Now, you know that my main goal in life is to make you happy, right? Since I know that everybody loves a discount, I’m confident that you do too. The bigger the discount, the happier you will be.
Knowing this about you, I am sure that I’m going to make you VERY happy with our “Gourmet Getaway” package. The Gourmet Getaway package includes 2 nights in one of our beautiful luxury suites and a wonderful dinner for two (a $100 value) at one of our many fine dining restaurants in Cape May.
Here is the part that should make you really happy … The package represents a 28.5% discount, saving you $60 a night (assuming you choose one of our suites with a fireplace). It makes ME happy just telling you about it!
In fact, I’m so happy about it that I’ll sweeten the deal with a free wine tasting voucher for two at the Cape May winery. Like all special offers, this one comes with a little bit of fine print. The Gourmet Getaway package is available for mid-week travel, arriving Sunday through Wednesday. The offer expires May 1st
Every April Cape May “Springs to Life” with the arrival of the Spring Festival. Just as the trees and flowers start blossoming, the restaurants and shops that have been closed for the winter come to life and re-open their doors. The Spring Festival is a wonderful excuse for a visit to The Queen Victoria. There are lots of things to do and sights to see, including, of course, the beautiful gardens of Cape May (especially The Queen Victoria’s gardens!).
Here is the line-up:
Spring Festival Events
Cape May Garden Tours
Garden Artisan & Craft Show
“Cape May’s Chalfonte Hotel” Exhibit Opening
Chocolate Championship Tour & Tasting
Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tours
Full Moon Ghost Hunt with “Ghost-One”
Historic Haunts Combo Tour
Private Homes Tour
Spring Festival Crafts & Antiques Shows
Stairway to the Stars Trolley Tours (lighthouse)
Vintage Dance Weekend.
FOOD & WINE EVENTS
Luncheon & Temperance Debate
Murder Mystery Dinners & Luncheon
Winery Cellar Tours & Tastings
24th Annual Music Festival (May 26 – June 13)
I love music, it doesn’t matter what kind (with the exception of rap/hip-hop … call me old-fashioned). Anyway, I always get excited as May approaches because it heralds the return of the Cape May Music Festival.
This year marks the 24th season that Cape May has been blessed with an incredibly talented group of musicians performing a variety of music from Irish Folk to Chamber Ensemble music.
This year’s lineup looks wonderful, as always. The Cape May Music Festival is a little different than most music festivals, as it runs from May 26 through June 13, with performances on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Wednesdays feature a “Bach’s Lunch” (get it?) at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom. Here is how the sponsors describe their festival:
From classical to the classic, the 24th Cape May Music Festival will offer a feast for every musical taste, including orchestra, chamber, world traditions, beloved classics and even a few intriguing new sounds.
Alan R. Kay and the New York Chamber Ensemble and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players are returning for their annual chamber concerts and the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, under the baton of principal conductor Jed Gaylin, returns as the orchestra-in-residence.
Shopping in Cape May
OK, so most of you, especially the ladies, know all about shopping in Cape May. There are lots of shops lining the Washington Street Mall filled with interesting, different items that you just won’t find at most stores. That is the charm of Cape May.
You may not realize, however, that there are lots of stores not located on “the Mall”. Most of these, with the exception of the CVS, are also filled with interesting and unique items. One such store is “Artisan’s Alcove”.
Several of our seasoned Cape May guests have known about this place for years. What you should know about it is that they specialize in heirloom jewelry. In fact, it is usually the first place I think of when Anna Marie and I have an anniversary celebration approaching.
In addition to the heirloom jewelry, they also carry a nice line of beautiful jewelry of all kinds. If you are a watch aficionado, you’ll be pleased to know that they carry an extensive line of “Ball” watches.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little different to shop on your next trip to Cape May, consider Artisan’s Alcove.
Summer Concert Series
Once again this Summer, Cape May is hosting a Monday “Classic Artist” concert series that I’m pretty excited about. While it is somewhat disturbing to me that the music I enjoyed as a teenager is now considered Solid Gold, I’m gratified that my taste in music is enduring.
This year’s lineup looks like a pretty good one. Do you remember Christopher Cross? How about John Ford Coley (as in England Dan & John Ford Coley)? I honestly don’t know all of these musicians, as some of them are a bit before my time. Here is the full schedule:
John Ford Coley July 8
Chad & Jeremy July 15
Helen Reddy July 22
Ronnie Spector July 29
Christopher Cross August 5
Herman’s Hermits August 12
All of these concerts will be held in our beautiful new Convention Hall facility located directly on the beach. Depending on the stage setup, you may be able to watch the waves roll into the beach while enjoying a nice evening of music. It sounds like a lot of fun to me!
Anna Marie and I are very excited about the 2nd Annual “Lessons of History” Lecture returning to Cape May this October 13th. This year MAC (Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities) is bringing the preeminent Lincoln Scholar and speaker in the country to Cape May to present a lecture entitled “Lessons from Lincoln:The Poetry and Prose of Freedom“.
Harold Holzer is the author of 43 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era, and the historical advisor for Steven Spielberg in the making of his recent film “Lincoln”. He will be examining how Lincoln balanced the prose and poetry of his Gettysburg Address and Emancipation Proclamation, as he recounts the year that Lincoln so deftly balanced the political, military, and historic to preserve government of, by, and for the people.
This is sure to be a fascinating and entertaining lecture. It is being held at the Presbyterian church, right next door to The Queen Victoria. Immediately following the lecture we will be hosting an optional Meet the Speaker reception at The Queen Victoria.
Tickets are $25 before Sep. 2 and $30 after Sep. 2. The additional charge to attend the reception is $20.
Upcoming Cape May Events
Cape May City Green Festival Apr 13
“Upton” Abbey Afternoon Tea at The Carriage House Apr 19
Spring Festival Apr 26 through May 5
Cape May Music Festival May 26-Jun 13
Cape May Restaurant week Jun 2-9
Cape May Designer Show House Jun 21 through Oct 31
John Ford Coley Concert Jul 8
Chad & Jeremy Concert Jul 15
Helen Reddy Concert Jul 22
Ronnie Spector Concert Jul 29
Christopher Cross Concert Aug 5
2nd Annual Craft Beer & Crab Fest Aug 10
Herman’s Hermits Concert Aug 12
Food & Wine Festival Sep 14-22
Victorian Weekend Oct 11-14
Lessons from Lincoln Lecture Oct 13
Halloween Happenings Oct 15-31
Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Weekend Nov 1-3
Channeling with Craig McManus Nov 16
Christmas in Cape May Nov 22 – Jan 1
Dickens Extravaganza Dec 8-10
Nothing lifts my spirits as much as a long stretch of beautiful sunny, pleasant days. As you can see from the picture below, with the coming of Spring we are finally being treated to just that in Cape May.
Now that the long, dreary winter is behind us, it is time to start planning for your next trip to Cape May. Though I don’t think that any excuse is ever required for a visit to Cape May, I’m pleased to point out that the “Event Season” is back. It started earlier this month with the Sherlock Holmes Mystery weekend and the 6th Annual Singer Songwriter Cape May. As we roll into April we’re looking forward to the “Spring Festival”, followed by the “Music Festival” in May. These are both wonderful events that I’m sure you’ll enjoy thoroughly.
Are your thoughts drifting towards Summer? We’ve been taking LOTS of reservations for the Summer in the last several weeks. The good news is that we still have plenty of availability, so it isn’t too late for you to book your Summer visit to The Queen Victoria. Don’t wait too long, though, Hurricane Sandy has displaced lots of summer vacationers and Cape May is looking pretty good to them too.
A gloriously sunny Spring morning at The Queen Victoria.
Featured “Room of the Month” … Whitehall
I haven’t featured Whitehall since it was just opening nearly 3 years ago. Simply put, this is an incredibly comfortable room. First of all, it is quite large. It is also beautifully decorated, as you can see from this photo. What can’t you see? Well, for starters it has a walk-in cedar lined closet. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen or heard of another B&B that can say that. It also has a beautifully appointed bathroom with a nice step-in shower.
One of the wonderful things about this room is the relative privacy you’ll enjoy. While all of our rooms in The Queen Victoria seem very private and quiet, Whitehall is especially so because it shares the entire second floor of the Queen’s Cottage with just one other room. Guests from other rooms don’t have access to this building, thus the privacy.
Better yet, there is a large, comfortable and incredibly appealing parlor that is for the exclusive enjoyment of the two rooms on the floor. The pantry for Whitehall is actually a full sized galley kitchen, completely stocked as all of our other pantries with soda, juice, bottled water, a Keurig coffee system, tea and a covered snack dish.
Do you enjoy traveling with other couples, perhaps family or friends? If so, I strongly recommend that you rent both Whitehall and the other room on the floor called Brighton. You’ll effectvely end up with a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo with your own special place to hang out. Of course, you’ll still have access to all the other buildings and amenities of the inn.
Are you having a hard time deciding what dates to visit The Queen Victoria this Summer? I suggest that you’ll want to be here on August 10th.
After the phenomenal success and popularity of last year’s Craft Beer & Crab Fest, plans were immediately put in place to hold another one in 2013. I’m pleased to announce that it is now official. Despite a mostly rainy day and a few “growing pains” problems with keeping the beer flowing and crab boiling, the 2012 event was hugely popular. For 2013 things are on track for an even better event.
What will you find when you get there? At the risk of stating the obvious, there will be Craft Beers and lots of Crab. My first stop would be a visit to the Beer Tent to enjoy the offerings by:
Cape May Brewing Company
Tuckahoe Brewing Company
Victory Brewing Company
Harrison Beverage (Budweiser, not exactly a craft beer)
After you’ve sated your thirst, head over to the food tent for some great food, including:
Fresh Boiled Crab
Corn on the Cob
Summer Salads (and more)
Did I mention the entertainment? There will be music on the outdoor stage all day long. Between visits to the beer and food tents, check out the old-fashioned Victorian circus with jugglers and acrobats from the The Give & Take Jugglers Little Circus. You’ll also want to explore the craft vendors, and farmers’ market.
This is going to be a great event that you definitely don’t want to miss. It is definitely worth taking a couple of hours out of your beach day to enjoy it.
Designer Show House Opens June 21!
After being “show houseless” for a year (the spellchecker didn’t like the word either, but I’m going with it), MAC has revived this proud tradition with a beautiful brand new home that is currently being constructed in a neo-Victorian Italianate Villa style. Construction of this 2800 square foot home, located directly across the street from the Emlen Physick Estate, is on schedule. The designers are anxious to get started working their magical transformations.
Part of the pleasure of these show houses is the mystery of what the designers have come up with. While the last show house was quite contemporary, I’m expecting this one to be more Victorian, but probably in an updated style. It will be very interesting to see.
The house, which has been named the Cavalier Cottage, will be open for tours and your pleasure between June 21st and October 31. There will be lots of package offerings with restaurants, as usual. The Tour & Lunch (or Tea) specials at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom located right across the street will be particularly compelling this year.
Anna Marie and I love to take tours when we go away on vacation. In fact, we usually start any visit to a new destination with a tour of the city to get a feel for where we are.
One of the wonderful things about Cape May is that there are so many types of tours to go on. Truly, you could probably fill your entire vacation with tours of one kind or another, if you really wanted to. Here are a few tours I would like to suggest for your consideration:
Historic District Trolley tour
Emlen Physick Estate tour
Cape May Light House (self guided)
WWII Lookout Tower (self guided)
Historic District Audio Walking tour (self guided)
Self Guided Wine Trail tour
Cape May Winery Tour & Tasting (Saturdays only)
Queen Victoria Garden Tour (self guided, in season)
If you are interested in doing a few of these tours, you may want to consider purchasing a MAC (Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities) membership, as many of the tours mentioned above are free for members. At $40/couple it is a great deal! For your convenience, you can even buy the memberships from The Queen Victoria.
Since the inception of my newsletter, I’ve used this space to feature photos that guests have sent me. Though we’re all taking pictures all of the time these days, it appears that we mostly use them to post to facebook or just leave them on our phones. I’m not exactly sure about this, but I haven’t been getting any new photos for a long time.
So … I’ve decided to liberate myself and just publish my favorite photos. Now I can feature pictures you send me or pictures that I’ve taken myself in Cape May. Perfect, isn’t it?
This is a photo that I took almost exactly a year ago during one of my morning power walks (I was proud of myself for stopping to “smell the roses”). This is a beach plum tree that is growing in the beach dunes just down the street from The Queen Victoria. I love the way the sunrise in the background highlights the dew on the blooms of the plant. It was beautiful in person, but it made a magical photo. The good news is that this tree will be blooming again in the next week or two, so you have a chance to see it for yourself in person.
Cape May Stage First Production of 2013
Cape May is very fortunate to have a few theater groups. Our favorite has always been Cape May Stage, which is located in the beautifully restored and comfortable “Robert Shackleton Playhouse” opposite of Rotary park.
The first production of 2013 at Cape May Stage is “How to Make a Rope Swing”, which is definitely not an instructional performance relating to recreational rope swings. I’ll be honest, I prefer a lighter performance, with comedy and music, but I know that some of our guests are into serious drama. I think that this show is probably for them. This show opens May 17th and will be a “World Premier”. Here is how they describe the show on their website:
The South Jersey town of Oakbranch is replacing the old schoolhouse. Two local elders have been selected to decide on a person after whom the new building should be named. As they come together, they rediscover the circumstances of their first meeting- a time when the school was first integrated and the region earned its nickname, “The Mississippi of the North”. Within the brick walls of the century-old building, a long-suppressed moment in the town’s history surfaces and threatens to change the memory of the town and these people, forever.
Doug & Anna Marie’s Restaurant Pick Of The Month … Merion Inn
Anna Marie and I were SO happy when the Merion Inn re-opened their doors for 2013 a couple of weeks ago. It is definitely one of our favorite restaurants.
The Merion is all about old-world charm and comfort (and great food, of course). The decor is wonderful, setting the stage for a wonderful evening out. When you step into the restaurant, you’ll find yourself standing in Cape May’s oldest bar. I love the woodwork and feeling of these old bars! You’ll also notice the grand piano in the bar, where there is always a pianist providing the perfect sound track for your evening. Thursday night is “Jazz Night” at the Merion, which is always a wonderful experience.
But what about the food? We love the food. Over the years Anna Marie and I have both had various favorite dishes. My latest favorite is the Flounder Franchese with Artichoke Hearts. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to order anything else … it is that good. Anna Marie usually sticks to the “No Frill Seafood” section of the menu, often ordering the Broiled Scallops. We almost always start off with the seasonal salads, which are always wonderful.
If you know us very well, then you know we tend to frequent BYOB restaurants. Having said that, one of the things we love about the Merion is that we can get a decent bottle of wine without breaking the bank. They are generous with their house wines by the glass and wines by the bottle are not outrageously priced like some other restaurants.