Even though summer doesn’t technically start for about 3 more weeks, tradition has it that Memorial Day is the official start of summer in Cape May. You’ll be happy to learn that this paradox creates an opportunity for YOU!
Sure, it feels like summer, and I’ve been wearing shorts and short sleeves for the last couple of weeks. While I’m in full summer mode, The Queen Victoria is still offering Spring rates. In fact, we’re not implementing our Summer rates this year until the “technical” start of summer on June 20th (actually, I just checked it and the Solstice this year is on 6/21). In any case, we’re offering the sense of Summer to you now for the next few weeks at Spring pricing. Beyond the seasonal discount, we’re also offering mid-week discounts, as well, which really brings the price down for the flexible visitor to The Queen Victoria.
It happens that most of our weekends are already full through June 14, but there are some very PRIME openings Sunday through Thursday that are still available almost every week in June.
Cape May Music Festival 25th Annual, Now through June 12
In full swing now, the Cape May Music Festival has been delighting our visitors for the last 25 years. It has not been disappointing this year, either!
If you haven’t ever visited Cape May during the Music Festival, then you should seriously consider it (if you love great music, that is). Unlike many music festivals which cram all the music into a weekend, the MAC music festival is stretched out over nearly 3 weeks, with several concerts each week. It fits well with the relaxed atmosphere in Cape May, don’t you think?
As always, we will provide FREE tickets to all concerts to any guests staying at The Queen Victoria. Please call us for more information, or ask about them when making your reservation.
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. We all love a discount, right?
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!
Craft Beer & Crabfest August 9
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!
Lessons of History 3rd Annual, October 12th
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.
Lots of New Stuff! New chairs in the Prince Albert parlor
Last month I mentioned that Anna Marie and I have been having a lot of fun redecorating The Queen Victoria in small ways this Spring. I thought I would carry that concept forward into this month’s newsletter and share something else new and exciting.
You might recognize the room pictured here as the parlor of Prince Albert Hall. What you haven’t seen in this room before, unless you have been to The Queen Victoria since last Sunday, is this amazingly comfortable pair of new chairs that we just got. Anna Marie and I loved the Victoria sofa with the feather cushion, of course, but we just couldn’t resist upgrading this room a bit to provide more practical seating for you.
We’re thrilled with this addition, as are all of our guests who have sat in these chairs so far.
Guess what! By the time I write my next newsletter, I’ll have a lot more to tell you.
A Rainy Day They Happen, but who cares?
We do our best to provide perfect weather for you when you come to visit us, but once in a while our powers of control of the weather slip a bit. Bad weather makes the beach a little less comfortable, but it doesn’t have to spoil your day in Cape May. In fact, you might just find it is one of the most enjoyable days of your visit.
So what do you do? There are many great suggestions that I’ll be sharing with you over the next few months, but this month I’m starting with my favorite rainy day option … Wine Tasting!
Perhaps you already know that Cape May county is the home of 6 wineries (and several more vineyards). They are a welcome addition to our local attractions list. Anna Marie and I love to visit them if we have a bit of time away from the inn and the weather isn’t perfect. Our favorites are the Cape May & Hawk Haven wineries, both of which are just a short drive from The Queen Victoria (10 minutes).
I can’t imagine anything more relaxing and enjoyable than popping into a winery, tasting some wine, and perhaps purchasing a glass or bottle of wine to enjoy on a rainy afternoon. We usually recommend taking a lunch or some snacks to the winery and really doing it up right. Most of our wineries welcome you to do so. On Saturdays the Cape May winery also gives tours, which is a fun option too.
Great Reasons to Return to The Queen Victoria
Cape May Music Festival Now – Jun 12
An Evening with Groucho, Jun 7
3rd Annual Tribute to George Mesterhazy Jun 8
Restaurant Week, Jun 1-8
Cape May Harborfest, Jun 14
Cape May Seafood Festival, Jun 28
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
Room of The Month
I’ve certainly got a special place in my heart for the Whitehall room, as it was our bedroom for the first 6 years that we owned The Queen Victoria. I must say that it is much prettier now than when we lived in it!
Whitehall is a large room on the 2nd floor of the Queen’s Cottage. It is in the back of the house, so it is a very quiet room. It is also a very bright, cheery room with three windows in the bedroom and one in the large bathroom. Like most of our rooms, it has a queen sized bed, but no foot board on this one, so it still works for our taller guests. The bathroom is decorated to match the room and boasts a beautifully tiled step-in shower. The room even has a cedar lined walk-in closet, which may be unique in the B&B world.
Beyond the room itself, Whitehall has something else pretty special going for it. It shares an amazing semi-private parlor and kitchen sized pantry with just one other room (Brighton). This is a beautiful, spacious room with a comfy love seat, a couple of wing chairs, a game table, and lovely, bright decor. A big bay window faces the west, so sunset is a particularly nice time of day to enjoy it.
Whitehall has become VERY popular for couples traveling together, when it is rented with the only other room that has access to the parlor. It is a wonderful, private place to hang out with the friends you travel with!
Gift Shop Featured Item Queen Victoria Lighted House
A few months ago I teased you with the news that we would soon be selling our lighted ceramic houses again. There were a lot of you that were almost as excited about this prospect as I was.
Pictured above is the “model” for the new molds that we’ve commissioned for our Lighted House. I’m not sure if you can tell from this photo, but the new house is a little bit more realistic and accurate than the old one was. Of course it doesn’t look as pretty completely white as the final product will be when it is painted in our classic colors. It does give you a bit of an idea what our building looked like in the 1970s, however.
From this model, 3 production molds were made, which were just delivered to the manufacturer. It will take them a little while to work out the production process for them (apparently every mold works differently, and they need to figure each one out).
SO, while I was hoping to be selling our beautiful new lighted houses to you this Spring, it appears that it will probably be mid-Summer by the time they are available. In the meantime, I’ve just created a waiting list for the houses so I can manage the demand for them. We’ll be purchasing them in lots of 50, and selling them on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting with the folks on the waiting list.
If you are one of those excited guests that has been waiting for the return of the lighted house, please contact us and ask to be put on the list. I don’t have a final sales price for the houses, but I can tell you that we’ll be selling them at our cost. I believe that will be in the $70-$80 range (hopefully at the lower end). Time will tell.
Cape May is widely known for the “Gingerbread” moldings found on so many of the buildings you see in town. Quite honestly, however, our Queen Victoria building, the one most admired and associated with The Queen Victoria B&B is not particularly ornate when it comes to Gingerbread.
On the other hand, Prince Albert Hall, which most non-guests would never even associate with The Queen Victoria, and probably don’t pay much attention to, is one of the most beautifully decorated houses in Cape May (in my humble opinion).
This picture shows one of the support posts that we replaced last year, surrounded on either side by some beautifully carved moldings in the “Acanthus Leaf” motif. I’m proud to say that we carved all of these moldings in our own shop.
It took a long time, but after nearly 2 years, we finally installed the final piece of new molding on our Prince Albert porch a couple of weeks ago. You might see us finishing up some touch-up painting on all of this trim in the coming weeks, but I’ve got to tell you that I’m both impressed and excited by what we were able to achieve in our little basement shop. Take a close look at the trim the next time you’re at The Queen Victoria, and I’m sure you’ll begin to appreciate just how beautiful it is too.
Coming to 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 never seen the show, but we’re looking forward to 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 Frescos
Anna Marie and I have been having a lot of family visitors lately, which has given us the opportunity to dine out quite frequently. One of the restaurants that we dined at fairly frequently during that time was Frescos. We’ve loved every meal!
Frescos is the sister restaurant of the famous 410 Bank Street. They refer to themselves as a “Seafood Trattoria”, which has such a charming ring to it. Trattoria could mean “dry cleaner” in Italian for all I know, but it rolls off the tongue so beautifully. In any case, Frescos is really doing it well this year.
We often start our meal at Frescos with an order of the calamari, which is always wonderful. The last couple of times we ate there we also ordered one of the special appetizers, which was truly phenomenal. If they offer it, you absolutely have to try the Roasted Beet salad served on sheep’s milk yogurt with the fancy olive oil. I know, it doesn’t sound the least bit appealing, but it is amazing. Just order it. You’ll thank me for the tip.
I’ve been trying lots of new things at Frescos this year, including the “Short” rib. Notice the quotes I used. The delicious, succulent, and tender rib was short like the ocean is dry. It was HUGE! Think Fred Flintstone. It was served with a cheesy polenta cake which I couldn’t get enough of. Somehow I managed to eat all of both. If you’re not hungry, don’t order this meal. If you are, I highly recommend it.
Anna Marie has long been a fan of the Swordfish Picante, served in a lemon, caper, white wine sauce. Perhaps you know how hard it is to try something new when you’ve found the perfect meal at a restaurant. I think that is where Anna Marie is with the Swordfish.
For dessert, if you can manage it, I highly recommend the Triple Panne Cotta (3 medallions, Apple, Orange & Strawberry). I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoyed it, and I usually don’t like any dessert that doesn’t have chocolate in it.
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