Castelo São Jorge at Leith Hall bed and breakfast


A new painting of Castelo São Jorge in the parlor at Leith Hall

This is just a brief post to tell you about a change in our parlor atLeith Hall bed and breakfast parlor Leith Hall bed and breakfast. A few weeks ago, I went to a yard sale with a neighbor and found a great late nineteenth-century gilded frame for five dollars – and amazing price for a very fancy frame. The outermost molding was broken, so I replaced it and gilded it and ended up with a spectacular frame. Of course, it isn’t a standard size and I had no painting that would fit it. Fortunately, I wanted to make a picture of the Castelo São Jorge in Lisbon, which we visited Leith Hall bed and breakfast parlorduring last winter’s vacation. The castelo sits on top of the Alfama hill, which was the old Arab city before the Christians conquered Portugal. We were staying on a cliff-top on the opposite side of the old city and could look across the lower town (the Baixa) to the Alfama and the castelo.

 The Castelo Sao Jorge is the highest point in Lisbon. The RomansLeith Hall bed and breakfast may have built a fort there on an Iron Age site, but if they did, it was obliterated by later building. The Arabs built a medinat (city) or al-qasaba (fort) on the same site, populated by “people of the book” – Christians, Moslems and Jews. The kings of Portugal kept and extended the fortifications until 1755 – the year of the terrible earthquake, tidal wave, and fire that wiped out the center of Lisbon. Much of what we see now was restored in 1910.

Suzie and I took the little yellow number 28 trolley from one extreme end of Lisbon to the other, ending in the Castelo neighborhood. It is a wonderful and sometimes exciting ride, as the trolley just missed hitting buildings in the narrow twisted alleyways. Of course, the trolley is on tracks, so it always just misses the buildings, but it plunges down the face of the cliff and up the hillside lke a cross between transportation and a roller coaster.

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Cape May Cute. Cape May, Charming. Cape may Funny?


Cape May Funny?

Yes, Cape May funny. This July 26 through 28, the Cape May Comedy Fest will feature

Cape May  funny

Gilbert Gottfried

Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch comedy, a multi-level comedy contest, comedy workshops,  and the Ladies of Comedy, at sites all over town. Gilbert Gottfried will appear at our new Convention Hall on Saturday at 8:30.

Cape May funny

Brad Trackman

The workshops will concentrate on sketch comedy, improv, and standup. Chris Aurilio of the Peoples Improv Theater and Brad Trackman of the American Comedy Institute will lead the workshops.

Venues everywhere in Cape May from Convention Hall to the Physick Estate to the Chalfonte will host the performers and the workshops. There will be eight rounds of comedy contest, then semi-finals and finalsCape May funny and finishing with a Top Ten of humor. Consider a few days of soaking up rays in Cape May with evenings of entertainment this July. Give us a call at Leith Hall or go online to make a reservation. It’ll be a tragedy to miss it.

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Travel and Leisure honors Cape May


Travel and Leisure discovers Cape May’s Charms

Travel and Leisure

Romance on Leith Hall’s porch

Travel and Leisure just identified Cape May as one of the best small resorts in the country. We’ve known that for years, but it’s nice to see it confirmed by a national magazine. They point out the Victorian Bed and Breakfasts and the many great restaurants as high points of a visit to Cape May. For me, it’s also that Cape May is never overcrowded. Because we don’t have any tall buildings, even when the town is full, it’s just bustling, not crowded.

The article mentioned the high-end fine-dining choices in Cape May,Travel and Leisure but we also have a host of medium price and inexpensive restaurants with wonderful food and charming settings.  Call us (609) 884-1934 or go online to make a reservation today. Come to Cape May to unwind and eat well.

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Alice Steer Wilson book in Cape May


A book about Alice Steer Wilson by her daughter to be celebrated in Cape May

Alice Steer Wilson was a great Cape May painter, and will be remembered at a book Alice Steer Wilson Cape Maysigning this Saturday at the Carriage House of the Emlen Physick Estate. Her daughter Janice Wilson Stridick, has just written a book about her mother, Light Particularly, and will appear to autograph copies.

Alice Steer Wison was both a skilled and inspired painter. Her paintings often specified the highlights and shadows of a subject, leaving the viewer to fill-in the middle tones. This caused the paintings to pop into three

Alice Steer Wilson

Alice Steer Wilson

dimensions, and somehow made them more striking and involving, too. The paintings are beautiful, but they are not just souvenirs of pretty Cape May cottages. Instead, they are accomplished paintings that use the light falling on complicated architecture and the shadows cast as their common theme.

Many of her paintings remind me of watercolors by John Singer

Alice Steer Wislon, John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent

Sargent. This is no small compliment, as John Singer Sargent was the best watercolorist there ever was.

Joh Singer Sargent Watercolor

John Singer Sargent Watercolor

Take the time to visit the book signing at the Carriage House at the Physick Estate and meet Janice Wilson Stridick. Janice is a designer in her own right and is active in Historic Preservation in New Jersey. Use the occasion for a visit to Leith Hall, a dip in the ocean and a snooze on the beach.

Alice Steer Wilson, Cape May

Alice Steer Wilson


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Designer Show House in Cape May


Spectacular New Designer Show House

If you like Designer Show Houses, Cape May’s got a great one this summer. A wonderful couple (Ioanna Iliopolis and Tom Cataldo) has

Mainstay Inn

The Mainstay Inn

just built a beautiful new house on Washington Street. It is patterned after the grand Tuscan Villas of Cape May – the Southern Mansion and the Mainstay Inn. A Tuscan Villa is a cube-shaped house with a low hipped roof and a cupola  And this new one, Cavalier Cottage, is a very cute example.

MAC (our local non-profit organization) didn’t have a designer show

The Southern Mansion

The Southern Mansion

house last year, and is thrilled with the generosity of the owners. All summer long you can visit the show house, and combine your visit with a lunch at the Carriage House Café at the Physick Estate. Each room was conceived by a different designer. Most are from Cape May, but also they also include designers from Haddonfeild and Devon, Pennsylvania. Consider visiting us this summer and combining the Victorian interiors at Leith Hall and the Physick Estate with the new interiors at Cavalier Cottage.

Cavalier Cottage

Cavalier Cottage

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Are you tired of gyring and gimbling in the wabe?


Stop that gyring and gimbling and learn some new forms of poetry.

Believe it or not, we are about to have a serious poetry workshop in

gyring and gimbling

Lewis Carroll

Cape May. Led by Sylvia Baer, who is the director of the Poetry Center at Gloucester County College, the weekly sessions will teach you about different forms and how to polish and improve your own work.

Participants will not be required to share their work, but will have the benefit of Professor Baer’s professional advice.  The sessions will be held on Mondays, July 1, 8 and  15th, from 5pm to 6:30pm at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom on the grounds of the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St.

gyring and gimblingCome visit us for the weekend and add Monday night to work on your verse.  Whichever Monday  you sign up for, it’ll be a frabjous day !

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Is it the wine or is it the Yoga?

Is it the wine or is it the yoga? Why do I feel so relaxed, so centered, so calm? It’s both. You may remember from earlier blog posts that Cape May offers many choices for yoga. On the beach in the morning, on the lawn at Congress Hall, at The Well wellness center, in gyms and spas all over town. Now there’s a new place in a particularly beautiful setting. Hawk Haven winery is offering yoga out by the vines, followed by wine and cheese sipping and nibbling in the tasting room.

On Sundays they offer wine and sangria by is it the wine or is it the yogathe glass, live music and food – bring your (or our) sand chairs and chill on the grounds. Call us today at Leith Hall  or go online to make a reservation for a relaxing weekend in Cape May.

is it the wine or is it the yoga

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Cape May Harborfest


Cape May HarborfestCape May haborfest

For me, the harborfest is all about food. Cape May has its own scallopcape may harborfest beds and the harborfest features The Scallop Challenge, where local chefs compete for the bivalve honors. There’s lots of other seafood along with a beer garden, live music and an arts and crafts fair. You can even get into the actual harbor with kayaking and boat rides.  Most events are at or near the Nature Center of Cape May, so ther are sure to be lots of educational children’s activities. June 15th is the date . Markpilsner you calendars and make your reservations at Leith Hall bed and breakfast either on line or by calling 609  884-1934.

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Cape May Music Festival Special – Free Tickets!




Cape May Music Festival + Leith Hall bed and breakfast

Thursday, June 6, Leith Hall will be co-sponsoring the concert by the Bay Atlantic Cape May Music Festival special offerSymphony Orchestra. They will be presenting some of my very best favorite music.  A concerto by Vivaldi – There’s nothing better than Vivaldi; and a concerto for guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos .

The Bay Atlantic Symphony Orchestra concert will be conducted by Jed Gaylin, and he always explains what the orchestra is about to play, giving you more understanding and insight into the work.Cape May Music Festival special offer

Some classical work that you’ve heard before is suddenly new and fresh and you come away with more appreciation and enjoyment than you ever had before. It even works for difficult music, though this concert will be all very easy to listen to.

The Gaylin family often stays with us at Leith Hall and it is always a joy to see them again.

There’s a concert every few days for the next few weeks. Celtic, country, chamber music, and classical orchestral music; there’s sure to be something you’ll love. Give us a call or go on-line to make a reservation. Check our Packages and Specials tab for our Music Festival Special – stay with us any night that there is a concert, and we’ll give you two free tickets! (a $40m – $50 value)

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EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY –For Tomorrow we Diet


Eat Drink and be Merry!

eat drink and be merry Restaurant week

Cucina Rosa

Forgive the bad old joke, but this should be the motto of Cape May’s restaurant week, starting today, June 2, through June 9th. Many of Cape May’s great restaurants are participating, like 410 Bank Street, with Cajun and Creole food, the Ebbit Room at the Virginia Hotel – with “New American” cuisine, and the Sea Salt Restaurant – Cape May’s newest gourmet restaurant.

Some of our guests favorites, like Tisha’s on the Mall, Union

eat drink and be merry Reataurant Week

The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel

Park in the Macomber hotel, and the Washington Inn, will also be included.  The special prix fixe Restaurant Week menus let you dine in the most wonderful restaurants for much less than usual prices.

eat drink and be merry Reataurant Week

Martini Beach

Come stay with us at Leith Hall and sample Elan’s breakfasts and teatime goodies, saving room for a dinnertime drink and be merry Reastaurant Week If you stay two nights midweek, (June 2-June 9) you’ll get 30% off the second night! (subject to availability and cannot be combined with other offers) Click on the Specials and Packages tab on our website

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