With the Fourth of July coming up in a few days, Cape May is running full steam ahead. Sure, summer is our biggest season of the year, and certainly the most popular time to be in Cape May.
Every year about this time my thoughts start drifting toward the Fall, however. I love summer as much as the next person, but I think Cape May is at its finest after the heat of summer has passed. September brings the Food & Wine festival, October boasts Victorian Weekend, the “Lessons of History” Lecture, and the NJ Wine Festival and Halloween, and in November the Sherlock Holmes weekend and the Christmas season start. Seriously, there are a lot of great reasons to visit Cape May in the “Shoulder Season”.
We still have some availability for the Summer (even some weekend openings!) which we’ll be pleased to put your name on, but now is definitely the time to start thinking about your Fall visit to Cape May.
This festival has quickly become the most popular event in Cape May. Best yet, it is virtually the only summer festival, as most of our festivals were designed to attract visitors to Cape May in our “Shoulder” seasons.
Now I’m sure you don’t need any extra incentive to plan a trip to The Queen Victoria in August. Cape May is “hopping” with a plethora (I love that word) of dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities. On the other hand, a fun-filled event like this definitely adds an extra element of fun and excitement to an already great weekend.
Admission to the festival is free, as are the activities. Food and beer are purchased separately. The festival features:
All day live music
An old fashioned Victorian Circus
Crafts & food vendors
The first two of these festivals were wildly successful, so much so that it was a struggle to keep the beer and crabs in sufficient quantities. With 2 years of experience under their belts, the folks at MAC have gotten all the kinks worked out, so there will most assuredly be plenty of crabs and beer for everybody.
We still have a few rooms open for that weekend, so if you’re interested in attending this festival, be sure to call soon. Remember, 14,000 other people are reading this email too!
Food & Wine Celebration September 13-21
I love food. I love wine. It stands to reason that I would look forward to Cape May’s annual celebration of both in September.
I’m guessing that if food & wine are important in your life, then you’ll enjoy our annual celebration as much as I do.
I don’t have enough space in this article to fully describe each of the wonderful events scheduled for the celebration. Instead, I’m listing them for you. I’m pretty sure that after you finish reading the list, and perhaps checking them out further on your own, you’ll be calling us to make a reservation to attend. I sure hope so.
If you were to ask me what I’m most looking forward to this year, I would tell you that this year’s Lessons of History lecture is it. I’m TRULY looking forward to meeting David O. Stewart and listening to his discourse on our founding fathers and the manner in which our constitution came to be.
I just finished reading his book (pictured above) and I can honestly say that I’ve never enjoyed any non-fictional writing as much as I enjoyed this book. The amazing thing about it, was that it didn’t feel like history. It felt like a great story that I couldn’t wait to get back to between sittings. Mr. Stewart is a supreme story teller, who happens to be telling a true and important story. I can only imagine how compelling he will be in person!
We hear the word “constitutional” all the time, but I think few of us probably have much appreciation or understanding of what our constitution actually says, who the men who wrote it were, what the issues that formed it were, and how (or even when … see the title of the book) it came to be. I was certainly one of those reasonably intelligent, educated individuals that was basically clueless about the topic. And I’ve always loved history! Go figure.
If you’re the least bit curious about how our great nation came to be, and nearly fell apart in its earliest days, then I highly recommend you make plans soon to attend this lecture. You’ll be very happy you did, I’m sure.
More New Stuff! New Carpet in the House of Royals
I’m pleased to report to you that in the ongoing effort to keep The Queen Victoria feeling fresh and up to date (in an antique, Victorian sort of way), we have installed new carpet in the House of Royals. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find carpet that fits in with our decor, and is durable enough to withstand the traffic that our buildings get. Anna Marie and I are very pleased with our selection. It also has a wonderful, heavy duty pad which gives a nice little bounce when you step on it. Pacing the halls has never been so much fun before!
The Emlyn Physick Estate Cape May’s Finest Attraction
Any time I meet a 1st time visitor to Cape May who asks what are the “Must Do” things in Cape May, the first thing that comes to mind is a tour of the Physick Estate. This beautiful home is truly the Jewel of Cape May, and is the only house museum in Cape May.
The house, which was constructed for Dr. Emlen Physick, was completed in 1879. It is the largest home ever built in Cape May. One of the things that I love about it is that it stands today much as it was when it was built. It has been beautifully restored, but it has never been renovated, so it is virtually in its original state.
During the summer months you can take a guided tour nearly every hour throughout the day, starting at 11:15am. We usually recommend taking the “Combination Trolley Tour”, which combines this tour with a Trolley Tour through the Historic District of Cape May.
Here is another great tip … enjoy the free exhibit in the Carriage House while you’re there (currently it is the “Cape May Ablaze” exhibit about the history of fires in Cape May). You can also enjoy a wonderful lunch in the Carriage House Cafe & Tea Room.
Great Reasons to Return to The Queen Victoria
Concert: The Hit Men, Jun 30
Concert: Melissa Manchester, Jul 7
Concert: Deana Martin, Jul 14
Concert: Broadway at the Beach, Jul 21
Concert: The Grass Roots, Jul 28
Concert: Poperazzi, Aug 4
Craft Beer & Crab Festival Aug 9
Concert: Rita Coolidge, Aug 11
Concert: The Kingston Trio, Aug 18
Food & Wine Festival, Sep 13-21
Cape May Dragon Boat Festival, Sep 27-28
Sea Glass Festival, Sep 27-28
Oktoberfest, Oct 4
Victorian Weekend, Oct 10-13
Lessons of History Lecture, Oct 12
NJ Lighthouse Challenge, Oct 18-19
NJ Audubon Autumn Festival Oct 24-26
Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend Nov 7-9
Exit Zero Jazz Festival, (Fall) Nov 7-9
Concert: “Broadway & Beyond”, Nov 15
Christmas in Cape May, Nov 21 – Jan 3
Dickens Extravaganza, Dec 7-9
Wine Lover’s Weekend, Feb 20-21 2015
Big Cheesy Party, Mar 6-7 2015
Whiskey Challenge Weekend, Mar 13-14
Room of The Month
If you’re looking for large room with some character, Prince Leopold may be just the room for you. Situated on the 3rd floor of the House of Royals, Prince Leopold has a King size bed (one of only 5 at The Queen Victoria), a private bath with a 2-head/2-person shower with an interesting marble bench seat, and lots of room to make yourself comfortable in.
One of the things I love about this room is the way the Mansard roof line creates the slopes on the outside walls of the room. It gives the window bays depth and character and adds charm to the feeling of the room. There are 2 seating areas in Prince Leopold, including the sofa and rocking chair you see in this photo. That sofa happens to be a pull-out bed as well, so Prince Leopold is also one of our rooms that can accommodate additional guests. The other seating area is on the opposite side of the bed (where this photo was taken from), which is where the large flat-panel TV is setup.
Gift Shop Featured Item Our Granola, “The Queen’s Oats”
The single most popular breakfast item that we serve at The Queen Victoria has got to be our granola. It seems like we’re making more granola every couple of days.
If you’re one of those guests who are tempted to stay an extra night just so you can enjoy the granola again in the morning, then you need to pay close attention.
We sell our granola in our gift shop! That is right,you can take some of your favorite granola in the world home with you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Can’t you just imagine sitting down at your breakfast table with a nice bowl of the “Queen’s Oats”, perhaps with some fresh fruit or yogurt, sipping some Queen Victoria Blend coffee from your Queen Victoria mug as you prepare to face the day? Wouldn’t you love to be momentarily transported back to the relaxation and pleasure of Cape May for a few minutes?
And remember, it isn’t just for breakfast anymore!
Favorite Photo An Aerial View of the Cape May Lighthouse
A couple of weeks ago I posted this photo on our Facebook page. It is such an unusual picture and there is a great story to go along with it.
This is a photo of Cape May Point and the Cape May Light House, which was taken from the nose gunner position of a WWII B-17 bomber that was in Cape May for a few days. Every hour or so this and another vintage airplane would treat paying customers to an aerial view of Cape May island.
One of the things that strikes me about this photo is that it shows just how much undeveloped wildlife preserve and agricultural space still exists on Cape May island.
I just wish I was the guy taking the ride in this rare old airplane taking this picture. Maybe next year!
Now at Cape May Stage Moon Over Buffalo (June 18 – Aug 1)
If you know Anna Marie and me very well, then you’ll know that while we love theater, we prefer a show that will either have us laughing or singing all night. Sure, drama is wonderful, but on a vacation at the beach? It begs for comedy and musicals!
Given all of that, I’m thrilled to announce that Cape May Stage’s 2nd Main Stage show of the season appears to be just such a show. When it was initially produced for Broadway in 1995, it featured Carol Burnett in her first appearance in 30 years. I’ve never seen Carol Burnett be too serious, have you?
We’ve haven’t had a chance to see the show yet, but we’re looking forward to it. Several of our guests have attended and they’ve really loved it.
Here is what Cape May Stage has to say about it …
“In the madcap comedy tradition of Lend Me a Tenor, Ken Ludwig’s hilarious Moon Over Buffalo is a zany, slapstick, backstage antics-driven farce as actors’ George and Charlotte Hay realize their big chance to move from Buffalo theater to Hollywood movies.”
Restaurant of the Month Pano
Usually within a day or two of arriving in Cape May our guests are trying to find a “light” meal, be it lunch or dinner. Last year the folks that brought you Georges Place and YB opened a new Salad/Appetizer restaurant called PANO which really fits that bill.
Anna Marie and I LOVE Pano. We love the quiet tucked away feeling of the restaurant. We love the casual decor. We really love the food. That is a “whole lotta love”.
So let’s talk about the food itself. When I say salads, it is probably way more than you are imagining. My personal favorite is the Salmon Pappardelle salad on baby arugula with artichoke hearts, which is served with a Lemon Vinaigrette with capers. A side of pita completes it. This is a seriously delicious salad, which is very generous and ridiculously inexpensive at $11. How does Crab & Couscous with cherry tomato, red pepper, snow pea shoots, red onion, fennel, celery & lemon vinaigrette sound? How about Shrimp & Avocado with cherry tomato, cucumber, fresh herbs, tortilla & schiracha ranch dressing? The appetizers are great too, and the offering has been expanded this year to include some fun new additions like pork sliders. Everything is excellent, and I know there will be something on the menu that you’ll love.
Bring a bottle of your favorite wine or some beer (yes, it is a BYOB), and you’re ready for a great meal.
As I’m writing this rave review for Pano I’m reminded that the owners of Pano (and Georges Place and YB) are opening a new restaurant by August of this year. We’re really excited about this new “Tapas” restaurant called “Shamone” (spelling?) which will be located within easy walking distance from The Queen Victoria on Washington Street, right across from City Hall.
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