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.
Cape May’s annual Spring Festival is next week – and this year there are lots of spectacular activities. There will be the Spring Festival Crafts and Collectibles show, as well as several tours like Cape May After Dark, Chocolate Tasting Tour, and Historic Haunts Combo Tour.
The Self-guided Winery and Brewery Tour and the Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery Tour, and the Winery Cellar Tour and Tasting may all sound like the same thing, but are really three very distinct experiences – at different wineries and with different presentations. You can link to the Mid-Atlantic Center’s website to get details and sign up for activities.
My favorite part of this year’s Spring Festival is an exhibit of paintings by Alice Steer Wilson, who was a great painter who lived in Cape May. Her watercolors were extraordinary and in the same league as Winslow Homer’s or John Singer Sargent’s.
How do you define decadence in Cape May? Put together three of my favorite things – good food, good wine, and a cruise on the A.J. Meerwald. Hawk Haven winery has organized this wonderful event for next August 16th and again on August 23rd. You cruise on the gorgeous oyster schooner A.J. Meerwald. You feast on hors d’oevres provided by the Red Store of Cape May Point (chef Lucas Manteca) and Quahog in Stone Harbor. You quaff (or guzzle) wines from Hawk Haven. It’s a little bit of heaven right here in Cape May. The cost is $109 per person and you call (609)846-7347 to buy tickets.
Is it the wine or is it the yoga? Why do I feel so relaxed, so centered, so calm? It’s both. You may remember from earlier blog posts that Cape May offers many choices for yoga. On the beach in the morning, on the lawn at Congress Hall, at The Well wellness center, in gyms and spas all over town. Now there’s a new place in a particularly beautiful setting. Hawk Haven winery is offering yoga out by the vines, followed by wine and cheese sipping and nibbling in the tasting room.
On Sundays they offer wine and sangria by the glass, live music and food – bring your (or our) sand chairs and chill on the grounds. Call us today at Leith Hall or go online to make a reservation for a relaxing weekend in Cape May.
FOOD AND WINE CELEBRATION AND VICTORIANA IN CAPE MAY
Food, wine and Victoriana
This year’s Food and Wine Celebration is over. The Harvest Dinner, the Clambake, Chef Poon’s demonstrations are gone. And it’s on to the next festival! At the end of September, Cape May celebrates Octoberfest. (O.K., we’re a little dyslexic.) There’ll be a street fair on Jackson Street, the best wurst, and music, crafts and entertainment on September 29th.
October 5th through 9thwill be Victorian Weekend; with a tour of private homes not usually open to the public, several chocolate events (the Chocolate Championship Contest, the Beer and Chocolate tasting, and the Fudge Fantasy Workshop). There’s a winery cellar tour and tasting, a Champagne brunchwalk, theater, and several festive dinners.
Food and Wine Celebration, Victorian Weekend and Ghosts – all in one month!
The best time of year in Cape May is undoubtedly the next month, from mid September to mid October. The ocean is warm, the kids have gone back to school, the restaurants and shops are all open, and the festivals have started. The Food and Wine Celebration runs from Sept. 15 to 23, and will include progressive dinners, a clambake, food talks and demonstrations by Chef Joseph Poon, and events too numerous to list. (www.capemaymac.orgwill have all of the details) At the same time, the Washington Street Mall merchants will hold the annual Fall sidewalk sale for your early Christmas shopping.
Sept. 29 weekend will be Octoberfest in Cape May (why isn’t it Septemberfest?) Bratwurst and beer and the Odessa Klezmer German American Band will make Jackson Street a hoot.
October 5 through 9 will be this year’s Victorian Weekend which will include a Champagne Brunchwalk, a beer-tasting dinner, an underwear fashion show, a murder mystery dinner, winery tours, plays, and several chocolate events.
Call us at Leith Hall or click book now to make your reservations.
A recent Leith Hall bed and breakfast guest was visiting the many wineries that have opened recently near Cape May. He is a wine expert and was telling us that New Jersey wine is not famous for a reason, but that Cape May county is the exception, that all of the good wine in the state comes from Cape May, that we’re the Napa Valley of New Jersey.
Though I’m originally a New Yorker, I’m not one to scoff at New Jersey’s accomplishments, and good table wine is certainly one of them. A very local favorite is Hawk Haven Vineyards, which gives you the choice of Chardonnay aged in French Oak or Chardonnay aged in stainless steel. I’ve never liked the oaky-ness of California Chardonnay. It always tastes a little too much like turpentine to me Chardonnay aged in stainless however, is refreshing and delicious.
Hawk Haven also produces a small amount of Tempranillo. This is the grape used in Spain to make Rioja, so it’s delicious and fruity and low in acid. A great wine that ages well, and is complex, but without that mouth puckering tannic acid that many big red wines have.
Turdo Winery is one of my favorites. It is so friendly, the wines are so delicious, and you can imagine yourself in Sicily. When Suzie and I spent a month in Sicily a few years ago, we often stopped for a glass of Moscato di Sicilia or Moscato di Pantellerria before dinner. With a great dinner, we could have a great wine like Barolo (which is one of the best red wines in the world) which is made of Niebbolo grapes. Both of these are available at Turdo Vineyards – only a couple of miles from Leith Hall.
Turdo also makes Sangiovese, which is best known as Chianti, fruity and acidic to drink with major meaty dishes like steak or pot roast. They also make a Pinot Grigio which is light and refreshing. I have a classmate who always refers to Pinot Grigio as “eau de pee pee” because it’s usually a yellow wine that’s pretty acidic and not much else. Turdo’s version is good and flavorful.
There are several more vineyards very close to Leith Hall bed and breakfast in Cape May. You can visit them by taking The Cape May Wine Trail offered by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. A trolley will transport you from winery to vineyard so you don’t have to restrain yourself. In September, the Cape May Food and Wine Celebration offers a debauch of local restaurants and wineries for a taste of the high life. If you visit us at Leith Hall, we’ll be happy to direct you to all of the local vineyards.