Just Around the Corner If you know me very well, you know that I’m an optimist. I always assume everything is going to work out well (it usually does), the glass is ALWAYS at least half full, and no matter how bad things seem at the time, they’re about to get better. I’m carrying that whole attitude into this lead photo. Sure it has already been an annoying, cold, nasty winter. We’re not even 1/2 way through it and I’m ready to move on. Thus, this beautiful reminder of what is right around the corner. Winter will pass, and I’ve got a lot of great ideas to make it more enjoyable and go by faster (read on). For now, though, keep your eye on the prize and start thinking about booking your Spring & Summer reservations now. Don’t wait until its too late and the room you wanted is already reserved by some clever person who acted now.
We just held our first 2014 Birthday party a few days ago for all of our guests celebrating January birthdays. We had cake, gifts, balloons … the whole deal. It was a great time and a fun weekend for our guests with January birthdays. What better excuse to get out of town for a quick trip to Cape May?
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.
If you have a birthday coming up, don’t you think you would love to celebrate it at 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! You’ll still get to attend the party! We won’t be checking IDs.
Valentine’s Escape Feb 14-16
OK, its time to start planning your romantic Valentine’s weekend. Sure, you could get by with ordering flowers or perhaps a dinner out. You’ve done it before and it worked out OK. But why settle for average? Isn’t your special valentine (especially your loving wife who is ALWAYS there for you) deserving of a little more than that? Of course!
Why not treat yourselves to a truly special celebration of your love? Doesn’t a weekend at The Queen Victoria sound like a much better way to truly celebrate and appreciate your relationship?
We still have a few rooms left for Valentine’s weekend, any one of which could be yours if you get motivated and call us soon. Remember, waiting until the day before Valentine’s Day to do something is not a great way to impress your Valentine.
By the way, Valentine’s Day happens to fall on President’s Day weekend, which is always a big weekend in Cape May.
Wine Lover’s Weekend
Our favorite event of the year! Feb 22, 2014
If you love red wine, then you absolutely have to make reservations at The Queen Victoria for the weekend of February 22 and attend our annual Wine Blending Party. It is definitely my favorite event of the year and is a great way to spend a cold winter weekend. We’ve already got 20 people signed up for our 2014 event, so I know this is going to be a great one.
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 PERFECT way to spend a winter weekend. I honestly can’t think of anything else I would rather do.
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)
Whiskey Challenge (Tasting) 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 (Irish, Scotch, Canadian, Kentucky …)
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.
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!
Your Romantic Place! Thank You for your Votes
A couple of weeks ago I sent out an email asking you to vote for us as a “Top 10 Romantic” in on the ilovinns website.
At the date of this writing, the results have not yet been announced, but based upon the number of fabulous reviews that you posted on our behalf, I’m pretty sure we’ll be ranked in the Top 10.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote for us. I really enjoyed reading your reviews (all 200 of them). It brought a smile to my face when I saw who was writing them. I think that somebody should issue an award for the inn with the Best Guests, which we would surely win … hands-down!
Great Reasons to Return to The Queen Victoria
Channeling with Craig McManus Feb 8 (sold out!)
February Birthdays Party Feb 8
Crafts & Antiques Show Feb 15
Cape May Wine Trail Feb 15
Cape May Wine School Feb 16
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
Spring Festival April Apr 25- May 4
Music Festival May 25 – Jun 12
Restaurant Week Jun 1-8
Craft Beer & Crab Festival Aug 9
Food & Wine Festival Sep 13-21
Victorian Weekend Oct 10-13
Room of The Month
Greenwich has long been one of my favorite rooms. There are a few things about it that make it so. First of all it is a large room, located on the 3rd floor of the Prince Albert Hall building. Further, it has a gorgeous, large bathroom equipped with an over-sized one person garden style whirlpool tub, a window bench seat (doesn’t everyone need one of these in their bathroom?), and a big marble counter for the ladies to set all of their beauty supplies down on. It is also a very bright room, especially in the afternoon, when the sun is setting through the windows.
If you’re looking for a spacious, comfortable room with lots of light and a huge bathroom, then Greenwich is the room for you.
Gift Shop Featured Item Harney & Sons Teas
A few months ago we made an earth shattering decision to switch from Twinings Tea to Harney & Sons Tea in our pantries and at breakfast. I’m sure you were following the story in the NY Times or WSJ. Anyway, we also started selling Harney & Sons Teas in our gift shop.
As you can imagine, they were a huge hit almost immediately, and were particularly popular during the Christmas season. I couldn’t resist featuring them again this month because they are just so cool. Harney’s tea is relatively hard to find, so having it available to our guests to purchase during their visits to The Queen Victoria is huge. It makes a great gift for your sitter (house, baby, dog or cat), is a fun reminder of your stay at The Queen Victoria if you buy it for yourself, and you’ll have a great tin to store stuff in when you’ve finished the tea. Personally, I’d purchase it just for the tin.
I don’t always drink tea, but when I do, I drink Harney’s from The Queen Victoria.
Favorite Photo Winter Sunrise in Cape May
I seem to have an obsession with sunrises, but they are often so beautiful here in Cape May that they are truly irresistible. I took this one a few months ago and couldn’t resist sharing it with you. I know that some of you are early risers and get to appreciate these in person during your visits to The Queen Victoria. I suppose that this photo is for the rest of you, who are still sleeping soundly when this phenomenon occurs.
By the way, 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:
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
Feb 2 Are you looking for an alternative to attending an all day Superbowl party on February 2nd? Since one of the best things about any Superbowl party is the party food, perhaps you’re looking for a tasty alternative that includes similar fare.
I suggest a relaxing weekend at The Queen Victoria and a stop at the 4th Annual Cape May Chili & Chowder Challenge. This is a great event that brings out the best professional and amateur cooks in the Cape May region for some seriously tasty fun.
Our chef Bill Walters took the honors in 2012 for his Roasted Red Pepper Crab Chowder, just days after he came on board with us. Last year he had to settle for 2nd place, but I still thought his chowder was the best. He’ll be throwing his hat in the ring again this year with a traditional New England style clam chowder and I’m sure he’ll be a top contender, as always.
This is a fun event held at Congress Hall, which runs from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, so you can definitely make a lunch of it. What a great thing to do on a cold winter day!
Restaurant of the Month The Lobster House
The Lobster House is without a doubt the most popular, busiest restaurant in Cape May. In fact, I’m told it is the 3rd busiest restaurant in the country, though I’m not sure where that statistic comes from. Stop by there any evening in the summer and you’ll believe it is true, though. We wait all year for the winter, so we can finally recommend the Lobster House to our guests. During the summer months it is just too busy, often with a 2 hour wait for dinner.
The Lobster House is your classic seafood restaurant. It has the red and white checkered table cloths, waitresses in cute nautical outfits, and a decor that fits the theme. It is located right in the heart of Cape May’s fisherman’s wharf (on the wharf, actually), amid the fleet of fishing boats. Get a table by the window and you’ll have a great view of all the boats in the marina. I always love that!
What is good at the Lobster House? Seafood, of course! You won’t find any fresher seafood anywhere. The fishing boats come in off of the ocean and unload at the Lobster House. Seriously, it doesn’t get any fresher. I love the flounder francaise, while Anna Marie often orders the broiled scallops. Lobster is always a great choice too, as you can imagine (steamed or broiled). Each meal is served with a generous salad accompanied by an amazing onion garnished loaf of bread which is almost worth the trip all by itself. Thankfully, the wine list is fairly reasonable as well, which is always nice.
If you’re planning a trip to The Queen Victoria this winter, I suggest you plan for an evening at the Lobster 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