Downton Abbey? No, Upton Abbey!


Downton Abbey come to life!

Do you love Downton Abbey? Wish you could live in one of the stately homes Downton Abbey afternoon teaof England and hob-nob with the nobs? Come to Cape May for an afternoon tea presented by the Friends of the Physick Estate called Upton Abbey. There will be prizes for the best British accent, and for the best period costume. Downton Abbey Trivia will test your knowledge of the shows details.

Downton AbbeyWhile you’re in town you can immerse yourself in the period with trolley tours of out twelve hundred Victorian and Edwardian houses, tours of the Emlen Physick Estate (the richest guy in town in those days), and stay at Leith Hall with our period rooms and furnishings.

The Upton Abbey tea will be Friday, April 19th at 3 P.M. at the Physick Estate Carriage House Café and Tearoom.If you miss this time, keep in touch – it will be offered again.

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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies


I made these chocolate peppermint cookies for tea at Leith Hall last week and Bill from Absecon paid me a great compliment. He said that they were the best chocolate cookies he had ever had, and he doesn’t even like sweets!. They are very easy to make.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookieschocolate peppermint cookies Leith Hall

1 ¼ cup (2 1/2 sticks) butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 cups flour

¾ cup Dutch cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

Icing – Melt together 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 stick butter plus 1 tablespoon light corn syrup. Add 1 tablespoon peppermint extract. Put one dollop on each cookie.


Beat the butter and sugar together until they are fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Mix the flour, cocoa, soda and salt together and beat the mixture into the butter mixture. Drop by tablespoons full onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I use a scoop to get exactly even size domes. Bake for 9 minutes at 350F. Cool on cookie sheets, then again on cookie racks.

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Monarchs and Hummingbirds Earth Day April 20


Monarchs and Hummingbirds at the Nature Center of Cape May

monarchs and hummingbirdsThe Nature Center of Cape May will have lots of offerings to celebrate Earth Day, April 20th. You may know that Cape May is famous for its Monarch Butterflies, migrating on their way to and from Yucatan in Mexico. You may not know that they need milkweed to survive. Pat Sutton will show you how to encourage a variety of milkweed species. The session begins at 10:30 at the Nature Center of Cape May

Pat Sutton will also offer a session about ruby-throated Hummingbirds that same monarchs and hummingbirdsafternoon starting at 1:00 P.M.. Learn how to create a hummingbird garden.

April 20 is Earth Day

If you bring your garden tools, you can help deadhead, weed and prune the Nature Center’s gardens and participate in Clean Ocean Action’s annual Beach Sweeps. This will be just the beginning of the season’s offerings at salt-marsh-safarithe Nature Center and heralds the start of Salt Marsh Safari – beginning April 27 – the Nature Center’s  ever-popular exploration of the shore.

Of course, as always, please come stay with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.

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Green Festival Kick Off April 13


Green Festival to Kick Off Birding Season

Birding World Series, Green Festival kick off Cape May, Leith Hall bed and breakfast Kick off  Cape May’s spring offerings of birding and other wetlands activities at the Green Festival- Saturday April 13 – in our new Convention Hall. Lots of environmental groups will be there with information and beautiful photography.  Michael Hogan will sell his large-format book Natural Wonders of the Jersey Pines and Shores. (catchy title, no?) Susan Puder will hawk her book, New Jersey Birds and Beyond.

A really fascinating film about participants in the world series of birding will be shown andGreen Festival to kick off spring season, Leith Hall bed and breakfast, Cape May there will be a wide variety of exhibits from Cape May’s nature organizations. You can contact the Green Festival at or get information at the city’s website   Of course, you should stay with us at Leith Hall while you’re here. If you are a current member of the Cape May Bird Observatory, you get a 10% discount!

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Birder Bargains at the Cape May Bird Observatory

March 23 and 24, the Cape May Bird Observatory will hold its 18thbirder bargains annual optics sale.. It will be held at the Goshen research and education center, on route 47, starting at 9 A.M. You have to be a member of the CMBO, or NJ Audubon, but it’s easy to join to take advantage of the birder bargains.

They sell Zeiss, Leica, and other famous names in optics and greatly reduced prices. It’s also a great time to do some spring birding, and you won’t have to pretend that you can see what the other guys are seeing.

While you’re here for the birder bargains, you can also consider staying with us at Leith Hall.

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Special Discount – Singer Songwriter weekend March 22-24


30% Special Discount

Stay with us at Leith Hall for two nights during Singer Songwriter Weekend, March 22 through 24, and get 30% off the second night.Call us at (609) 884-1934 or go to

special discount

Michael Notarangelo

See you soon.

Elan and Susan

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Singer Songwriter Cape May

cape may singer songwriter weekend tracy grammer

Tracy Grammer

Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 will see an explosion of talent in town at Singer Songwriter Cape May. Now in its sixth year, this annual event will be bigger than ever with 150 acts at over 18 Cape May locations packed into two days. All genres are welcome, though the tone tends toward the folky tradition and lyric oriented songs. There is an extraordinary variety of talent and great performers from distant places and as close as Philadelphia.

If you go to their website,, you can see excerpts from the performers and get lots of information about tickets. The event is co-sponsored by Congress Hall, so the website advertises their rooms, but you can stay anywhere in town (including Leith Hall!)

Cape May sdinger Songwriter weekend

Ellis Paul

So, go to our website to make a reservation or give us a call. We look forward to seeing you for this fun weekend.

Singer Songwriter Cape May

Michael Notarangelo

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Lots to do in Cape May in March – and you can always drink!


There is lots to do in Cape May in March.

O.K., you can’t lie out in the sun and bake, but you can stay indoorslots to do in Cape May and get that healthy glow from the wine and beer events on both the March 9 and March 16 weekends. There are three choices; a self guided wine trail, a self-guided wine and brewery trail, and a winery tour and tasting.

lots to do in Cape MayThe second weekend – March 16, is also Sherlock Holmes Weekend presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. There are still a few tickets availible for the whole program including the murder mystery dinner, the tours, the denouement and the parties. At the same time, East Lynne Theater Company is presenting a dramatization of The Adventure of the Norwood Builder, one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s best stories.

Give us a call at Leith Hall to visit Cape May in March!

March 9th Self Guided wine and brewery trail

March 9th Self guided Wine Trail

March 9th Winery cellar Tour and Tasting

March 16th Crafts and Antiques

March 15th and 16th Sherlock Holmes Weekend.  East Lynne Theater Company Adventure of the Norwood Builder

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Exciting Exhibit Cape May Carriage House Gallery – Focuses on African American Organizations


Exciting Exhibit at the Carriage House Gallery in Cape May focuses on African American organizations

Exciting Exhibit Cape May New JerseyIn the past, Cape May was a segregated town. The United States was a segregated country. In response to this, African Americans formed their own institutions, businesses, and social life. In past years, the Center for Community Arts  created exhibits focusing on the black-owned business that once existed in Cape May and on the military contributions of Cape May’s black citizens. This year the exciting exhibit is called Celebrating Community Service: Black Fraternal, Social and Civic Organizations of Cape May County is opening in the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate, run by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities.

By telling this aspect of American history with personal stories of our friends and neighbors, the Center for Community Arts makes the history much more interesting and immediate, as well as linking our local story to the large themes of the nation’s story.

If you’re coming to visit us at Leith Hall this winter, check out this great exhibit at MAC.

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The Best Historic Walking Tour I Ever Took


The Best Historic Walking Tour

A new exhibit opening at the Carriage House Gallery reminds me of a wonderful evening Cape May Center for Community Artsthat Susan and I spent at the Chalfonte last year. We were invited by Bernadette Mathews, the director of the Center for Community Arts in Cape May, to have dinner and see a slide show about a tour that they offer in town. The tour is the African American Heritage Walking Tour of Cape May. It runs twice a week from June through September and is the very best that local history can be. The slide show was an armchair version of the walking tour, to introduce bed and breakfast owners to the tour and urge them to recommend it to their guests.

Cape May Center for Community Arts

Bernadette Mathews

With every slide, our neighbor, Emily Dempsey pointed out that half of the people in the photo were her relatives. Whether the subject was visiting celebrities or African American organizations, Emily and her relatives were always front-and-center. Apparently, she is related to the entire African American community of Cape May. The tour told the story of the parallel institutions that black people founded during the segregated era of Cape May, and tied their local experience to the larger themes of national history. The tour was filled with wonderful personal anecdotes that made the history of the black community in Cape May vivid and immediate. It was as good as a history tour can get.

If you are coming to visit Leith Hall this coming summer, remember to book this tour. If you are coming to visit us this winter, there’s a great show at the Carriage House Gallery at the Physick Estate that I can recommend.

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