Cape May Forum: “Chautauqua at the Shore”, Oct
Many of you may have heard of Chautauqua before. I must
admit that I was unfamiliar with it until a couple of years
ago. Generally speaking, Chautauqua was and is an adult
education movement that started in the early 1900s. High
profile experts and specialists in the Arts, Religion,
Politics and Current Events come in from around the world to
perform and speak about their fields of expertise. President
Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is the
“most American thing in America”. High praise, I’d say.
After years of efforts on the part of many people, the
dream of creating a Chautauqua in Cape May is coming to
fruition. In it’s inaugural season this October, the theme of
the 2010 Cape May Forum is “Humor: Can it Save the World?”. It
probably can, and there will be some seriously funny (yes, pun
intended) and knowledgeable people coming to Cape May to
explore the possibilities, including: John Morreall, Ph.D.,
writers Tom Cathcart and Daniel Klein, Petie Subin, Sassi
Keegan, and Mary Dimino. All of these folks have serious humor
credentials and will be sharing their knowledge and humor with
all comers in Cape May.
We are really excited about
this new program/event. I’m pretty sure that the Cape May
Forum will become a big part of the Cape May scene in years to
come and I’m thrilled to be here to see it happen. I know that
you’ll want to be a part of it too.
Call us soon to
book your rooms, though, as this is a VERY popular weekend
which coincides with Victorian Week and the Cape May wine
festival. Our rooms are going fast.
Designer Show House, through
Jan 2, 2011
This year’s Cape May Designer Show house is open and looks
great. Anna Marie and I attended the Gala Opening the other
night and really enjoyed it. It is a little different than our
previous show houses because it is in an operating bed and
breakfast. That means that only the first floor spaces are
open, but they are magnificent. The good news is that the
price is half of what it has been in past years, so it is a
great entertainment value.
The location can’t be beat
this year either … it is right next door to The Queen
Victoria. If you’re looking for something new and dfferent to
do this year, check out the show house. I think you’ll enjoy
Victorian Week, Oct 8-14
Victorian Week starts this October 8th and runs through the
14th. I was just scanning the MAC (Mid Atlantic Center for the
Arts & Humanities) website to see what the scheduled
events were and I was stunned. Any hopes I had of copying
& pasting the events into this article evaporated
instantly when I saw just how many events are scheduled. I’m
not exaggerating when I tell you that there are over 100
scheduled things to do during Victorian Week. I’d say that
might just qualify Victorian week as the best time to visit
Seriously, Victorian Week is a wonderful event that we look
forward to every year. When was the last time that you saw
people walking around town in Victorian attire? It happens
every day in Cape May during Victorian Week. Of course, you
don’t have to get dressed up to enjoy it. I will say that last
year we had 3 ladies stay with us who each had 3 Victorian
gowns that they rotated through during the course of their
stay. They were all beautiful women and all looked
magnificent. In fact, they’ll be back again this year so you
won’t even have to leave the house to see what a Victorian
lady dressed like.
The only bad thing about Victorian
Week (from your perspective, anyway) is that we tend to book
up pretty early for it. We still have availability, but we’ve
been taking a lot of reservations lately and the rooms are
going fast. If you want to treat yourself to a wonderful
experience and a great time in Cape May, give us a call
Cape May Wine Festival, Oct 9-10
October 9 & 10 is the date! That is when the New Jersey
Wine Growers Assocation’s “Cape May Wine Festival” returns to
Cape May. This is the event that Anna Marie and I look forward
to all year long! Yes, those of you that know us well know
about our appreciation for wine, but it goes beyond that. This
is a FUN event, even for people who don’t drink (I’m serious).
Each year about 25 wineries set up shop in Cape May to
share their craft with visitors and locals alike. They set up
tasting tents in a circle around the meadow at the Cape May
Ferry terminal where thousands of people stroll from tent to
tent sampling and purchasing wines from all over New Jersey.
Anna Marie and I like to make a day of it by bringing
beach chairs, a blanket and a picnic basket. There is always a
live band, food vendors, craft & gift retailers and enough
good times to easily fill a day. There is something truly
magical about watching the sun sparkle on the Delaware Bay in
the background and watching the Ferrys come and go while
sampling wines from all over the state.
You might have
noted that the dates of this festival coincide with Victorian
Week and the new Cape May Forum. That means two things: 1)
There will be lots of great things to do while you’re here 2)
There will be lots of people coming to Cape May and rooms will
be scarce. This last point is the significant one for you.
Call us soon to make your reservations!
Cape May Jazz Festival, Nov 12 & 13
As hard as it is to believe, the Cape May Jazz Festival is
returning in about 9 weeks already! Sure, summer will be over
by Nov 12th, and winter will be fast approaching, but the
music will be HOT for the 17th annual Cape May Jazz Festival.
In April our friends at Cape May Jazz brought us the
incredibly exciting, talented and popular band Spyro Gyra. I’m
pleased to say that they’ve managed to top that spectacular
act for their fall festival.
The headliner this time
around is the Yellowjackets, a band that has achieved wide
popularity and fame throughout the world for many years. For a
long time Cape May Jazz seemed very focused on traditional
jazz and fans of fusion movement like me always felt a little
left out. Obviously I’m thrilled that the mindset has changed
a bit and we’re being treated to great new jazz sounds.
If you’ve never been to Cape May for Jazz Fest, then you
can’t imagine the energy and excitement that is visited upon
our fair town. There are great acts all around town all
weekend long, with music bursting out of every imaginable
venue. Anna Marie and I bought a pass last April and spent an
entire evening bouncing from one act to another, all over
town. What an amazing experience!
If you love music
and Cape May, then start planning your visit soon. Don’t wait,
our rooms are going quickly!
Designer Show House – Jun 25 – Jan 2
Victorian Week Oct 8-14
Cape May Wine Festival Oct 9-10
Cape May Forum “Chautauqua” Oct 8-11
War of the Worlds Oct 29-30
Halloween in Cape May Oct 15-31
Sherlock Holmes Mystery Weekend Nov 5-7
Christmas Preview weekend Nov 19-21
Christmas in Cape May Nov 19 – Jan 2
New Years in Cape May Dec 31
The “mums” arrived the other day (we’re still planting them), the
temperatures have dropped a bit, and the Fall events are in full
swing. Yes, Fall is here and I’m pleased to tell you that Cape May
is still the place to be. This weekend brings us the 1st ever
Renaissance Festival at Willow Creek Farm vineyard, the Octoberfest
on Jackson street, and the scarecrow decorating contest at the Emlen
Physick estate. Next weekend is Victorian Week, the 1st ever Cape
May Forum (Chautaqua at the Shore), and the NJ Wine Growers Cape May
Wine Festival. Two weeks later Halloween and the “War of the Worlds”
mystery event. I’m telling you, I’m having a hard time keeping up
with all this stuff. How can one small town host so many events in
such a short period of time? I guess it is just part of the magic of
When I write these newsletters, I should really be
focusing on the next season, though, so let’s start talking about
Christmas. Seriously, it is time to start thinking about your
Christmas trip to Cape May. You know, the December trip to The Queen
Victoria that you’ve been talking about for the last couple of years
every time you are here. Yes, that is the one! It really is time to
make your Christmas wish come true this year. It is hard to describe
just how festive and special Cape May is during the Christmas
season. It really is incredible. There are so many lights all over
town to see, interesting tours and events to be a part of. Thinking
about it, though, there should probably be a warning by the attorney
general or somebody in authority … “Warning: participating in a
Cape May Christmas event can be addictive and may lead to long term
desire to return every year”. The world is full of dangers out there
and a little warning every now and then can be so helpful. Just
doing my part.
Featured “Room of the Month” … Prince Alfred
Looking for our best ocean view with a magnificently large
private balcony? Look no further. The Prince Alfred room,
which is located on the 2nd floor of the House of Royals is
just what you are looking for.
Prince Alfred is not our largest room, but has certainly
become one of our most popular rooms. With its 11.5 high
ceilings, beautiful wallpaper, and interesting “pocket window”
doors, which access the balcony, it charms you from the moment
you enter. Speaking of the balcony, let me just say that it is
BY FAR our largest balcony, with 2 sets of rocking chairs.
What I really love about the balcony is that it wraps around
the corner of the building, leaving one side or the other in
either sun or shade all day long. Of course, it is also has
our best view of the ocean just a block down the street.
Because Prince Alfred has become so popular, I
strongly suggest booking it well in advance. There are still
some openings for next summer, so call us today if this sounds
like the room you want for your next shore
The Ultimate Halloween – War of the Worlds
The ultimate Halloween alternative! If you have been
drifting in the wind your whole adult life searching for a way
to actually enjoy Halloween again, look no further. This
October 29-30 The Queen Victoria is proud to be partnering
with “Looking Glass Mysteries” to present the most
interesting, challenging and fun Halloween event ever in Cape
May (or probably anywhere, for that matter).
Seventy two years after their initial landing in Princeton
Junction, the Martians will be returning to Earth for another
invasion. Unfortunately for them their supply pod will be
crash landing in Cape May and their invasion is doomed without
it. You can imagine the frantic search, by both the Martians
and the stalwart earthlings who hope to repel them, for this
Imagine being a part of this historic
occurrence. You could be the one to literally save the Earth
from the invaders. On the other hand, you could be one of the
invaders and take over the world. Don’t you just love choices?
I’ve been talking with “Denham”, who is the
producer/director of this incredible event and I am literally
stunned at the way this event is shaping up. The couples that
have already booked their rooms and signed up for the event
are already receiving clues and working on cyphers to try to
sort this mystery out. Some are Martians, some are humans, but
all of them are already enjoying their Cape May experience a
month before it even takes place.
To say that Denham
is a creative genius understates the case considerably. He is
pulling out all the stops in creating this audience
participation mystery event to top all others. There will be
clues, there will be tours, there will be casualties (maybe
you), but mostly there will be a great time to be had by all.
The “War of the Worlds” package includes a wine &
cheese reception on Friday night, a 4-course dinner at the Mad
Batter on Saturday night, souvenirs for all participants and
prizes for the winning couples in a few different categories.
We still have a couple of rooms available for the Halloween
weekend, so call us today to book yours. If you’re already
booked for the weekend but not yet participating, it isn’t too
late. Just give us a call.
per person (in addition to your room)
The Convention Hall NEWS
Talk about drama! It is hard to imagine a more dramatic and
ridiculous series of events than the story of our convention
hall. Leave it to a small town to get mired in politics and
intrigue. Hopefully, though, it is just about over.
So here is where we stand today. The convention center has
been downsized. The new plan calls for the demolition of the
current convention center and the solarium next to it within
the next month or so. The new design will be a one story
building, instead of the two story design initially approved,
and will not include a restaurant as originally planned.
Fortunately, it will definitely be larger and more comfortable
than the current convention center and will certainly be
capable of hosting most of the larger events in Cape May with
970 planned seats.
As hard as it is for me to let go of summer (and switch to
long pants for the season), I must admit that I really love
the Christmas season at The Queen Victoria. Since there are
really only a few months that it makes sense to share
Christmas photos with you, I thought I would share this one
This was taken last year by some of our favorte guests who
make a point of visiting us every Christmas season.
Interestingly, they also submitted some great shots of sunny
days on the beach. The advent of the Christmas season does not
necessarily mean cold weather, after all (note the blooming
flowers in the foreground). This is probably the best porch
Christmas shot of The Queen Victoria that I’ve ever seen, and
believe me I’ve tried to take many myself.
By the way,
while we are always telling everybody about our 6 trees that
we decorate every year, these two don’t really count …
they’re just miscellaneous decorations.
Doug & Anna Marie’s Restaurant Pick Of The Month
… Tisha’s Fine Dining
Tisha’s has long been a favorite of many of our guests.
Anna Marie and I have enjoyed many wonderful meals at Tisha’s
over the years too. At the end of the season last year we
thought that perhaps Tisha’s was gone for good, as they had
lost their lease on the solarium due to the impending
construction of the new convention center. We were thrilled to
hear that they had secured a new location on the Washington
Street Mall, in the former location of Stumpos (yes, we do
miss Stumpos). After an agonizingly long construction effort,
Tisha’s managed to salvage a little bit of the summer season
by opening on July 23, 2010. Their new location offers them
many new opportunities and they seem to be doing wonderfully
there. We were a little curious if people loved Tisha’s for
their view at their old location or for their food. While
everybody did love the view, it looks like the food was
equally adored, as most everybody has been clamoring for a
visit to their new location.
It took Anna Marie and me a while to get Tisha’s new
location for the first time, but it was worth the wait. We
walked in one Wednesday evening late in the summer without
reservations (don’t try this yourself, it might not work out
for you) and were seated right way in their front dining room.
We could have dined in one of their outside dining areas, but
it was a bit chilly that evening. The dining room was very
charming and elegant in a comfortable, casual way. I’ve got to
say that the service was incredibly good and our waitress was
as good as any I can ever remember. The food was delicious as
always, starting with a wonderful house salad, which is
included with every entree. I ordered one of their specials,
which was a wonderful pasta dish served with scallops, shrimp
and muscles in a light tomato sauce. It was incredibly good.
Anna Marie ordered the Fire Grilled Filet au Poivre. Both
meals were excellent.
Tishas does a great job in so
many ways. One of the things that we really love is the sorbet
they bring between courses to clear the palate. So refreshing
and so nice!
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!