Cape May is the place to come for the most old fashioned Independence Day you can imagine. First, the Independence Day celebrations begin on Saturday, July 1st with the Independence Day parade down Beach Avenue starting at 1 P.M. You can walk just a few yards from the Leith Hall porch to have a curbside view. Later, you can visit one of the many spectacular restaurants for dinner, take a trolley tour, climb the lighthouse, shop at West End Garage or the West Cape May Artist’s Coop.
On July Third, Lower Township has their fireworks show and fair on the bay-front. The fair starts at 5 P.M. (between Lincoln and Emerson Streets, near the Ferry Terminal) , and the fireworks start at 9 P.M.. We drive up to North Cape May or the Villas with our sand chairs and find a good spot to park.
Finally, on July Fourth, starting at 9.P.M., walk the half-block down to the beach for the annual fireworks co-sponsored by Congress Hall and the City of Cape May. If you like, you can walk right for a couple of blocks to hear the band on the Congress Hall lawn.
There are several new businesses in Cape May, that means new shopping and dining adventures! Though you won’t need it when staying at Leith Hall, as breakfast is supplied by Elan, there’s a new breakfast place near the Acme called Egg and Dart. If you’ve ever shopped at Galvanic, Cape May’s own little bit of Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, you’ll be happy to know that there will be a second location at 208 Ocean Street for the summer. So, if you’re young, cool, and slim, you know where to go. (I’m none of those things, so I don’t fit in the clothes.) Their first store is mostly black, so this one is mostly white. Very nice.
On Carpenter’s Lane (the parking street just before the Washington Street Mall) the Italian bath shop has been replaced with Quirk & Co, which is a gift shop specializing in items made within one hundred miles of Cape May. At the far end of the Mall, across from the Victorian Motel and Congress Hall, the popcorn shop has been replaced by new home of Victorious. You may know Victorious as the home of wonderful and interesting accessories and jewelry. They always have the most stylish and carefully chosen things, and I’m sure they will continue that great tradition in the new location. Speaking of jewelry, The new estate jewelry store that replaced Artisan’s Alcove at Ocean Street and Lafayette has a second location in Congress Hall. They are both called Queen May estate jewelry.
Most important, there’s a new bakery in town! On Beach Avenue, in the old movie house, is Madison’s Bakery – just right for coffee and a nosh during a hard day of lying in the sun.
Give us a call when you have a longing for a Cape May B&B. We’re here with breakfast, afternoon tea, and ocean views all ready.
Cape May storm – Through October 9, there’s an exhibit at the Carroll Gallery at the Physick Estate in Cape May. The show is really interesting. It’s about the storms that have hit Cape May since it’s founding, but the reason I’m particularly interested is, it includes one of my paintings. The exhibit organizers invited a number of Cape May artists to submit paintings on the theme of storms, and the Mid-Atlantic Center will auction them off at the end of the exhibit. So, feel free to buy it. You can even buy it now for the suggested reserve price. Forty percent of the proceeds will benefit MAC. Also feel free to make a reservation at Leith Hall bed and breakfast to enjoy Cape May’s beaches, restaurants, and culture.
P.S. Not only is this one painting is on exhibit, but I have an upcoming show of my paintings at the Carroll Gallery in Cape May for the last three weeks in October. I’ll hang about
Murder mystery. Good news to share with our guests. Suzie’s sister, Rena, has just had a book published! I’ve read it and it’s really entertaining and charming. It’s called Murder Beach and is a murder mystery with a ghost, set in California near San Francisco. Rena has moved to Cape May County from the San Francisco area and is now working on the sequel to Murder Beach.
You can buy the book in paperback or as an e-book on Amazon at
The Music Festival makes late May and June one of the best times of year in Cape May! This year, the Atlantic Brass Band will perform in the bandstand. It’s free. The bandstand is new, beautiful, and authentically Victorian. May 28, at 7 P.M., they’ll perform rousing American Music to celebrate Memorial Day weekend.
Tuesday, May 30, at 8 P.M., the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra chamber players will perform Mendelssohn and Brahms in the beautiful Episcopal Church of the Advent. Then, two days later, on Thursday June 1, at 8 P.M., the New York Chamber Ensemble will play chamber music with little known instruments like the hurdy-gurdy, and the Hardanger Fiddle. Their program will include Vivaldi’s Spring from the Four Seasons, and a different Mendelssohn selection.
On June 4, at 8P.M., Avi Wisnia will play Bossa Nova, Jazz, Pop, and Folk music at the First Presbyterian Church
Thursday June 8, at 8 P.M. Is the concert that Leith Hall co-sponsors. The Bay Atlantic Symphony will play three works by Handel and one by Respighi. I love Handel (it’s my exercise music at the gym) and this concert will use the pipe organ of the church.
So, look up the music festival on the net https://www.capemaymac.org/cape-may-music-festival , pick your favorite kind of music, and make your reservations at your favorite Cape May bed and breakfast today!
This recipe is for Jackie. I serve these little chocolate cakes for teatime, using two silicone baking pans that make small straight-sided cakes. It would work as well in cupcake pans, or in two nine-inch cake pans, or in a Bundt pan. I like to soak cakes in a little simple syrup (one third cup sugar and one third cup water, brought to a boil plus a little vanilla) but it isn’t necessary.
Chocolate Cakes for Tea
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup Dutch process cocoa (I use Droste’s or Van Houten)
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 ½ tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp espresso powder or coffee extract
1 cup milk
½ cup canola oil
1 Tbs. Vanilla extract
1 cup water.
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Beat the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract together. Beat the flour mixture into the liquid mixture. Beat in the water. Pour into greased pans. (greased and floured if not using silicone pans).
Bake 30-35 minutes for 9” layers, or about 12 minutes for cupcakes or mini-cakes, about 40 minutes for a bundt pan. I test them before the estimated time. Cake will spring back when touched if it is done.
I top each little cake with chocolate icing made of 1/3 cup butter melted with 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate.
I think that it’s the Leith family motto – There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Chocolate. This year, it can be your motto too. The pastry chefs at one of Cape May’s finest restaurants, The Blue Rose, will prepare seven plated courses of chocolate desserts. Come visit us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast in Cape May and enjoy this special event, offered three times this Fall. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts is offering this feast in cooperation with The Blue Rose
We’re thrilled to announce that Elan’s paintings are now available online through the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts website. The online sale is in anticipation of a show at the Carroll Gallery at the Physick Estate scheduled for next year. Though you can buy the same paintings at www.Elan ZingmanLeith-artist.com, if you buy them through MAC, forty percent of the price counts as a charitable donation. Don’t think of buying a painting as a luxury, think of it as clever tax planning!
Don’t miss the last few chances to take a magical sail on the A.J.Meerwald. This is a beautiful oyster schooner restored by the Bayshore Center at Bivalve NJ, and in Cape May only until September 3rd.
Combine the beautiful, graceful boat, the enthusiasm of the crew for their educational mission, and the graceful action of the craft slicing through the waves for a calm, transcendent, serene experience. This is not like a motorboat ride. This is unlike any other boat ride you’ve taken. Don’t miss it. Call now and chill.