We're fully ensconced in summer now, as you can imagine. For many of our guests, perhaps you, a summer visit to The Queen Victoria has been planned for a year or more. Others don't have the luxury of advance planning like that and find themselves waiting until summer is upon us to start planning their trip to Cape May.
No matter which group you fall into, we're thrilled that you choose to return to The Queen Victoria for your summer visit.
If you haven't made your plans for your summer visit to The Queen Victoria yet, then it is probably time to start your planning. We still have a handful of rooms available throughout the rest of July for you to take advantage of. If you prefer an August visit, then you'll be pleased to learn that there are a similar number of scattered vacancies in the first few weeks, and a nice selection of rooms still available for the last week of the month.
Of course, summer in Cape May doesn't end with the passing of Labor Day (Sep 2 this year). September is perhaps the nicest time for a visit to Cape May. The weather is pleasant, the crowds have thinned, the ocean is as warm as it will get (around 80 degrees), beach tags are not required on the beach, and all your favorite shops & restaurants are still open. Our rates are even lower, and the mid-week discount goes into effect!
We're always happy to assist you
find the best possible room for the dates you want to visit, or the best dates for the room you want to stay in. Call us at (609) 884-8702 to get started, or click the link below to reserve your room.
Room of The Month
Greenwich has always been one of my favorite rooms in the inn. In fact, on our website the description of the room still states that it is "Doug's favorite room". Most of our guests seem to agree.
Greenwich is a large room on the 3rd floor of the Prince Albert Hall building. It is both spacious and bright, and full of character. We recently replaced the antique oak headboard that had adorned the room for many years with a 4-poster canopy bed, which is placed within the roof gable. The effect is dramatic, as you can see.
Since Greenwich is so spacious, it has plenty of room for seating, including a dramatic Victorian sofa and rocking chair. It also is appointed with two beautiful oak dressers, in addition to the closet, so there is lots of room for you to unpack during your stay and really settle in.
Virtually every female guest I've ever spoken to who has stayed in Greenwich has commented that they love the bathroom. As you can see it is a bright, spacious bathroom with a big, long vanity counter top with lots of space to set toiletries down. I think some of them even take advantage of the window bench seat for their things. In this photo you can just make out the corner of the tub, which is a garden sized (oversize 1 person) whirlpool tub, with an integrated shower.
Here is the BIG news about Greenwich: this room happens to be available this week for 2 nights! If you're a last minute planner, then this is the room for you. This is due to a cancellation, of course, so somebody's loss can be your gain!
I know that you'll like Greenwich just as much as I do. If you're hoping to take advantage of this last minute opportunity, don't delay. I'm pretty sure the room will go quickly. Call us at (609) 884-8702, or click on the "Reserve Now" button below.
Upcoming Events & Activities
Craft Beer, Music & Crab Festival
August 3, 2019
It is time to start making your plans to attend the 8th annual Craft Beer, Music & Crab Festival being held on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. This is an all-day festival featuring local and regional craft beers to wash down favorite summer foods ... steamed crabs, pulled pork, crab cakes, shrimp and hot dogs, as well as food from regional vendors.
- All-day music on an outdoor stage
- An old-fashioned Victorian circus with jugglers and acrobats from the Give & Take Jugglers
- Crafts and collectibles show
- Craft beers and other spirits
MUSIC BEGINS AT 11:00 AM
- The Honeyhawks
- Hambone Relay
- The Danbees
- The Missing Frets
- James Arlowe & The Primal Daz
TASTY SUMMER FOODS!
STEAMED CRABS & SHRIMP
(Vendors not yet announced)
CRAFT BEER & SPIRITS
(Vendors not yet announced)
Admission to the grounds is FREE. There will be a charge for food, beverages and some activities. Commemorative T-shirts will be available
Harvest Brew Fest
September 14, 2019
Though the Harvest Brew Fest sounds like a fall festival, it is actually the grand finale of the summer festivals in Cape May, falling just one week before the calendar end of summer. This festival is a great chance to enjoy a pleasant late summer afternoon on the lovely grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, partake of some fun local beverages and great food, and explore the crafts of local vendors, enjoying live music all the while.
Taps flow beginning at 10am.
Specifics about the food, beverage and craft vendors are still being worked out. Stay tuned to future newsletters for details, which I'll share with you once they are available.
Admission to the grounds is FREE, just pay for what you consume. Free parking is available.
Cape May Summer Concert Series
Wednesday, July 3 through August 21
The Cape May Summer Concert series is now under way, and is proving to be as wonderful as I had hoped and expected it to be. Last year Anna Marie and I enjoyed several of the concerts that we attended so much that we decided to attend every one of them this summer.
The first two concerts that we've attended this year were nothing short of fantastic. Both of us, and all of our guests who've attended either show, find it hard to believe just how wonderful the performers and performances have been.
This series has truly become a staple of summer entertainment in Cape May. For several years now, most of the concerts have been sold out. We've got several guests who make sure the summer reservations they book include at least one concert night.
This year's lineup includes a few acts that have performed here before, but also includes several new ones. This picture was taken a "few" years ago, but it caught my eye and I decided to share it with you.
Here is the remaining lineup:
- July 17 Jay and the Americans
- July 24 Herman's Hermits, starring Peter Noone
- July 31 Mavis Staples
- Aug 7 Jay Siegel's Tokens
- Aug 14 The Stylistics
- Aug 21 The Drifters
The City of Cape May is sponsoring two additional concerts that for some reason are not part of the "Summer Concert Series" (perhaps because they are Friday evening concerts). Anna Marie and I are going to these too:
- July 19 The British Invasion Years (Anna Marie and I saw and loved this band in 2018)
- Aug 16 Great Balls of Fire (Music of great piano legends)
Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend(s)
October 25-27 & November 1-3
They say the wedding day is all about the bride, but when John Watson attends the wedding of an old army compatriot, it quickly becomes all about the body in the garden.
Every Fall Watson, Sherlock and their gang revisit Cape May to solve another of the seemingly endless stream of interesting mysteries that seem to befall our fair city. Last year Cape May MAC, the hosts of said Sherlock & Watson, decided to invite them twice, and they're doing so again.
If you love a fun weekend-long event, with just enough participation to keep it fun, but not take up your whole day, then I'm guessing you'll love the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend. In fact, the fun starts Friday night and wraps up with a Sunday afternoon luncheon, where Holmes reveals the solution of the mystery.
It is definitely time to start planning for your visit to The Queen Victoria to enjoy the upcoming 2019 Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekends, as tickets are limited and usually sell out.
October 31 through November 3
Cape May Restaurant Weekend is returning this fall and Anna Marie and I are really looking forward to it. A shortened version of the famous Restaurant Week that is held every June, this wonderful event is a "must do" for anybody who loves Cape May dining.
They haven't yet announced the restaurants that will be participating, but I'm confident it will be a robust list, filled with most, if not all, of our finest dining establishments.
For those of you who haven't experienced either the June or Fall event before, each of the participating restaurants will be offering a 3 course dinner, including an appetizer, entree and dessert for a fixed $35 price, all night long. It is truly a phenomenal deal and a great way to sample Cape May's finest restaurants. One of the restaurants, Sapore Italiano, has been offering 4 course dinners for $35.
So even if we don't know exactly which restaurants will be participating, I wanted to share the dates with you so that you can start making your plans for a return visit. You might have noticed that the dates coincide with the 2nd Sherlock Weekend, which is a powerful incentive for a trip to Cape May.
More New Stuff!
New Sofa in King Edward (and Prince Leopold)
Sometimes I'm so anxious to share the results of our in-house construction projects that I forget to share other fun "new stuff" with you. A couple of months ago Anna Marie and I upgraded the sofas in both the King Edward (pictured here) and Prince Leopold rooms.
In both cases, the sofas that we had in the rooms looked great, and were perfectly comfortable to sit on, but the pull-out beds were ready to be replaced. Since it is virtually impossible to replace the pull-out assembly, we decided it was time to retire both of them and give both rooms an upgrade. In the case of the Prince Leopold room, we also went from a "double" pull-out to a "queen" pull-out.
As we thumbed through the fabric selection available to us in the store, all the while scanning our website photos of the rooms in order to get a good match, we never could have imagined how perfectly the one we finally chose would be ... in both rooms! We ended up getting the same color/fabric for each, even though the rooms have a very different color scheme. It is truly unbelievable just how well the same sofa goes in each room.
Another thing that was very important to us during the selection process was to insure that the pull-out mattresses that we purchased were the absolute highest quality, with the greatest quality of comfort. The memory foam mattresses that we selected met that criteria. In the past I was always leery of having adults sleep on a pull-out, but that is no longer something I need to worry about.
The Early Bird Discount
A Vacation Investment
A lot of people ask for discounts when reserving rooms with us. We're all trained to do so, and it is usually worth a try. Personally, I'm always reluctant to do so for some reason. I've never been good at haggling with vendors either. I guess it is a personality flaw of mine. Anyway, during our busy summer season, these folks that are calling up to reserve a room are disappointed to learn that they've missed their chance for a summer discount at The Queen Victoria. It isn't that we don't offer a discount for summer reservations, it is just that it requires planning ahead. In fact, for the most part, our previous guests are the only ones who get one.
We've got lots of guests that come to stay with us every year in the May through October months. Perhaps you're one of them. Over time they usually settle on a favorite room that they wish to enjoy every time they visit with us. To encourage repeat business, and to make it possible for them to get the room that they want, we offer the "Early Bird Discount" program. Generally speaking, it is available for reservations made 12 months in advance.
The Early Bird discount is made up of two components. The first is the rate guarantee, which offers you the current rate for reservations next year, a savings of $5/night (our rates increase $5/night each year). The second component is the discount itself, which is a 5% savings. The only caveat is that we request a deposit by check, so that we avoid the credit card fee attendant with each charge card we accept (we'd rather give that percentage to you than the credit card company).
On the surface, this may not sound like a significant savings, but I can assure you it is a great investment. If you take, for example, a room that rents for $300/night (this year) and reserve it for 4 nights next year, here is how it breaks down:
Rate Guarantee: $20
5% Discount: $59
Total Savings: $79
If you calculate the "investment return" (savings) on the deposit of $560.50 that we request, it yields a 14.1% return. I don't know about you, but it has been a long time since I've managed to find an investment vehicle that returns over 14%. When you look at it this way, you might just conclude that you should come stay with us more often!
A Beautiful Summer Sunset
OK, I'll admit that I'm a sucker for a good sunset. This one has all the elements of perfection to it, however, and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.
You've probably guessed that this was taken on Sunset Beach, where hundreds, if not thousands of people flock to each night during the summer for both the sunset itself and the flag lowering ceremony. I think they often take advantage of their proximity to the wonderful gift shop there, and maybe even play a round of miniature golf (a great excuse to drive down early and get a close parking space).
So what elements here spell perfection? Well first of all, the sun has to be visible and not totally obscured by clouds. Further, there simply have to be some clouds to provide color. No clouds, no drama. Ideally, the clouds are only on the western horizon and not covering the entire sky. If that happens, it facilitates the final element of perfection, which is a glowing ocean that is reflecting the remaining light of the day.
I'm not saying that this is THE "Perfect" sunset, but it ranks highly in all my criteria.
View Photo Gallery >>
Featured Gift Shop Item
Queen Victoria Spa Robes
Several years ago Anna Marie and I decided to upgrade all of our rooms with the addition of robes. It seemed like a natural for a place like The Queen Victoria, and it has been universally appreciated by guests ever since.
Like many of the other amenities that we provide for our guests in each room, we also added them to our gift shop. Over the years, our robes have been very popular gift shop items, despite the fact that I've never featured them in our newsletter. I was quite surprised when I realized this as I began to plan this newsletter.
This year we found a new vendor to supply us with robes. The new robes are a little bit larger, which is great for our taller guests, and are every bit as comfortable as the prior ones.
If you're one of those large number of guests who like to take a little bit of The Queen Victoria home with you each time you leave, one or two of our custom embroidered robes might just be the perfect selection. Can't you see yourself lounging in one of the cozy robes at home on a weekend morning, enjoying a cup of coffee (perhaps some Queen Victoria blend that you also took home with you)?
Fun Things to Do in Cape May
Jitney Down to the Cove for Sunset!
I'm not sure that there is actually a verb "To Jitney", but what better way to describe jumping on one of the jitneys that are plying their way through town? This FREE service is new this year, replacing the white trolleys that have made their way around the town over the past several years. Not only is it free, compared to the $1 charge for the trolleys in years past, it is also far more comfortable with padded seats and air conditioning.
There are two routes for the jitneys. One simply drives up and down Beach Avenue all day, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The other is a more circular route that traces its way all the way from near the marina district (within easy walking distance of the Lobster House), through the downtown mall area, and all the way down to the intersection of Broadway & Sunset beach (near all the great West Cape May restaurants like Sapore Italiano, Vigianno's and the Black Duck).
Another wonderful feature of these jitneys is that there is an app you can download to show you exactly where they are and which direction they are heading. I think that they can also see where you are if you have the App open and active. There are specific stops designated for them, but I believe you can wave them down for a pick-up as long as there is a safe place for them to pull-over, especially on the Beach Ave. route.
So anyway, don't you think a trip down to the cove at sunset would be an excellent excuse to jump on the jitney for a ride? I'm looking forward to it myself!
Restaurant Pick of the Month
Vigianno's on Sunset (BYOB)
It isn't often that I get to tell you about a new restaurant in Cape May. Hold on tight, because it is happening now.
Vigianno's on Sunset opened its doors right around Memorial Day. Anna Marie and I made it there a few weeks later. We had heard that it was operated by the same family that has a restaurant with the same name in Conshohoken PA, which was universally enjoyed by everyone I had spoken to that had ever been there. It turns out that not only does this restaurant share the same name as its predecessor, it also has the same menu and all the same recipes.
Vigianno's is located on Sunset Blvd., as the name implies, just a little ways west of the intersection of Broadway & Sunset. It resides in two of four stores in that cute little strip of shops that are painted pastel colors, just before Cape May Wicker. It is also conveniently across the street from Sunset Liquors. That means that it is a medium/longish walk of about 1/2 mile from The Queen Victoria. It is also just steps from the Jitney stop near Broadway & Sunset Blvd.
I would describe the food at Vigianno's as authentic Italian family fare. We both found it delicious, as did our parents, who joined us that evening. Anna Marie ordered the Chicken Piccata, which was perfectly sauteed in a lemon butter caper chardonnay sauce. I opted for the Eggplant Parmesan. Actually, my mom and I split the "Grande" sized portion of that dish, which is the sharing size (you end up saving a couple of dollars by ordering that instead of two "Picollo" sized dishes, which are the personal size portion ... the entire menu offers both portions). One of the things we both liked about our dish was that it wasn't served on pasta. We both love pasta, and tend to eat every bit of it that is ever placed upon our plates, sometimes leaving us uncomfortably full. As it was, we enjoyed our meal without that temptation. We did note, however, that you can order a platter of pasta inexpensively if you desire that pleasure.
Vigianno's features both inside and outside dining. It is also a BYOB, which I know is as popular with many of you as it is with me.
Unfortunately, I neglected to take any photos of our dishes when we visited Vigianno's, so I thought I would share some of the photos that I found on Yelp from a reviewer that really loved his favorite new restaurant. The dishes pictured are the Muscles Marinara, Rigatoni Country Style (with sausage), and Italian Rum Cake. I think I'm going to have to try at least one of these on our next visit.
Great Reasons to Visit The Queen Victoria
Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events
Cape May Summer Concert Series
Wednesdays, July 3 through August 21 2019
Craft Beer, Music & Crab Festival
August 3, 2019
Cape May Food & Wine Celebration
September 13-22, 2019
Designer House Tour
September 21, 2019
October 10-14, 2019
Taste of Cape May Kitchen Tour
October 12, 2019
Lessons of History (Distinguished Lecture Series)
October 13, 2019
October 18-31, 2019
Lighthouse Challenge of NJ
October 19-20, 2019
Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekends
October 25-27 & Nov 1-3
October 31 through November 3, 2019
Exit 0 Jazz Festival
November 7-10, 2019
Queen Victoria Chocolate Lover's Weekend
November 15-16, 2019
Christmas in Cape May
November 22 through January 1, 2020
December 8-10, 2019
Make your reservations today for a fun, 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