Yes, dear readers, we’ve all heard that Virginia Is for Lovers, but did you know that Rappahannock County is the epicenter for all things l’amour? Whether you are searching for the perfect gift, or delectable ingredients for a romantic meal at home, or a place to kick up your heels, we have put together a list to help you get the most out of Valentine’s Day without ever leaving our fair county.
So stop worrying about oh-what-will-we-do, and check out the special meals and menu items at our delightful local restaurants (some that said to be aphrodisiacs — oysters and chocolates and cherries, oh my!), fabulous local shops with a Valentine’s twist to put you in the mood, and a sampling of relevant events and activities.
If all else fails, you could always pop in a romantic movie (“An Affair to Remember,” “Casablanca” and “The Notebook” spring to mind) and snuggle up by the fire. Together!
But that shouldn’t be necessary, considering . . .
Thornton River Grille (540-987-8790) in Sperryville will be offering its regular menu with additional Valentine’s specials.
El Quijote Spanish Restaurant (540-987-8187) in Sperryville’s River District has a Valentine’s Day special of Cochinillo Estilo Segovia — traditional Segovian suckling piglet, tender, crispy and juicy, served with potatoes, for $30 dollars per person.
Country Café (540-675-1066) will be open until 9 p.m. on Washington’s Main Street, and promises some special items for Valentine’s Day.
Tula’s off Main (540-675-2223) will also be offering its regular menu with additional specials.
The Inn at Little Washington (540-675-3800) has a pre fixe Valentine’s Day tasting menu for $298 per person. Because The Inn is fully booked on Saturday (Feb. 14), they’re also offering their special Valentine’s Day menu on Friday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 15.
Griffin Tavern (540-675-3227) says special dishes (lobster!) will be offered in addition to the regular menu. Reservations strongly recommended.
Flint Hill Public House (540-675-1700) has a four-course pre fixe menu including coffee and tea for $46.95 per person (plus 18-percent gratuity), with seatings at 4, 6 and 8:30 p.m. Reservations required. (More online at flinthillva.com/valentines-day-2015)
Foster Harris House (540-675-3757) says its pre fixe dinner menu is sold out.
Headmaster’s Pub (540-987-5008) in Sperryville has champagne specials, Valentine’s Day Crab Cakes and live music from Bobbie Glaser.
Comfort Fair Trade Store and Knit Wit Yarn Shop have carved soapstone hearts from Kenya, jewelry and cards. 45 Main St, Sperryville 540-987-8251.
Coterie has Valentine cards by Sara Schneidman, Heart Favor Cookies & Small Batch Special Flavor Marshmallows from Bijou’s Sweet Treats. 12018 Lee Hwy., Sperryville. 540-987-8249.
Flourish Root Florist: Jen Perrot’s Flourish Root has expanded its workspace in Coterie and is offering fresh florals, bouquets, arrangements and special things daily. Orders for Valentine’s Day should be placed by this Sunday (Feb. 8). Delivery in county and surrounding areas is available. Online at flourishroot.com. 540-742-0097.
Beech Spring Gift Shop Quilt Shop offers 20 percent off during the romantic February on great gifts for men and women and locally made Valentine’s Day cards. 11600 Lee Hwy, Sperryville. 540-987-8704
R.H. Ballard has exclusive Valentine’s Day cards by artist Viviane de Kosinsky, French dripless candles, romantic John Derian paperweights, Keshie pearl jewelry, plus Joanie is offering gift wrapping of your own wine bottle in a Le Jacquard Francais tea towel. 307 Main St., Washington. 540-675-1411 or rhballard.com.
Rare Finds: Handmade and Victorian style Valentine’s Day cards, heart-shaped jewelry, key chains and assorted gifts. 211 Main St., Washington. 540-675-1400.
Valley Green Naturals will have special heart shaped Love Soaps made with crushed rose petals, rose oil and other pure botanicals as well as their regular selection of all-natural personal products from locally sourced ingredients. 4 River Lane, Sperryville. 844-357-1800 or valleygreennaturals.com.
Triple Oak Bakery has heart-shaped cookies, chocolate and raspberry truffles and chocolate raspberry soufflé cake for two (by special order, this weekend at the latest). 11692A Lee Hwy., Sperryville. 540-987-9122.
Creekside Bakery is reopening Feb 12, so hold on to that sweet spot. 15 Main St., Sperryville. 540-987-8568.
Sperryville Corner Store: Pick up a selection of cheeses and some Virginia Chutney Co. fig chutney. Look for special baked goods and (as always) they’ll have imported champagne and domestic sparkling wines. 3710 Sperryville Pike, Sperryville. 540-987-8185.
Roy and Janet’s Orchard & Fruit Market: Order Chesapeake Bay oysters and other fresh seafoods by Feb. 11. Also fresh apple cider, local pears, apples and honey plus a special selection of Janet’s Valentine’s Day pies. 64 Old Hollow Rd., Sperryville. 540-987-8636.
Laurel Mills Store: Brenda is offering $5 off any bottle of champagne. 461 Laurel Mills Rd., Castleton. 540-937-3015.
Wine Loves Chocolate: Need we say more? 353 Main St., Washington. 540-227-8010.
Dinner and dance: Music by the Dubious Brothers Band featuring Smiggy Smith, taco bar and chocolate desserts from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Hearthstone in Sperryville. $25. Call 540-987-9212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 11576 Lee Hwy., Sperryville.
Healing Touch for Couples: An intimate workshop on Thai/Yoga Massage and Acupressure with Susan Huff and Gordon Wicks at Stonewall Abbey Yoga and Qigong Studio, Sperryville, is 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. $30 per couple. Preregister at 540-987-8369 or email@example.com.
Shenandoah National Park: Valentine’s weekend is a fee-free entrance weekend, so take a romantic drive and take in the stunning beauty of this national treasure. Visit www.nps.gov/shen or call 540-999-3500.
Botanica Erotica Love Fest at Green Comfort Herbal Apothecary is 4 to 7 p.m. this Saturday (Feb. 7), an evening workshop that will include tantalizing tidbits of erotic lore, aphrodisiac cordials, sensuous feasting of stimulating succulent foods and imbibing in the delicately inebriating love potions. 540-937-4283 or greencomfortherbschool.com.
Narmada Winery offers a Corks to Crafts workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. this Sunday (Feb. 8), where you can learn to craft beautiful hearts made of corks to decorate your home, and then several Exotic Chocolate Workshops on Valentine’s Day afternoon (Feb. 14), with sessions led by master chocolatier Thu Hoang from Raw Desserts. Visit narmadawinery.com.
Little Washington Wellness and Spa’s couples massage sessions are already fully booked on Valentine’s Day, but bookings still available for manicures and pedicures, facials and Thai reflexology massage. They carry a selection of romantic gifts, too. Call 540-675-1031.
Grey Ghost Vineyard’s 21st annual Irresistible Chocolates and Cabernet is 11 to 4 Saturday, Feb. 14, and Sunday, Feb. 15. $20 per person includes all wine tastings, unlimited desserts and collectible glass. No reservations necessary. Visit grayghostvineyards.com.
Valentine’s Day at Gadino Cellars (1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14) features Gadino wine, delicious Italian wedding soup by Rachel Rowland of Griffin Tavern and the music of Aubrey Driggers. Visit gadinocellars.com.
Bitters and Beyond Workshop at Wild Roots Apothecary (2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 14) is a hands-on workshop for a “BitterSweet” experience. Visit wildrootsapothecary.com or call 703-598-2837.
Chocolate Pairing Class at Little Washington Winery is 2:30 to 3:30 Feb. 14. Visit littlewashingtonwinery.com or call 540-987-8330.