With the passing of Summer, Cape May heads into the “Event Season”. Sure, there are events other times of the year, but the Fall is filled with them. In fact, they tend to overlap on some weekends because there is so much going on in Cape May.
It seems that the word is out about how nice it is in Cape May after summer ends. When Anna Marie and I purchased The Queen Victoria in 2004, the Fall season was pretty busy, but NOTHING like it is today. I think a lot of you have discovered that Cape May is at its best in the Fall. Beautiful weather, smaller crowd, same great dining and shopping, and after October the parking meters are turned off.
If you haven’t tried Cape May (or The Queen Victoria) in the Fall, I suggest you consider it. I know you’ll be happy you did.
Anna Marie and I wish to extend our most sincere thanks to all of our wonderful guests who took the time to vote for The Queen Victoria in capemay.com’s annual contest.
You’ve named us the “Best of Cape May” for 7 straight years, starting in 2008!
This year we won in 3 categories, including:
Best Bed & Breakfast
Favorite Victorian Building
We’re the Best in Cape May because our guests are the “Best in the World”.
Thanks So Much!
Food & Wine Celebration September 13-21
I love food. I love wine. It stands to reason that I would look forward to Cape May’s annual celebration of both in September.
I’m guessing that if food & wine are important in your life, then you’ll enjoy our annual celebration as much as I do.
I don’t have enough space in this article to fully describe each of the wonderful events scheduled for the celebration. Instead, I’m listing them for you. I’m pretty sure that after you finish reading the list, and perhaps checking them out further on your own, you’ll be calling us to make a reservation to attend. We still have a couple of openings that week.
September 27 & 28 This year Cape May is hosting the 9th annual North American Sea Glass Festival. Having never attended a Sea Glass Festival, I’m not quite sure what to expect. Anna Marie and I have always enjoyed searching for sea glass, and we’ve got some decorative pieces at home filled with it. I’m looking forward to seeing what it is all about.
There will be over 50 exhibitors, including collectors, artisans and authors at this event. I imagine after a few hours at the Festival, you’ll know just about everything there is to know about sea glass.
If you’re looking for an excuse for a beautiful weekend in Cape May, use this one.
Admission is only $5.
Oktoberfest 2014 October 4, 2014
You may not think of Cape May as an Oktoberfest destination, but there you would be wrong. Cape May is THE place to be for Oktoberfest.
Jackson street, one of the prettiest in Cape May (which is saying a lot), is the home of the Cape May Oktoberfest. Each October 1st, or the closest Saturday to it, the street is closed down and filled with vendors of food, arts, crafts, and other fun stuff. And there is beer, of course, in the beer garden at the Mad Batter.
We still have some availability for Oktoberfest weekend, so give us a call to reserve your room soon. What a wonderful way to kick off the Fall season!
Lessons of History 3rd Annual, October 12th
If you were to ask me what I’m most looking forward to this year, I would tell you that this year’s Lessons of History lecture is it. I’m TRULY looking forward to meeting David O. Stewart and listening to his discourse on our founding fathers and the manner in which our constitution came to be.
I just finished reading his book (pictured above) and I can honestly say that I’ve never enjoyed any non-fictional writing as much as I enjoyed this book. The amazing thing about it, was that it didn’t feel like history. It felt like a great story that I couldn’t wait to get back to between sittings. Mr. Stewart is a supreme story teller, who happens to be telling a true and important story. I can only imagine how compelling he will be in person!
We hear the word “constitutional” all the time, but I think few of us probably have much appreciation or understanding of what our constitution actually says, who the men who wrote it were, what the issues that formed it were, and how (or even when … see the title of the book) it came to be. I was certainly one of those reasonably intelligent, educated individuals that was basically clueless about the topic. And I’ve always loved history! Go figure.
If you’re the least bit curious about how our great nation came to be, and nearly fell apart in its earliest days, then I highly recommend you make plans soon to attend this lecture. You’ll be very happy you did, I’m sure.
Exit Zero Jazz Festival
Nov 7-9 We are thrilled that Jazz is back in Cape May again. With 3 festivals under their belt now, the Exit Zero Jazz Festival is becoming the world class event its promoter envisioned when he launched it in 2012.
Unfortunate timing for their first event, which was held one week after hurricane Sandy, got them off to a slow start. After successful events in November 2013 and May 2014, however, there is no doubt that the Exit Zero Jazz Festival is an event that any music lover will love to attend.
This year’s lineup looks great, with great acts booked all over town, including the Convention Center for the headliners, and club venues for 3 straight days. We’re talking about a serious weekend of music & fun.
There are several different “Pass” options for enjoying all the music available, starting at only $38 for the “Pops” pass, which gets you into all the club venues all weekend long (vs $20 cash at the door for a single performance).
Christmas in Cape May! As promised, I’m teasing you with some thoughts about Christmas.
If you don’t already know it, let me tell you that Cape May is THE place to experience Christmas, either before hand to get into the spirit of the season, or during the holiday itself. There are magnificent tours, fabulous decorations, festive events, great shopping, and as usual, wonderful dining. There is probably no place else in the U.S., or perhaps the world that is as well suited to exemplify Christmas as Cape May, given our Victorian era architecture. Cape May looks like a living Dickens Village (usually without the snow). Imagine stepping into the little village of Studio 56 ceramic houses that you decorate with at Christmas and it suddenly coming to life. We’ve even got Carolers and strolling musicians for some of our Christmas tours. Let’s not forget the Christmas parade on the 1st Saturday of December, either.
The Queen Victoria is completely decorated for Christmas, of course. In fact, we’ll be completely decorated by Thanksgiving, giving you a special treat if you want to spend it at The Queen Victoria.
We’ve been taking a lot of December reservations for both the Christmas season and New Year’s Eve the last couple of weeks. We still have some nice availability, but it is going fast. I’d definitely call us soon if you’re hoping to visit in December.
On December 19th, 1843 Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol”, changing our perception of Christmas forever. Since the early 1980s, Cape May has been celebrating the season, the author, and the era with a 3 day festival full of entertaining performances, great feasts, fun tours, wine tasting, receptions and interesting lectures about Dickens, Christmas, and all things Victorian. Perhaps best of all is the fun group of guests that always attend this event.
The last couple of years have witnessed the revival of this wonderful Cape May tradition, with the return of Elliot Engel, the incredibly entertaining Dickens Scholar who really got it started 30+ years ago. Believe me when I tell you that Elliot could literally have you laughing hysterically about the phone book if he read it to you. This year his talented performance partner Quinn Hawkesworth will be returning to Cape May to charm us all as well. It is shaping up to be the best Dickens Festival ever!
The Dickens festival is also an amazing value. It is pretty hard to beat 3 days of programming, two dinners, a wine tasting and a reception for $160 (in addition to your room, of course). When you combine that with the terrific discounted rates at The Queen Victoria, this festival is by far the best value of the year in Cape May.
Wine Lover’s Weekend
Every February for the last 5 or 6 years The Queen Victoria has hosted a wine blending party at the Cape May Winery. It is definitely one of my favorite events of the year.
On February 21, 2015 Anna Marie and I will join our participating guests 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 laden with premium cheeses, crackers and other goodies. 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.
Prince Alfred is one of our most popular rooms, especially in the summer. It is a very elegant 2nd floor room in the House of Royals building. It has grand 13 foot ceilings, plaster crown molding, beautiful wall coverings, and a lovely Eastlake period bedroom set. It is not our largest room, but it feels spacious, with a large private bath featuring a marble floor, heated towel bar, a step-in shower and a large marble counter top.
What really makes the Prince Alfred room special, though, is the balcony. It has our largest balcony, which wraps around the room, providing views of both the ocean and The Queen Victoria building across the street. There are 2 sets of rocking chairs, one for each view.
The balcony is accessed through either of two “pocket windows” in the room, which roll up into the ceiling instead of into the side wall the way a pocket door would.
Everybody loves this room. I’m sure you would too. If you want to give it a try, make sure to plan ahead, though. Like I said, it is very popular.
Gift Shop Featured Item Bayberry Soap Gift Box
One of the most popular items in our gift shop is our 3-bar gift box of Bayberry Soap. This is the same soap that you know and love that we put in your guest room. The only difference is that each of the three bars in the box are a lot bigger than what you find in your room.
I think that most of you purchase the soap to use at home and be reminded of your trip to Cape May. I always enjoy doing that when we travel. I know that it is also a very popular gift to take home for friends and relatives, quite often the folks watching the kids or perhaps dog sitting.
Think about it. Wouldn’t you love to relive your visit to The Queen Victoria as you are showering for work in the morning. It would definitely get you off to a good start for the day!
Favorite Photo My Favorite Sign
Last month after I published our previous newsletter, one of our guests named George Sawn submitted several very nice photos to me that he took during his stay with us. This is one of them.
The sub heading for this article says “My Favorite Sign”, but that isn’t quite true. Yes, The Queen Victoria sign IS my favorite sign, but this image also includes one of my least favorite signs too … the “Vacancy” sign.
Thankfully, we haven’t seen much of that “Vacancy” sign this season. In fact, this picture was taken just before Summer really kicked in.
So, George responded to my last request for more photos and I’ve been posting his pictures all over the place. Do you have some spectacular Queen Victoria or Cape May photos that you believe should be seen by the rest of the world (or at least The Queen Victoria viewing part of it)? Send them my way to “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
More New Stuff! New paint
I’m taking a new tack with my “New Stuff” feature this month. This month I’m featuring some new paint on one of our walls of The Queen Victoria building.
One of the constant parts of life at The Queen Victoria (or any historic home in Cape May) is painting. Lots of people ask me how often we have to paint and I usually reply “constantly”. Nearly every day that we can be painting outside, we ARE painting outside.
I thought I would share our latest painting project with you, which is almost complete as I write this. Besides the new paint on the wall (and the white primer, also new, below it) you can also see our new pump jack equipment, which is a type of portable scaffolding that we purchased very recently. Harder to notice in this picture is our new “Paint Shaver” and super shop-vac that we also bought for this project. These new items won’t be available for you to enjoy directly on your next visit, but I hope that the lovely, newly painted walls that we use them on will enhance your next visit to The Queen Victoria.
Many of you had heard that Craig McManus had become so popular and busy that he wasn’t able to schedule any visits to Cape May for our Channeling Weekends. I honestly assumed that was the end of our Channeling Weekends.
I was lamenting the loss of Craig with one of our guests who had attended one of his events at The Queen Victoria and she mentioned that she knew of a medium/psychic that was at least as good as Craig who she had experience with. That was high praise, indeed.
I’m pleased to report to you that after extensive communication and discussions, we have invited Debbie Wojciechowski to become our new “resident” medium/psychic.
Debbie is a Certified Psychic Medium and a Certified Master Teacher, both c/o Lisa Williams International School of Spiritual Development. She has been trained, assessed and certified by Lisa Williams (International Psychic Medium). Debbie became a full time medium/spiritualist after retiring from a 25 year law enforcement career. She also holds a Master of Science degree from John’s Hopkins university.
Debbie will be doing two sessions for each scheduled Saturday event, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Participation is limited to 10 guests per session. Each participant is guaranteed at least a 10 minute reading.
Price: $ 60/person
Next at Cape May Stage Blithe Spirit (Aug 6 – Sep 19)
Now that Blithe Spirit has opened, I can report to you that Anna Marie and I are thrilled to have sponsored this terrific play. It is a great comedy and has been adored by everyone who has seen it.
I’d try to give you a feel for the story, but Cape May Stage has done so wonderfully already, so I’ll share their description with you. …
“Noel Coward brings one of the funniest ghost stories to the stage in the classic Blithe Spirit. A zany medium accidentally stirs up the temperamental ghost of a novelist’s first wife after a séance that goes awry. It’s a hauntingly hilarious good time as wife #1 does her best to spook her husband’s current marriage to wife #2. This clever comedy is filled with the eccentric characters and witty dialogue that is Coward’s trademark. It may not send shivers up your spine, but it’s guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. You may die laughing!”
If you’re going to be at The Queen Victoria during this show’s run, I strongly suggest you plan one of your evenings around this show. If you love theater, you’ll love Blithe Spirit. Be sure to check out the “Dinner and a Show” dining packages offered by several of our local restaurants!
Cape May Lighthouse The Highpoint of Cape May’s attractions
There is something particularly compelling about lighthouses. Cape May’s lighthouse is not exception. Though few of us have ever used them as the navigational aids they were created to be, there is a natural attraction to them. Perhaps it just the interesting shape and height of a lighthouse.
Cape May’s lighthouse has been beautifully restored and is open to the public. If you want to get a great view of Cape May and don’t mind a little bit of exercise, then it would be hard to beat the Cape May Lighthouse as a destination during your next visit to Cape May.
The lighthouse is open to the public for most of the year, with limited hours in the winter. Admission to climb the lighthouse is $8, but is free for MAC members (joining MAC for $40/couple/year is a must for anyone who really loves Cape May).
Restaurant of the Month Cucina Rosa
Anna Marie and I have always loved Cucina Rosa. It has great food, is within easy walking distance of The Queen Victoria, has a very comfortable, surprisingly elegant feeling, and is a BYOB. What else could you ask for in a restaurant?
I always say that Cucina Rosa is our favorite Italian restaurant in Cape May. They have a very nice menu, with lots of variety. They also have something unique in town, which is a “diminutive” menu which offers down-sized portions at lower prices than the main menu. In fact, we often order from the diminutive menu.
So what are our favorites at Cucina Rosa? For years I was stuck on the Chicken Oreganata with the roasted potatoes (instead of the pasta). It is an original dish with a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy chicken breast filet coated with a proprietary crumb concoction that is truly incredible. I’ve probably had it 50 times. Recently, however, I discovered the Mediterranean Shrimp, which is pan sauteed shrimp on a bed of fresh spinach topped with plum tomatoes and a light coating of mozzarella cheese and oreganata. It is served over penne with butter, Loccatelli romano, and black pepper. My mouth is actually watering as I write about it.
Anna Marie has had many favorites over the years, but has recently fixated on the Petite Filet on the diminutive menu. She always gets it with the roasted potatoes. It is hard to beat a perfect filet!
If you haven’t tried Cucina Rosa yet, you must. If you have tried it, then you probably love it and need to book a stay at The Queen Victoria soon so you’ll have an opportunity to experience it again.
Visit The Queen Victoria Soon!
Cape May’s Premier Bed and Breakfast
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