What do Sherlock Holmes, Eddie Palmieri, and Dianne Reeves have in common??


Sherlock Holmes, JazzCape May, that’s what.

Whether you’re a die-hard Sherlock fanatic or a casual murder mystery dinner fan, you’ll love Sherlock Holmes Weekend in Cape May.  The weekend begins with a coffee and dessert reception where the plot begins. Saturday afternoon, you tour a group of Cape May’s Victorian homes, searching for clues to unravel the mystery. After the search for clues, you reconvene at the Inn of Cape May and find out how you are doing compared to Sherlock and to your fellow detectives. Sunday afternoon – all is revealed.

First Mystery – then Jazz!

For something completely different, the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival will feature jazz stars that are so great, thatSherlock Holmes, Jazz it’s a miracle that we can get them in Cape May. Eddie Palmieri and his Latin Jazz Band is legendary and Dianne Reeves is often described as the premiere jazz vocalist in the world. Give us a call at Leith Hall or book online for a wonderful weekend in Cape May.

Sherlock Holmes

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Bean There, Done That



And Lima better person for it.

west cape mayYes, October 12, 2013, is this year’s ever-popular West Cape May Lima Bean Festival. It is the queen of small town farm festivals and is great fun for everyone. There’ll be live music, Lima chili, Lima soup, and maybe even Lima ice-cream.  Don’t worry, there are always crab cakes and North Carolina west cape maystyle pulled pork barbeque. Antiques and collectables, handmade crafts and jewelry, and cakes and pastries round out the offerings.

there are lots of other activities going on this weekend; Victorian Weekend, “Freud’s Last Session” at Cape May Stage, winery tours and craft beer dinners. Call us for reservations and spend a great Fall weekend in Cape May.

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dragon boat festival

Dragon Boats Invade Cape May!

Cape May City is STOKED for the Second Annual Cape May Dragon Boat Festival onragon boat festival September 28th! Picture teams of dragon boats exploding through the water in Cape May Harbor, a line of 54 lion dancers, stilt walkers, bands playing, great food and shopping!

While you are here, check out the play at Cape May StageFreud’s Last Session – which has been drawing sellout crowds in New York.

Plan to stay at Leith Hall for the weekend. Cape May is full of excellent restaurants, shopping and attractions. Book your stay at Leith Hall for the weekend of September 28th & come enjoy the Dragon Boat Festival. Paddles up!


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Food, Wine, and Violence in Cape May


Food and Wine and cutthroat competition in Cape May

Take of bunch of Jersey guys. Get them revved up and competitive. food and wine Cape MayThen give them lots of knives. It doesn’t sound like a good idea, but that’s exactly what happens at the chefs’ competitions at the Cape May Food and Wine Festival from September 14th through 22nd.  There are dozens of events; wine tastings, beer tastings, and a bourbon tasting.  There are food and wine Cape Maylots of meals; a harvest dinner, a clambake, a food tasting at Convention Hall, lunches and brunches.

If, after all that great food, you want something light, head for the East Lynne company’s production of Why Marry?  (Sept. 20th) .It was first produced in 1917, was an enormous hit, andfood and wine Cape May was the first play to win a Pulitzer Prize, then was forgotten until the East Lynne Theater Company re-discovered it.

Three days later, on September 23, feast again. One you’re filled to the gills, try some culture at Cape May Stage’s performance of Arthur Miller’s The Price.  Arthur Miller wasn’t just famous for marrying Marilyn Monroe, he was also one of America’s great playwrights.

You know that every day is a food and wine celebration in Cape May. The third week in September, it will be even more of a festival. Why not plan a break in Cape May and come visit us at Leith Hall?

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Richest Bestest Almond Pound Cake


I recently served an almond pound cake at Leith Hall teatime, which is very rich and buttery. One of almond pound cakeour guests asked for the recipe, so here it is. It is actually very easy to make and is very impressive because it is so rich. I serve it on a footed cake stand.

Sometimes, I serve a bitter sweet chocolate sauce along-side it, just to paint the lily. There are few desserts that aren’t improved by being served with a bitter sweet chocolate sauce.

1 pound (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flouralmond pound cake

1 tablespoon coarse salt

4 sticks softened unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon  vanilla extract or vanilla paste

9 large eggs

1 can of Solo almond pastry filling

Beat the butter, sugar and salt together in an electric stand mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla. Beat in the almond pastry filling.  Beat in the flour, a little at a time.

Bake in two paper-lined loaf pans or one tube or bundt pan. 325 F. for about 65 minutes. It almond pound cakeshould be golden and spring back when lightly prodded with your finger.

For the sauce:

½ c. bittersweet chocolate

½ cup wateralmond pound cake

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

Melt all three ingredients together in a Pyrex cup in the microwave oven (30 seconds at a time, repeated) mix well with a spoon. Serve with a small ladle.


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Maple Pecan Squares


Maple Pecan Squares

This is the second recipe that Lindsay asked for. They are maplebed and breakfast Cape May syrup flavored cake squares with a handful of crushed pecans in the cake. Of course, you could use any nuts in the cake, or no nuts, or raisins, or any chopped dried fruit. You could also substitute honey for the maple syrup for a different flavor.

2 cups all-purpose flourbed and breakfast Cape May NJ

3/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons baking sodaCape May bed and breakfast

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1/3 cup maple syrupCape May NJ bed and breakfast

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 large eggs

1 cup (I use my hand to measure, so it’s probably closer to 2 cups) pecans

For the icing:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

About 1 cup maple syrup


350 F.  8”x8” metal baking pan, lined with cooking parchment and sprayed with cooking spray.

Whisk together flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, maple syrup, butter, and eggs. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until it springs back when lightly prodded with a fingertip.

To make the icing, beat the confectioner’s sugar with an electric mixer adding enough maple syrup to make it flow.

Cool cake. Turn out onto serving platter. Cut into sixteen squares, and then drizzle with maple icing.


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Peach Upside Down Cake for Lindsay


Peach Upside Down cake for Lindsay

Cape May bed and breakfastLindsay asked for the recipe for this peach upside down coffee cake which I served at teatime last week. I cut it into four squares by four squares – for sixteen servings. The cake is plain, but the melted butter and sugar syrup takes care of that. I’ll post the other recipes that Lindsay requested afterbed and breakfast Cape May this one.

For the upside-down topping:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

Sliced peachesCape May bed and breakfast

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour,

½ cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp baking powderbed and breakfast Cape May New Jersey

½ tsp salt

1 cup whole milk

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

4 oz unsalted butter (½ stick)

1/3 cup sour cream

First, line an 8”x8” metal baking pan with cooking parchment and spray with cooking spray like Pam. Melt the stick of butter for the topping and pour it into the baking pan. Sprinkle the cup of brown sugar on top of the melted butter, then arrange the peach slices (or any other fruit) on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Mix all of the cake ingredients together in a bowl, then pour on top of the fruit. Smooth the top and bake at 350 F. for about 20 to 25 minutes until it is thoroughly baked. If the middle of the top seems soft, turn the oven down and return the cake to the oven for a few minutes ‘till the middle is firm. When it’s done, remove the cake from the oven and immediately reverse it onto a serving platter with a rim. Do this by putting the serving platter on top of the cake, upside down. Then flip the whole thing over. The sugar/butter topping will run everywhere, so the serving platter must have a rim.

Remove the metal baking pan and peel off the paper, being careful not to burn yourself on the molten lava of butter and sugar.

Or, you can skip the whole baking experience and come visit us at Leith Hall and let me bake for you.

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Great Food Organic Food


Great Food Organic Food

Cape May is already a mecca for food fans because of our great

Graet Food Organic Food

West Cape May Farmers Market

restaurants. Now we have food markets as well – Tuesdays feature the West Cape May farmers market, with lots of local farmers and organic products for sale – as well as live music, crafts, and local honey. Every day celebrates the Cape May Organic Food Market at  120 Park Boulevard (609 884-3200) which not only features organic produce and healthy food and supplements, but organic meats

Graet food  Organic Food

Tai and Piper Menz

at not much different than supermarket prices. Even better, the store features antiques and gifts chosen by the owners Tai and Julie Menz  (of Victorious at the Pink House fame) . The weird and wonderful objects make shopping at the food market an entertainment rather than a chore.  The last time I was there, I bought a crystal ball for my parlor as well as some organic flavorings for tea-time pastries.

Right next door is Seaside Cheese, which sells wonderful cheese fromgreat food prganic food around the world as well as a selection of Italian pasts, sauces, and breads.  Between the Organic Food Market next door and Seaside Cheese, you can provide yourself with a spectacular picnic for the beach or for a supper on the front porch. Come stay with us at Leith Hall and graze the gourmet delights of Cape May.

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Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festival


Craft Beer and Crab Festival

cape may craft beer and crabThis coming Saturday is the second annual Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festival. Last year’s party was a huge success and this year’s will be even more fun. There’ll be live music all day on the grounds of the Elmlyn Physick Estate and jugglers, the Little Circus, carnival games and more – Pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers for the tradition-minded.  Local and regional brewers will offer their creations and there will be lots of crab, crab-cakes, and othercraft beer and crab summertime food. You’ll be able to get to the Physick Estate by free shuttle from the Washington Street information booth, or walk a block from the elementary school parking lot.

Last year kids had a great time with the entertainment and games and adults enjoyed the wide variety of beers available. Craft vendors and  a farmer’s market will contribute to the whirl of craft beer and crabthings to do. Come stay with us at Leith Hall and enjoy all the diversion that Cape May has to offer.

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Karen Akers moves Cape May to the Big Time




Karen Akers is coming to Cape May!

Karen AkersThe show is An Evening of Cole Porter: Anything Goes. The date is Monday July 22 and the price is fifty dollars. Now Cape May Stage can take its place alongside the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Algonquin in New York in hosting Karen Akers.  She is the best and most famous cabaret singer in America and will feature some of my favorite Cole Porter songs like I Get a Kick Out of You. (Who else would rhyme “Flying too high with some guy in the sky…” that’s four rhymes in nine words) Some of the songs will be melodramatic tear-jerkersKaren Akers like I love Paris, but many others will be the sarcastic, smart alecky Cole Porter lyrics I love like I’m Always True to you Darling (in my fashion) Look at – “If a custom tailored vet, Asks me out for something wet. When the vet begins to pet, I cry Hooray” Nobody wrote cheeky lyrics like Cole Porter.

Karen AkersCome visit us at Leith Hall for the weekend before the concert or for the midweek afterward. We look forward to seeing you.

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