Last Valentine's Day, as I walked to my job at a flower shop, I mulled over what flowers I would most like to receive, hypothetically. I have so many favorites- poppies, forget-me-nots, hellebores- but the answer came to me in a flash: a lemon tree. Not exactly a bouquet, but it does involve flowers. This year I decided to ask my favorite Valentine's Day experts- chocolatiers, bakers, corset-makers- what's on their love-day wishlist...
Owner, Maison Bouche Chocolate
"I would love a trip on the Orient Express to Venice. I remember that the last time I was in Paris, I saw it parked at the station and I thought how wonderful it would be to take a romantic tour to Venice (one of my favorite cities). It takes once-a-year trips to Istanbul and that would also be a wonderful gift! "
Head Pastry Chef, Blue Bottle Coffee
Co-Author of Modern Art Desserts and The Blue Bottle Craft Of Coffee
"Every year on valentine's day I ask for a whole day with the phone and computers put away. Since we're both in the business of making our nichey things for others, we both like it when people make those nichey things for us. This year, I'd like my husband to make a sweet treat for me, and I'll make him some coffee. To this he has agreed, and he is making me a lime souffle, so I guess I'd better get practicing on the coffee!"
Manager/Custom Corset Maker, Dark Garden
"Hmmmm... This is a tricky one. I always want vintage jewelry. Preferably silver and turquoise, preferably 1950 or earlier but, I'm so particular aesthetically that I feel bad about the pressure on my partner to find me the *perfect* piece. I would say that time is the thing to give me for Valentine's Day. My fellow and I have such different schedules that a day spent together feels like a complete luxury. He's a sous chef so his schedule is all over the place and I always work weekends, as you do when you manage a retail store. For us to have an entire day together to just bike around Oakland and sit in cafés talking about whatever is very romantic. Really, the thing I want for Valentine's Day is my sweetheart."
Owner, Lilybelle Flowers
"I'd say my Valentines wish would be to receive red parrot tulips with those candied hearts with messages from grade school. On a larger scale I'd wish for everyone to embrace and honor the power of love even if it's a day that's "Hallmark's" creation. Love is supreme, act from it everyday."
And for all of you hard-working people out there up to your ears in candy, roses, cards, and lingerie: what would you like to receive for Valentine's Day?