This Valentine’s Day, Go Traditional
As Cole Porter once wrote, “these days anything goes.” That may well be. Perhaps your soul mate would like something for Valentine’s Day like acting classes from Actors’ Playhouse, or energy cleansing from the Silver Dragon, or a spinal alignment from Snap Crack. Or even a fine smoke from the Galiano Cigar Room, or some soft PJs from Eberjay.
Maybe. But you can never go wrong by going traditional. To that end, here are the local go-to places for what traditionally wins her (or his) affections.
What could be sweeter, or more traditional, than a box of chocolates? At French bakery and café Chocolate Fashion (248 Andalusia Ave.), proprietor Persy Berger has spent more than 17 years perfecting the art of the chocolatier. The result, for V-Day, is an array of fabulous truffled chocolate bonbons you can pick from to give your beloved in one of two gift boxes: A half dozen for $15 or a dozen to $29. Or, in the tradition of Marie Antoinette, you can go for a two-person chocolate cake ($38).
Does anything melt hearts more effectively than a bouquet of roses? Yes – a bouquet of “Russian” cut roses, which means ones that are allowed to grow and grow, with long stems and oversized blooms. You can buy a dozen scruffy roses from the supermarket, or you can go for the top of the line at Belle Fleur (333 Alcazar Ave.) — Russian-cut roses that are Paris or Explorer Red, from Ecuador. “Our clients love our roses,” says proprietor Mario Fernandez. At $125 to $150 a dozen, they had better!
The scent of romance comes in two forms at Violetas Home Design (221 Miracle Mile) – perfume and candles. Their perfumes are a line from Paris called Parfums de Marly ($280-$320), each variation named for the King’s horses stabled (in those days) outside of Paris in the town of Marly. “The smell stays with you,” says owner Patricia Himmel. “Everyone who comes here smelled it on someone else and wanted it.” Or you can purchase a candle in a designer porcelain jar with a Fornasetti face on it ($215+), for something less effervescent.
Any sort of wine, especially a nice red, makes for a lovely libation during the V-Day. But some vinos are simply better – or more appropriate – than others. Local wine merchant Jeffrey Wolfe (Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe, 124 Miracle Mile) suggests stepping up your game with a bottle of Aubry Rose Brut Premier Cru (that’s rosé champagne for the uncultured). For $68, you can ply your date with “an understated, nuanced Champagne of tremendous appeal,” says Wolfe. More simply put, “It’s festive, with a beautiful color.” Drink on!
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. So are rubies, emeralds, and gold rings, whether it’s Valentine’s or Groundhog Day. Of course, Valentine’s Day makes more sense, and if you are looking for all that glitters, The Gables is a cornucopia of jewelry shops, many here for decades. Our advice is to shop local, at places like Gables Gems, Jae’s Jewelers, Montica Jewelers, Moray’s Jewelers, Snow’s Jewelers, or Santayana Fine Jewelry Store. It’s hard to miss with such a selection.