There are many different concerts that are part of the Cape May Music Festival; classical, popular, folk, and jazz. I’m going to describe just one of them. Tuesday, May 29, the New York Chamber Ensemble will be performing at the Church of the Advent. Their concert will include a fandango by Boccherini. He was an Italian who lived and worked at the royal court in Madrid – we used a piece of his for the recessional for our wedding. The concert will also include Bela Bartok’s Roumanian Dances, (My father was Bessarabian – so Roumanian Dances are very familiar.) as well as Dvorak’s “American” string quartet. Everything in this concert is fun and lively. I don’t know lot about classical music and I find this kind very entertaining. Imagine your day in Cape May including dinner at one of the many spectacular restaurants, a stint at the beach, and this wonderful concert.
This is the most melodic and easy to listen to classical music ever written. If you hear it, you’ll love it. Come to Leith Hall for a visit and enjoy some of what Cape May has to offer.
Cape May has been named the best Beach on the Jersey Shore. An article by Joe Atmonavage quotes on NJ.com “As the farthest point south on the Shore, Cape May is the crown jewel of the region with gorgeous beaches and a quaint town center filled with gingerbread Victorians and colorful red and breakfasts.” the Travel Chanel post read. “Bring your binoculars to the beach to spy the playful dolphins jumping in the wake.”
Bonnie stayed with us last weekend and had these lemon squares for teatime. I always serve something chocolate and something non-chocolate at teatime. Otherwise the guests rebel.
These are very easy to make. You could also use two or three packages of cream cheese, which will make lemon flavored cheesecake. You can sprinkle the squares with powdered sugar to serve, or you could decorate them with candied violets or rose petals.
preheat oven to 350 F.
1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups flour
Mix the crust ingredients together and turn into an 8”x8” or 9’x9′ metal baking pan, lined with cooking parchment. Press the crumbs into an even crust on the bottom of the pan. A small measuring cup works well for this.
1 8 oz. Package of cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup flour
2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice.
Grated zest of ½ lemon
Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer, scraping the sides regularly, until the cream cheese is soft and smooth. Beat in eggs, ,one at a time, beating well after each addition, to avoid lumps. Then beat in all of the other ingredients and pour the mixture on top of the crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just colored around the edges. Do not brown.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate ’till cold. Loosen the cooking parchment. Turn the cake onto a cutting board, peel off the cooking parchment, then turn again onto a serving plate,
Cut into squares with a small knife dipped into water between cuts.
This Spring in Cape May there are so many things going on that the festivals overlap and you’ll be dizzy with the choices. Three Cape May organizations are presenting festivals – all running concurrently. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts puts on Spring Festival with dozens of tours and events. Among my favorites (and my guest’s’ favorites) is the
CHOCOLATE LOVER’S FEAST
It’s a bountiful feast for chocolate lovers! Enjoy seven plated courses of delicious chocolate desserts at the Blue Rose Inn, 653 Washington St., and hear how each was created from the chef who prepared it. This is a limited event so reserve early.
If food is your interest, check out Chef Poon’s presentation. He is a hoot and often stays with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.
Saturday, May 19
Slicing & Dicing:
Watermelons and More
with Master Chef Joseph Poon
Chef Poon will be presenting his fun, informative, high energy food demonstrations at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom, including information on healthy eating and carving and sculpture demonstrations. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Chef Poon has appeared on the Food Network along with local and national television shows including the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and PBS’ Christina Cooks.
For straight silliness, view the Edwardian naughtiness at Elaine’s
with The Salty Sirens as The Fleur de Fantaisie
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 17, 18 & 19: 8pm (cocktails at 6:30pm)
Elaine’s Cape May, 513 Lafayette St.
Enjoy a variety of entertainment when The Salty Sirens take on a French twist. Let yourself get swept away for a night of sensual delights and hysterical whimsy while we daydream of a Parisian enchanted forest at springtime. Flirt with nature in bloom… la nature en fleurs! You’ll have a fun-filled trip back in time to a period when entertainment was theatrical, sassy, and teased the imagination. Experience this modern take on classic burlesque, rooted in Victorian vaudeville. Food and beverages available for purchase.
Limited event; advance purchase recommended Purchase tickets online or at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street
It’s not to late to reserve for Saturday, August 5, for the Craft Beer and Crab Fest. Go to the beautiful grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate for an all-day festival featuring local craft beers to wash down favorite summer foods … steamed crabs, pulled pork, crab cakes, shrimp and hot dogs. There will be music all day, Jugglers, acrobats, and low-wire walkers from the Little Circus, and a crafts and collectibles show.
The music will begin at 11 A.M. And will feature The Honeyhawks, James Callio, Jake Tavill, Sean Preston, and the Quixote Project. Some of our local food purveyors will be Gaiss’ Market offering Bacon on a Stick, Crespella offering crepes, Eat Well with lobster rolls and grilled cheese, Executive Catering selling fish tacos, and Wahlburger offering hamburgers.
P.S. Suzie and I recently visited the Cape May Brewing Company with our niece and her fiance. It was a wonderful place to be and I even liked the beer, (and I don’t even like beer). I’d recommend the festival at the PhysickEstate for Saturday, and the Brewing Company for Sunday, after the beach. The owners of the Red Store in Cape May Point have opened a taco place next to the brewing company, so you can have some food to go with the beer.
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!