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By Jordan Wright

To get ready for Valentine’s Day you need go no further than our shops right here in town. At La Cuisine, on Cameron Street, a high-end cookware and gourmet specialty shop that caters to the chef in all of us, they are featuring organic and fair-trade chocolates from Cocoavino. Raspberry and Fig, Blood Orange and Fig, and Drunken Fig Truffles made by two master chocolatieres, Alisha Lumea and Avril Pendergast-Fischer of New York. Getting the festivities off to a good start are in-shop tastings on February 7th. Chocolate samples will be perfectly paired with a taste of wine.

If you are baking for your sweetheart they have Betsy Cukla’s Hammersong cookie cutters in heart shapes. Betsy holds her popular classes at the shop for those who are eager to DIY.

They also carry the Coeur de Crème molds for making that traditional Valentine’s Day dessert and for decorating cookies they have India Tree Sparkling sugars and decors in all the fun colors.

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At Artisan Confections Arlington chocolatier, Jason Andelman, sources Valrhona chocolate exclusively. He uses all-natural fruit purees and only the purest natural ingredients for his artisanal candies. A native of Northern Virginia, Jason was the former pastry chef at DC’s TenPenh Restaurant.

With 12 distinctive flavors like Mint Tea, Lemon Hazelnut, Cinnamon Honey, Raspberry and Tahitian Vanilla Bean just to name a few, these exceptional chocolates are delicately hand-painted. They can be found at The Winery on South Washington Street.

In Del Ray Artfully Chocolate has partnered with former King Street chocolatier Kingsbury to bring those famous chocolates to you.

Also in Del Ray Daily Planet Wine and Gourmet recommends (with a low price point) Aria Sparkling Pinot Noir Cava from Spain or Rose Champagne Moutard Pere et Fils Prestige NV. Of course they carry other high-end champagnes like Perrier-Jouet and Veuve Cliquot Grande Dame.

At Williams-Sonoma on South Washington Street you can seek out the famous LA- based Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcake Mix and a Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer in bright red. Adorable Edge of the Cup Cookie Cutters made exclusively for Williams-Sonoma, have a built in slot for adorning the rim of your coffee cup and come in heart, star, sun and circle shapes. Here are the perfect chocolate fondue pots by All-Clad for romantic dinners. They even carry milk chocolate fondue chips.

Cute heart-shaped cutters are ideal for kids to pitch in and celebrate Valentine’s Day with little sandwiches they can make themselves. And to dress your dinner table in style, pick up a stunning floral strawberry sorbet-colored vintage jacquard tablecloth with placemats and matching napkins.

If you just want to stay at home and enjoy a warm fire, they carry slow-cookers and pre-mixed marinades for start-in-the-morning-before-you-go-to-work hearty stews.

Any way you want to cuddle up to your sweetie, you can find all the ingredients right here in town!

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