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Well Spent: The Love Edition 

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How best to express your love? Locally, of course—with these sweet to saucy gifts from around the Hudson Valley. Artisanal, alcoholic, silken, studded or waxen (really), chocolate or blooming, you’ll find it here.


Shop Little House in Woodstock has charmingly tongue-in-cheek gifts for the occasion, including items that fuse the topical with the practical. The Counter Culture Anatomical Heart tea towel ($14) is a pure cotton flour sack towel printed in eco-friendly red ink (pictured), made in the US. There’s also a matching pillow ($44). Or go for gothic, with a one-of-a-kind porcelain skull and heart cup by Michael Corney ($95). Add a dash of bold red with color-dipped porcelain mugs, made in Japan ($28 each). Or, wander into the shop and find something you never even expected; that perfect objet to better house your heart’s delight.

Because flowers

Flowers, but not just flowers. Exotic, bejeweled, with a secret treat tucked inside. Use your imagination—isn't that what love is all about?

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Green Cottage in High Falls has far more than flowers, but let's start with orchids: here, they take the exotic to the nth power, with vibrant, stunning planted Dendrobium orchids in a rainbow of pinks, purples, and creamy whites ($18–$40 depending on size), as well as a whole range of other blooms and plants, and lots of fancy wrappings. Flowers procured, take a look at the jewelry by David Urso, such as a sterling silver and crushed stone pendant in a darkly sparkling red ($120–$350); or sterling silver cufflinks ($250). There are also chocolates in boxes and hearts—in other words, all the good stuff.

Marianne's Floral Garden in Poughkeepsie turns into an explosion of roses and tulips come Valentine's Day, but these aren't just any garden variety fleurs. The premium-grade roses come in every color imaginable, including two-tone, but there's nothing like that super-classic, velvety dark red. Present a single rose in a clear box with a big bow ($6); or a make an irrefutable statement with a dozen ($85–$95). Or, go with tulips, such as big and beautiful, frilled and splashy parrot tulips (a dozen, $18–$20). There's a jungle of beauty to choose from here.

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Wrap her up in a cotton kimono from de Marchin in Hudson: these bright paisley and floral printed robes made by Handprint are softly sublime in 100 percent organic cotton ($69). There are also matching nighties ($59) and a range of pajamas ($69–$129). For men, there are spiffy cufflinks by Codis Maya, based in London—maroon enamel and silver-dotted ovals add a sophisticated charm ($159).


Lucky Chocolates in Saugerties has Valentine’s assortments to melt anyone’s heart. Love Sweet Love is 15 pieces of handmade scrumptiousness, including espresso, strawberry balsamic, passionfruit, and honey butter truffles; passionfruit and raspberry paté de fruits; and super-decadent chocolate beehive honey pots ($30). The Elvis-themed Love Me Tender assortment includes truffles in peanut butter, bacon, and fried banana; along with 4 chocolate guitars ($20). Stay out of the doghouse with a big chocolate French Bulldog—no two are exactly alike—five inches of ubercuteness ($20). Or present heart boxes in large ($45) and medium ($25).

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Not every gift need be frosted with sentiment. Instead, celebrate love and heartbreak with a book that tells it like it is: Unrequited: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Romantic Obsession by SUNY New Paltz professor and ex-NPR commentator Lisa Phillips. If you haven’t yet gotten this fascinating tome, the paperback is coming out just in time for Valentine’s Day—and Woodstock’s Golden Notebook is hosting what may be the hottest alt-romantic event in the neighborhood, with authors Phillips, Nina Shengold and Sara Eckel holding court upstairs on February 13, at 4pm.

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Venture into Poughkeepsie’s Elizabeth Boutique for a great gift and you won’t come out empty-handed. Among Valentine’s Day favorites are cleverly packaged Hanky Panky roses: the classic stretch lace thong comes in pink, red or white, each wrapped around a long green stem like a wearable bloom. These underthings have a veritable cult following; they’re long-lasting, comfortable, great fitting, and one size fits all. Buy a single, a trio or a dozen—whatever you think will suit her fancy, it’ll be a bargain: the shop is offering a special deal on these for the holiday (normal price, $27). While supplies last (they sell out, says the shop).


Toast your romance with a blush of bubbly from Viscount Wines & Liquor in Wappingers Falls. This ginormous emporium of all things alcohol recommends rosés for the occasion, including a bottle of Louis de Sacy Brut Rosé ($38.99) or a more budget-friendly Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Brut Rosé ($11.99). Not sure? The shop is having a special Valentine’s Day event that celebrates the rosé in all its variations.

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