SF LIFE: Valentine Gift Ideas, A Bar Car, Murals, Improv

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Hearts and flowers, chocolates and kisses! Tis the season. Whether you believe in taking part in the romance of Valentine’s Day on the 14 or you just want a few ideas to boost the romance in your life, following are some Bay Area suggestions to possibly light that fire. If you are planning an event soon, (perhaps your daughter recently became engaged – MINE DID!) you will want to hire the Bar Car – a 1965 Airstream trailer. And did you ever wonder about the street art gracing city walls? Now you can take a fascinating walking tour of our murals.  As you all know laughter is so good for the soul – an evening at BATS Improv will leave your belly and cheeks aching from all of the laugh out loud moments.

Dandelion Chocolate (740 Valencia Street)

SF LIFE: Valentine Gift Ideas, A Bar Car, Murals, ImprovOh day of love, February 14th! Fan or not, it’s always great to find adventures and experiences for the sweetie (or good friend) who sparks your flame. The wonderful confection chocolate tantalizes most of us. Dandelion Chocolate is a sweet find, both a chocolate factory and café where you can learn the craft of chocolate making and eat your way into a heavenly food coma. This little hidden gem reminds me of The Chocolate Museum in Barcelona (yes, aren’t I worldly?)  Owners Todd and Cam call themselves an artisan bean-to-bar chocolate factory and share their love of the bean through tours and classes. For a unique gift, a class in Chocolate 101 will send your taste buds soaring. While you become educated about the cocoa beans and their processing, you will also learn about the different types of chocolate, who knew there were so many? (tastings included of course!).  Delicious Details here. 

Romantic Dinner Kit

SF LIFE: Valentine Gift Ideas, A Bar Car, Murals, ImprovThat’s right you read it correctly, a kit for a romantic dinner. Easy peasy.  Christine Martin, SF Style & Entertaining founder, created this kit with all the pre-measured, non-perishable ingredients necessary for a French inspired three-course gourmet meal. Included are so many adorable, as well as necessary, items for the non-gourmet chef. You will get celebrity–chef techniques and tips, a romantic style and entertaining lesson, a witty booklet with all you need to know about style and entertaining, a custom invitation and of course a shopping list to help you select the fresh ingredients to complete the dinner (and more!).  At $29.95  – you can’t get out of Whole Foods for that! Here’s how to order.

Feb. 6. Wine and Chocolate Festival (Domenico Winery, San Carlos)

SF LIFE: Valentine Gift Ideas, A Bar Car, Murals, ImprovNo need to head to Napa for an authentic winery experience. Domenico Winery is a family owned and operated boutique winery specializing in Italian varietals. Their vineyard is located in Amador County in the Sierra Foothills where their two estate wines are grown. Other grapes are sourced from the best viticulture areas in California. This Saturday you can indulge your love of wine and chocolate. Tastings are from 7 different wineries. Each winery pairs their selections with a specialty chocolate in celebration of the day of love. BONUS – overflowing chocolate fountain in case you need more!  Feb. 6 from noon to 5PM. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Precita Eyes Muralists –Tours (San Francisco)

SF LIFE: Valentine Gift Ideas, A Bar Car, Murals, ImprovHave you ever wondered about the street art you see vividly painted on many San Francisco walls? Precita Eyes Muralists Association and Center may be responsible. This multipurpose community based arts organization sponsors and implements ongoing mural projects throughout the Bay Area.  Based in the Mission for the past three decades they offer art classes for all ages and focus on enhancing one’s creativity and individuality. The organization’s mission is to enhance the urban environment and educate the community at large. Every weekend, Muralists lead historic walking tours along the Mission Street and 24th Street Corridors in the Mission District. Several different guided walks cover the history of murals, the contemporary mural movement and the mural painting process. Fascinating, educational and beautiful! Get the details.

Bar Car: Travels all over the Bay Area 

SF LIFE: Valentine Gift Ideas, A Bar Car, Murals, ImprovIf you want to make an impact at your next event, put a sparkle in your guest’s eyes and a smile on their faces, you MUST have the Bar Car. Having attended an event where this 1965 “tricked out” air stream trailer provided adult refreshments, I can tell you, it was such a delight to have my cocktail served by the delightful gentlemen in gingham. Their business card states, “purveyor of fun”! I would agree that receiving a beer on tap, a glass of the finest chardonnay or a sparkling water from the Bar Car begins the soiree with a smile. They provide a fully customized beverage service no matter what your taste. From boutique IPA’s to small production Bourbons, Greg Medow, creator of Bar Car will work with you to ensure your event fits your personality! Get the details. 

Bats – Improv (Fort Mason Center)

SF LIFE: Valentine Gift Ideas, A Bar Car, Murals, ImprovDo you enjoy the rush of endorphins that comes after laughing for an hour non-stop?  I definitely do! And I can attest, from personal experience, that after attending one of the BATS improve shows at Fort Mason Center you will have a laughing high. BATS is not only San Francisco’s longest running improv show, they also offer classes in improv which will bring out your inherent creativity and stretch yourself to step out of your comfort zone (in the best possible way).  Every Friday they present Theatresports, a fast-paced, exciting interactive night of improvised theatre played as a sport. Saturdays through February “improvised Shakespeare” is featured. The audience provides the title and the actors improvise in the style and language of The Bard. No matter what show you choose, you can expect the unexpected! Get tickets.




  • Kim Selby

    Kim Selby, the SF life editor of The Three Tomatoes, is your gal for info on what’s hot and happening in the beautiful bay area. Having lived on the Left Coast for 27 years, after almost a decade in NYC, she has explored and continues to have adventures all over the San Francisco area. Passionate about fashion, formerly with GLAMOUR magazine and Fashion Director at Saks Fifth Avenue , Palo Alto, Kim produced fashion shows in the bay area for over 20 years. She now creates events to empower, delight and inspire women, aka “Tomatoes”. Learn more about Kim at www.kim-selby.com

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