Valentine’s Day specials from local businesses are sure to please (published in February of 2010 in the SB News Press)

With Valentine’s Day coming up next weekend, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the special offers from local businesses.  I found that there are many, so I picked a collection of wonderful things we all enjoy on Valentine’s Day.  In the following paragraphs, I have outlined some compelling offers, and have provided contact information so those interested can find what they would like.  As always, I hope local citizens will support local businesses, and the holidays are a great time to do this.

First, we must address the most important thing about Valentine’s Day, which is chocolate.  One company specializing in the best chocolates from all over the world in Chocolate Maya, located at 15 W. Gutierrez Street (805.965.5956;  For Valentine’s Day, they have a large selection of hearts, truffles, rose-shaped chocolates, chocolate lips, and heart-shaped boxes beautifully decorated and filled with a broad assortment of candies.  Some of the more interesting items include a large praline heart (about three inches in diameter) decorated with beautiful flowers; a Calvados (apple liqueur) infused white chocolate truffle; a rosewater infused dark ganache with a thin outer shell of white chocolate, pink in color; an all dark chocolate marzipan (almond paste) heart; dark chocolate lips infused with champagne; rose shaped truffle infused with lavender in dark chocolate; raspberry and strawberry chocolate ladybugs; and lots of heart-shaped boxes with delicious chocolates of many varieties. 
Crush Cakes Cupcakery is offering a special on Valentine’s Day with four cupcakes combined as one, which they call a pull-apart cake, that can be decorated with frosted top so it looks like a cake and it can be delivered anywhere between Carpinteria and Goleta for $20 in Santa Barbara/$30 outside the city limits, and is $15 if you pick it up.  They are also offering some special flavors in addition to the 13 or 14 they always have.  One is called the “cosmo”—a raspberry cake with raspberry frosting infused with vodka (only a little).  They also will have the “coco-loco”—a chocolate cake with coconut frosting.  All regular cupcakes are $3.  Crush Cakes Cupcakery is located at 1315 Anacapa Street (805.963.9353;
For those looking for a more intimate gift idea, A Tropical Affair (114 East Haley Street, suite M) offers a wide variety of lingerie and bikinis specific to the holiday. Geneva Boddy-McMahon, the manager, explains that they have, “…everything from black lacy numbers to sweet pink pjs.  We’re sure to have just the right gift for your sweetie.  There’s even a cute little bra with two sequined hearts in just the right places.  Every Valentine’s Day we make sure to stock up on:

silk sleep masks
x-rated candies
black lacy lingerie (because men like it)
pink lacy lingerie (because women like it)
anything and everything heart printed
soft pajamas perfect for moms
fluffy slippers
furry handcuffs
We just did a Valentine’s Day shoot for our website and the new photos and merchandise should be up early next week; if not sooner.”  You can reach A Tropical Affair at 805.730.1625.


For those looking to get away but not leave town, the Inn of the Spanish Gardens (915 Garden Street) is offering two luxury packages:
Their “Romance Package” includes a two-night stay in an executive suite with king-sized bed with complimentary bottle of champagne and candle, breakfast in bed, a romance guide, and two in-room massages.  This package, based on availability, can be purchased during the week, Sunday through Thursday, for $790, or for Friday and Saturday night for $920. 
Their “It’s Complicated – not” package is a one-night stay any night of the week in an executive suite with king-sized bed and includes two movie tickets, and chocolate croissant and memosas delivered to your room.  The price is $279 and is also based on availability.
For more information you can contact the Inn of the Spanish Gardens at 805.564-4700 or online at
Float Luxury Spa, which opened last April, has seven treatment rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms, a sky room which is their quiet lounge, with fireplace, and a private garden as well where they offer private catered events.  For Valentine’s Day, if you book a couples massage in their couple’s suite with two massage therapists, you get champagne and strawberries as a complimentary Valentine’s Day gift, either before or after the massages, which you can have in front of the fireplace, if you wish.  Although this is a Valentine’s Day offer, it is actually available for the entire month of February.
Float, according to co-owner Natalie, was built with an eco-friendly focus, with recyclable wood floors, all sustainable materials throughout, non-toxic paints, and a steam canopy shower, which only uses about one gallon of water per minute in place of the Viche shower, which uses about up to 12 gallons per minute.  All beauty products are natural, paraben-free, 100% vegan, etc.  You can reach Float at 805.845.7777, or online at

Lucky’s Steakhouse, located at 1279 Coast Village Road, is offering their full menu, plus nine specials and a unique puff pastry dessert, with mixed berries and two sauces to be shared for Valentine’s Day.  Of the specials, they will have a charred rare Hawaiian tuna with Japanese vinaigrette, green onions, shitake mushrooms, and spinach; a sliced prime flat iron steak with cannellini beans, rosemary, and rapini; and kurobuta pork chop with Calvados, apples, and gratin potatoes. For reservations, you can contact Lucky’s at 805.565.7540.


Arts & Letters Café, located in downtown Santa Barbara at 7 East Anapamu Street, will offer a special Valentine’s Day menu with a complimentary glass of sparkling white wine with each entre, and you can choose from their gourmet dinner menu or have the chef cook something for you from the Valentine’s Day menu.  Entrees are $26 or less and wines are $30 to $67 per bottle.  You will need reservations: 805.730.1463.
Blush, located at 630 State Street, is offering a three course menu with first course choices of an oyster trio, white asparagus salad, or strawberry and arugula salad, the second course includes vanilla poached main lobster, filet mignon foie gras duo, or a peppercorn crusted seared ahi with rice and passion fruit coconut sauce, and for the third course, a chocolate truffle tasting, or a banana parfait.  Blush can be reached at 805.957.1300.
The Granada is having Love Love Love, a tribute to the Beatles, on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th, by the State Street Ballet and Santa Barbara Choral Society and Orchestra, with special appearances by legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin, guest conductor, and Jeffrey Foskett of Beach Boys fame.  For tickets call 805.899.2222.
So, no matter what kind of Valentine’s Day experience you are searching for, whether it be great food, sexy lingerie, an intimate and luxurious spa experience, decadent chocolate, or engaging entertainment, there are fantastic local businesses offering a multitude of choices to meet your every desire.  If you plan to spend money this Valentine’s Day, consider supporting local businesses with your dollars.  In the current economic environment, they need our help!

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