantic and playful way to cleanse yourself or a really big space to luxuriate in, this shower fits the bill. We also took up the old cracked tiles, leveled the floor and put in a really pretty new tile floor. I'll save the story about the flood we created with our "last nail" during construction for another time.

      The Convention Hall NEWS

      This just out! Last week the city received 9 bids for the demolition of the current convention hall ranging from about $109,000 to $316,000. There were at least a few below the $150,000 estimated cost the city had been forecasting. According to our city manager the award should be made at the next city council meeting early in November.

      If all goes according to plan, the demolition of the current hall will be complete by the end of the year. I couldn't help but laugh when the city manager pointed out that the winning bidder would need to receive a demolition permit from the city before starting demolition. Am I the only one who finds this ironic/idiotic? I mean, is there a possibility that they won't be issued a permit? Is it about getting the fee for the permit? How much could we possibly be talking about? Maybe I'm missing something, but the foibles of bureaucracy never cease to amaze me. I can just see the project slipping behind schedule because the construction office is a little short staffed and taking their vacation before the end of the year so nobody is there to process the permit. It could happen!

      Favorite Guest Photos ... Late Victorian Tree

      Once again I get to play with the meaning of the title of this section of our newsletter. Is this a favorite photo from a guest? Is this a photo from a favorite guest? In this case it it is both!

      In keeping with my Christmas theme, I searched through my archives of guest photos looking for shots related to Christmas. Don & Jeannie's photo jumped out at me and certainly fit the bill. If I had to guess, I was probably the one taking this picture of them in front of our late Victorian tree in the parlor of the Queen Victoria building. I guess that explains why they look so good (remember, it is always all about me).

      Seriously though, what better way to get into the Christmas spirit or actually spend Christmas than coming to The Queen Victoria. I can assure you that Don & Jeannie loved their Christmas visit. They liked it so much they're coming back this December too!

      Now Playing at Cape May Stage ... The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

      I haven't featured a Cape May Stage article in my recent newsletters because, quite frankly, I didn't want to recommend the shows that were playing. With the opening last week of their latest show, I'm pleased to include this section again.

      Anna Marie and I saw this show the other night and LOVED it. It is a zany, crazy, fun show with three gentleman performing every single play William Shakespeare ever wrote in about 90 minutes. We're obviously talking about a rapid fire, frenetic and humorous interpretation of "Bill's" works. I have to say that even the tragedies weren't very tragic.

      We had a great time at this show and I'll just say that I had my own personal theatrical debut in this play. You'll have to ask me about this next time you see me.

      This production runs through November 20th, so you still have time to plan a trip to Cape May. Remember, any excuse to go to Cape May will do.

      Doug & Anna Marie's Restaurant Pick Of The Month ... Merion Inn

      I'm guessing that just about every guest who has ever stayed at The Queen Victoria knows where the Merion Inn is. If you've stayed in Prince Albert Hall, then you've probably seen it from your window. For many, no visit to Cape May is complete without a meal or at least a drink at the Merion Inn. It is a special place.

      Anna Marie and I really like the Merion Inn. The food is wonderful and the comfortable and pretty dining rooms are about as close to a Victorian experience as you can find in this Victorian town. The Merion also has a wonderful old fashioned bar with live piano music just about every night and a Jazz night once a week.

      So yes, there are lots of reasons to go to the Merion, but let's focus on the food. The Merion has one of the largest menus in town, ranging from their traditional "Merion Inn Classics" to more creative offerings like Horseradish Encrusted Atlantic Salmon or a "Cake & Steak" crab cake and filet prepared any of 7 different ways. They've also got some great specials including a $15 "Express Dinner" and $16.95 "Earlybird" & "Night Owl" dinners.

      Really, you can't go wrong with a visit to the Merion during your next visit to the Merion Inn.

      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

      phone: 609-884-8702