Newsletter | September 2020
Fall In Love with Cape May in the Fall
As it usually happens, Labor Day Weekend snuck up on me this year, seemingly appearing suddenly and without warning. That is ridiculous, of course, as we've been marching steadily toward the unofficial end of summer since we reopened our doors to guests on June 1. Perhaps it is the sense of joy at actually managing to have a normal summer despite the craziness imposed upon us this year.
Thankfully, while Labor Day may mean the end of summer to many, it does not mean the "end of the season" in Cape May, or at The Queen Victoria. In fact, as we approach the fall, you could make a pretty strong (figurative) argument that things are just heating up! The passage of Labor Day brings with it so many delights, including:
- The warmest water of the year
- Lower temperatures & humidity
- Smaller Crowds
- Free beaches (no beach tags)
- Lots of great events in town
- Bird watching
It also hearkens all of our best yearly events, which I'll be telling you all about in the coming articles. Read on!
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
Hampton Court Suite
As you can see, Hampton Court is a beautifully elegant suite located on the second floor of the Prince Albert Hall building.
When we remodeled this room a few years back, we were thrilled at how the new wallpaper, accented by the "Victory" frieze and custom painted crown molding, brought the furniture to life. It was always beautiful, but set against this new background it became absolutely stunning! That remodel also included the installation of the handsome and cozy corner fireplace in the corner of the bedroom area near the foot of the bed.
Hampton Court has a private entrance from outside (up the gorgeous new stairway pictured below in "More New Stuff"). It is a very quiet, serene room with several windows and a handsome bathroom with tub/shower combination. The television is wall mounted opposite the love seat that you see pictured in the background of the top photo here.
I noticed that Hampton Court is available for the end of September and much of October at this point. I can't imagine a more comfortable room to enjoy for a fall visit to The Queen Victoria!
Click Here for more great photos of the Hampton Court suite.
Upcoming Events & Activities
Exit Zero Jazz Festival
Oct 2-4, 2020
Anna Marie and I were thrilled to discover that the twice postponed (April & June) and then apparently cancelled (November) Exit Zero Jazz Festival has been resurrected and will be held October 2-4, 2020.
Here is the lineup (pictured in order):
- Orin Evans Quintet, Oct 2
- Jon Thompson Trio, Oct 2 (Emlen Physick Estate)
- Big Boy Brass Band, Oct 3 (Hawk Haven Vineyard)
- Matthew Whitaker, Oct 3 (Emlen Physick Estate)
- Roosevelt Collier, Oct 3 & Oct 4
- Eddie Palmieri, Oct 3 (Emlen Physick Estate)
- Gerald Veasley & Carol Riddick, Oct 4 (Emlen Physick Estate)
I believe that the success of the "Spyboy" productions concert series that I featured in our last newsletter is the inspiration for the resurrection of this festival. The use of outdoor venues, which are still completely viable and very pleasant in early October made it possible.
If you are a lover of music and are looking for a fun, adventurous and VERY cool way to spend an early fall weekend, you would be hard pressed to come up with anything better than a trip to Cape May to enjoy this jazz festival and a return visit to The Queen Victoria.
Click for more information about the Exit Zero Jazz Festival.
More New Stuff!
New Exterior Staircase at Prince Albert Hall
I have to say that I really love this photo of our new stairways on the side of the Prince Albert Hall. As you can see from the photo, the structure is now complete from the herb garden all the way up to the roof deck. We're still in the process of adding the decorative elements and moldings to it, but the fundamental beauty of the carved balusters, varnished mahogany trim, and carved structural posts is clearly evident. Personally, I think that this is probably the prettiest staircase to be found in Cape May.
Many of you will have already guessed, or at least suspected, that the design was inspired to some extent by the side porch steps that we installed on the Queen Victoria building in 2019. The idea of using the varnished exposed wood for decorative purposes came from that project. The balusters and carved posts match the design found on the front porch of the building. With the completion of this project, we have officially replaced every single railing, support beam, and piece of gingerbread on the Prince Albert building, and unified them all to match the original design of this beautiful 1882 building.
Fall Sunset at the Cove
Though the sun setting earlier and earlier each day is one of the things I dislike the most about fall, I must admit that there are some sunset related benefits, as well. First of all, there seems to be a quality of the light that is especially wonderful in the fall, especially as the sun sets. The southern shifting sun in the fall also brings with it more picturesque sunsets, as it sets over the water, or in this case behind the lighthouse.
This photo has many elements of a perfect Cape May sunset
photo that I love, including the glow of the setting sun on the wet sand in the foreground, the cascading wave, the reflected light on the water, and the lighthouse itself. I'll bet you love it too.
View Photo Gallery >>
Featured Gift Shop Item
Bayberry Soap Gift Pack
I'll bet you remember the first time you used this soap during a visit to The Queen Victoria. I'll even venture that every time you smell anything with a bayberry fragrance you are reminded of your first (perhaps every) visit to The Queen Victoria, and the wonderful time you had. That is how fragrance memories work.
On your next visit to The Queen Victoria, wouldn't you love to take a little slice of your paradise home with you? Purchasing one, perhaps a few, of our 3-bar gift packs of bayberry may just be the perfect way to do that. They also make a terrific gift for friends and family that have assisted you in getting away to The Queen Victoria by watching your house, children, or pets.
Fun Things to Do in Cape May
Visit the Cape May County Zoo
When Anna Marie and I first came to Cape May I remember driving down the parkway and seeing a sign for the zoo at "exit 11" (back then it was actually a traffic light). I distinctly remember laughing to myself, and suggesting to Anna Marie that it was probably akin to a petting zoo, with a few goats, perhaps a peacock and maybe even a cow. It was embarrassing, then, when I discovered just how ignorant I had been.
The Cape May County Zoo is truly amazing. Everybody that visits the zoo comes away surprised and impressed by what a great zoo it really is. First of all, it is quite large, at 80 acres. There is an amazing variety of exotic species, most of which are housed in very spacious environs. The trails are cleverly designed to maximize the space of the zoo and keep you wondering what delight you'll encounter around the next corner.
Late summer/early fall (September/October) is probably the best time to visit the zoo. It is a little cooler, which means that the animals are more active than they would be during the summer. It will also be cooler and more pleasant for visitors.
Surprisingly, a visit to the Cape May County Zoo is free, as there is no admission charge! They do make it easy to make a donation, however, which I'm guessing that most visitors do.
Birding in Cape May
I remember being both surprised and impressed when I learned that Cape May is one of the premier bird watching destinations in the world. Yes, the quaint little town which you love to visit and hang out on the beach also attracts bird watching visitors from all over the world.
As it happens September and October are some of the prime months for birding in Cape May, especially for those interested in "raptors" (birds of prey). In fact, down at the Cape May Lighthouse there is a large deck called the "Hawk Watch Platform", where each year a group of serious "birders" keep a count of all the raptors of each species they see pass by.
The NJ Audubon Society, and its local chapter called the Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO), have an office and gift shop down at Cape May Point at one end of Lake Lilly. From that location they sponsor several guided tours for enthusiasts of all levels. Click here to learn more about birding events and tours at the CMBO.
You actually don't have to venture very far, or try very hard to experience the joys of birding in Cape May. The 2nd photo here is of an osprey diving into the water, which is something that happens all day long, up and down Cape May's beautiful beaches, all summer long. Every September, the annual southward migration of the Black Skimmers (pictured at the bottom) brings these interesting creatures back to Cape May's beaches. They've already started to arrive, and you'll see them gathering in groups all over our beaches in the coming weeks. They are particularly interesting to watch as they launch themselves into the air and soar up and down along the beach (over the water) in search of their next meal. They are so beautifully graceful when they fly, as you can see in the bottom image as a few of them are coming in for a landing.
Restaurant Pick of the Month
The Mad Batter
The Mad Batter may be one of the most famous restaurants in Cape May. Long ago, it became famous as a breakfast destination, though guests of The Queen Victoria, enjoying our wonderful breakfast every morning, probably would have never known or cared about that. Over the last several years, the Mad Batter has earned a reputation as an exceptional dinner destination too. Anna Marie and I have enjoyed MANY great meals at the Mad Batter, and we're looking forward to more of them in the coming months.Anna Marie and I don't go to the Mad Batter very often in the summer, as it is so popular it is sometimes hard to get into. We start thinking of going there as fall approaches, which is one of the reasons we're sharing them with you this month. We have many favorite dishes there between us. Anna Marie's favorite has long been the Twin Filet entree which is served with "loaded" fries and veggies. It really is an exceptional meal. Since I love their crab cakes so much, I've been favoring the Filet & Crab Cake, which is served with a 4 cheese macaroni, remoulade, and grilled veggies.If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you'll love the Mad Batter, as they've got many entrees available for you, including Vegan Crab Cakes, Vegan White Bean Ravioli, Grilled Vegetable Ravioli, Tofu Paella (an optional form of their Chorizo Sausage Paella, Vegan Grilled Twin Steaks, and Vegan Crab Cake & Steak. Nobody else in town is doing more for you than the Mad Batter!The Mad Batter is one of the restaurants in town that are taking advantage of the opportunity to open up part of their indoor dining space. They are limited to 25% of normal indoor capacity, per state mandate, but they have a fair number of tables and I'm sure it will work out well for them.Several years ago the Mad Batter bought a liquor license and added a beautiful bar. I'm not sure how the bar will work under the new indoor operating restrictions, but I do know that you can enjoy a cocktail, beer or wine with your meal at the Mad Batter.
Great Reasons to Visit The Queen Victoria
Upcoming Queen Victoria & Cape May Events
24th Annual Food & Wine Festival
Sep 11-20, 2020
Cape May Wine Trail
Sep 11 & 18, 2020
Gourmet Brunch Walk
Sep 14 & 16, 2020
Cape May City Wide Sidewalk Sale
Small Bites & Flights Pairing (at Mudhen Brewery)
Sep 18, 2020
Harvest Dinner (at Vintage restaurant)
Sep 19, 2020
Backtrack Vocals Concert (CM Music
Sep 19, 2020
Fisherman's Wharf Tour
Sep 19, 2020
Oct 8-12, 2020
Murder Mystery Dinner "All Bets Are Off"
October 3 & 11, 2020
REV Theatre Vaudeville "How You Gonna Keep'Em Down On The Farm"
West Cape May Lima Bean Festival
Oct 10, 2020
Victorian Weekend Craft & Collectibles Show
October 11, 2020
Oct 9-31, 2020Lighthouse Challenge of New JerseyOct 17-18NJ Audubon Cape May Fall FestivalOct 15-18
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