Win a 2 Night Stay at The Queen Victoria
If you are a facebook fan of The Queen Victoria, then you probably already know about this contest. If not, pay attention!
We're running a facebook contest on our fan page for the "Best Photo of The Queen Victoria". Whoever gets the most votes for their photo wins a 2 night stay at The Queen Victoria!
This contest started Friday night (10/28/11) and runs through 11/20/11. There are only 18 entries so far and the leading photo only has about 50 votes. This thing is still wide open and there is plenty of time to make yourself a winner.
So if you are a facebook user but not a fan of The Queen Victoria yet, here is what you should do.
- Log into facebook and search for "The Queen Victoria B&B"
- Click "Like" next to our page name
- Click on the "Contest" tab located below the picture of The Queen Victoria
- Click on "Add new entry +" and submit your favorite photo of The Queen Victoria
- "Share" with all your friends and ask them to vote for your photo
- Cross your fingers and hope your friends help you out
- Don't forget to vote for your own photo!
Click Here to Enter the Contest
Christmas Preview Weekend! (Nov 18-19)
OK, so you're dying for the Christmas season to arrive and you're not sure if you can wait for December. One solution would be to go shopping at any major department store and be bombarded with Christmas music and frantic sales, maybe even a Santa taking pictures with screaming kids (seriously, that must be scarey for a little tyke). A better option would be to make a trip to Cape May.
Every year Cape May gets all dressed up for Christmas a little bit early. We always turn all our lights on at 5:00 pm on the Friday before Thanksgiving. In fact, we're already busy decorating because we have so many decorations to put up. I've seen a few other homes getting started too, so I'm sure it will be as festive as ever.
A visit to The Queen Victoria for this Christmas preview weekend is also a sure way to put you Grinches in the Christmas mood. Nothing says Christmas quite like a stroll through our beautiful Victorian town all decorated for Christmas.
Dickens Christmas Extravaganza Returns (Dec 4-6)
Want to experience something new and unique this Christmas season? Visit Cape May for our annual Dickens Christmas Extravaganza. Cape May is the perfect place to celebrate Dickens and the holidays, as it transforms to a Victorian Christmas Village during this season. Immerse yourself in the world of Dickens through lectures and performances.
The festivities begin with a complimentary "Welcome Dinner" hosted by Anna Marie and me for all our attending guests on Sunday night. After a full day of Dickens adventures on Monday, return to The Queen Victoria for a special holiday reception in place of our usual tea (always a special event). The excitement concludes on Tuesday evening with a proper Victorian Feast.
$150 per person (in addition to your room)
Visit MAC's website to learn more
Channeling Weekend with Craig McManus Nov. 11-12
In a strange twist of fate it turns out that we booked all of our rooms for this weekend before we filled up all of available slots for this event. As I write this, we still have room for 4 additional people to attend Craig's event.
If you're already booked for the weekend and would like to participate. Give us a call. I think these will go fast, so if you want to participate give us a call.
Christmas in Cape May
It is obvious that many of you are already thinking about Christmas, as quite a few of you have reservations for the Christmas season already.
Cape May during the Christmas season is truly beautiful. It is also a BIG event, lasting well over a month. When you have as much Christmas spirit and stuff going on as Cape May does, you have to spread it out a little bit.
Christmas in Cape May really gets going in December, with more tours than you can shake a stick at. The first 3 Saturdays of the month feature the big Candlelight Tours, in which 15-20 homes will be on tour. There will be hundreds of people touring these homes located all over town. There are carolers, strolling musicians, porch musicians, comfort stations and some serious festiveness going on all over town. It really is something to behold. We only have 1 or 2 rooms still available in the 1st two weekends, but there are a fair amount still available for the Dec 15-16 weekend. IT'S NOT TOO LATE to experience the amazing Cape May Candlelight Tour. There will be about 20 homes open on the tour with carolers and strolling musicians wandering throughout. This weekend doesn't tend to be as crowded, either, so the lines will be short and you'll have plenty of time to enjoy each home.
Of course there is also The Queen Victoria Christmas package, which takes place over Christmas itself. If you're looking for a special way to spend Christmas this year, come join us. Last year we had 28 rooms full of guests celebrating Christmas at The Queen Victoria. Our package includes dinners on both Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, as well as a lot of other special surprises.
4th Annual Wine Lover's Weekend (Feb 24-25)
I AM EXCITED! (you know I mean it ... I don't usually go "all caps" like that)
Our annual wine blending weekend has definitely become my favorite event of the year. It is not surprising. Each year we get a crew of really fun loving people enjoying a really wonderful event involving the consumption of some great wine during a time of year when there isn't much else going on. How could you ever ask for more?
So, "what are the details", you ask. I'm glad you asked! First you arrive on Friday, hopefully in time for afternoon tea and a wonderful dinner out at one of our great restaurants. On Saturday afternoon we gather at the Cape May Winery and settle into the barrel room for the afternoon. As you enter the room you'll see several tables laden with decanters of wine, loads of wine glasses and a few measuring cups (remember, this is science). Each table becomes a "team". First we sample each of the 4 blending wines (all red) to get a feel for their various characteristics. Then we start blending for an hour or two. Ultimately, each table chooses its best blend and mixes up a decanter of that blend. We then break for a tour. After the tour we return to our tables and do a blind taste of each team's blend. We vote on the best blend, which is then bottled with a custom label with your name on it (or anything else you want printed on it). We usually have some left over wine from the afternoon, which we'll then bring back to the inn, just in time for tea.
I know we'll be having several return participants this year. I hope that we'll see you there this year too!
The Big Cheesy Returns (Mar 2-3)
Wine and cheese go together, right? So it only seemed fitting to hold our 4th annual "Big Cheesy" cheese tasting weekend immediately following our Wine Lover's Weekend.
I've already committed myself by declaring the Wine Lover's Weekend my favorite event of the year, so it pains me not to be able to say the same about the Cheese Tasting Weekend. Why can't I have two favorites? Well, it comes a VERY close 2nd place then.
The name of this weekend pretty much says it all. Each year we gather fine cheeses from all over the world (or town, as the case may be). If you know cheese, you know just how different they can be. If you haven't explored the nuances of the myriad of different cheeses, then you haven't really lived yet, and you definitely need to call us and make a reservation.
We'll have 15-20 cheese platters arranged around our very large dining room table, each labeled and described for your exploration and enjoyment. There will also be a plethora (how often does one really get to use that word?) of wine glasses and ice buckets for you to use with your favorite bottle of wine that you can bring to the event. (yep, it is BYO).
They say the best things in life are free, and this event just proves that is true. Bring yourself and your favorite beverage and enjoy a wonderful afternoon.
I guess I have to mention that this event is only open to guests actually staying with us. Every year one or two people call to ask if they can just drop in for the afternoon and join in. I'm afraid that just doesn't make any sense on any level.
Upcoming Cape May Events
· Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend Nov 4-6
· Fall Craft & Antiques Show Nov 5
· Channeling Weekend Nov 11-12
· Cape May Jazz mini-event Nov 11-12
· Christmas in Cape May Nov 18 - Jan 1, 2012
· Wine Dinner @ Mad Batter Nov 18
· Cape May Wine Trail (2 wineries) Nov 19
· Dickens Extravaganza Dec 4-6
· Wine Dinner @ Mad Batter Dec 9
· Christmas @ The Queen Victoria Dec 24-25
· Cape May Wine Trail (2 wineries) Dec 30
· Wine Lover's Weekend Feb 24-25
· Big Cheesy Weekend Mar 2-3
Well, with snow falling throughout the region last weekend (none in Cape May, by the way), it is safe to assume that winter is on its way. While that certainly means the end of the beach season, it definitely does NOT mean that there is no reason to come to Cape May. Far from it. With Halloween firmly behind us, we are seriously focused on Christmas.
In fact, as I write this we are busy putting up our outside decorations. We actually started several days ago. We have LOTS of decorations to put up and it takes several weeks to get them all ready for the season. Aren't you glad that we do all the decorating and you can just come for a visit and enjoy it? I wish I could!
Featured "Room of the Month" ... Princess Victoria
If you're looking for a nice, spacious room with a little drama and flair, then I suggest you check out the Princess Victoria room. The Princess Victoria room in located on the 2nd floor of the House of Royals building. It looks a little different now, with newly reupholstered chairs and different bedding. I have to say, it looks even better. Take a look at the 10.5' foot high ceilings, which give the room a really open and large feeling. It also leaves lots of room for that beautiful frieze at the top of the wall. All in all, the Princess Victoria room has a very elegant feel to it.
It also has a few extras, which are great. First of all, as you can see in the photo, it has faux Franklin Stove. We don't advertise this as a fireplace, but it is a nice little extra. If I take my glasses off after a glass of wine that little electric "fire" looks like the real deal to me. It definitely adds a little ambiance to the room. It also has a space heater built into it for a little extra coziness.
The Princess Victoria room also has a private balcony access through the wonderful "pocket window". This window opens up from the floor into the wall creating a door onto a wonderful balcony with a couple of rocking chairs and a view of the beach and the best view of the Queen Victoria building in town. What could be better than that?
The Beach Theater
Just in case you hadn't heard, I thought I would share the news that the Beach Theater is officially gone. To be fair, it has been gone in spirit, if not in fact, for a while now. Though the Beach Theater Foundation leased and operated the theater in 2010 and offered some films for viewing, it never opened up in 2011.
As you can see from this picture, there is now a big empty space on Stockton Place where the theater used to reside. Don't you love the decorative chain-link fence they put up?
There is no word on what will be going in this space, or when that might be. I've heard rumors of a boutique hotel, but based on the location, I find that hard to imagine. I'm guessing it will be a vacant lot for a while.
I do want to note that the shops that resided in front of the theater, including the space that had been the lobby back in the day, are all still in tact. I'm assuming that you'll still be able to eat at Zoe's or get a Rita's Water Ice next summer.
So, next year if you really want to watch a movie in Cape May, plan on catching one of the "Movies on the Beach" that the Chamber shows. Sure, they're a little dated, but it is still great entertainment and it is FREE.
The Perfect Christmas Gift
I think we can all agree that the perfect gift for your loved ones would have to have the following characteristics:
- They will absolutely love it
- Guaranteed to fit
- Easy to wrap and/or ship
- Truly expresses your thoughtfulness & generosity
- Easy to purchase
- Recipient will look forward to using it
- You can enjoy it too (optional, depending upon the nature of your relationship with the recipient)
OK, now that we've established all of that, it should be obvious to everyone that a Queen Victoria gift certificate is clearly the best possible Christmas gift. Not only does it meet all the criteria that I so painstakingly researched for you, it is also the gift that keeps giving. Sure, you'll get a big smile, a hug, and maybe even a tear or two when it is opened. Just imagine the smiles and hugs when they actually come and use it (no tears once you're at The Queen Victoria, of course).
So do yourself a favor this year and give your loved one a gift certificate to The Queen Victoria. You'll be happy you did!
Convention Hall NEWS
I'm sure it will shock you to hear that I have virtually nothing to say about the new Convention Center. It isn't that I don't care about it, but rather that all I know is what I gather from walking by and looking at it. That means that you'll know as much as I do after studying the photo.
As you can see, all the structural steel is in place. It looks to me like most of the light steel "studding" is installed as well, but I know there are some areas that aren't visible in this picture that are incomplete. The purple stuff you see appears to me to be some type of wall board, presumably insulated, which will eventually have stucco on it.
What I can tell you is that those guys are out there before 7:00am every morning already working. That is good, because they are still forecasting a Memorial Day opening next year, which is actually coming up pretty quickly when you look at the big picture.
Favorite Guest Photos ... Christmas Engagement
I think I might have featured this photo before, but I couldn't resist doing so this month. It is just too perfect!
First of all, it is obviously taken during the Christmas season on the most beautifully decorated porch in Cape May (can you guess which one?). Secondly, The Queen Victoria is a romantic place, and what could be more romantic than a proposal of marriage with a guy down on his knee? Thirdly, I thought this might serve as a great hint for all of you guys that know it is time to get serious and ask the big question. Don't you think you've waited long enough? Can you think of a better place to propose?
Cape May Stage - Red (through Nov 19)
Last week a new show opened at Cape May Stage call "Red". This is the play which won the Best Play Tony award on Broadway two years ago. I haven't seen the show yet, but I just read the review of it from the Philadelphia Inquirer, which was pretty favorable. It sounds like it is probably a little bit intense, with some pretty dramatic acting on the part of the lead actor Roy Steinberg, who is also the Creative Director for Cape May Stage. I believe this is his debut performance at Cape May Stage.
Here is the write up of "Red" from Cape May Stage's website:
'There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend... One day the black will swallow the red.' Master American expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York's famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his assistant, Ken, in his studio in the Bowery. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his demise. Raw and provocative, Red is a searing portrait of an artist's ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting. Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for 'Best Play', "Red" is a moving and compelling account of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century whose struggle to accept his growing riches and praise became his ultimate undoing.
Doug & Anna Marie's Restaurant Pick Of The Month ... Blue Pig
I can't figure out why, but it had been a long time since Anna Marie and I had dined at the Blue Pig Tavern located in Congress Hall. After our meal there the other night I am resolved dine there a lot more frequently.
The Blue Pig is an especially great place to go in the winter. The atmosphere is reminiscent of an old tavern (think Williamsburg, VA); slightly rustic, but elegant at the same time. The huge open fireplace adds a wonderful ambiance and charm and makes the whole room nice and cozy. Overall, the place has lots of character.
The Blue Pig has a great menu with quite a variety and plenty of "comfort food", which is perfect for a winter dining experience. Their menu features lots of fresh produce from their own local "Beach Plum Farm" (in season, presumably), as well as lots of traditional appetizers. Their main menu is varied and diverse.
We started out our meal with an order of the Beer Battered Calamari (I can't pass up calamari), which was a great start. For the "main", I ordered the Fish & Chips, which I seem to be stuck on. I guess I just can't get enough of that beer batter. Anna Marie ordered the Steak Frites, which was a grilled NY Strip served with fries and a blue cheese butter (which I stole from her). We both enjoyed our meals tremendously.
So, for your winter visit to The Queen Victoria, plan on making your way to the Blue Pig for dinner. Arrive a little early and enjoy a cocktail in the Brown Room, just down the hall from the Blue Pig. It is a wonderful lounge.
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