BBOnline Member SINCE 2005

The Harrison Inn

613 Columbia Avenue, Cape May, New Jersey 08204
Innkeeper(s): Andrew & Kelly Bares

False Tuna and Barracuda…the new Lobster! 8 Mar 2016, 5:28 am

Nicaragua Series – Part II

Andrew and I are addicted to fishing so we charter a small boat with a great local tour group. We head out into the Pacific and as soon as our lines hit the water, “Fish on!”. Mackerel, tuna, snapper, jack, dorado and big and I mean big barracuda. It was the kind of trip where you can’t stop throwing the line in, but at the same time, your arms are so spent that after a while you can’t even hold the rod. Caroline never deep sea fished before and she caught the biggest fish of the day, a 5’ long barracuda. Exhilarating. We get back to the dock and the mate cleans our fish for us. He says “Do you want everything?” We said we’d take a bit of each fish but not the barracuda – we don’t eat barracuda in Jersey. The mate and captain look shocked, “Barracuda for us is your lobster. It’s amazing”. Can’t pass that up.

We arrive back at the estate and we make some cocktails and I decide to make ceviche with the barracuda. Yes. It was delightful! We all ate so much that we weren’t sure that we could have the fish that we had fried for dinner.

Patrick had disappeared for a bit and we were wondering where he could have gone. He came down the stairs and he looked like he had seen a ghost. Patrick said, “You know, after Kelly had said she and her family fished her entire life, and always threw back barracuda, I became curious. I went online…maybe you all should sit down. Have you ever heard of Ciguatera? It’s the most commonly reported marine toxin disease in the world, associated with the eating of contaminated reef fish such as barracuda, grouper, and snapper.” We spent the remainder of the night staring at one another waiting for the first one to fall.

Luckily we all woke up the next day, feeling a bit off, but alive!

For more information, recommendations and tips on making and planning your own vacation memories, email us at or call us at (609) 884-4948. Also, enquire with us about renting or exchanging this wonderful property.

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Eclectic Style is Here to Stay 7 Mar 2016, 12:35 pm

Unify. The trick to blending different design styles is to unify the styles. It’s easier than it sounds.

Contrary to what we told about design twenty years ago, things don’t necessarily need to match. What you do need to achieve is continuity. When you mix styles you need find a way to make them blend or complement one another.

1. Color

One easy way to unify styles is with color. Using deep rich warm colors to mix rustic pieces with more traditional pieces creates a cozy space. If you have a rich brown leather sofa for example, you may think Traditional but it actually can work well in a Rustic, Modern, Farmhouse, or Industrial space.

2. Lighting – Use The Same Metal

We recently did a kitchen renovation in a Traditional Gambrel Colonial. The kitchen had lovely original architectural detail and we wanted to make it light and bright. We installed white shaker style cabinets, stainless appliances and added a bit of contrast with bronze lighting fixtures. We used industrial sconces over the island and a more traditional crystal and bronze chandelier. The kitchen looks fabulous and congruent.

3. Tile

There a several places that I shop for tile where I could literally spend the day! The choices today are fabulous and endless. When you’re tiling a bathroom, tile can dictate the style of the space. For a recent reno project, we used Carrera marble in several different patterns to create a classic, but more interesting look. For another new build, we used Calcutta (which is very similar to Carrera but has a bit of pale gold veining) paired with the most fabulous encaustic tile. The room looks vintage but fresh and would work in a lovely farmhouse, cottage, traditional home, or eclectic home. Ironically, I found the encaustic tile on overstock at a great price point!

Check out these tiles on!

4. Pattern

You can unify different styles by adding patterns and textures that have like colors. Use pillows and accessories to add pattern and evoke a particular style. Just keep the patterned pieces limited or your eyes will have a tendency to ricochet.

5. Scale

When you’re mixing styles, scale can make or break a room. If you have a French Country sofa with curves and great detail you want to make sure that you pair it with chairs that are consistent with the scale. Using 2 large wing chairs may dwarf the sofa, while using 2 slipper chairs of the right proportion can create a harmonious space.

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Fabulous Metallic Accent Pieces 7 Mar 2016, 7:47 am

Accessorizing with metallic accent pieces can bring a bit of grandeur to your room. These lovely candleholders placed on top of your dresser will add a bit of soft reflective light and pattern.

Clustering metallic accessories can turn an everyday tablescape to a shimmering and elegant work of art!

Metallic picture frames add life to an otherwise drab shelf or desktop, while frames with bling can immediately evoke a nostalgic vibe.

And don’t be afraid to mix metals or design styles for that matter. Gone are the days of having to be restricted to one style. Read more in my upcoming post – Eclectic Design is Here to Stay!

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The Harrison Gives Back 7 Mar 2016, 6:08 am

Here at The Harrison, it was our pleasure to have the opportunity to donate a two-night stay at The Harrison, received by the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES). The donation will be auctioned off at the MATES-OCVTS Fourteenth Annual Gift Auction. Donations are used to raise money to support the MATES-OCVTS students’ work on improving and developing new methods to protect the Barnegat Bay; it’s wildlife, and a variety of community concerns. We are happy to donate to such a great cause, and we hope that you consider donating today!

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The Games Afoot in Victorian Cape May 7 Mar 2016, 6:06 am

Sherlock Holmes Weekend: March 18-19, 2016

Since 1990, Sherlock Holmes Weekend in Cape May has attracted a variety of individuals from all over to come experience a charming mystery-filled weekend in the quaint Victorian town – the perfect setting to search for clues to discover the unknown!

The weekend will begin on Friday Evening, where participants will enjoy dessert and drinks at The Rose Room at The Inn of Cape May. It is here that the crime unfolds! At the conclusion of the opening evening, you will leave with an item in your hand, one of the major clues in solving the mystery.

Saturday Afternoon will begin with the Search for Clues Tour. Participants can enjoy a self-guided tour of the many delightful inns that Cape May has to offer while they search for clues, of course!

Later in the day, participants will meet back at The Rose Room at The Inn of Cape May where they can compare their findings with those findings of other detectives. Some questions that may be flowing throughout the room: Why is Holmes drawn to this case? What are the larger complications of this case? How are you doing in your search? Prepare to discuss your discoveries and increase your chances of cracking the case!

On Sunday Afternoon “Holmes Unlocks the Mystery!” at The Rose Room at The Inn of Cape May. At 12 noon, participants will enjoy a delicious lunch before Holmes and Watson reveal the solution to the mystery. Once the mystery is solved, winners will be announced and prizes awarded!

Hurry and plan your trip to Cape May for The Sherlock Holmes Weekend, as there is a limit of 100 tickets for this exciting event. So, book your stay at The Harrison now and prepare for your weekend as a detective!

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Nicaragua… Be Careful What You Wish For and Then Count Your Blessings! 21 Feb 2016, 5:24 pm

I wanted to follow up on my last post, Taking The Plunge. When I think about all of the wonderful places we’ve been, it’s funny why we chose certain destinations.  We are always surprised to find that the things we loved the most weren’t planned.

About two years ago, I found out about Home Exchange It’s a terrific site where you can swap your home with someone else. Your home should be comparable and some people will only swap for a simultaneous exchange while others are open to swapping at any time.

We had listed our home in Key West and had many offers to exchange. One day, I got a request from a woman in Nicaragua. Hmmm. We have been to Belize, Costa Rica and Panama and loved each location! Central America should be a go to destination.  I opened the request and was speechless; the home was beyond spectacular. This enormous contemporary home was perched on the edge of a cliff with two vanishing edge pools, a caretaker, cleaning staff, cook, and a SUV! I showed Andrew and said, “This is too good to be true, right?”.

I emailed back and forth with the owners and said our home in Key West is gorgeous but their home was truly spectacular. She assured me that they would love to trade and a few weeks later, we were off to Nicaragua. The home had 4 bedrooms so we invited our friends Patrick and Caroline to join us.

As we boarded the plane, Andrew and I had the sinking thought, “What if this is not real?” Bad enough that we would have to maneuver, but now we’ve enlisted our friends. We arrive in Nicaragua and per our instructions we are looking for a gentleman who will be waiting with a name on a sign. We are looking, looking, and feeling almost sick…then suddenly, there he is. Relief. He is very accommodating and welcoming but as we get into the pick up truck I again think is it possible that we could have put ourselves and our friends at risk as there are many areas in Central America that aren’t necessarily safe.

It’s a 3 hour drive and about 1 ½ hours into it, the driver pulls into a service station and gets out and says “This is as far as I go, Oscar will take you now”. I’m now certain we are going to be in the headlines. Andrew doesn’t speak but turns a bit pale.

We drive, and drive and Oscar says, “We’re almost here”. As we climb a tall mountain and begin to descend, in the distance we see the ocean and then…that spectacular home we had seen in the photo’s. We pull up and an iron gate opens  slowly and there they all are, smiling and welcoming us… a caretaker, a cook, cleaning staff, and a security guard sporting an AK47.

None of us seemed to be unnerved by the weapon, as we were all overwhelmed by the spectacular views, landscape and this upscale Miami Vice white modern estate. The views inside were even more amazing and as we settled in we all realized how lucky we were.

Then the real adventure began. I have to save these stories for the next post but I would go back in a heartbeat if I had the opportunity.

For more information, recommendations and tips on making and planning your own vacation memories, call us at (609) 884-4948. Also, enquire with us about renting or exchanging this wonderful property.

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The Pillow Addiction 21 Feb 2016, 5:18 pm

Everywhere you go today to find Home Décor, you find yourself bombarded by pillows. So who’d have thought that pillows could be intimidating?

There’s a terrific article about the Art of the Pillow on Houzz

You may ask yourself, “Who cares about pillows!” Well the funny thing about a pillow is that the right pillow can make or break a design. If your home has an open concept or rooms that adjoin, you can use pillows to make the connection. Incorporating pillows that have colors from both your dining room and your living room for example, can actually marry the two rooms if it’s done right. Bringing in texture and pattern with pillows can bring a ho hum room to a Designers Dream.   Today, you can find fabulous pillows at home décor chain stores that won’t break the bank.

Whether your décor is neutral, blue, jewel tones, beachy or rustic, adding the right pillows to your room is as important as putting icing on your cake!

For more information about how to use pillows, for Interior Design help, or to purchase any of the pillows in our store, call us at (609) 884-4948.

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Have You Ever Fished In Cape May? 21 Feb 2016, 5:15 pm

For those of you who enjoy a half-day or full day on the water fishing, you can’t go wrong with one of Cape May’s fishing charters. Departing at various times starting from 8am, these charters allow you to hop on board and try your hand at catching a variety of fish. From Striped Bass to Fluke, From Drum to Weakfish, Cape May has something for everyone, both young and old alike. Ladies too!

You don’t need anything other than a little sunscreen and a hat to hop on board. Oh yeah mate, and togs too! You can reserve tickets in advance or show up at the dock 30 minutes prior to your departure time.

No need to bring your own gear, most of the charter boats can provide you with fishing poles and gear for a small fee.

There’s nothing quite like making your way out of Cape May harbor early in the morning for a ½ day fishing trip. This past summer we enjoyed 2 morning trips out on the water. The fishing was great and we came home with plenty of fish for all. On our particular charter boat, they run a fishing competition for the biggest fish and the heaviest fish of the day. With our “fishing obsessed” family on board we were lucky to win on both days! A bonus, especially when you win a cash prize! But the fishing was priceless, as was the time spent on board with our family.

Prices start from as low as $49.50 for adults, with a $5.50 fishing gear rental fee.

If you’re interested in booking a Fishing Charter this year while staying with us at The Harrison, then please call us at (609) 884-4948. Reserve early to secure your spot on board. You won’t be disappointed!

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Congratulations to the Winner of Our Wine Tasting Event! 21 Feb 2016, 4:04 pm

Ellen & Joe D. and  Amy S.  won a FREE Night Stay at The Harrison

On Saturday February 13 & February 20, 2016, The Harrison hosted its fourth and fifth wine tasting events of the winter, and it was a huge success!  The winners of the blind wine tasting quiz were Ellen & Joe D. and Amy S.!  Congratulations, Ellen, Joe, and Amy, and we hope to see you back at the Harrison very soon!

Our guests had a delightful evening tasting wines from France, Portugal and Spain, enjoying exquisite cheeses and mingling with one another!  Book with us today, and join us for wine tastings every Saturday evening throughout the winter months!

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Hot Deal – 15% Off Gift Certificates 21 Feb 2016, 4:00 pm

Available Only During the Month of February 2016

Throughout the month of February, we are offering 15% off Gift Certificates!  Imagine how well received a Gift Certificate for a stay at The Harrison would be!  It’s the perfect gift for a birthday, anniversary, retirement, or any special occasion.  Gift Certificates start at $50.00 and can be purchased by clicking here.  Buy a Gift Certificate for $150 or more and we will include a lovely welcome bucket of bubbly. We would also be happy to add a cheese and fruit basket or a gift box of fudge or chocolates, which can be purchased by calling us at (609) 884-4948. Purchase a gift certificate today!

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