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Romance and Date Ideas from Old Town Shops

It’s Valentine’s Day and if you’re stumped on what to do for a date, fret not, because several businesses in Old Town have some ideas.

ALXnow went around a few blocks of King Street to some of the city’s more romantic shops to get ideas for how to spice up an Old Town date. Here’s what we found:

Blüprint Chocolatiers

“There’s something really special about a couple going through a box of chocolates,” said Kim Gustafson, owner of Blüprint Chocolatiers at 1001 King Street. “You open that box, look at the guide, then figure it out together and share it.”

The shop has a wide variety of chocolates, from boxes to individual bars of various types, including a handful of vegan options. Gustafson said shopping for chocolate with a partner can be a memorable experience.

“Chocolate really brings people together,” she said.

Bellacara

Jennifer Smithmeyer perused the shelves of Bellacara at 1000 King Street, where she works, for a few minutes trying to think of the perfect couples’ activity. The store stocks a variety of beauty products and accessories like candles. Then as she walked back towards the register, she found the perfect choice.

La Bouche Rouge,” Smithmeyer said, indicating an array of lipsticks. “You pick which color for the case and she can pick her own lipstick for it.”

There are four colors for the case, so Smithmeyer said the gifting partner can pick which one the recipient likes most. But when it comes to picking a particular shade for the lipstick, Smithmeyer said it could be fun for a couple to come in and pick out which of the variety of color choices suits her best.

As a bonus, Smithmeyer said the cases can be monogrammed, advising gift-givers to place the recipient’s initials on either side of where the case splits apart.

Bloomers

Staff at Bloomers, a lingerie and loungewear shop at 924 King Street, said the very colorful and fluffy sets of matching lingerie in the store have been a popular item for couples.

“People really go for the hanky panky sets,” an employee said.

There are two rows of the popular lingerie sets in the store, ranging from brightly colored fabrics to more simple, traditional outfits. The items are relatively easy to shop for as well, given that the full sets for each garment are paired together on the displays.

Wine Gallery 108

The wine shop at 108 N. Patrick Street has gone all out for Valentine’s Day. Katie Surface, an employee, said there are several romantic options in the store, like bottles of Italian wine with a ceramic heart on the glass.

There are also cutting boards, painted wine glasses, and other works of art around the store put together by local artists.

The store will be hosting a wine tasting today (Friday) for Valentine’s Day from 6-8:30 p.m. Italian cookbook author Domenica Marchetti will present several different Italian dishes and desserts. The event is advertised at being aimed at “singles, couples, or even threesomes.” Tickets are $75.

For Surface, though, one of the best Valentine’s Day dates would be a simple wine sampling at home.

“It would be fun for a couple to get a few bottles they haven’t tried yet,” Surface said, “and to work their way through a little tasting together.”

If none of the dates above sparked your fancy, ALXnow also put together a list of non-restaurant and non-bar date spots around Alexandria, including an Anti-Valentine’s Party, and a list of local restaurants that as last night still had Valentine’s Day reservations available.

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