Shocking Victorian Fair in Cape May

Prepare to be AmazedVictorian Bearded Lady

This year’s Victorian Fair will feature The Stupefying Sandy, so feminine, so comely, yet with a full beard!  Also, Tom Coyle, the strongest man in the Emerald Isle will amaze the audience with his feats of muscle. A juggler, stilt walker and a midway of Victorian games of skill and chance Cape May Victorian Fair Victorian Strongmanwill continue the thrills. The grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate will also host a crafts fair with a variety of skilled artisans. There will be ponies to paint (apparently the ponies don’t mind the indignity.)  Food, white elephant tables, wild (or very tame) animals will top off the day.

On the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate 1048 Washington Cape May New Jersey unicycleStreet, only a few blocks from the mall. Parking available. Call us to make a reservation for this fun event coming up June 9 and 10

Cape May New Jersey Victorian Fair cutthroat croquet
Cutthroat Croquet
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Free Tickets for Cape May Music Festival

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

Cape May Music Festival free tickets from Leith Hall bed and breakfast
Happy Mendelssohn

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.

bay atlantic symphony orchestra concert free tickets from Leith Hall bed and breakfast in Cape May
Jed Gaylin

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.

Brahms concert in Cape May Music Festival
Johannes Brahms

Give us a call or go online to make a reservation.

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MEMORIAL DAY IN CAPE MAY

Memorial Day History in Cape May

Porgy and Bess on BroadwaySuzie and I just got back from New York where we saw the new Broadway production of Porgy and Bess, which is set in Catfish Row in Charleston South Carolina. Many thanks to SK for the tickets. The show was wonderful and the music was, as always, spectacular. The show, together with Memorial Day fast approaching, reminded me of the first Memorial Day, which is a little known story. Just after the Civil War, freed black slaves in Charleston South Carolina wanted to honor the hundreds of Union soldiers who were imprisoned and died in the Charleston race course. The soldiers had been buried in an  unmarked mass grave, so the freedmen cleaned up the site, built a memorial arch and landscaped the grounds. On May 1, 1865, they held a memorial service and supper to honor the Union soldiers.

Confederate groups held  services to commemorate Confederate dead, also usually in May. In the North, (in Waterloo, NY) John Logan proclaimed May 30 as Decoration Day in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union veterans’ organization. The holiday was quickly adopted all over the North, while the south celebrated competing memorials on different days.

Cape May Lighthouse and Flag
Cape May Lighthouse and Flag

Memorial Day had its name changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day in 1967. It was moved to a Monday date along with many other federal holidays in 1968, and became an official Federal holiday in 1971.  During Woodrow Wilson’s term, the emphasis of Memorial Day shifted from the Civil War to a more general national holiday, including the Spanish American War and WWI dead.  Wilson was the first southern president elected since the Civil War, and was the president who imposed racial segregation in the Federal Government.

From the beginning, Memorial Day has been the occasion for

Atlantic Brass Band

parades and barbeques, and the tradition continues  in Cape May. Memorial Day weekend begins our season of band concerts and Crafts and Antiques Shows  on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. On May 28th MAC will offer  the  Atlantic Brass band in a free concert to round out the holiday.

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Leith Hall ROMANTIC GETAWAY TRUFFLES

Chocolate championship at Leith Hall
photo by Edward Lea AC Press

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.

LEITH HALL

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 Romantic Getaway chocolate trufflesbecause 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.

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FREE CAPE MAY MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKETS FOR LEITH HALL GUESTS

Get Free Music Festival Tickets

The Cape May Music Festival is coming up soon. If you come visit us to hear one of the

George Gershwin Cape May
George Gershwin

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
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.

George Mesterhazy Cape May
George Mesterazy

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

Babatunde Lea Cape May beach
Babatunde Lea

you’d like Music Festival Tickets when you make your reservation. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.

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Revival at the Beach

This Friday, a new show is opening at the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick The Carrolls and the Minnix'sEstate. It is about Cape May’s revival during the 1970s and comes from a book by Ben Miller, The First Resort. An article in the Cape May County Herald consists of an interview with Tom Carroll, who was there at the time. Suzie and I were the beneficiaries of the “Cape May Renaissance” since we moved to town in 1989. If Cape May had torn down the Victorian houses to build motels, by now the motels would be thirty years old andSteampunk unfashionable. Instead, we kept our architectural heritage and can re-use it every time Victoriana comes back into fashion.

The latest Victorian Revival is Steampunk. It’s been around for a few years now and is based on the idea- what if technology had continued on the steam-powered, mechanical path of the 19th century, and hadn’t become the electronic world that we have today? Wooden laptop computers, time-machines chairs, lots of leather and lace; it’s a hoot.

The First Resort exhibit will be on all Summer. Come visit us and visit the Carriage House Gallery while you’re here.


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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson Conquer Cape May

We wanted to share some pictures from the March Sherlock Holmes weekend in Cape May. This time we had one of the actors, Pamela Burke, stay with us. Our guests really got into the mystery and several brought wonderful costumes!  Only in Cape May can a woman look perfect in a bustle and corset. Breakfast was fun with everyone discussing the clues and trying to get Pamela to cheat and give them some under-the-table help. She was good and refused to reveal the secrets.

Sherlock Holmes weekend at Leith Hall
Nancy and Jeff pouring sherry in Leith Hall’s parlor

Denise (in the middle in left picture) changed her outfit several times a day like a true Victorian woman – she looked absolutely wonderful. One of our guests, Jeff, was looking for a Victorian cane and found an entire Victorian morning coat outfit in his size. It looked great and fit perfectly.

To find out more about the Sherlock Holmes Weekends (in March and November every year), you can look at the website for the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities or go directly to their Sherlock Holmes Weekends page.

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