research done over the course of a lifetime I can safely say that I’ve
discovered the “Perfect Gift” to give your special someone for
Christmas. I know that lots of people are pitching the perfect gift idea
to you this time of year, but I assure you, this is the real deal.
A Queen Victoria Gift Certificate!
So you’re thinking that I might be biased and/or self- serving. I can
assure you, that while both of those things are true, I am right about
this gift idea … it is perfect.
First of all, the key
to a great gift is finding something that the recipient will love. Well
that is a given for a Queen Victoria gift certificate. Secondly, the
perfect gift has to be thoughtful and caring, which is certainly the case.
The perfect gift should be easy to purchase. Believe me, it doesn’t get
any easier, or quicker than a Queen Victoria gift certificate. Finally,
the perfect gift should be a consumable, which can be given over and over
again, year after year, because once you find the perfect gift, you don’t
want to have to start all over again next year.
There is one more thought I would like to share with you too. If you’re
searching for the perfect gift for your significant other, then the Queen
Victoria gift certificate gets even better, because you know that you’ll
get to enjoy it to. It is almost like buying a gift for yourself and
getting credit for an amazing gift at the same time. Perfect!
Lots of you ask us
where Anna Marie and I travel when we take vacation. If you know us very
well, you may not be surprised to hear that one of our favorite things to
do when we go on vacation is to go wine tasting. That is why I’m thrilled
to say that we’ve got a pretty darned good winery just a few minutes from
The Queen Victoria!
As it gets a little
cooler in Cape May the focus of our visitors shifts away from the beach
and towards other enjoyable activities. For many, a visit to Cape May
Winery is at the top of that list. Cape May winery is open 12-5, every
day of the week.
Anna Marie and I usually suggest making an afternoon of it, by taking a
lunch or a cheese tray (from Seaside Cheese) over to the winery and
enjoying it over a glass (or two!) of wine. Imagine how much fun it will
make the tasting if you know the goal is to pick the perfect wine to
enjoy with your lunch or cheese tray. I know that most people don’t think
of New Jersey first when they think of wineries, but let me tell you, Cape
May winery is producing some excellent wines.
By the way, this Nov 28, 29 & 30 Cape May Winery is pariticipating in
a Wine Trail Weekend, where every winery is pairing food with
their wines. Cape May Winery is presenting their signature soups (complimentary,
of course) to enjoy while you’re tasting.
Last week we got a call
from a gentleman who reserved several rooms for his entire family. He
explained that he just didn’t want his mother to cook Thanksgiving dinner
this year. I love this guy (and I haven’t even met him yet)!
There are lots of
reasons why people come to spend Thanksgiving at The Queen Victoria each
year. For some, it has become their annual tradition, and it feels like
coming home for the holiday. For others The Queen Victoria is a wonderful
option in a year that their kids spend with the in-laws. Many, like the
afore mentioned gentleman, recognize that it is a wonderful
“neutral” location for your family to gather without burdening
anybody with the responsibility of cooking and playing host.
No matter what the reason, The Queen Victoria is a wonderfully festive
place to be during Thanksgiving. We’re also decorated for Christmas by
then, so you get a sneak preview of Christmas in Cape May! We’ve already
taken lots of reservations for the holiday, so call soon if you are
Dickens is Back!
Charles Dickens is
certainly one of the most enduring writers of the Victorian era. Here at
The Queen Victoria we are especially fond of the old fellow because of
the wonderful 3 day festival that Cape May hosts every year in his honor.
This festival started at The Queen Victoria, which is something we’re
very proud of.
This year’s festival
looks to be another wonderful time and we’re getting excited about it. As
always, this year we have several new and exciting events that make up
the festival. Of course, we always do a few extra things to make your
stay at The Queen Victoria during the festival even more special.
If you’re looking for the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season in
a truly interesting and different way, then you should seriously consider
attending this year’s Dickens Extravaganza. You’ll be happy you did.
approaches, most of us are already looking past it and planning our
holidays. Where are we going to spend Christmas? Who is cooking for the
family? What gifts should I get for my loved ones? Sometimes these are
easy questions to answer. Sometimes they are not. For those of you who
fall into the latter category … I’m here to help you.
First of all, if there
is any question about where to spend Christmas (a question like “who
is volunteering to take this on this year”), then I can only suggest
finding a perfect neutral location where everything is easy, relaxing and
purely pleasurable: The Queen Victoria. Seriously, spending Christmas
with us answers all of these questions. The gift giving gets particularly
easy … you can give each other your stay at the inn. Really, it doesn’t
get any better or simpler than this. You have to start planning soon
though! Christmas is fast approaching.
Last winter we
introduced our Wine Blending Weekend. I can honestly say that everybody
that attended had a WONDERFUL time. Based on the success of those events,
I’m pleased to say that we’re bringing them back again next year.
If you didn’t attend one of our wine blending weekends this year, you
won’t want to miss them this winter. To start with, we gather in their
very romantic & charming barrel room, which is filled with candles,
wine barrels, tables full of wine glasses and a magnificent cheese tray.
First we sample the various blending wines, learning to identify their
key characteristics. Once we’ve mastered the various wines, we go right
to work crafting the perfect blend. Each table of 4-6 people is tasked
with producing their favorite blend and ultimately filling a decanter
with their masterpiece. We then break for a tour of the winery, and
another glass of wine, of course, while the winery staffs prepare each
table for the “taste off”.
When we return to the
barrel room we’ll find our several glasses of wine to taste, one for each
of the tables and one or two from paste blending weekends, that we
collectively judge. The winning blend is then bottled, with each couple
attending receiving 2 bottles with customized labels with their names for
them to enjoy at home. I should mention that it takes a few weeks for the
winery to bottle our wine for us, so you don’t get to take it home with
you that day. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the beautiful Queen Victoria
Wine Bag that will be waiting for you in your room upon arrival! Can it
get any better?
The dates for 2010 are January 23 and March 6. Get your calendars out and
make plans to attend one of these wonderful events! In fact, as I write
this, it occurs to me that it would be the perfect Christmas gift for the
wine lover who has everything already (note that this does not contradict
my previously described “Perfect Gift”, in that they are really
Return of “The Big Cheese”
Back by popular demand
… “The Big Cheese” cheese tasting party! Last February’s
introductory event was so much fun and so successful that we absolutely
had to bring it back again this coming February.
Let’s say that you are not one of those folks whose life revolves around
cheese. Nothing to be ashamed of. So why in the world would you want to
plan a whole weekend around a cheese tasting party? Fair question. The
truth is, I didn’t care too much about cheese until our party last year.
I’ve got to say, though, that I think our last cheese tasting party was
one of the most enjoyable events we’ve ever had at the inn.
At our last party, Anna
Marie and I put out about 15 different cheeses, each with descriptions
about their origin and character. We also selected several different
types of olives, some wonderful breads, and great dipping oils to enjoy.
We held the event in the House of Royals parlor, which turned out to be a
litte too small, as we had so many people that just couldn’t get enough of
the event. We even prepared “tasting sheets”, so anybody who
was really serious about it could score each cheese. I think most people
just ate it, to be honest with you.
The next Big Cheese will be held on February 20, which is perfectly
situated not to interfere with anything else in the word. Truly, the only
place that has anything going on is Cape May, which is where you want to
be anyway. Call us soon and reserve your room for this really fun event,
which is FREE for all our guests.
Preview Weekend Nov 20-21
Jersey Film Festival Nov 20 – 22
at The Queen Victoria Nov 26 – 29
Christmas Parade Dec 5
Christmas Tours Nov 20 thru Jan 3
Extravaganza Dec 6-8
at The Queen Victoria Dec 24-25
Blending Weekend January 23
Day Feb 12-14
Cheese Weekend February 20
Blending Weekend March 6
One of the most frequent questions I get from guests, aside
from “what is the password for the wireless network?” is
“What is it like in Cape May at Christmas?”. We’ll be on the
porch at tea on the 4th of July and we’ll be talking about Christmas. It
isn’t surprising really, as Cape May is one of the premier Christmas season
destinations in the country (I’d say world, but I don’t want to sound too
full of myself).
Every year we have hundreds of couples make their way to The Queen Victoria
for a litte infusion of Christmas Magic. It IS beautiful. It IS charming.
It is an experience that many of our guests return for every year.
If you’ve always wondered what Cape May is like during the holidays, then
plan on visiting us at The Queen Victoria this season. Christmas starts
pretty early in Cape May, with the “Christmas Preview Weekend” on
Nov 20th getting the show started. Every weekend after that it simply
builds in momentum until the grand finale after Christmas, when it feels a
bit like summer again with so many people spending a little post-Christmas
vacation time in Cape May. The fun really doesn’t stop until after New
Years, which happens to give us a full weekend to enjoy right after New
Year’s eve. That hardly ever happens!
Just a few lights
“Room of the Month” … Benjamin Disraeli
The Benjamin Disraeli room, named after a famous prime minister of
England during Queen Victoria’s reign, is a standard room on the 2nd floor
of the Queen Victoria building. Not only is this one of our most
unusually named rooms, it is also one of our nicest standard rooms.
My mom, who I know LOTS
of you have met, is staying with us as I write this and this is the room
that she is in during her visit. It must be a pretty good room if I’m
willing to put my mom in it! Seriously, though Benjamin Disraeli is not
our largest room, it is a very comfortable room. It has a very large
bathroom with a tub/shower and a nice big counter for the ladies to set
their things down on. Benjamin Disraeli is also a very bright room, with
2 windows in the bedroom and one in the bathroom, all on the sunny side
of the house. The room is also furnished with beautiful antiques, some of
which you can see in this photo. Of course, it has individual climate
control, TV/DVD, a mini-fridge, a room safe, robes, and an iron/ironing
board, just like every other room in the inn.
If your looking for a cozy room for your next stay at The Queen Victoria,
take a look at Benjamin Disraeli. I’m sure you’ll like it.
Are you serious about
wine? Do you enjoy learning about wine as much as you enjoy drinking it?
Are you interested in exploring and learning about wines from various
regions of the world? If you answered yes to any of these questions then
you’re going to want to come visit us this Nov 20-22.
Periodically the Washington Inn, in conjunction with Cape May Winery,
hosts a Cape May Wine Weekend. It kicks off with a sumptuous 4-course
dinner at the Washington Inn. Each course will be paired with the perfect
wine, of course. Saturday you’ll enjoy a Tasting and Tour at Cape May
Winery. On Sunday, you’ll enjoy an afternoon exploring the wines of Chile
& Argentina at the Washington Inn.
Anna Marie and I got really excited about this package and thought you
might too! In fact, we thought we would make it even more special by
creating a little mini package around it. Make your reservation for that
weekend, sign up for the package, and we’ll also include a complimentary
tasting at Hawk Haven Winery, a free “wine tasting cheese
platter” from Seaside Cheese, and we’ll give you one of our
beautiful Queen Victoria insulated wine bags.
Now that is a serious wine weekend. As if that weren’t enough to sell you
on the weekend, it is also Christmas preview weekend, so there will be
lots of Christmas lights up and tours to show them off. What more could
you possibly want?
The package is $135/person, in addition to your room, which is truly a
bargain. Call soon, as tickets for this event are limited!
Soon … Anna Marie’s New Cookbook!
I am EXTREMELY pleased to
announce that the new Queen Victoria Cookbook will be arriving within a
couple of weeks. I can’t tell you how excited Anna Marie is to have
finally completed this effort.
Ever since we sold out of
our last cookbook a few months ago, Anna Marie has been working
feverishly to complete the new cookbook that has been in the works for
over a year. It turns out that writing a cookbook is a fair amount of
work, especially when you have to squeeze it into your already full day.
Of course, every day that we have not had a cookbook to sell in our gift
shop has been a day full of questions about the release of our next
cookbook. Thankfully, the answer to those questions is at hand.
So, what is this new cookbook like? To start with it is a LOT bigger than
our old cookbook, with over 80 pages of recipes. While the old cookbook
had a few of the recipes that we serve, our new one has ALL of them. It
is also filled with pictures of the inn, so in addition to a great
resource it is also a great keepsake, filled with images to remind you of
your visit (s) to The Queen Victoria.
Whether you’ve been waiting to buy our new cookbook for your own kitchen,
or perhaps are planning on giving one as a Christmas gift, your wait is
over. If you can’t wait until your next visit to get one, just give us a
call and we’ll be happy to ship you one.
New Convention Center for Cape May
I’m not sure if this is
still the design that they’re planning on using for the new convention
center, but since things seem to be moving forward now, I thought I’d
show it to you anyway.
Whether or not we’re actually getting any closer to working on the new
center, there has been news.
The first thing I can
tell you is that the “Solarium”, which is the home to Tisha’s
restaurant, is going to disappear from the Cape May beach front. Since
they could not get the permits from the state to move it to a new
location on the beach, the city is now planning on moving the building
down to a nature preserve area near the Coast Guard base. I’m not sure I
understand the thinking here, but I guess it is better than tearing it
down. It should be fun to watch them move it!
I was speaking with the Mayor the other day and he assured me that we are
getting very close to getting the permits needed for demolition &
construction. I had heard that the building will be a little closer to
the street than the current one is because we were unable to get the
permits to expand 20-30 feet into a section of beach behind Tishas. This
will have the effect of placing the convention center in the middle of
the promenade, which will be routed around the building into an area
currently used for parking. I’m not really sure how I feel about that.
Anyway, I’m currently projecting a late 2011 or early 2012 opening for
the new center.
Guest Photos … Christmas at The Queen Victoria
In keeping with our
holiday theme, I’m featuring a photo that Cindy Barbato submitted(lots of
you have met Cindy during one of your stays at The Queen Victoria). This
is a great photo of our “Late Victorian” tree located in the
parlor of the Queen Victoria building.
This is just one of 6
trees that we decorate at the inn each year, and one of our most
interesting. In fact, it is heavily on my mind right now because we are
going to start decorating it tomorrow morning. I was just down in our
basement pulling out the lights and the decorations. I do love Christmas
at The Queen Victoria, but I must admit that the thoughts of trying to
get everything decorated in time can be a little overwhelming!
& Anna Marie’s Restaurant Pick Of The Month … The Washington Inn
We love the Washington
Inn. Really, we just love it. I must admit that we don’t dine there every
week, but I can say that I would like to. Actually, we view it as more of
a special occasion place, or perhaps a place we take our family when they
visit from out of town.
Of course, when you’re
visiting us here in Cape May, it is a special occasion for you and the
Washington Inn might be just the kind of experience you’re looking for.
The Washington Inn is definitely a fine dining experience. The food is
wonderful and the service is at least as good as the food. The atmosphere
is elegant, without being stuffy. There are also several different dining
rooms, each of which have a very different feel. It also has a very comfy
bar, which is worth hanging out in for a few minutes before your dinner
Anna Marie and I went there last night and took advantage of two special
things they do. The first was the “earlybird” dinner menu for
$22. Every night before 6:00pm they offer a wonderful 3 course dinner
with a choice of 3 items for each course. I started out with a a
wonderful fettucini appetizer, had the Salmon for my entree, and devoured
the upside down cranberry cake for dessert. Everything was wonderful!
Anna Marie started things off with a wonderful salad, had the scallops in
a puff-pastry for her entree, and finished things up with the Angel Food
cake smothered in fresh berries. We were both thrilled with our meals.
The other thing we took advantage of was the “wine
appreciation” night they have every Sunday. Many of you know that we
prefer the BYO restaurants, so it should be no surprise to you that we
take advantage of the fact that the Washington Inn allows you to bring
your own bottle of wine on “wine appreciation” Sundays.
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!