I have stared at the poster for many years. Part of a visit New Jersey tourist campaign, the poster was given to our office for free and was hung in our main conference room as art. During countless trainings and staff meetings, I have stared at the poster of the Mainstay Inn in Cape May and wished that I was sitting on its inviting porch, rocking in one of the hunter green rocking chairs, reading a good book.
With audits over at the office for one more year (and I spent a massive amount of time in that conference room) my husband and I decided a few days of r and r were in order, and there seemed to be no better place to go than to The Mainstay Inn.
the type of novels that I read in high school that filled my head with fantasies of becoming a governess so I could relocate to Europe to work for a wealthy brooding widower who would eventually fall in love with me. Or the novels and movies that I ingested as a kid that made me ask my parents more than once if they would please, please, please send me to boarding school. The Mainstay Inn made me feel like I was living those stories.
We slept in the Henry Clay room, located on the second floor of the inn.
Not only was the bed beautiful, it was incredibly comfy and made for some great snuggling as the unending rain beat continuously on the roof.
The inn even ensured historical accuracy underneath the bed.
Fortunately, there was modern plumbing and an impeccably clean bathroom.
Our room had a spectacular, promising wardrobe. I was at least 50% sure it would lead to Narnia. Sadly, it did not.
There were all sorts of lovely little touches that made the room feel special. I just love a good, beautiful, wash basin.
Exactly the kind of basin you would use to wash up prior to having dinner with a Count.
On a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of the ocean from the Henry Clay room (we did not have a clear day).
As a final touch, the room had a picture of Henry Clay, and a letter that he had written.
Their substitution for a do not disturb sign made us laugh. Especially since we have a cat who is always very eager to be served breakfast in the morning.
Of course, The Mainstay Inn is a bed and breakfast, so after enjoying our bed, we were looking forward to enjoying some breakfast.
The breakfast menu was posted in the entrance everyday.
There was coffee, tea,
and juice. They served light fare like, cereal, breads, fruit and English muffins, with some of the best blueberry jam I have ever had.
After sitting down and getting situated, we were served our main breakfast dish.
Breakfast was delicious both days, (if you didn't like the day's offerings, staff were more than happy to make you eggs) and everything, from the dishes, to the silverware, to the music playing, made us feel extra fancy special.
Since it down poured during our entire stay, I never got to read on the porch, in a rocking chair.
I did however get to sit and read in front of the cozy fire in the absolutely beautiful sitting room.
My husband whiled away the time by working on a puzzle that had been left out on one of the tables.
I would take breaks from reading to help a bit on the puzzle, but then I would return to my book.
At night the grandfather clock in the sitting room had a deliciously eerie glow. We had a grandfather clock when I was growing up and I forgot how much I missed hearing a clock's musical chiming.
Guests at the inn are welcome to check out the widow's walk. Oh how I always wanted to climb up a widow's walk.
I was elated with delight. It was just like being in a novel. Thankfully, my husband was safe and sound and not lost at sea.
At one point we decided to venture to the center of town. We visited a few stores and bought soap at our favorite soap place.
After our soaking walk, it was nice to return and spend some time drying out over afternoon tea (one of the best bonuses of staying at The Mainstay Inn).
We had to work hard in order to not spoil our dinner with all of the tasty treats.
I especially liked the tipping teapots.
Of course if you needed a snack outside of breakfast or tea, there were homemade chocolate chip cookies and pretzels available all day and night in the main entrance hall.
There was also coffee available all day next door at the Mainstay's cottage.
Because of all of the rain and wind, I could not have imagined staying anywhere else. When we planned our little trip we thought we'd be spending most of our time taking relaxing strolls around Cape May. The rain was too continuous and driving to enjoy extended strolling, but we were still able to relax and have an enjoyable time reading, doing puzzles, having breakfast and tea, admiring our beautiful surroundings, and at least for me, pretending to be inside of a novel.