Valentine’s in Sperryville — and beyond

While the Greek Isle of Santorini conjures up romantic visions of white washed island architecture surrounded by the spectacular, soft aquamarine blue of  the Aegean, Virginia is a destination for lovers, too. The Blue Ridge Mountains beckon, and poetic Rappahannock hills and rushing sweetwater rivers offer no shortage of idyllic havens. It comes, therefore, as no surprise that this Valentine’s weekend boasts a wide variety of romantic, love themed events.

In Sperryville, Maggie Rogers of Central Coffee Roasters, known for her popular, intimate Sunday Concert Series, will host a Valentine’s Day performance featuring Lyt Wood and friends of  “The Spring Band.” Lyt tells me that original songs and stories will be told by a “Traveller,” who according to Lyt, “meets up with various critters on his journey — a Seal, Rainbow, Mule, Puck Wudgie (a beloved character who enthralls children with his antics in Lyt’s summer camps), Snowflake, Tick, Shadow…so it will appeal to families and young’uns, as well as so-called grownups. Some of my campers and other young children have contributed to the writing of these songs in different ways. There will also be fiddle music, hammer dulcimer music and lots of surprises.”  

Sure, it’s not a classic Valentine’s themed type performance, but it’s about the love of music, of age-old storytelling, imagination and the love of children. Lyt’s band members are local rock legends Forrest Marquisee and Rannie Winn, and Michaux Hood, who joins the group from Charlottesville. The band, says Lyt, has played with the Mudlarks, Gold Top County Ramblers, Ryegrass Rollers, Gourdvine Stringband, Las Gitanas and others. Admission is free, suggested donations for the musicians is $10. Roastery doors open at 6:55 p.m. and seating is limited, first come first serve. Call for info: 540-987-1006.

Also on Sunday, at 3 p.m., The Theatre at Washington will host the brilliant jazz pianist Bill Harris, accompanied by acclaimed bassist Tommy Cecil in a “Love Affair” themed concert of “melodies and improvisations to warm the heart.” At intermission, Little Washington Winery will offer their superb wines by the glass for purchase, and delectable chocolates from their Wine Loves Chocolate enterprise. Contact the Theatre for reservations or purchase tickets at the box office. Visit TheatreWashingtonVa.com or call 540-675-1253

What better way to  complement the concert than a fine Valentine’s Day meal enjoyed at local area restaurants. Tula’s, for example, situated on Gay Street, lies a stone’s throw from the Theatre steps, and is celebrating the special day with a Valentine themed menu (see the Washington column at left for details). Eclairs, offered for dessert, are stuffed with strawberry filling and coated in chocolate glaze, a prelude to a delicious whipped cream topped Tula’s trademark Cappuccino, followed by a finale, a snifter of exquisite Courvoisier.. yes.. a great Valentine’s dinner. For reservations and further information see www.Tulasoffmain.com or call 540-675-2223.

Jennifer Cable Perrot of Flourish Root in Sperryville, known for her wildly creative florals is offering a Valentine-themed Kid’s Flowering Tabletop Garden Workshop on Saturday, Feb. 13, intended to “Let your little Valentines create some flower goodness.” The workshop is from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. To reserve a space call Jenn at 540-742-0097 or visit www.flourishroot.com.

Naturally, Jenn also offers her acclaimed florals, Valentine bouquets, living arrangements and blooming plants. Love Potions and Notions will be offered by her studio mate Wild Roots Apothecary and the studio will be chock full of local sweets and treats like Bijou’s Sweet Treats and Cocoa Manna delights.

If you want to take great photos of your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, Ray Boc and Geoff Archer of Old Rag Photography in Sperryville are offering a photography class on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to Ray, point and shoot cameras, “have amazing capabilities and can produce fine photographs. This class provides basic knowledge of your camera and how it captures your image. We will go over the menus and buttons that allow you to take charge to open up shadows, to bring out details and to control your focus. The schedule includes a morning class, lunch, practice, and finally a constructive critique of your images.”

Additional upcoming classes include DSLR and Mirrorless Camera Basics, Beyond Auto Mode, on Saturday, Feb. 20. On Saturday, Feb. 27, is Next Steps, Creative Photography. And for those of us who thrive on cell phone photography, a great class about taking pictures with smartphones will be held Sunday, March 6.Tuition is $95 for all classes, and there is a 10 percent discount for a second class and for students under age 18. Classes are held at River District Arts, 3 River Lane. To sign up or inquire about private consultations, call Ray at 540-987-9706. You must register in advance.

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