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
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 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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!