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
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.
Come stay with us at Leith Hall and sample Elan’s breakfasts and teatime goodies, saving room for a dinnertime feast. 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
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 and there will be a wide variety of exhibits from Cape May’s nature organizations. You can contact the Green Festival at firstname.lastname@example.org or get information at the city’s website www.capemaycity.org 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!
March 23 and 24, the Cape May Bird Observatory will hold its 18th 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.
Now is the time to plan for Presidents Day and Valentines Day in Cape May. Cape May and Leith Hall are always a romantic getaway, but this year there will also be a festival of wine related activities. The Cape May Wine School, the Self-Guided Wine Trail, and the Winery Cellar Tour and Tasting will all take place on President’s Day Weekend. M.A.C. will also host a Craft and Antiques in Winter show and sale in Cape May’s new Convention Hall. We’ll be there looking for more Victoriana to fill the inn, (as though we need more stuff.) Call us (609) 884-1934 or go online www.leithhall.com, to make your reservations now!
For me, the beach is calming even without yoga, but if you’re the least bit sensitive to atmosphere and surroundings, yoga on the beach is about as calm and centered as you can get. Cape May’s local yoga maven (or is that guru?) is Karen Bosna. She leads sessions on the beach both in the morning and the evening, both on the ocean and the bay. There are morning sessions held on the sand each weekend right behind our new Convention Hall, only a couple of blocks from Leith Hall. There are both morning and evening classes near the Cape May lighthouse; and sessions at the park along the canal in North Cape May. You can chill in all sorts of waterside settings. Balance Pilates also hosts Yoga classes both on the lawn at the Inn of Cape May across the street from Leith Hall and on the beach at Jackson Street several times a week.
You could also combine yoga on the beach with our De-Stress Holiday package at Leith Hall. This special offer includes two one-hour massages, a gift certificate towards dinner at Aleathea’s, a bottle of sparkling wine and Elan’s home-made chocolate truffles. With all of this meditation, calming and luxury combined, when you get home people will mistake you for the Dalai Lama.
At Leith Hall we often have wedding parties, or guests at local weddings, but most often we have proposals and engagements. We once had a guest who planned an elaborate scheme to create a romantic setting in which to pop the question to his girlfriend. He reserved an evening horse and carriage ride and arranged for the driver to stop at a scenic spot. His girlfriend was annoyed at the stop and wanted to know what’s wrong with these people. Not the right atmosphere. They went to dinner at the Washington Inn and he asked the waiter to hide the ring in the dessert for her to discover. She was grumpy and complaining about the waiter and the dinner. After spending the dinner complaining about the carriage ride, she said that she didn’t want dessert. He had it brought to the table anyway. It was his last opportunity. He asked. She accepted.
The next morning he came down to breakfast with this story and a beaming financee and her new ring. I predicted a long and happy marriage because he knew exactly what he was getting into and had no unwelcome surprises in store.
Just a reminder of our Music Festival Special; we’ll supply your tickets if you visit us for any concert.
There are two great evenings coming up. Both part of the
CapeMay Music festival, but very different. The first is Tuesday June 5, and is a performance by the New York Chamber Ensemble featuring works by Mozart and Mendelsohn. The New York Chamber Ensemble is so moving and their virtuosity is extremely impressive. The setting in the Episcopal Church of the Advent is also so intimate and beautiful that their concerts are always a night to remember.
The next concert is by the Bay Atlantic Symphony orchestra on Thursday, June 7. Jed Gaylin is the conductor and he always explains what the orchestra is about to play, giving you more understanding and insight into the work.
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 June 7 concert will be all Viennese composers; Webern, Hayden, Brahms and Schumann.
The Gaylin family often stays with us at Leith Hall and it is always a joy to see them again.
We just had our third annual Spring Chocolate Championship yesterday and, once again, I didn’t win. You may remember that Chocolate Championship was my suggestion several years ago for MAC to start a new tour during Spring Festival. Any tour is improved by adding chocolate. Last year I made Julia Childs’ chocolate mousse, which is the best chocolate mousse ever, and yet I didn’t win. I consider it an insult to Julia Childs’ memory . (Maybe we can get Meryl Streep to protest.) This year, Anna Marie McMain won with with her Chocolate Delight. It must have been spectacular, ’cause my truffles were pretty darn good. Richard Degner wrote a very nice article in the Atlantic City Press about the contest and Leith Hall. You can have chocolate treats every day at teatime, if you make a reservation.
ROMANTIC GETAWAY TRUFFLES
I started making these chocolate truffles to include in our Romantic Getaway package. The basic recipe is incredibly easy, and depends on really good ingredients. The different flavors are created with extracts.
32 oz. (1 quart) heavy whipping cream
32 oz. by weight of bittersweet chocolate
1 Tbs. organic extract.
Melt the chocolate in the cream. Use 60% to 72% chocolate. Use a very good brand because the quality of the truffles is entirely dependent upon the quality of the chocolate. I use Valrhona, Valor, Green and Black, Guittard or Ghirardelli. Don’t use Hershey’s or Nestlé’s. You can microwave it for one minute at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula between minutes. Or you can melt the chocolate in an uncovered metal bowl over simmering water. Or you can melt it in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is not to overheat the mixture and to stir often.
Stir in the extract. I always use organic extract from the health food store. It really does taste better. You can use orange extract, peppermint extract, coconut extract, almond extract, or any other that you like. You can also double or triple the amount of extract.
Cool the melted chocolate mixture (ganache) in the refrigerator until it thickens. Whip it in a stand mixer. It will double in size and fluff in a few minutes. Scoop the ganache into little balls with a little scoop. Put the balls onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate. Decorate the truffles by tossing in toasted coconut for coconut flavor, or toasted almond slivers for almond. You can toss any flavor in a mixture of cocoa and powdered sugar.
concerts, we’ll provide you with a pair of tickets – free. May 29th, the New York Chamber ensemble will be playing a concert called Music by the Numbers, which will include both George Gershwin (Lullaby, I Got Rhythm, and Someone to Watch Over Me) and Joseph Hayden’s Surprise Symphony.
Cape May Convention Hall on the Beach
Sunday, June 3, the concert will be a tribute to George Mesterhazy, who was Cape May’s beloved jazz pianist. Several of his friends will be playing as well as special guest, Babatunde Lea. We are expecting a huge and enthusiastic crowd at the new Convention Hall.
Just give us a call at (609) 884-1934 or go to our website at www.leithhall.com to make an online reservation. Mention that
you’d like Music Festival Tickets when you make your reservation. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.