Great Food Organic Food

Great Food Organic Food

Cape May is already a mecca for food fans because of our great

Graet Food Organic Food
West Cape May Farmers Market

restaurants. Now we have food markets as well – Tuesdays feature the West Cape May farmers market, with lots of local farmers and organic products for sale – as well as live music, crafts, and local honey. Every day celebrates the Cape May Organic Food Market at  120 Park Boulevard (609 884-3200) which not only features organic produce and healthy food and supplements, but organic meats

Graet food  Organic Food
Tai and Piper Menz

at not much different than supermarket prices. Even better, the store features antiques and gifts chosen by the owners Tai and Julie Menz  (of Victorious at the Pink House fame) . The weird and wonderful objects make shopping at the food market an entertainment rather than a chore.  The last time I was there, I bought a crystal ball for my parlor as well as some organic flavorings for tea-time pastries.

Right next door is Seaside Cheese, which sells wonderful cheese fromgreat food prganic food around the world as well as a selection of Italian pasts, sauces, and breads.  Between the Organic Food Market next door and Seaside Cheese, you can provide yourself with a spectacular picnic for the beach or for a supper on the front porch. Come stay with us at Leith Hall and graze the gourmet delights of Cape May.


Travel and Leisure honors Cape May

Travel and Leisure discovers Cape May’s Charms

Travel and Leisure
Romance on Leith Hall’s porch

Travel and Leisure just identified Cape May as one of the best small resorts in the country. We’ve known that for years, but it’s nice to see it confirmed by a national magazine. They point out the Victorian Bed and Breakfasts and the many great restaurants as high points of a visit to Cape May. For me, it’s also that Cape May is never overcrowded. Because we don’t have any tall buildings, even when the town is full, it’s just bustling, not crowded.

The article mentioned the high-end fine-dining choices in Cape May,Travel and Leisure but we also have a host of medium price and inexpensive restaurants with wonderful food and charming settings.  Call us (609) 884-1934 or go online to make a reservation today. Come to Cape May to unwind and eat well.


Alice Steer Wilson book in Cape May

A book about Alice Steer Wilson by her daughter to be celebrated in Cape May

Alice Steer Wilson was a great Cape May painter, and will be remembered at a book Alice Steer Wilson Cape Maysigning this Saturday at the Carriage House of the Emlen Physick Estate. Her daughter Janice Wilson Stridick, has just written a book about her mother, Light Particularly, and will appear to autograph copies.

Alice Steer Wison was both a skilled and inspired painter. Her paintings often specified the highlights and shadows of a subject, leaving the viewer to fill-in the middle tones. This caused the paintings to pop into three

Alice Steer Wilson
Alice Steer Wilson

dimensions, and somehow made them more striking and involving, too. The paintings are beautiful, but they are not just souvenirs of pretty Cape May cottages. Instead, they are accomplished paintings that use the light falling on complicated architecture and the shadows cast as their common theme.

Many of her paintings remind me of watercolors by John Singer

Alice Steer Wislon, John Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent

Sargent. This is no small compliment, as John Singer Sargent was the best watercolorist there ever was.

Joh Singer Sargent Watercolor
John Singer Sargent Watercolor

Take the time to visit the book signing at the Carriage House at the Physick Estate and meet Janice Wilson Stridick. Janice is a designer in her own right and is active in Historic Preservation in New Jersey. Use the occasion for a visit to Leith Hall, a dip in the ocean and a snooze on the beach.

Alice Steer Wilson, Cape May
Alice Steer Wilson



Monarchs and Hummingbirds Earth Day April 20

Monarchs and Hummingbirds at the Nature Center of Cape May

monarchs and hummingbirdsThe Nature Center of Cape May will have lots of offerings to celebrate Earth Day, April 20th. You may know that Cape May is famous for its Monarch Butterflies, migrating on their way to and from Yucatan in Mexico. You may not know that they need milkweed to survive. Pat Sutton will show you how to encourage a variety of milkweed species. The session begins at 10:30 at the Nature Center of Cape May

Pat Sutton will also offer a session about ruby-throated Hummingbirds that same monarchs and hummingbirdsafternoon starting at 1:00 P.M.. Learn how to create a hummingbird garden.

April 20 is Earth Day

If you bring your garden tools, you can help deadhead, weed and prune the Nature Center’s gardens and participate in Clean Ocean Action’s annual Beach Sweeps. This will be just the beginning of the season’s offerings at salt-marsh-safarithe Nature Center and heralds the start of Salt Marsh Safari – beginning April 27 – the Nature Center’s  ever-popular exploration of the shore.

Of course, as always, please come stay with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.



Singer Songwriter Cape May

cape may singer songwriter weekend tracy grammer
Tracy Grammer

Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 will see an explosion of talent in town at Singer Songwriter Cape May. Now in its sixth year, this annual event will be bigger than ever with 150 acts at over 18 Cape May locations packed into two days. All genres are welcome, though the tone tends toward the folky tradition and lyric oriented songs. There is an extraordinary variety of talent and great performers from distant places and as close as Philadelphia.

If you go to their website,, you can see excerpts from the performers and get lots of information about tickets. The event is co-sponsored by Congress Hall, so the website advertises their rooms, but you can stay anywhere in town (including Leith Hall!)

Cape May sdinger Songwriter weekend
Ellis Paul

So, go to our website to make a reservation or give us a call. We look forward to seeing you for this fun weekend.

Singer Songwriter Cape May
Michael Notarangelo

Exciting Exhibit Cape May Carriage House Gallery – Focuses on African American Organizations

Exciting Exhibit at the Carriage House Gallery in Cape May focuses on African American organizations

Exciting Exhibit Cape May New JerseyIn the past, Cape May was a segregated town. The United States was a segregated country. In response to this, African Americans formed their own institutions, businesses, and social life. In past years, the Center for Community Arts  created exhibits focusing on the black-owned business that once existed in Cape May and on the military contributions of Cape May’s black citizens. This year the exciting exhibit is called Celebrating Community Service: Black Fraternal, Social and Civic Organizations of Cape May County is opening in the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate, run by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities.

By telling this aspect of American history with personal stories of our friends and neighbors, the Center for Community Arts makes the history much more interesting and immediate, as well as linking our local story to the large themes of the nation’s story.

If you’re coming to visit us at Leith Hall this winter, check out this great exhibit at MAC.


Cape May Jazz, Film, and Theater

October and November in Cape May are a celebration of jazz, film, and theater.

Cape May jazz, film and theaterCape May jazz, film and theater really get going in November. There’s a new Jazz Festival in town which I described in my last blog post. The New Jersey Film Festival in Cape May will run from Friday October 19 through October 21, and will feature Feature Films, shorts and documentary and independent shorts as well. Among the feature films will be Mirror Dance about two identical twin ballerinas in a country torn by war, Barbarian Days, about a town celebrating Robert E. Howard, the director of Conan the Barbarian. and The Worlds Smallest Airport.

Cape May jazz, film and theater, continued…

Cape May Stage will present This Wonderful Life for all of the Cape May jazz, film, and theaterfans of Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, and the East Lynne Company will present Bret Harte’s Dick Spindler’s Family Christmas on Friday and Saturdays 11/24&25,  12/8&9, and Sunday 12/3.

Sherlock Holmes Weekend will be Cape May jazz, film, and theaterNovember 3 through 5, and will feature a new mystery. East Lynne Theater company will also present a play based on the Adventure of the Copper Beeches.

November 9 through 11 will be the new Exit Zero Jazz Festival which will bring us exciting music by exciting Cape May jazz, film, and theaterperformers. Call us today for reservations at Leith Hall for these holiday activities. We hope to see you soon.


Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festival

Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festival

 Cape May’s Craft Beer and Crab Festival hit town last Saturday. The day was gray and Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festvalintermittently rainy – not ideal beach weather. So lots of people showed up on the lawn at the Physick Estate. There was a long (but fast-moving) line for crabs and crab cakes under the striped tent, and lots of covered seating nearby. There was a small crafts fair – I particularly liked the Guatemalan pottery – pony rides, and a teensy-weensy circus appropriately called the Tiny Circus.


The next big food festival will be in September. The Cape May Food and Wine Celebration will include special dinners, winery tours, Scotch whiskey tastings, and talks by famous chefs. Call us for reservations now Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Fesitvalso you can get in on the fun. Celebration tickets are available from the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC).Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festival

Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festival
The Lemonade Ladies


Rome Vacation Photographs of the Pincio Park

I thought that I’d start sharing vacation photographs with you from our Winter trips. Last winter was a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, but I uploaded the photos somewhere and now have to search for them. So, instead, these are photos from our vacation of a year before. Those of you who have been guests at Leith Hall may know that Suzie and I got a

Rome temple Pincio Park Elan
Elan as an Object of Worship

book contract to write a self-guided walking tour book of Rome. The manuscript is now embroiled in instability at the publishers, but I’ll show you some photos of Rome neighborhoods. The first is the Pincio Park, on the north side of the historic center of Rome.

The view over Rome from the Pincio Park
The View over Rome from the Pincio Park

It is part of the Victorian attempt to bring greenery into the center of the city. Italian cities generally have no public greenery at all; not a blade of grass nor a tree. Then you exit the gates of the city and find yourself in farmland. Rome has always had some private green-space, in the form of noblemen’s villas, but it is an overwhelmingly masonry city. The Pincio is the Central Park, the Fairmount Park, the Grant Park of Rome. One of my favorite places is the Villa Borghese. Scipio Borghese (Skippy to his friends) was a Pope’s

The Villa Borghese, Rome
The Villa Borghese

nephew. When the Pope was elected, the Borghese’s were an upper-middle class family. As Nepeto or nephew, Scipio was in charge of letting all of the contracts and making purchases for the whole Roman Catholic Church. With every transaction, Skippy got his cut. By the time the Pope died, the Borgheses were the richest family in Europe. The word nepotism comes from nepeto, or nephew for good reason.

The Gardens of the Villa Borghese
The Gardens of the Villa Borghese

We worked long and hard on this book, spending hours in cafes, sampling countless bakeries, and wandering through beautiful neighborhoods. Life is real. Life is earnest.

The Cafe in the pPincio Park where we sat and wriote
The cafe in the Pincio Park where we sat and wrote