By the time you’ve received this email Christmas will have come and gone, but the happy memories of it linger, I’m sure. We didn’t have a White Christmas this year, but I wanted to share this beautiful photo of The Queen Victoria as it is one of those fairly rare moments when we actually did get some snow. If there is anything that can make this building even prettier than it is at Christmas time, it has to be a light, decorative snow.
OK, so here you are in the final few days of 2013, the clock ticking down steadily on the year, and you haven’t made plans for your New Year’s Eve Celebration yet. Don’t despair, you still have time to remedy your sad situation. We still have a few rooms available for New Years, and we have even more rooms available this weekend, just before New Years. That’s right … you have options. See, things are looking up already.
Cape May is always pretty festive in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but in a low-key, classy sort of way. You won’t find any dropping apples or massive crowds making lots of noise. You will find a relaxing, charming seaside village with lots of fun things to do, great dining, and plenty of shopping, just like it always is.
Think about it, this is your last chance this year to sneak down for a well deserved visit to Cape May. What better way to ring in the new year and get ready for 2014 than a visit to The Queen Victoria. Give us a call or visit us online. We’ve got a room just waiting for you to claim for a night or two!
Last year we celebrated Anna Marie’s significant birthday (I’ve conveniently forgotten which one) with a party at The Queen Victoria. It was especially fun because we turned it into a “March Birthday” celebration for several of our guests celebrating birthdays that month. They reserved a room for a fun weekend in Cape May and we had a big party for everyone.
It was such a great time, in fact, that we’ve decided to repeat and expand the event. In 2014 we’ll be throwing a birthday party every month through April. If you’re going to be celebrating a birthday this winter/early spring and you’re looking for a fun way to do it, I suggest a trip to The Queen Victoria.
Here are the dates of our 2014 Birthday Parties:
If you don’t have a birthday coming up, but still want an excuse to reserve a room at The Queen Victoria, you’re still welcome! We we won’t be checking IDs.
Channeling with Craig McManus Jan 11, 2014
Since our last newsletter we’ve nearly sold out both of our Winter Channeling Sessions with Craig McManus. I’m sure you’ll be excited to learn that we still have 4 seats left for our January 11th event. On the other hand, that means that we only have room for 2 more couples to attend.
Craig has an amazing following, and that is because he is the real deal. Lots of people attend his events over and over and leave happy every time.
The interesting thing to me about Craig’s special gift is that he shares it in ways that truly bring his audience great joy and happiness. I think we all wonder what happens to our loved ones when they leave this earth and wish we could have just one more word with them. Craig makes that happen.
This event is definitely going to sell out soon. Make sure you’re one of the fortunate ones attending. It will be a great start for your 2014.
If you love red wine then you will absolutely love this event. Each year we pick a February weekend to hold our annual Wine Lover’s Weekend. The weekend revolves around an afternoon Wine Blending Party that we hold at the Cape May Winery. This is one seriously enjoyable event.
On Saturday Feb 22, we’ll gather at Cape May Winery to craft the perfect blend of red wine. We’ll break up into teams of 4-6 people at tables laden with decanters of the various red wines (Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot & Syrah) right out of the barrel and trays of cheese from Seaside Cheese. Each team will craft & document several different blends, ranking them among themselves. Ultimately, each team will select and produce a decanter of its “finest blend”. We’ll all break for a tour of the winery while the winery personnel pour each of us a glass (tasting) of each blend. Following the tour, we’ll head back to the blending room and do a “blind” tasting. 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. You can also order additional bottles for your cellar.
What a great way to spend a winter weekend. I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. I can hardly wait!
Price: only $50/person
Big Cheesey Weekend March 8, 2014
One of the tastiest days of the year at The Queen Victoria is always the Big Cheesey Weekend. Each March we host a complimentary cheese tasting party. We select around 16 different cheeses and set up our dining room table as a cheese tasting bar. Our guests bring a bottle of their favorite wine (one they’re willing to share, as it becomes somewhat communal) and everyone has a great time. Several of you have made it an annual tradition, with good reason. A great time is always had by all.
Early March is a great time for an event like this. It is fun to have something to look forward to during the depths of winter. Ironically, the weather has always been really great for our Cheesey events, with lots of folks sipping wine, eating cheese and chatting the sunny afternoon away on the outside porch.
We’re all about giving you reasons to visit The Queen Victoria during the winter months. This is one of the best ones!
ABSOLUTELY FREE (for reserved guests, of course)
Remember Ben Franklin’s sage advice “A penny saved is a penny earned”? He obviously wrote that when a penny was worth considerably more than it is today, but his wisdom holds true. In fact, I believe that he was probably presciently looking into the future and proposing a stay at The Queen Victoria as part of a comprehensive investment strategy.
Each winter we roll out several different discount packages to save (earn) some money for our thrifty guests. Since we have to make sure we make money too, most of these focus on mid-week stays now through April. They all have such catchy names too:
Each one is a great deal and has its own merits, focusing on different ways to save (earn).
Just remember, the more you save at The Queen Victoria by making longer and repeated winter visits, the more you earn. It’s a shame that all investments aren’t this easy or fun.
Great Reasons to Return to The Queen Victoria
Christmas Tours through Jan 1
January Birthdays Party Jan 4
Channeling with Craig McManus Jan 11 (only 4 seats left!)
Channeling with Craig McManus Feb 8 (sold out!)
February Birthdays Party Feb 8
Afternoon with Groucho Show Feb 16
Wine Lovers Weekend (blending party) Feb 22, 2014
“Big Cheesy” Cheese Tasting Party Mar 8
Irish Tenor Concert with Ronan Tynan Mar 8
Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Weekend Mar 14-16
2nd Annual Whiskey Challenge Mar 15
March Birthdays Party Mar 22
Singer Songwriter Cape May Mar 28-29
April Birthdays Party Apr 12
Saturday Night Club! One Night Openings this weekend
Lots of you call asking for a one night stay at The Queen Victoria. Most of the time we simply can’t accommodate you. If you’ve been waiting for a one night opening, this weekend is your big chance. We’ve got a few one-night openings available for both Friday and Saturday night.
This is a great weekend to drive to Cape May, as we’ve got the big “Candlelight Tour” running this weekend. Not only can you come for a quick visit in your favorite B&B, but you can tour many of the other inns in town and keep that Christmas festivity going.
By the way, this is a picture of Anna Marie just before a Candlelight Tour a couple of years ago. If you want to see us in our Victorian outfits, this is the only way to do it.
Room of The Month
Charles Dickens may well be the most popular author that ever set pen to paper. Perhaps no other author has ever enjoyed such an enduring legacy (though Mark Twain probably comes close). He was certainly one of the most famous people on the planet in his day, perhaps rivaling Queen Victoria herself. In acknowledgement of his status in the Victoria Era, we have a room named after him.
The Charles Dickens room is located on the 2nd floor of the Queen Victoria building. It is a standard room, making it one of our smaller and least expensive rooms. Despite its category, it is a fairly spacious room with a nice big bathroom featuring a step-in shower and large marble vanity.
If Bed and Breakfasts are often known for having frilly, feminine decor, the Charles Dickens room belies the stereotype. It is actually decorated in a somewhat masculine fashion, making it comfortable for even the most macho husband.
Like all of our rooms, the Charles Dickens room features memorabilia about its namesake, so don’t be surprised if you end your stay in the Charles Dickens room feeling a little bit literary. If you’re truly inspired, I’ll lend you a copy of one of Dickens books to read during your visit. I bet you would enjoy it!
Gift Shop Featured Item Queen Victoria Lighted House
We’re always all about history here at The Queen Victoria, so I’m going to share a little of our history with you here. For many years we featured this lovely lighted house in our gift shop, selling over 100 of them each year. In the height of the last recession we attempted to place our standard order of 150 houses and were informed that because of tough economic times in China (yeah, it broke my heart too), the minimum order was now 500. There was no way we could possibly store that many houses, so we stopped carrying them. A year or so ago, flush with some new storage space, we discovered that the company we bought them from is gone and the factory in China that has our mold is beyond our reach. It seemed that the houses would be no more.
Last week I did a little research and found a company that could reproduce our mold and arrange to have them manufactured for us again. Anna Marie and I were thrilled at the prospect, as so many of you ask about them every year.
Like so many things in life, this discovery was a mixed blessing. While we were elated at the prospect of having the houses again, the price tag to re-create the mold was very high. What’s more, the houses would now be made in the USA, which truly thrills me. Of course, it will be much more expensive to manufacture at US wage scales. Though we’re still in the decision making phase of this project, I think we’ll be placing an order soon. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to deliver a beautiful, made in the USA Queen Victoria lighted house to you in the $75 price range in the coming months.
I posted a teaser about this on Facebook the other day to try and gauge interest in a new lighted house, and the reply was overwhelmingly positive. It was a hopeful sign!
Favorite Photo Winter Camellias
Yes, it truly is winter in Cape May, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have flowers blooming in some of our gardens. These pretty camellias are obviously a bit of an exception, but I love to see blooming plants in the middle of winter!
I just took a peak into our front garden and noticed that we have an Iris that is beginning to bloom. I think Cape May is pretty magical, don’t you?
Whiskey Challenge Weekend (March 15th)
Are you looking for an interesting way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day this year?
Join us for our 2nd annual St. Patty’s Day Whiskey Challenge. Our inaugural event in 2013 was such a resounding success that we’re excited to make it an annual tradition!
In the spirit of inclusiveness, We’re changing things up a bit for 2014. I know there are a lot of Scotch and Bourbon drinkers out there, and it didn’t seem right to discriminate against you fine folks just because St. Patrick was Irish. So, this year we’re encouraging everyone to bring their favorite Whiskey (Irish, Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, etc.) to the challenge.
This is a BYOW event (that is Bring Your Own Whiskey, of course), so bring a bottle of your favorite Whiskey. We’ll label everyone’s bottle for safe keeping and bring it into the kitchen, where we’ll pour each into a anonymous carafe for a blind tasting. Last year we got a couple of duplicate bottles, and I expect that again. I know that a few of you will bring something a little obscure to throw in the mix and make it interesting. At the end of the event we’ll cast our ballots for our favorite and we’ll see who comes out on top.
Since we’re just sipping/tasting here, most of those bottles will have a lot left in them at the end of the day. We’ll be sure to return everybody’s bottle to them at the end of the event.
No St. Patrick’s Day celebration could be complete without some traditional Irish fare as well, so we’ll have our chef prepare some special treats for sustenance during this event.
This year make St. Patty’s a Day to remember.
Price of Admission: A bottle of your favorite Whiskey
Playing at Cape May Stage Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol (Through Dec 29)
Cape May Stage’s Christmas season production, “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol”, is still running through the end of Christmas week. Anna Marie and I have seats for tonight’s performance, so we still can’t share much about it with you yet. Here is what Cape May Stage says about it on their website:
We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge…but what ever happened to Jacob Marley? Chained and shackled, Marley is condemned for all eternity, but when a malicious little evil sprite offers a desperate Marley one chance to free himself, he accepts. To escape his own chains, he must first redeem Scrooge. So begins a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal. This irreverent, funny, and ultimately, deeply moving story retells Dickens’ classic with warmth and infectious zest. This thrilling performance is sure to become a holiday classic for generations to come!
Anna Marie and I are really looking forward to seeing this show tonight. It sounds like a lot of fun. Add a night at Cape May stage to a visit filled with beautiful Christmas decor and great tours, and you’ve crafted a perfect Cape May Christmas season escape. If you’re tempted to book a quick last-minute visit to The Queen Victoria before New Years, but are on the fence about it, this should put you over the top! We still have a handful of rooms available through the New Year.
Restaurant of the Month Depot Market Cafe
Though I normally focus on dinner destinations in our restaurant feature, this is really supposed to be about great dining in Cape May, no matter the meal. Since I could never feature a breakfast place (for obvious reasons), that leaves me considering a great lunch destination for your next visit to Cape May.
If you asked every local in town for their favorite lunch destination, either dine in or take out, I believe the majority vote would be the Depot Market Cafe. This has LONG been Anna Marie and my favorite, go-to place for lunch on those occasions when we go out or take out lunch.
The Depot Market is located near the corner of Lafayette and Ocean streets, just a couple of blocks from The Queen Victoria. Inside it has the feeling of a sandwich shop, right down to the drink cooler along the wall. The menu and quality of the food far surpasses what you would expect from a sandwich shop, however.
Anna Marie loves their burgers, which are very, very good. I’ve really been enjoying the chicken cheese-steak lately, which is amazing. Their soups are always made from scratch in-house and give off a mouth watering aroma as soon as you step in the door.
During a busy day in Cape May the Depot is sure to be very crowded at lunch time, so I’ve taken to calling in our order about 10 minutes before I plan to arrive. It’s great to step in the door and bypass the line waiting to order … just like the VIP you are when you are staying at The Queen Victoria.
By the way, the Depot does serve dinners as well as lunches, but you have to be prepared to eat pretty early, especially in the winter.
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