At this point there are
basically three categories of Christmas shoppers in the world. First
there are those amazingly organized people who have already completed all
of their shopping and are simply enjoying the festive season. We all hate
those people. Next there are the folks who have been shopping up a storm,
but just can’t quite find the right gift for their special someone.
Finally, there are the people like me that have been thinking that it is
high time to start shopping for Christmas, but haven’t managed to start
the effort. If you fall into either of the latter two categories, I’m
here to help.
Relax, this is going to be really simple. All you have to do is make a
quick phone call to The Queen Victoria and purchase a gift certificate for
your loved one(s). Think about it for just a minute. How excited would
you be to receive a trip to The Queen Victoria? In fact, if you’re giving
it to your husband/wife/significant other, you will not only be giving it
to them, but to yourself too. Now I’m not advocating selfishness for the
Christmas Season, but enlightened self interest is not a bad thing.
A Queen Victoria gift
certificate is also a great gift for the loved ones on your list who
really don’t need any more “stuff”. Sending your loved ones
away for a relaxing and romantic getaway to The Queen Victoria is more
than the gift of a vacation. It is the gift of the memories they’ll take
away from that vacation. It is something they’ll never forget.
I’ll share a story that I was reminded of yesterday by a woman who gave
her parents a gift certificate to The Queen Victoria. Her folks rarely
got away due to their busy lives, so this was a real treat for them. They
had an incredibly good time and I’m told they were acting like teenagers
again (only the positive aspects of young love, I assume; no attitude).
In fact, her parents planned to make it an annual event. Sadly, this
woman’s father passed away shortly after their visit to Cape May, at a
very young age. His wife, who was understandably devastated, cherished
the moments they shared together in Cape May and The Queen Victoria as
one of their happiest memories.
Late last spring Anna
Marie and I discovered a new winery that I told you about in a previous
newsletter. I was pretty excited about it because it is just the first of
several new wineries that will be opening in the Cape May area within the
next few years. I was also quite surprised by the quality of the wines I
tasted there. It is simply amazing to me that a winery that has been open
such a short amount of time can produce such high quality wines. Since
then they’ve released two more red wines, which are even better than the
“Red Table Wine” that I enjoyed so much on our first visit.
I’m pleased to report
that the owners Todd & Kenna are working very hard to make the Hawk
Haven winery even better. Not only are they continuing to invest in their
property, but they are creating some great events that are lots of fun.
This summer they introduced “Sangria Sundays”, which were truly
enjoyable. With live entertainment under a cathedral tent next to the
vineyard, you couldn’t help but have a great time. It was raining the day
we went, but it didn’t matter at all!
This winter they are featuring “Barrel Room Dinners” every
Friday night. Each week different chefs from our Cape May area
restaurants present a petite entree dining experience featuring locally
grown or caught, seasonal foods. Of course, each course is paired with a
half glass of Hawk Haven wine. Live jazz music compliments the evening,
which is certain to be a memorable one.
Lots of you join us
every year for New Years Eve. What better place to welcome in the New
Year! We don’t have any pyro-techniques or dropping apples, but the charm
and romance of Cape May is in full swing on New Year’s Eve.
We still have a few
rooms left for New Year’s Eve this year. If you haven’t firmed up your
plans yet, or have always thought about celebrating the new year in Cape
May, then give us a call. As an added benefit, The Queen Victoria (and
the whole town, for that matter) will still be decorated in our Christmas
finery, so you’ll get to experience the magic of Christmas in Cape May
Call today for your reservation, though! We only have a few rooms left.
at The Queen Victoria
Now that Thanksgiving
is behind us, many of us are pondering the Christmas season. Where are we
going to spend Christmas? Who is cooking for the family? What gifts
should I get for my loved ones? Sometimes these are easy questions to
answer. Sometimes they are not. As always, I’m here to assist you through
the tough decisions.
First of all, if there
is any question about where to spend Christmas (a question like “who
is volunteering to take this on this year?”), then I can only
suggest finding a perfect neutral location where everything is easy,
relaxing and purely pleasurable: The Queen Victoria. Seriously, spending
Christmas with us answers all of these questions. The gift giving gets
particularly easy … you can give each other your stay at the inn.
Really, it doesn’t get any better or simpler than this. You have to start
planning soon though! Christmas is fast approaching.
Last winter we
introduced our Wine Blending Weekend. I can honestly say that everybody
that attended had a WONDERFUL time. Based on the success of those events,
I’m pleased to say that we’re bringing them back again next year.
If you didn’t attend one of our wine blending weekends this year, you
won’t want to miss them this winter. To start with, we gather in their
very romantic & charming barrel room, which is filled with candles,
wine barrels, tables full of wine glasses and a magnificent cheese tray.
First we sample the various blending wines, learning to identify their
key characteristics. Once we’ve mastered the various wines, we go right
to work crafting the perfect blend. Each table of 4-6 people is tasked
with producing their favorite blend and ultimately filling a decanter
with their masterpiece. We then break for a tour of the winery, and
another glass of wine, of course, while the winery staff prepares each
table for the “taste off”.
When we return to the
barrel room we’ll find our several glasses of wine to taste, one from
each of the tables and one or two from past blending weekends, that we
collectively judge. The winning blend is then bottled, with each couple
attending receiving 2 bottles with customized labels with their names for
them to enjoy at home. I should mention that it takes a few weeks for the
winery to bottle our wine for us, so you don’t get to take it home with
you that day. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the beautiful Queen Victoria
Wine Bag that will be waiting for you in your room upon arrival! Can it
get any better?
The dates for 2010 are January 23 and March 6. Get your calendars out and
make plans to attend one of these wonderful events! In fact, as I write
this, it occurs to me that it would be the perfect Christmas gift for the
wine lover who has everything already (note that this does not contradict
my previously described “Perfect Gift”, in that they are really
Return of “The Big Cheese”
Back by popular demand
… “The Big Cheese” cheese tasting party! Last February’s
introductory event was so much fun and so successful that we absolutely
had to bring it back again this coming February.
Let’s say that you are not one of those folks whose life revolves around
cheese. Nothing to be ashamed of. So why in the world would you want to
plan a whole weekend around a cheese tasting party? Fair question. The
truth is, I didn’t care too much about cheese until our party last year.
I’ve got to say, though, that I think our last cheese tasting party was
one of the most enjoyable events we’ve ever had at the inn.
At our last party, Anna
Marie and I put out about 15 different cheeses, each with descriptions
about their origin and character. We also selected several different
types of olives, some wonderful breads, and great dipping oils to enjoy.
We held the event in the House of Royals parlor, which turned out to be a
litte too small, as we had so many people that just couldn’t get enough
of the event. We even prepared “tasting sheets”, so anybody who
was really serious about it could score each cheese. I think most people
just ate it, to be honest with you.
The next Big Cheese will be held on February 20, which is perfectly
situated not to interfere with anything else in the word. Truly, the only
place that has anything going on is Cape May, which is where you want to
be anyway. Call us soon and reserve your room for this really fun event,
which is FREE for all our guests.
Christmas Tours Nov 20 thru Jan 3
at The Queen Victoria Dec 24-25
Blending Weekend January 23
Day Feb 12-14
Wine Trail Jan 17
Fantasy Buffet Feb 13
& Antiques in the Winter” Feb 13,14
Wine School (Italian Wines) Feb 14
Cheese Weekend February 20
Blending Weekend March 6
Holmes Weekend March 19-21
Jazz Festival April 16-18
“Magical”, he said. “Truly and absolutely
magical. It was like a scene from a movie”.
That was the description that one of our guests gave of their experience in
Cape May last Saturday evening. I know just how he feels. It was wonderful
to be reminded of just how, well, magical, Cape May is at Christmas.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it is hard not to be swept away with
the festivity and cheer of the season when strolling the streets of Cape
May during the Christmas season. It is something you have to experience to
appreciate. If you haven’t experienced it yet, then it is something you
need to put on your “list” (I hesitate to use the term
“bucket” … it is so morbid). If a trip to Cape May for the
Christmas season is already on your list, then what are you waiting for?
Believe it or not, there is still time to squeeze it in this year. Careful
though, you may find it is something that you’ll want to do every year.
Just a few lights
“Room of the Month” … Osborne
OK, this is it. This is
the most viewed room on our website. It is also reserved more than any
other room. In fact, we’ve got several guests who literally have said
they would like to BUY this room. Not rent it, but buy it. I’m not sure
if they’re thinking time share or they want the whole enchilada. So far
we’re sticking with the rental thing.
what makes Osborne so popular? Well, it could be the fireplace. In the
chilly winter (like this weekend) that is a cozy amenity. It could be the
two person whirlpool tub, which certainly adds to the romance of the
room. It might well be the decor, which is from the “Aesthetic”
style, a little more masculine looking than some of our other rooms.
Perhaps it is the relative privacy of the Queen’s Cottage, located as it
is with just one other guest room across the street from the Queen
Victoria building. Did I mention the parking space? Well, that might just
have something to do with it too.
If you’re looking for a great room, certainly one of our nicest, then
consider the Osborne. You’ll have to plan ahead a bit to get a
reservation, but it will be worth it.
Are you one of our guests
who love our granola? Do you think about our granola all year long
between your visits to The Queen Victoria? Are you one of the many people
who have asked me “why don’t you sell your granola”? If you
answered yes to any of these questions, then I’m about to make your day!
I’m proud to announce
that we are starting to sell our granola. It took us a while to come
around to the idea, I must admit. One of the bigger considerations was
how to package it. We couldn’t just fill a baggie with granola and a
twistie tie … not charming enough. Once I found a cute little
“gable” box to package it in, there was nothing holding us
On your next visit to The Queen Victoria, plan on taking a little bit of
The Queen Victoria home with you. Sure, you can make it yourself with the
granola recipe in our new cookbook, but I promise you that you’ll enjoy
the stuff we make better. It is MUCH less work.
at Last! Anna Marie’s New Cookbook
They’re here, and I must
say they were worth the wait. Our new cookbooks arrived last week and we
couldn’t be more pleased with the way they came out. They are simply
beautiful. Of course, they are also full of EVERY recipe that we use at
The Queen Victoria.
The timing couldn’t be
better. We’ve already sold scores (how often do you really ever get to
use that word?) of our new cookbooks to our Christmas season guests. I
can only assume that when somebody buys four cookbooks that they are
doing a little Christmas shopping. I’m pretty sure that in most cases one
of them is a gift to themselves, though.
We had actually been taking orders for the books for a few weeks, once we
knew delivery was imminent. Let’s just say I’ve been making LOTS of trips
to the post office in the last few days to satisfy all those orders.
Whether you’ve been waiting to buy our new cookbook for your own kitchen,
or perhaps are planning on giving one as a Christmas gift, your wait is
over. If you can’t wait until your next visit to get one, just give us a
call and we’ll be happy to ship you one (or a few!).
New Convention Center for Cape May
This has got to be the
slowest developing story in the history of journalism. I just wish there
was somebody famous involved in the Convention Center project who was
cheating on their spouse so I could distract you all with some sleazy
gossip reporting. Of course, nothing like that would ever happen in Cape
Anyway, I haven’t heard
anything about the project since my last report to you. Sad, but true.
You’ll be pleased to hear that journalistically speaking I’m way ahead of
the curve, though. I opened a copy of “Exit Zero” last week and
was surprised to see the editor Jack Wright describing everything that I
had reported to you last month. I didn’t realize what an intrepid
reporter I was!
Guest Photos … Winter Sunset
This is a beautiful shot
taken at the cove during a winter sunset. I chose it for a couple of
reasons. First, this is about what sunset looks like this time of year.
Notice how far to the left of the lighthouse the sun is setting! Another
reason I selected this photo is the symbolic value of it.
This past year, with all
the upheavals and trouble so many have faced, is setting, much as the sun
in this photo. The New Year brings with it the promise of better times
and hope for a bright New Year ahead.
& Anna Marie’s Restaurant Pick Of The Month … Fredas Cafe
I know, you’ve heard us
talk about Fredas when you were here. I’ve written about them before in
my newletters. So why am I mentioning them again this month? Because they
are one of our very favorite restaurants and their food is about as good
as it gets.
As you may know, not all
of our restaurants stay open all year. Fredas is one of several
restaurants that we can enjoy all year long. They’ve got so much going
for them in my book. First of all, the food. It is hard to list all of
our favorite dishes, but I’ll mention a few. Fredas is FAMOUS for their
crab cakes. I know my friends from Maryland will dispute the possibility,
but I think that Fredas are the best anywhere (they are a very different
stye than Maryland crabcakes, so I’m not taking anything away from
theirs). Do you like Ribs? Fredas has you covered. I absolutely love the
Stuffed Chicken Breast En Croute. Anna Marie loves the Shrimp and
Scallops Pesto, though she orders it without the Pesto. They serve that
one in a delicious white wine, lemon sauce with capers that is wonderful.
Do you love Rack of Lamb? Freda’s is wonderful. How about Ahi Tuna? Yep,
they’ve got you covered. Seriously, there is something wonderful for any
taste at Fredas. I forgot to mention one of my favorite things about
Fredas. They are a BYO restaurant, so you can bring your own wine and save
lots of money!
Speaking of New Years (well, I wasn’t, but I am now), I just heard that
they’ve dropped their price to $45/person for a 5 course meal. You just
can’t beat that. If you’re planning on staying with us for New Year’s Eve
(and I think you should), you’ll want to make your reservations for
Fredas right away. I just made mine.
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!