Susan and I just visited Beach Plum Farm for the first time. Sometimes it takes us Cape Mayers a while to discover new local attractions. It is an organic farm, garden, gift shop, and restaurant owned by the Congress Hall / Virginia Hotel crowd. It is really beautiful. There’s a wooden barn-like building which houses a breakfast and lunch spot, a gift shop on the first and second floors, a produce stand, and some herb plants to take home. The building is flanked by a formal herb garden laid out as a parterre. There are pick-nick tables and chairs and benches to sit among the flowers. There are golf cart tours of the grounds.
Beach Plum Farm is an idyllic country experience only a couple of miles from Leith Hall. It’s beautiful. It’s calm. And it’s healthy. Come visit us and, when you need a break from the beach, visit the farm and it’s near neighbor Willow Creek Winery. The winery is another beautiful country spot, only a few yards from the farm. It includes a beautiful big building set up as a wine bar, restaurant, and wedding hall. Willow Creek also offers tours and grounds to relax in.
Where to Eat? Always the question of the day in Cape May.
There are lots of new choices for this year in Cape May – as well as our existing favorites. On Carpenter’s Lane in the Carpenter’s Square building, a new Mexican Restaurant called La Doňa is opening – and the owner, Lucy Corvino, is from Oaxaca, so we have high hopes.
Another new restaurant is Asian Legends, in the Acme supermarket area. Suzie and I have eaten there four times already and I can testify that it’s the best Chinese food in south Jersey, and would be really good restaurant in New York. Coming from me, that is high praise indeed. I’ve had broccoli with hot garlic sauce and Szechuan spicy beef and loved them both. Suzie had mackerel sushi and sushi rolls and loved them both also. Last week, we ate here, then drove to New York and ate Szechuan food again. Asian Legends was just as good.
The Cape May Music Festival has something for everyone.
What kind of music do you like? We’ve got it in the Cape May Music Festival! Whether traditional Irish music, June 2, with Deirdre Reilly, or jazz on Sunday, June 5 with brunch at Alethea’s Restaurant and singing by Mary Lou Newnam singing from The Great American Songbook. More jazz with the Jost Project on Sunday June 5 at Convention Hall and even more jazz on Sunday, June 12 at the George Mesterhazy Tribute Concert.
If you like classical music, Thursday, June 16, will feature Elliot Bailen leading the New York Chamber ensemble in a program that includes Puccini (La Bohème), Vivaldi, and Respighi.
The Bay Atlantic Symphony will bring us The Brandenburg Concertos, Thursday, June 9, which are some of the best music every written, anywhere.
Don’t worry. Sherlock and Dr. Watson are here. It happens every year. The buds are swelling. The birds are chirping. Someone is mysteriously killed. Friday evening, March 18, everyone will gather and one of their number will be snuffed out. The characters are acting suspicious. Saturday, you get to tour through lots of Cape May bed and breakfasts (including Leith Hall, of course) searching for clues. Deduct (or guess) who’s the villain and see if you are right. Sunday morning there will be honors and prizes galore.
Leith Hall is participating in this year’s Sherlock Holmes Weekend, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. Go online at www.leithhall.com to make your reservations now. Then either email Janice Coyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their website www.capemaymac.org to buy your package tickets. Let them know that you’re staying with us and your room will be paid for through the package.
Halloween is here and the Creepy has started already. The first installment is the Phantom Ball at Congress Hall, this Friday October 30th. A $25 ticket will get you a specialty cocktail, a full desert and candy bar and admission to the after party in the Boiler Room.
That same evening, psychic Craig McManus will lead Midnight at the Physick Estate – talking about his ghostly discoveries and perhaps rousing a spirit or two. Two tours; Phantoms of the Physick Estate, which is a scary drama enacted in the house, and the Ghosts of Cape May trolley tour, which is a tour of town pointing out the many haunted houses of Cape May, will also be available for Friday October 30th and for weekends afterward. There are lots of other, less spooky, but no less wonderful things to do on that weekend. Willow Creek winery has fire-pit Fridays, where you gather around the fire in a gorgeous setting with food and drink. Cape May stage is presenting Trying, a great play that Suzie and I saw a couple of weeks ago.
Beach Plum Farm will have a sweet, low-key harvest festival. Darin MacDonald will be appearing at the Brown Room at Congress Hall; and the Washington Street Mall will be all prepared for your early Christmas Shopping to begin.
Winton Marsalis is coming to Cape May for this November’s Exit Zero Jazz Festival. I guess we finally have arrived. The greatest trumpeter and one of the greatest musicians in the world will be playing here with the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra. Not only that, but more legends like Bootsie Barnes and Buster Williams will be playing in the same festival. In fact, seventeen different groups will be participating. Go to the Exit Zero Jazz Festival website for all of the details and to order tickets online. Go to our bed and breakfast website to reserve your room or suite at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.
Can you Swing Dance? Can You Lindy? Can you Samba? It doesn’t matter. Tom Cupp will be there to teach you how to move with the best of them to the music of 1940s big band jazz. Suzie and I have been to the Naval Air Station Wildwood Big Band dance and it wonderful ! Young airmen and nurses dance, flip, and amaze. We just do a less athletic Lindy Hop.
Dance the night away
There’s food, music, and dancing from 7 P.M. To 10 P.M. Tom Cupp will teach Swing, Ballroom and Samba for us newbies; and prizes will be awarded for great 1940s costumes. Call at 609 886-8787 for tickets or go to their website and order on line.
Yesterday, Suzie and I and my sister-in-law Rena had the extraordinary experience of a sail aboard the A.J.Meerwald. It’s an oyster schooner from the 1920s, restored and operated by a not-for-profit organization as an educational institution, but that’s not what makes it so special. When you are aboard and leave Cape May harbor, the experience is magical. I know absolutely nothing about boats, but the feeling aboard the Meerwald is nothing like a ride on a motorboat. Instead of plowing through the waves, you slice through the water; ride along pulled by the wind in the sails.
It’s very sweet that the crew are earnest young people who are eager to share their information about the history of oystering, or the protection of watersheds and avoiding water pollution. It’s charming that the staff from the Bayshore Center are wonderful, enthusiastic hosts. But the real star is the boat. The ride on the Meerwald can lift a visit to Cape May from a pleasant vacation to a transcendent experience.
There are still sailings available out of Cape May Harbor, so call them at 856 785 2060, or go online at bayshorecenter.org. Hurry, there are only a couple of weeks left and there is no other experience like it. Of course, when youi visit Cape May to sail on the Meerwald, it would be nice if you stay with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.
Imagine two sets of identical twins, one including a jealous wife and her smitten sister. Their father is scheduled to be beheaded at sunset, but in come an angry nun, a dim hooker and to top it all off, an exorcism . Is it the latest from the Kardashians? Is it the last installment of The Jersey Shore? No, its A Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare, as performed by the very bizarre REV Theater Company. It’s the lighthearted, fun approach to Shakespeare, and a great afternoon at the Physick Estate. The performances will be July 14 through 18 and July 21 through 25. Go to the MAC website for more information and to buy tickets. Kids are free.
To enjoy this and the thousand other things to do in Cape May, come stay with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast. Call (609 884-1934) or go to our website to make your reservations.
LEITH HALL’S GREAT MIDWEEK SPECIAL 30% off the second night, now through mid-June
Midweek Special. Not only are there wonderful things to do in Cape May for the next month, but now it’s cheaper! We are offering 30% off your second night during the midweek. Remember, for us the weekend is Friday and Saturday night and the midweek is Sunday through Thursday night.
From May 24 through June 11 is the Cape May Music Festival, with Irish music, The Atlantic Brass Band, and a tribute to our own George Mesterhazy – featuring many musicians playing favorites from “The American Songbook.”
May 31 through June 7 is Restaurant Week in Cape May, with a host of food-related activities. There’s a progressive dinner, with each course in a different restaurant. There are contests among the chefs and waiters, a many special events with classes and demonstrations by the star chefs of Cape May. When you add Cape May’s wine and craft beer to the mix, it’ll be a fantastic experience.