Cape May … the place to be.
Designer Show House

This year’s Cape May Designer Show house is open and looks
great. Anna Marie and I attended the Gala Opening the other
night and really enjoyed it. It is a little different than our
previous show houses because it is in an operating bed and
breakfast. That means that only the first floor spaces are
open, but they are magnificent. The good news is that the
price is half of what it has been in past years, so it is a
great entertainment value.

The location can’t be beat this year either … it is right
next door to The Queen Victoria. If you’re looking for
something new and dfferent to do this year, check out the show
house. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Food & Wine Festival

You already know that Cape May is famous for its
restaurants, and with good reason. What you may not be aware
of is that each year many of our best restaurants also
partcipate in the annual Cape May Food & Wine Festival. If
you’ve never visited Cape May for the Food & Wine festival
you are truly missing out on something special.

might already know that the annual Food & Wine Festival is
one of Cape May’s very best events. Each September Cape May
becomes the dining capital of the world (OK, perhaps I’m over
stating things a bit) and people flock from all over to enjoy
the festivities. It really is not a surprise. There are some
great “goings on” throughout the festival.

This year’s festival, running from September 18 through the
26 will be no exception. Here is a list of what is going on
this year :

  • Harvest Wine Festival
  • People’s Choice Chowder Contest
  • Cape May Harvest Food & Wine Tasting
  • Mad Batter Beer School
  • Beer Tasting Dinner
  • Gourmet Lunches
  • Chefs’ Dine-Arounds
  • Classes, Seminars & Tastings
  • Winery Cellar Tour & Tasting
  • Fisherman’s Wharf Tour
  • Gourmet Brunch Walk
  • Cape May Wine Weekend
  • Cape May Wine School
  • Cape May Wine Trail

    What a list! You are going to
    make it to Cape May for this event, right?

  • Playing Soon at Cape May
    Stage … Romance Romance

    Each year Anna Marie and I co-sponsor a show at Cape May
    Stage. This year our show is Romance Romance, which is
    comprised of two one-act musicals which explore the highs and
    lows of love. Hailed by the New York Post as “a double dollop
    of the romantic spirit, “Romance/Romance” sparkles with charm
    and intelligence,” raves The New York Times.

    We haven’t seen this show
    yet, of course, but we’re looking forward to it. If you’ve
    been to a Cape May Stage production, then you know that
    they’re always terrific. I’m confident that this one will be
    no exception. Who knows, maybe I’ll even learn a few romantic
    tricks to try out on Anna Marie.

    May Forum: “Chautauqua at the Shore”

    Many of you may have heard of Chautauqua before. I must
    admit that I was unfamiliar with it until a couple of years
    ago. Generally speaking, Chautauqua was and is an adult
    education movement that started in the early 1900s. High
    profile experts and specialists in the Arts, Religion,
    Politics and Current Events come in from around the world to
    perform and speak about their fields of expertise. President
    Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is the
    “most American thing in America”. High praise, I’d say.

    After years of efforts on the part of many people, the
    dream of creating a Chautauqua in Cape May is coming to
    fruition. In it’s inaugural season this October, the theme of
    the 2010 Cape May Forum is “Humor: Can it Save the World?”. It
    probably can, and there will be some seriously funny (yes, pun
    intended) and knowlegeable people coming to Cape May to
    explore the possibilities, including: John Morreall, Ph.D.,
    writers Tom Cathcart and Daniel Klein, Petie Subin, Sassi
    Keegan, and Mary Dimino. All of these folks have serious humor
    credentials and will be sharing their knowlege and humor with
    all comers in Cape May.

    We are really excited about
    this new program/event. I’m pretty sure that the Cape May
    Forum will become a big part of the Cape May scene in years to
    come and I’m thrilled to be here to see it happen. I know that
    you’ll want to be a part of it too.

    Call us soon to
    book your rooms, though, as this is a VERY popular weekend
    which coincides with Victorian Week and the Cape May wine
    festival. Our rooms are going fast.

    Victorian Week

    Victorian Week starts this October 8th and runs through the
    14th. I was just scanning the MAC (Mid Atlantic Center for the
    Arts & Humanities) website to see what the scheduled
    events were and I was stunned. Any hopes I had of copying
    & pasting the events into this article evaporated
    instantly when I saw just how many events are scheduled. I’m
    not exagerating when I tell you that there are over 100
    scheduled things to do during Victorian Week. I’d say that
    might just qualifiy Victorian week as the best time to visit
    Cape May.

    Seriously, Victorian Week is a wonderful event that we look
    forward to every year. When was the last time that you saw
    people walking around town in Victorian attire? It happens
    every day in Cape May during Victorian Week. Of course, you
    don’t have to get dressed up to enjoy it. I will say that last
    year we had 3 ladies stay with us who each had 3 Victorian
    gowns that they rotated through during the course of their
    stay. They were all beautiful women and all looked
    magnificent. In fact, they’ll be back again this year so you
    won’t even have to leave the house to see what a Victorian
    lady dressed like.

    The only bad thing about Victorian
    Week (from your perspective, anyway) is that we tend to book
    up pretty early for it. We still have availability, but we’ve
    been taking a lot of reservations lately and the rooms are
    going fast. If you want to treat yourself to a wonderful
    experience and a great time in Cape May, give us a call

    Cape May Wine Festival

    October 9 & 10 is the date! That is when the New Jersey
    Wine Growers Assocation’s “Cape May Wine Festival” returns to
    Cape May. This is the event that Anna Marie and I look forward
    to all year long! Yes, those of you that know us well know
    about our appreciation for wine, but it goes beyond that. This
    is a FUN event, even for people who don’t drink (I’m serious).

    Each year about 25 wineries set up shop in Cape May to
    share their craft with visitors and locals alike. They set up
    tasting tents in a circle around the meadow at the Cape May
    Ferry terminal where thousands of people stroll from tent to
    tent sampling and purchasing wines from all over New Jersey.

    Anna Marie and I like to make a day of it by bringing
    beach chairs, a blanket and a picnic basket. There is always a
    live band, food vendors, craft & gift retailers and enough
    good times to easily fill a day. There is something truly
    magical about watching the sun sparkle on the Delaware Bay in
    the background and watching the Ferrys come and go while
    sampling wines from all over the state.

    You might have
    noted that the dates of this festival coincide with Victorian
    Week and the new Cape May Forum. That means two things: 1)
    There will be lots of great things to do while you’re here 2)
    There will be lots of people coming to Cape May and rooms will
    be scarce. This last point is the significant one for you.
    Call us soon to make your reservations!

    Upcoming Events

  • Designer Show House – Jun 25 – Jan 2
  • Food & Wine Festival Sep 18-26
  • Cape May Renaissance Festival Oct 2-3
  • Victorian Week Oct 8-14
  • Cape May Wine Festival Oct 9-10
  • Cape May Forum “Chautauqua” Oct 8-11
  • War of the Worlds Oct 29-30
  • Halloween in Cape May Oct 15-31
  • Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend Nov 5-7
  • Christmas Preview weekend Nov 19-21
  • Christmas in Cape May Nov 19 – Dec 31
  • New Years in Cape May Dec 31

    • |

      It is tempting to wax on about the wonderful summer we’re having
      in Cape May this year (which makes up for last year’s less than
      perfect weather), but I’m going to restrain my impulses and talk
      about some fantastic things coming up this fall instead. We have
      some SERIOUSLY great events coming up, many of them brand new, 1st
      time items. These are events that you won’t want to miss, but may be
      in danger of missing if you don’t call soon.

      Sure, we have
      all the usually great events like Food & Wine Festival in
      September, Cape May Wine Festival, Victorian Week and the General
      Halloween stuff in October. New for this year, though, are the Cape
      May Forum “Chautaqua at the Shore”, our 1st ever “Looking Glass
      Mystery” event and a new Renaissance Festival. How much more stuff
      can we cram into a single season? It is actually hard for me to keep
      track of it all. What I do know, though is that we’ve got some new
      seriously great reasons to visit Cape May this Fall; as if you
      needed a reason.

      Featured “Room of the Month” … Benjamin

      I can’t beileve I’ve never featured Benjamin Disraeli
      before! Sure, it isn’t our fanciest or largest room. In fact,
      it is one of our smaller rooms. I must say, however, that it
      is certainly a favorite of mine. I know that lots of guests
      and some of our own staff who occasionally sleep over agree.

      First of all, Benjamin Disraeli has a very large, bright
      bathroom. That alone will seal the deal for lots of our
      feminine guests. It features a tub with integrated shower, a
      very large marble vanity top and lots of light from the window
      on the sunny side of the house.

      The room itself is
      filled with really beautiful antique pieces, including the bed
      pictured here. There are two more windows in the room, which
      make Benjamin Disraeli the brightest room in the house. No
      dark Victorian stuff here. The wallpaper is also cheery and
      bright, which completes the package.

      Cape May Renaissance Festival

      You were probably asking yourself “Just how many great
      events can one small town at the edge of reality have in a
      year?” and we’ve added yet another. The organization Access to
      Art is launching it’s first ever Cape May Renaissance Festival
      this October 2-3.

      I’ve always enjoyed Renassance Festivals, and not just
      because I get to dress up in tights and frilly shirts (in
      fact, I’ve never dressed up for a festival before). Cape May
      always seemed like the perfect location for such an event too,
      so I’m thrilled that we’re getting one.

      I’m told that
      there are already 17 acts scheduled to perform during the
      festival including music, acting, Shakespeare Improv, “As You
      Like It,” falconers, Punch & Judy and lots more.

      This sounds like a great event and I’m really excited
      about it. I’m confident that this will become a fixture of
      October in Cape May. I sure hope so.

      War of the Worlds Weekend

      So you think Cape May is the safest place on earth. Think
      again. This Halloween Cape May will be invaded by Martians in
      a recreation of the most famous Halloween prank of them all
      … Orson Well’s “War of the Worlds”. Nobody knows how this
      one will turn out!

      The Queen Victoria is proudly working with Looking Glass
      Mysteries to co-host this fabulous audience participation
      mystery event this Halloween on October 29-30. Picture
      yourself as either a Martian or Earthling searching for clues
      and pursuing your enemies all over Cape May. Sure, there will
      be casualties, perhaps you’ll be among them, but it will be
      for a worthy cause, no matter what side you are on. This will
      be a weekend that you’ll never forget.

      If you’ve
      participated in a Murder Mystery before then you can BEGIN to
      appreciate what an experience this will be. If you’ve done a
      Sherlock Holmes weekend in Cape May then you’ve got a hint of
      what this event will be like. This is going to be an
      incredible experience beyond any “mystery” event you’ve ever

      The cost of the package , which includes
      participation in the event, a 4-course dinner, a wine/cheese
      reception, a tour of the participating inns, and souvenir
      T-Shirts, is an affordable $250/couple in addition to the cost
      of your room.

      I love to give advice, so I’ll leave you
      with two suggestions. 1: Absolutely plan on participating in
      this event. 2: Call us soon. Only 30 couples can participate
      in the event and there are two other inns co-hosting it. You
      don’t want to be too late for this one.

      The Convention Hall NEWS

      Well, I’ve got news for you now. First of all, it looks
      like the latest design of convention hall (the pretty one that
      we all really liked) is dead. Our new city council voted last
      Tuesday night not to approve increased funding required for
      the structure. I shouldn’t be surprised, since all 3 of the
      people who cast the “no” vote just won their seats campaigning
      on a “scaled down” project.

      So are we going to get a new convention center? I believe
      we still will, but it is going to be a while. First, we’ll
      have to engage architects to redesign the building to fit into
      it’s current footprint and not encroach onto the promenade
      (that is where the additional expense was coming from). Then
      there will probably have to be a vote on the new design. Once
      that is complete I suppose that the NJ DEP will have to
      approve the new design. That will also be a good time for our
      “usual cast of characters” to call for another referendum on
      the project. Once approved, the RFPs (request for proposal)
      need to be sent out and new bids submitted (I wonder if the
      companies that have already submitted 2 bids for the current
      design will want to waste their time). Once received they’ll
      have to be voted on to select the winning bid. Eventually a
      construction schedule can be contemplated. I’m thinking this
      will all take a few years, so this is probably the last
      “update” I’ll give you for a while. We’ll see.

      Ah …
      small town politics. You have to love them!

      Favorite Guest Photos … a Summer Seat

      Have you ever noticed how cool looking the life guard
      stands are in Cape May? I’ve been to lots of beaches in New
      Jersey and I’ve always felt that Cape May had the coolest
      stands. I’m not quite sure what it is that does it for me, but
      in my opinion they’re the best. Mind you, I thought this even
      before we moved to Cape May and bought The Queen Victoria.

      I think that this photo is one of those “artistic” shots
      that was taken a while back by the Sheppards. It is a nice
      photo that I’m pleased to share with you.

      Now admit it
      … you’ve climbed up and sat on one of these after the life
      guards leave for the day haven’t you? One more thought before
      you move on … why do they call them stands when are designed
      to sit down on?

      Doug & Anna Marie’s Restaurant Pick Of The Month
      … Washington Inn Wine Bar

      Lots of you ask me when you come to town “are there any new
      restaurants?”. Some years we have one or two new places, and
      this year is no exception. Interestingly, my restaurant
      feature of the month is new, but not. What ???

      OK, so this month I’m featuring the Washington Inn Wine
      Bar. The Washington Inn certainly isn’t new, and neither is
      their waiting area on the front porch. It has always been
      there. What is new is the redesign of the porch to be a “wine
      bar”, complete with new tables and a new light menu for the
      wine bar.

      Anna Marie and I popped into the wine bar
      the other night for an after-dinner drink with friends and had
      a great time. We didn’t try the food since we had just eaten,
      but the menu looked great. We did both enjoy a “flight” of
      wine, which was a sampling of 3 different wines. They actually
      have a special menu which describes each of the whimsically
      named flights. We had a great time and I’m looking forward to
      returning soon.

      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, Innkeepers

      The Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast

      phone: 609-884-8702