Newsletter | November 2015
Cape May’s Prettiest Season!
Since the early 1980s, Cape May has been the Premier Christmas destination on the East Coast (perhaps the entire United States). Christmas as we know it today, with decorations, Christmas trees, and lighting, got its start in Victorian England, so it is only fitting that Victorian Cape May celebrate the season in grand style.
Christmas begins early in Cape May, with the Christmas Preview Weekend heralding the start of the season the weekend before Thanksgiving (November 20th and 21st this year). The Preview is kicked off by the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Emlen Physick estate. Both the mansion & the carriage house are open for free tours as well, making the evening a special one to remember. The Christmas trolley tours also start that evening, continuing daily through the end of the season. Free trolley shuttles between the Washington Street Mall and the Physick Estate will be available as well for the tree lighting.
What better way to enjoy the festivity of the season and fill yourself with Christmas Cheer than a visit to Cape May? The season is full of fun events, including the Dickens Extravaganza, Hospitality Nights on the mall, evening Trolley Tours, afternoon & evening house tours (where you’ll get to explore and enjoy the interior decorations of both private homes and bed and breakfasts), and of course lots of great shopping and dining.
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.
I‘ve always loved the Windsor room, and I’m pretty sure you will too. There are many features that make this room appealing. First, it is tucked away up on the 3rd floor of the Queen Victoria building, with only one other room on that floor ... it is very private. Windsor has LOTS of windows, wrapping around three sides of the room, making it bright and cheery all day long. During the Christmas season, some of the windows provide a perfect viewing portal for the magnificent Christmas lights that adorn our House of Royals and Queen’s Cottage buildings. Windsor is also a large room, featuring a comfy love seat & charming rocking chair in the seating area, as well as a writing desk (the perfect place to write out some Christmas cards during your early seasonal visit). A comfortable queen sized bed, and charming antique dresser complete the room.
If you’re interested in a spacious, comfortable, and charming room for your next visit to The Queen Victoria, I suggest you give Windsor a try. As a bonus, it is also on the lower end of our pricing scale, so it won’t break your budget. Learn More >>
Discount Packages at The Queen Victoria
The Savings Season
While we have seasonal discounts in all non-summer months, starting in November, we roll out our super discount programs. We have two different ones that are very popular with our guests.
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!
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 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.
Christmas at The Queen Victoria
Every year dozens of our guests make The Queen Victoria their special place to celebrate Christmas. This year will be no exception.
For many, The Queen Victoria is a Christmas tradition of many years. For others, it is a great place to celebrate Christmas while their own kids are with the "in-laws" that year. The Queen Victoria has always been a great central location for families separated from each other to gather (with nobody being responsible for hosting the gathering!).
Whatever the reason you might be looking for a place to celebrate Christmas, I hope you’ll consider The Queen Victoria. It will assuredly be a relaxing, festive and beautiful experience for you.
January 9, 2016
February 6, 2016 (sold out)
Channeling weekends with medium Debbie Wojciechowski continue to be some of the most popular events at The Queen Victoria. Debbie sold out all 4 events in 2015, with the final one of the year being held this coming Saturday (November 14). In fact, we had to add one in October to accommodate the overwhelming demand.
Following her popularity in 2015, Anna Marie and I have invited Debbie to return for at least 3 events in 2016. We’re contemplating a 4th one as well, which we’ll be discussing with her shortly.
If you’re looking for an interesting and different way to occupy a quiet Winter weekend, I suggest you consider participating in one of these fascinating events. I promise you that you will be amazed at the experience.
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.
Wine Lover’s Weekend
We are once again partnering with Cape May Winery to create a special event/package for true wine lovers. On February 27, 2016 The Queen Victoria® is hosting its annual "Wine Blending Challenge". On Saturday afternoon, our participating guests will join us at Cape May Winery to craft the perfect blend of red wine.
We’ll break up into teams of 4-6 people at a table laden with bottles of the various red wines right out of the barrel and trays of cheese and snacks. Each team will craft & document different blends, ranking them among themselves. Once each team has selected its “finest blend”, we’ll all break for a tour of the winery while the winemaker creates the blends we’ve chosen. Following the tour, we head back to the blending room and do a "blind" tasting of the chosen blend of each team. We’ll all vote on the best blend, which will then be bottled for us with a special "Queen Victoria Cellars" label.
Each participant will get a bottle of the final blend (2 per couple), the labels of which will be customized with your names and the blending details.
This exclusive event is only open to guests of our bed and breakfast and will only occur once this year. Anna Marie and I LOVE this event. I know you will too.
Big Cheese Weekend
Our annual Cheese Tasting party is a wonderful event and we’re really looking forward to it again.
Anna Marie and I will be filling The Queen Victoria® dining room table with a wide assortment of cheeses from all over the world. There will be about 16 cheeses for us to taste and each one will have a write up about its origin, how it is made and any other fun tidbits of information. We’ll also have breads from one of our local bakeries along with an assortment of specialty olive oils and other tasty goodies.
This event is held during Afternoon Tea time on Saturday at 4:00. Now I know that for some people it is impossible to eat cheese without having a glass of wine in your hand, so we’re welcoming everyone to bring their own wine and make an afternoon of it. The wine tends to become communal so bring something you feel comfortable sharing.
The really good news is that this is a free event for all of our guests staying with us that weekend.
Singer Songwriter Cape May
Each March Singer Songwriter Cape May returns to Cape May, bringing with it an amazing lineup of musical talent. This March they’ll be featuring over 150 musical performances in 17 different venues all over Cape May. The event showcases Singer/Songwriters of all genres. The best part is that you can attend most of the performances for FREE!
Last year one of the event’s perennially most popular performers, and a good friend of ours, Avi Wisnia (pictured here), performed an exclusive concert for the guests of The Queen Victoria. It was a great performance and a good time was had by all. We put out a nice buffet of hors d’oevres, many guests brought bottles of wine, and everybody enjoyed themselves immensely. Avi has graciously offered to perform for us again this year, so we’re doing it all again! On Saturday March 19 we’ll turn our regular afternoon tea into a concert reception. I know it is going to be even better than last year. I hope I’ll get to see you there (here). Once again, this concert is free for all guests staying at The Queen Victoria that weekend.
Painting The Queen Victoria
One of the questions that I’m asked most frequently by our inquisitive guests is how often we have to paint our buildings. The truth is, we’re ALWAYS painting our buildings. We have so much old wood exposed to the elements in our seaside environment, that any day we can be painting outside, we should be painting outside.
As it happens, however, not all surfaces require painting at the same frequency. It has been a long time since we’ve painted an entire building at the same time (probably not since 1995, well before Anna Marie and I purchased the inn). Our strategy is to identify which walls or single surfaces require attention the most, and tackle them one at a time.
The painting project that we’re squeezing in at the very end of our outdoor painting season this year is the northern exposure of the original section of The Queen Victoria building. I’m guessing that the last time this surface was painted was back in the early 1980s, when the building was repainted green, shortly after it became The Queen Victoria B&B (it was completely white for many years before that).
Though this picture was only taken about 2 hours ago, as I write this the entire wall is now already green again. It turns out that once you start painting, it goes quickly. It is getting everything ready to paint that takes the most time. This project was started about 2 weeks ago, and will be complete within a few days.
The Ultimate Christmas Gift!
Yesterday it struck me that I had to start thinking about Christmas gifts for those special people in my life. Though I still have plenty of time, I still felt a slight feeling of panic. What can I possibly get for my wife, parents and siblings that they don’t already have? Assuming that I managed to find the one thing they really needed last year, then it stands to reason that there is nothing else to get them.
Then I had an epiphany (I’ve always loved that word)! It isn’t about finding something they need, but something that they’ll love.
Do you find yourself in a similar situation? What is it that you know your loved one will absolutely adore? How about a trip to The Queen Victoria in Cape May? Who wouldn’t love that?
Actually, many of you are way smarter than I am and figured all of this out years ago. I know this, because so many of you have purchased gift certificates to The Queen Victoria during the Christmas season before. In fact, many of you are downright brilliant, realizing that you can purchase those special people in your life a gift certificate to The Queen Victoria every year without concern about duplication. They’ll love your gift as much or more every year.
Spare yourself the agony of shopping for that perfect gift this year. You’ve already found it! Now all you have to do is visit our website and purchase a gift certificate online, or call us on the phone at (609) 884-8702. SO EASY!
Fall Sunrise on Cape May’s Beach
Who can resist a sunrise. Thankfully, this time of year it is a little bit easier to wake up in time to take such a photo.
This was taken on a morning after a rain storm, as the clouds were disappearing from the horizon, just in time for sunrise. As pretty as this picture is, the scene itself was even more breathtaking. Perhaps if I were a better photographer, or were using something other than my I-Phone, I’d be able to capture the true magnificence of the moment.
Great Christmas Gift Ideas
I normally feature a single item from our gift shop for this segment of our newsletter. This month I thought I would change my approach in view of the upcoming Christmas season.
If you’re planning on a visit to The Queen Victoria between now and Christmas, something I strongly suggest, then you have a great opportunity to purchase some unique and special gifts for some of your loved ones from The Queen Victoria gift shop. Our shop is small, but packed full of great gift ideas such as:
- The 2015 Queen Victoria Christmas Stocking
- Tea pot with cozy (the ones we serve you tea with at The Queen Victoria)
- Tea Wallet
- Coaster Rugs (like the ones in our guest rooms)
- The Queen Victoria Cat’s Meow house
- The Queen Victoria Lighted House
- Queen Victoria Bayberry Soap (like the soap in our guest rooms)
- Custom Queen Victoria Tissue & Toilet Paper Covers
- Queen Victoria Spa Robe
- Harney’s Tea (in tins)
- Queen Victoria Blend Coffee (whole bean or ground)
- Queen Victoria Mug
- Queen Victoria Granola (everybody’s favorite)
As you can see, this is a pretty impressive list, with something for just about anybody on your shopping list (especially if they love The Queen Victoria as much as you do).
If you aren’t planning a visit to The Queen Victoria in time for Christmas, but still want to purchase any of these items, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to ship any of them to you for the additional charge of postage.
Fun Things to do in Cape May
As I’ve mentioned already, Cape May is Christmas Central in the coming months. If you have the least interest in Christmas decorations, or even just want to get into some interesting old houses that are on the tour, you simply have to take one of the many different Christmas season tours offered by the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).
There is a tour just about every day of the week starting on November 20th and running through January 2, 2016. Speaking of November 20th, the picture above is of the Tree Lighting at the Emlen Physick estate, which is the kick-off of the season in Cape May during the Christmas Preview Weekend. The mansion itself is open for free self guided tours, as is the Carriage House, featuring a wonderful Christmas exhibit in the Carroll Gallery. Complimentary beverages and cookies are always popular for young and old alike.
Restaurant Pick of the Month
Freda’s has been Anna Marie and my favorite restaurant in Cape for over 11 years. There are so many reasons for this, as anyone who has been there probably already know.
First of all, the food is consistently wonderful. Neither of us has every had a meal we didn’t love at Freda’s. Though Freda’s is one of the smallest restaurants in Cape May, it is also one of the most charming. For some reason which defies logic it is usually relatively easy to make a reservation at Freda’s too. Freda’s is also just steps from The Queen Victoria, of course, which is another big plus. Finally, Freda’s is a BYOB restaurant, which is definitely a requirement of ours to make them an absolute favorite.
Let’s talk specifics though. On the regular menu, we both love just about every entree offered, including the Stuffed Chicken En Croute, Shrimp & Scallops Pesto, BBQ Pork Ribs, Filet Mignon au Poivre & Valfraise Cheese, Organic Grilled Breast of Chicken. We love literally everything. Beyond that, the specials are always amazing, many of which are always available, including the Black & White Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna and the Crab Cakes Marcus, which almost everyone (except our friends from Maryland) will agree are the best they’ve ever had. The dish pictured above was the "Swordfish Chop", which they were featuring as a special a while back. They don’t do the chop anymore, but the same dish without the bone is seen on the specials menu from time to time.
If you’ve never tried Freda’s, then you absolutely have to. I promise you’ll enjoy it.
Great Reasons to Visit Queen Victoria
Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events
November 20 thru Jan 2, 2016
Channeling with Debbie Wojciechowski, January 9
The Queen Victoria, January 30
Channeling with Debbie Wojciechowski
The Queen Victoria, February 20
Queen Victoria Wine Blending Weekend
Queen Victoria "Big Cheesy"
Cheese tasting party, March 12
Singer Song Writer Cape May
Avi Wisnia Concert
The Queen Victoria, March 19
March Birthdays Party
The Queen Victoria, March 26
The Queen Victoria, April 30
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