Wow … what a winter. It hasn’t been as bad in Cape May as it has been for most of our guests (that’s you!), but we’re definitely ready to move on. The phones have been ringing like crazy the last couple of days, and we’ve been taking a lot of reservations for the upcoming seasons, including Spring, Summer & Fall. I think everybody has cabin fever.
Last month I teased you with a photo of Spring Flowers. This month I’m stretching a little bit more and sharing a Summer beach scene with you. Can’t you just imagine yourself lounging in one of these chairs, enjoying the warm breeze, and watching the waves crash into the beach?
Sure, we’re still a few months away from that point, but now is definitely the time to start thinking about reserving your Summer stay at The Queen Victoria. We still have availability, but our bookings are way ahead of normal, and rooms are going fast.
We’re also well into our Winter/Spring discount package season. If you want to take advantage of some of the great discounts that we are offering, now is the time to do it. In fact, our Winter Escape, which is the best weekend package that we offer, ends at the end of March.
I’m thinking that we’re all going to be rewarded for this brutal winter with a glorious Spring and Summer. I’m not sure what the Farmer’s Almanac says about it, but it only seems fair. Don’t you agree?
We just held our second 2014 Birthday party a couple of weeks ago for all of our guests celebrating February birthdays. We had cake, gifts, balloons … the whole deal. It was a great time and a fun weekend for all of our guests, but especially those with February birthdays. What better excuse to get out of town for a quick trip to Cape May than to celebrate your birthday?
We’re throwing a birthday party every month this winter/spring for all of our guests celebrating birthdays in those months. Think about it, this is a great way to have a party in your honor without having to be all embarrassed about it. Nobody asks your age and you probably won’t have to blow any candles out.
Wouldn’t you love to celebrate your upcoming birthday at The Queen Victoria?
Here are the dates of our remaining 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! You’ll still get to attend the party! We won’t be checking IDs.
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. I’m really hoping that will be true this year too!
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)
Whiskey Challenge (Tasting) Weekend March 15th
I know that not every one enjoys whiskey (it is a fairly new thing for me). Having said that, I know there are a lot of folks who really do enjoy a glass of this wonderful beverage once in a while.
I was at the store the other day, considering my options for my next bottle (I like to keep trying new things), and it struck me what a great opportunity the Whiskey Challenge is to try lots of different whiskeys without having to purchase every one of them. Think about it … wouldn’t it be great if you could try something before you drop $30+ on it? This is a chance to do just that!
Last year’s inaugural event was an “Irish Whiskey” challenge. This year we’re opening it up completely, to bring in even more diversity. Irish, Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, you name it. If you love it, bring it and we’ll see how it compares to everything else. Personally, I’m hoping to find something new and wonderful that I can establish as my new favorite. I started with Scotch initially and then made the switch to Irish. Who knows where I’ll end up eventually?
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.
Last year’s winner was a 12 year old Tullamore Dew.
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. Plan on making a lunch of it!
This year make St. Patty’s a Day to remember.
Price of Admission: A bottle of your favorite Whiskey (Irish, Scotch, Canadian, Kentucky …)
April 25 through May 4 Every April Cape May blooms along with all of the beautiful flowers when the Spring Festival returns. We always look forward to the Spring Festival, with all the fun events scheduled. This is a week-long event with lots of fun things to do every day! Here are a few of them:
Best of all, most of this festival is held during the last week of our “Special Package Season”, so you can save LOTS of money on your room at The Queen Victoria.
Exit 0 Jazz Festival May 30 – June 1
For years the Cape May Jazz Festival was a staple of the Fall & Spring Cape May scene. That festival is no longer, but I’m pleased to say that the Exit 0 Jazz Festival, which was born the week after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, is bigger and better than the Cape May Jazz Festival ever was.
Better yet, after a very successful 2013 Fall event, they are rolling out their first (late) Spring event. It is shaping up to be the biggest, best Jazz festival to ever play in Cape May.
There are some really great headliners scheduled for the big events, which includes a new Sunday show in both the afternoon & evening. Also new is an outdoor show at the Emlen Physick Estate, featuring a wine/beer tent, food vendors and more. Truly a festival atmosphere. It will be a really cool event.
Passes are available for both 2 days and 3 days, and I’ve got to say they are priced right. Since we’re one of the Festival’s Hospitality partners, you’ll be able to purchase them directly from us if you wish (same price).
Do you want another reason to attend? Cape May Restaurant week starts that Sunday. If you love Jazz and are looking for a great weekend, I suggest you plan a 3 night visit to The Queen Victoria, enjoy some great music and good times, and cap your weekend off with an amazing meal at Restaurant Week prices on Sunday.
Would it be too corny to say that I’m really “Jazzed” about this?
7th Annual Cape May Restaurant Week June 1-8 … “8 nights, 3 courses”
One of the great things about Cape May is the abundance of wonderful restaurants. The only way to improve on the restaurant scene in Cape May is to make it more affordable, which I’m pleased to say is going to happen in June. We all love a discount, right?
Every year many of Cape May’s finest restaurants come together to participate in this dining extravaganza. Each one will be offering a 3 course fixed price dinner for either $25 or $35, or both. Many restaurants also offer a two course lunch special for $15 during the week as well.
If you appreciate fine dining and are looking for a tasty time to visit Cape May, this may be perfect for you!
Top 10 Most Romantic! Thanks again
for voting us one of the top 10 most romantic inns in the US!
In our last newsletter we knew we had made the top 20 cut and were awaiting the final decision. We’re thrilled to inform you that thanks to all of your great reviews, we’ve once again been named to this list.
Thank So Much!
Great Reasons to Return to The Queen Victoria
“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
Spring Festival April Apr 25- May 4
Music Festival May 25 – Jun 12
Exit 0 Jazz Festival May 30 – Jun 1
Restaurant Week Jun 1-8
Craft Beer & Crab Festival Aug 9-10
Food & Wine Festival Sep 13-21
Victorian Weekend Oct 10-13
Room of The Month
Our most popular (and most affordable) discount package is the “222”, which is 2 nights in a “Standard Room” for $222 (plus tax, of course). It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to feature one of our standard rooms for you this month so you can get a feel for them.
Lilly Langtry is a very pretty room located on the second floor of the Queen Victoria building. As you can see, it is a smallish room with a lovely floral print on the sunny side of the house. Even though it only has one window, it is always very bright and cheery. Like most of our rooms it has a queen sized bed, a private bath with a tub/shower, and all the other amenities found in all of our rooms.
Lilly is a very popular room, especially with the ladies, so it is sometimes hard to find an opening. I checked, however, and there are quite a few openings through the end of April when the packages end.
Gift Shop Featured Item The Queen Victoria Cookbook
The most popular item in our gift shop is most certainly our cookbook. If you’ve seen it, you know why.
First of all, from cover to cover it is filled with photos of every guest room, parlor, porch and garden at The Queen Victoria. Also nestled in these pages is every recipe that we serve at The Queen Victoria.
Lots of you buy our cookbook so that you can re-create a little bit of that feeling you get at The Queen Victoria when you get back home. Many of you also purchase them as gifts for friends, loved ones, or perhaps your house or pet sitter. I’m sure that it is a cherished gift for whoever receives it.
If you don’t already have a copy of our cookbook, then I suggest you take a look at it during your next visit with us. You’ll probably end up taking one home with you!
Favorite Photo Winter Sunset in Cape May
After weeks of intensive counseling, I’ve managed to get control of my obsession with sunrise photos. I’ve obviously made great progress, as is evident by this month’s favorite photo featuring a beautiful Cape May Winter Sunset. I’m feeling really good about this.
This shot was taken in late January. I don’t normally like to stress the possibility of snow in Cape May, and there is something that seems so wrong about snow on the beach, but this is just such a pretty photo, that I had to share it with you.
By the way, I should clarify there is no snow in Cape May and hasn’t been since January.
If you have a wonderful Cape May picture that you would like to share (and let me share), please send it in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next at Cape May Stage The Mountaintop (May 21 through June 13)
If you’re into serious drama, then Cape May Stage’s inaugural play for 2014 might be just the ticket for you.
The Mountaintop is the fictional account of Martin Luther King’s last night on earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination on April 4, 1968
This is what Cape May Stage says about the play on their website:
“This powerful drama weaves a surrealistic fantasy about a conversation between King and the mysterious hotel maid who brings him coffee and prompts him to confront his life, his past, his legacy, and the future of African-Americans.”
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:
Winter Escape (ends 3/31/14)
222 Package (through 4/30/14)
Gourmet Getaway (through 4/30/14)
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.
Chili & Chowder Challenge
The Winner! Last month I told you about the Chili and Chowder contest that our chef Bill Walters was going to be competing in. I’m pleased to tell you that Bill’s entry of a traditional New England style clam chowder won first place! This is Bill’s 2nd victory in three attempts, so we’re very proud of him.
Now we don’t typically have an opportunity to serve clam chowder, as it doesn’t really work as a breakfast dish. It occurred to us, however, that the Whiskey Challenge provides us an excellent opportunity to share it with you. Bill will be making a batch of it for that event, along with some Irish fare. Plan on making a lunch of it! This may be your only chance to ever taste Bill’s award winning chowder!
Singer Songwriter Cape May (7th Annual) March 28-29
The annual March Singer Songwriter event is a great excuse for a trip to Cape May. Where else can you escape to that offers you everything that Cape May has AND free concerts all over town for 2 nights? Seriously, this is a great event.
This year there will be 150 performers featured in 18 different Cape May venues for 2 straight nights. Can’t you just picture yourself cruising from venue to venue all over town, catching the shows that pique your interest, all for free? Sure, there are 2 headline acts that you have to pay to see, but you’re assured of a lot of great, free music too.
These performers come from all of the country, seeking to break into the big time. There will be promoters and agents attending too, looking for the next big thing. Maybe you’ll see the next superstar in Cape May before they hit it big!
Our new TV Commercial
We’re pretty excited about a new advertising campaign that we recently launched. On President’s Day weekend we started airing our first ever TV commercial in selected Philadelphia markets. We started in Chester County, PA and will be shifting it around the Philly region for the next several months. If you like the Food Channel, History Channel or HGTV, then you might have already seen it.
We’re pretty excited about it, and most of our guests who have seen it have gotten a charge out of it too. Keep your eye out for it!
I’ll admit it. Sometimes I get a little snooty about restaurants. Blame it on the incredible number of fine dining restaurants in Cape May. Anyway, I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve been overlooking a great little restaurant for a long time.
The Pilot house is located just a few steps from the Inn, up Decatur street. Lots of you have made it a tradition to go to the Pilot House on your first night in Cape May, just because it is so easy. It turns out that it is also good! Who knew?
Anna Marie and I have been making our way there for the past few Mondays to take advantage of their great happy hour and their “Burger Night”. Last Friday night we were at the Inn until about 9pm and ended up grabbing a quick bite at the Pilot House, where I enjoyed an incredibly tasty and generous “Fried Grouper & Chips”. I was completely impressed.
Now the Pilot House is never going to be compared to any of our fine dining establishments. It’s Pub Food, done well. Probably not the place to celebrate your 25th Anniversary, but a great place to get a good meal at a fair price on one of the other nights of your stay at The Queen Victoria.
By the way, Friday night is Open Mike night, all year long, so we were treated to some great music during our last visit to the Pilot House.
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