I'll always remember that delectable gourmet breakfast — homemade raspberry jam sandwiched between fluffy French toast, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and drizzled with homemade raspberry syrup.

I savored that delicious breakfast on a beautiful day on the wraparound verandah in its quaint dining area. Just another perfect breakfast on a warm summer day in paradise!

Local resident ducks cross
the street from nearby lake

The Victoria House, a romantic bed and breakfast for all seasons, offers historical Victorian charm and delicious gourmet breakfasts in Spring Lake, New Jersey. In its third year of operation, the inn is constantly upgrading its amenities for guests, according to innkeeper Alan Kaplan. To our delight, his wife, Lynne has two culinary degrees and serves up the most memorable and delectable, gourmet breakfasts.

Only a block away from a tranquil lake, and just two blocks away from the beach, the Victoria House is ideally located in serene town of Spring Lake, New Jersey. Only an hour from the bustle of New York City, solitude and beautiful beaches await in this quaint seaside getaway. On the way to the beach, I spotted ducks, swans, and geese crossing the street to the nearby lake.

When my friend and I arrived to the quaint 1882 Queen Anne Victorian, we admired the lovely pink flowers leading to the romantic inn. Rich magenta and soft gray hues on the verandah beckoned us to relax in the comfortable rocking chairs. Inside, an inviting foyer and living room made this 3-story inn quite homey. The Victoria House is on the Historic Inns registry and boasts original features — decorative, white tin ceiling tiles and spectacular, colorful stained glass windows.

Original stain-glass windows
adorn the inn's staircase

Colorful fish swim in the
inn's serene garden
pond by the gazebo

Guests receive roomy accommodations, complimentary beach tags, local gym passes, video rental, gourmet breakfasts and evening cordials and chocolates. Even health club passes, beach chairs, beach towels and bikes are available for guests. One refrigerator is filled with complimentary beverages, while another provides common storage for guests. Just steps away from the peaceful rocking chairs on the verandah lay a picturesque fish pond and gazebo.

Additional amenities include 24/7 concierge service from the innkeepers, a courtesy phone for local calls, video library, and gift shop with Victoria House bags, shirts, and mugs. The hosts have many local area restaurant menus available in the foyer, and can make reservations for you as a preferred guest.

The inn provides eight guest rooms ranging from the smaller Arbor View room to the large Manor Suite. In the summer, rates range from $199-$379 with a two night minimum stay. For more information, visit thm at: www.victoriahouse.net

The elegant Eastlake room
offers traditional, Victorian charm

We checked in the elegant Eastlake suite on the second floor. This richly colored room has a queen size brass feather bed, sitting area with fireplace, TV/VCR/CD player, private bath and claw foot tub with shower. Like all the other suites, the bed, bedding, furniture, windows, and tapestries had been recently updated last winter.

Get Your Beach Gear Here

When I learned that the innkeeper has two culinary degrees and a cookbook in the works, I could hardly wait for breakfast. One of my personal highlights of the trip, the Raspberry French Toast sprinkled with powdered sugar and fresh fruit, was heavenly. Simply one of the best breakfasts I have ever had.

A fine gourmet breakfast
of Raspberry French Toast
served on the verandah

Lynne Kaplan tries to mix up the breakfast menu, surprising guests with incredible homemade breakfast treats, like strawberry crème brulée.

A graduate of the Culinary Arts and Culinary Management Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York, Lynne has gone back to the school as a guest lecturer. She has published her recipes in numerous magazines and on the Internet. This Fall, her recipes will also be featured in the "NJ State Bed and Breakfast Cookbook."
The delicious breakfast, personal service, and perfect location make this bed and breakfast an ideal local seaside retreat.

The small community of Spring Lake offers a tranquil, shore vacation just an hour away from New York City. Its miles of non-commercial boardwalk offer access to the beach, benches, and a single snack bar. The beaches at Spring Lake are pristine, beautiful, and quiet.

A perfect summer beach
day in Spring Lake.

While Spring Lake is a small town, it offers many activities locally and in neighboring beach towns. Guests at the Victoria House are provided an in-room booklet that lists a wide range of activities such as antiquing, museums, horseback riding, and therapeutic massage. During our stay, we chose to relax with new friends at the inn and drink wine on the verandah. Just another perfect day and night in paradise!

Check room availability and prices at: http://www.victoriahouse.net or call 888/249-6252.