The Queen Victoria ® Bed & Breakfast Inn
Innkeeper(s): Anna Marie and Doug McMain
Cape May Food & Wine Celebration 11 Aug 2016, 1:24 pmCape May Food & Wine Celebration
Published on August 11, 2016
It should come as no surprise that Anna Marie and I thoroughly enjoy Cape May's wine scene and perfecting our winemaking skills with our annual Wine Lover's Weekend wine blending challenge but our friends at the Cape May MAC have wine events down to an art with the Cape May Food & Wine Celebration each fall.
Now in its 20th year, this fabulous event showcases the exceptional wine made in the Cape May region and is another excellent excuse to try pretty much every restaurant in town, or as it's known: The restaurant capital of New Jersey. We know you don't need another reason to visit Cape May but this event could persuade you to plan your trip over the weekend of September 9 or 16.
Some of the popular events include:
The Cape May Wine Trail - start with lunch and then jump on the trolley to visit the region's wineries
The chocolate lover's feast - are you ready for seven courses of chocolate?
Gourmet brunch walk - start your morning with a historic walking tour and then see what everyone's raving about when it comes to brunch at the Mad Batter
Chef's dine-arounds - try five gourmet dishes from five of Cape May's best restaurants with a trolley shuttle between restaurants. This event is offered Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday making it a great midweek event with fewer crowds and is always a ton of fun!
Champagne jazz brunch at Aleathea's - enjoy a delightful Sunday brunch with a jazzy accompaniment
As part of the name will tell you, this event is mostly designed for adults and there are limited events that can accommodate young ones. Though, I think that makes it the perfect opportunity to enjoy a romantic getaway to Cape May while the weather is still in our favor. Find the perfect room to retreat to after tasting your way through Cape May and as the tagline states: Eat, drink, and be merry!
If you possibly cannot get enough of trying Cape May's first-rate restaurants, save the date now for the fall Cape May Restaurant Weekend from November 3 - 6, 2016. Though not as large as the June version, you'll still be able to enjoy three-course dinners for $35 each at an array of participating restaurants.
5th Annual Cape May Craft Beer & Crab Festival 1 Aug 2016, 1:31 pm
5th Annual Cape May Craft Beer & Crab Festival
Published on August 01, 2016
Though you're more likely to see a bottle of fine wine around The Queen Victoria or get recommendations from Anna Marie or myself on what wines to bring to which Cape May restaurant, we're not disappointed with Cape May's growth in the craft beer industry these past few years or the wonderful festivals it's brought to our seaside resort.
In its fifth year, the Cape May Craft Beer & Crab Festival, has attracted the attention of beer enthusiasts across the country as they make their way to Cape May each August for a wonderful selection of craft beer from local and regional breweries. I'm pretty sure the inclusion of crab and other summer BBQ favorites doesn't hurt the festival's popularity either.
The festival is Saturday, August 6, 2016 on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. This festival runs all day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and has a variety of live entertainment from the circus to music performances. Feel the energy-inducing rhythm from Full Spectrum as they play a wide range of music - spanning Classic Rock to R&B. Thanks to the Cape May MAC for their sponsorship of this great event that helps highlight the enjoyable beers brewed along our shores.
The impressive selection of brews comes from Cape May Brewing Company, Tuckahoe Brewing Company, and Victory Brewing Company.
Admission is free though beverages and food have their own costs. Commemorative t-shirts will be available for purchase as well. Call 609-884-5404 with any questions or for more information.
Movies on the beach: 2016 lineup 14 Jul 2016, 9:23 amMovies on the beach: 2016 lineup
Published on July 14, 2016
Classic date nights seem to involve two activities: Movies or walks along the beach. I love both but especially enjoy Cape May's summer tradition of free movie screenings on the beach.
At just a five-minute walk from The Queen Victoria, you can enjoy this free summer night activity (no beach tags required)! Movies are shown every Thursday night from early July to late August at 8:30 p.m. This event is family-friendly and every film is PG. Don't forget to grab a Queen Victoria beach chair before heading out for the night or packing a cooler with food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Anna Marie and I are both happy to make recommendations for a pre-show dinner if you really want to make a date night of it, as well as spots to walk along for that picture-perfect Cape May sunset.
The 2016 Cape May movies on the beach lineup:
- July 14 - The Lego Movie
- July 21 - Tomorrowland
- July 28 - Finding Nemo
- August 4 - Toy Story
- August 11 - Jaws
- August 18 - Free Willy
- August 25 - Minions
For more information, please call 609-884-9565.
On the water in Cape May 30 Jun 2016, 9:58 amOn the water in Cape May
Published on June 30, 2016
There's nothing quite like a sunny summer day in Cape May, in fact I think you better hurry and enjoy it for yourself soon, but if you're looking for ways to stay cool or feel the lovely sea breeze, you'll want to schedule some time in your itinerary to add these on the water activities.
Cruises and tours
Spirit of Cape May is popular with visitors for its fun sunset dinner cruise. You'll set sail at 6:30 p.m. and have the chance to spot dolphins, enjoy cocktails, and take in the beautiful sunset. You'll also find multiple buffets to choose from with restaurant-quality dishes and options for stricter dietary needs.
Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center has a variety of tours throughout the day to catch the sights of dolphins, whales, birds, and a delightful sunset. Most trips are about two hours and have a snack bar on board.
Cape May Whale Watcher offers several tours including the lighthouse cruise, dolphin watch, and the whale and dolphin watch. Learn about the history and nature of our area on these two to three-hour tours.
Thunder Cat Dolphin Watch has wowed Cape May visitors for 16 years with its close encounter dolphin tours. Take the 90-minute ride on this catamaran speedboat with 360 degree views.
The Skimmer Salt Marsh Safari is an ideal tour for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Explore the back bays and salt marshes on this smooth ride. The Skimmer launches at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. daily. Adult tickets are only $28.
East Coast Jet Boat spins out the fun with this thrill ride that includes its signature 360 degree spin. There are slower portions of the trip where your captain will share information on points of interest and allow for photo taking. The trip lasts 45 - 55 minutes and chances are you'll get wet. The company also offers jet skis and parasailing.
Visiting anglers and amateur fishers will love the options through Miss Chris Boats. They have a 4-hour, half-day fishing trip leaving at 8 a.m., another half-day departing at 1 p.m., and a half-night trip that leaves at 6 p.m. Rods are only $5 to rent and the trip itself is only $45 and it leaves plenty of time left in the day for other Cape May activities.
Another chartered option is with Porgy IV for a full-day adventure of sailing and fishing. The boat sets sail at 8 a.m. on this 77 ft. long boat as you fish the waters of the Delaware Bay.
Cape May Bait & Tackle offers rod rentals and bait supplies so you have the freedom to fish when and where you want to.
Take a guided kayak tour of the marsh, a sunset tour, or a full moon ride with Aqua Trails. If you're feeling a bit more adventurous, you can check out the guided stand-up paddleboard tours of the Cape May harbor and tidal salt marsh. You can also rent your own kayaks and paddleboards if you want to map out your own journey on the water.
Atlantic Parasail has been offering thrill seekers safe rides since 1987 and you get a 12-minute ride if you fly tandem! The total trip lasts about an hour and a half and during the summer there five departure times, ranging from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SUP and Surfing
Steger Beach Services offers stand-up paddleboard (SUP) lessons, tours, and rentals as well as surfing lessons. Learn how to ride the waves with patient and qualified instructors and then explore the waters on your own.
http://www.stegerbeachservice.com/ Stay cool this summer as you explore the attractions and activities of Cape May, though you can always join Anna Marie and I for our favorite way to cool down on a hot afternoon: By sipping some delicious iced tea at our afternoon tea! Plus, you'll want to refuel with some savory and sweet treats after your on the water adventure.
Fourth of July in Cape May 16 Jun 2016, 10:14 amFourth of July in Cape May
Published on June 16, 2016
I can't think of anywhere else that I'd rather spend Independence Day than in Cape May, or any day for that matter, but if you want to combine beach day fun with stunning fireworks at night then Cape May should be your destination of choice this July.
With the Fourth of July falling on a Monday, you're guaranteed to find a variety of activities and celebrations throughout town the Saturday and Sunday before it. So, what's there to do in Cape May for the holiday weekend?
Independence Day parade
On Saturday, July 2 is Cape May's Independence Day parade from 1 - 2 p.m. along Beach Avenue. The parade features live music from a few bands, community members showing off their vintage cars or decorated bicycles, and veterans. The parade starts at the intersection of Beach Avenue and Philadelphia Avenue and heads toward Patterson Avenue.
Independence Day Celebration
If you want a touch of history with your holiday celebrations, visit the Historic Cold Spring Village for its Independence Day Celebration. Running July 2 - 3, you can find concerts, patriotic programs, and fun activities on-site. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the summer and adult tickets are $12.
Free concert at Rotary Park
On Sunday, you can enjoy live music from the Jack Melton Band at Rotary Park (on Lyle Lane between Decatur and Jackson streets) by the Washington Street Mall from 7 - 8 p.m.
Fireworks at Ocean Street Beach
On July 4, head on down to Ocean Street Beach. Watch the free display from 9 - 10 p.m. Don't forget to take a beach towel or chair from The Queen Victoria!
Dinner & Fireworks
Our friends at the Cape May MAC have a fun and unique way to celebrate Independence Day with a wonderful viewing spot of the fireworks with the dinner and fireworks event on July 3 and 4. First, you'll start with a trolley ride to Cape May Point's Red Store for a five-course dinner comprised of fresh, seasonal dishes prepared by Chef Lucas Manteca. After dinner, climb to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse and enjoy the show from this fantastic vantage point. Reservations are necessary as this is a limited-seating event and tickets are $100.
Another fun way to watch the fireworks is on the fireworks cruise with Cape May Whale Watcher. You'll have the chance to spot some dolphins, catch the breathtaking sunset, and watch the fireworks display. Pizza and hot dogs are free onboard and there's a cash bar for drinks including alcoholic beverages. Tickets are $40 per adult and the ship departs at 7 p.m. on July 3 and 4. This event is quite family-friendly with children three and younger admitted for free, so if you're planning a more romantic getaway that holiday weekend, this cruise may not be ideal.
Anna Marie and I hope to be checking you into one of our beautiful rooms for our country's 240th birthday so you can join in on all the festivities and activities in Cape May.
The Queen Victoria: Don and Jeannie's Experiences 6 Jun 2016, 10:18 amThe Queen Victoria: Don and Jeannie's Experiences
Published on June 06, 2016
In our last loyal guest profile, we shared the experiences of Wayne and Joyce and this time we're proud to share the adventures that Don and Jeannie have enjoyed with a stay with us at The Queen Victoria.
For almost 10 years, Anna Marie and I have had the pleasure of hosting this wonderful couple as they discover Cape May and pretty much every room we have at our property! See why Don and Jeannie have come to call our bed and breakfast their very special place and some advice on visiting Cape May.
How did you find out about The Queen Victoria?
Don and I discovered the beautiful Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast almost 10 years ago when we first began vacationing in Cape May. At that time, we
were actually staying at another B&B because we decided very last minute to plan a weekend in Cape May and that particular B&B had availability. Little did we know the Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast would go on to be "Our Very Special Place." While we were staying at the other B&B, we took a stroll down beautiful Columbia Avenue and immediately discovered the spectacular Queen Victoria! We went up to the porch and grabbed a brochure. It just felt right. We knew the Queen Victoria would be where we booked our vacation the following summer, and we did. The following July we stayed at the Queen Victoria, and it has been love ever since!!
How many times have you stayed over the years?
We try and average 4 to 5 trips a year to the Queen Victoria. I would say so far we have probably stayed at the Queen about 40 times, but that will continue to grow. We look forward to each and every visit! We first stayed at the Queen Victoria July 2007. This July will be 9 years that have been staying at the Queen!
What interested you in Cape May?
Don and I love traveling and visiting quaint Victorian towns, and we love the beach, so Cape May is the perfect place for us! We just adore the wonderful Victorian architecture, homes, and inns which make Cape May so special. Cape May has such a wonderful history, and it has so much to offer. The beaches are beautiful and serene, the restaurants, bars, and lounges are fabulous and always a unique dining experience, and I never get tired of shopping in Cape May. I simply love all the antique shops and the Washington Mall shops too. Also MAC, Mid Atlantic Center for Arts and Humanities, has wonderful tours and activities all year long that Don and I enjoy participating in.
What season is your favorite to visit?
Well, that is a tough question because every season is unique and special in Cape May. We would have to say our favorite season is summer because we love the beach and riding bicycles everywhere. One thing Don and I enjoy so much is going to Cabanas at lunchtime sitting up front with the doors open hearing the ocean and smelling the sea salt air while drinking our favorite cocktails and eating nachos. We also enjoy going to get our "Hot Dog Tommy's" and frozen root beer at lunchtime. Our most favorite place to be though is sitting on the Queen Victoria porch relaxing at night on what Don and I call "Our Swing" watching the trolley cars and horse and carriages go by while we sip some wine and have some cheese or fudge!
What is your favorite place to dine?
Another tough question. Don and I have never had a bad meal in Cape May! The restaurants are all superb, but our top 5 favorites are: The Washington Inn, The Ebbitt Room lounge and porch for small plates, Frescos, Freda's Cafe, and The Merion Inn. Don's favorites are sesame crusted Ahi tuna at Freda's and lobster bisque with rock shrimp at Washington Inn. I love the gorgonzola ravioli and fried olives at Frescos. We both love the cheese board and burger at the Ebbitt Room. Washington Inn wine bar has a great burger too and delicious olive bread.
Which room is your favorite and why?
This is another difficult question because we love all the rooms. Don and I have stayed in all but 7 rooms at the Queen Victoria. We are on a mission to complete staying in all of the QV rooms. We would have to say our most favorite room is the actual Queen Victoria room which is on the first floor of the QV building. It gives you the feeling of being a king and queen, and it has direct porch access which we love. It is filled with beautiful antiques as are all the QV rooms, and the bed is sheer royalty! In fact, this is the room Don and I stayed in when we celebrated our "10 year Vow Renewal" at the Queen Victoria. We renewed our wedding vows on June 1, 2013 on the gorgeous grounds in front of the famous Queen Victoria sign. It was simply one of the most wonderful and cherishable moments of our lives. We knew years before that we wanted to renew our vows on our 10 year anniversary at the Queen Victoria. It was everything we imagined it would be!!
What is your favorite breakfast dish?
My favorite breakfast dishes are Potato Hash Bake and Eggs Colorado. Don's favorite is Blueberry stuffed French Toast. They are all scrumptious dishes as are all tea time sweets and savories. I tend to love savory while Don loves sweet.
What do you love most about The Queen Victoria?
The Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast is truly a magical place, and what makes it so magical and what we love most are the wonderful innkeepers, Doug and Anna Marie, and the wonderful staff. The QV is heaven on earth and thanks to Doug and Anna Marie and the terrific staff, it has become "Our Home Away From Home." You are treated with the warmest hospitality from the moment you walk in and are greeted. Don and I actually call the QV "Our Shore House." It truly is "Our Special Place."
Doug and Anna Marie, innkeepers, are the greatest! They are so warm, welcoming, and helpful and make each and every guest feel like the Queen Victoria is his/her home. They are always available and help to make everyone's stay fun and memorable. They truly love what they do!
The staff at the Queen Victoria is the finest staff you can meet. They too extend themselves to every guest making his/her stay as memorable as can be. Don and I love the QV so much that we renewed our wedding vows on our 10th Anniversary, and it was just spectacular! Doug and Anna Marie helped us plan a beautiful ceremony right on the gorgeous QV grounds and gardens.
The Queen Victoria architecture is so amazing and charming and every building and room is decorated beautifully with gorgeous antiques, furnishings, and draperies. QV has unbelievable attention to detail, and there is always something new to discover on every visit! The entire inn is impeccably maintained and the cleanest inn you will ever find. The grounds are beautiful with luscious flowers and landscaping. It is difficult to travel to other places because we are constantly comparing every place to the Queen Victoria. Breakfast and tea are scrumptious and give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. Everything is always delicious! The beds are so comfortable, the bathrooms are fabulous, the towels are so soft, and there are even makeup removal towelettes. How awesome is that!
Queen Victoria has a fantastic location very close to the beach, shops, and restaurants. It doesn't get any better than that not to mention the convenience of having great bicycles to ride, beach chairs, beach towels, and even outdoor showers which you can use on your day of departure. It's no wonder the Queen Victoria is the Best B&B in Cape May!
Finally, Don and I feel so well when we are at the Queen Victoria. It is truly great for your soul! We enjoy meeting new guests, and we have made some nice friends from staying at QV. We are proud to say that Queen Victoria is "Our Go To Place" and truly feels like home!!
What piece of advice would you give to a first time visitor to Cape May?
The best piece of advice we can give to a first time visitor to Cape May is to book your stay or your next stay (if he/she is already in Cape May) at the Queen Victoria- you will be glad you did! It becomes addicting! Don and I always look forward to our next visit!!
The Queen Victoria's treat recipes 2 Jun 2016, 10:37 amThe Queen Victoria's treat recipes
Published on June 02, 2015
Our guests at The Queen Victoria are used to the royal treatment and treats worthy of the royal family. Anna Marie and I have enjoyed hosting afternoon tea in our Victorian beauty for many years and it is a tradition we hope our guests enjoy just as equally.
Held every day at 4 p.m. our afternoon tea also includes a sweet, a savory, and a treat menu item to accompany our Harney's Tea options - hot in the winter and iced in the summer. We know many of our guests enjoy the cheese, crackers, and veggie spread. We can't help but take some pride in our treat creations and the empty plates at the end of our afternoon tea tells us we baked something delicious that morning!
Anna Marie and I picked two of our favorite treat recipes to share so you can bring a little taste of The Queen Victoria to your kitchen or afternoon tea.
Chocolate Dream Bars Recipe
The name says it all but these bars are quite popular among chocolate lovers, which we see plenty of at The Queen Victoria!
Ingredients you'll need:
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups oats, raw and ground
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 14oz can)
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixer bowl combine brown sugar, butter, oats, salt, flour, and baking soda until crumbly. Divide in half. Spray 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with non-stick pan coating. Press half crust mixture into pan. Reserve remaining mixture. In a large microwave-safe mixing cup melt together sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and water on medium power, stirring often, until smooth. Add vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture over crumb mixture. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top and press lightly to smooth. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Cool completely and then cut into small squares. Wrap tightly to store in refrigerator or freezer.
Makes 75 - 100 bars.
Seven Layer Bars
Arguably one of our most popular bars to accompany a delicious cup of tea, you may need to save a plate for yourself if you make them at home!
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cups crushed walnuts
- 1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 2 cups coconut
Melt butter in a 9x13 glass baking dish, cover bottom of dish with crushed graham crackers. Layer chocolate chips, then walnuts, then condensed milk (pour evenly over mixture), then butterscotch chips and finally coconut. Pat down firmly. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until coconut is golden brown. Cut in squares immediately, but then leave in dish to cool completely before moving to a serving platter.
We hope you enjoy making these treats as much as we do, but you're always welcome to come taste them at our bed and breakfast and couple them with our delightful
tea offerings and exquisite company.