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News and Features
03.19.08

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Phaedra

Best Chocolatier

Marin

Powell's Sweet Shoppe

879 Grant Ave., Novato. 415.898.6160.

Napa

Anette's Chocolate Factory

1321 First St., Napa. 707.252.4228.

Sonoma

La Dolce V Fine Chocolates

110 N. Main St., Sebastopol. 707.829.2178.

Honorable Mention

Sweet Memory Chocolates

305 Center St., Healdsburg. 707.433.5351.


Best Flower Shop

Marin

Bloomworks

200 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae. 415.464.8166.

518 San Anselmo Ave., San Anselmo. 415.453.2478.

Napa

BJ's Petal Pushers

1620 Main St., Napa. 800.944.9523.

Sonoma

Stems

864 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 707.546.7522.

Honorable Mention

County Daisy Florist & Gifts

423 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. 707.433.6318.


Best Lingerie Shop

Marin

Pleasures of the Heart

1310 Fourth St., San Rafael. 415.482.9899.

Napa

Bellezza

1228 Main St., St. Helena. 707.967.5537.

Sonoma

Sensuality Shoppe

2371 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol. 707.829.3999.

Honorable Mention

Chanelle et Moi Lingerie

9054 Windsor Road, Windsor. 707.836.1030.


Best Erotica Store

Marin

Pleasures of the Heart

1310 Fourth St., San Rafael. 415.482.9899.

Napa

Pleasures Unlimited

1416 Second St., Napa. 707.226.2666.

Sonoma

Sensuality Shoppe

2371 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol. 707.829.3999.

Honorable Mention

Spice Sensuality Boutique

6597 Commerce Blvd., Rohnert Park. 707.588.0525.


Best Place for Singles to Meet

Marin

Finnegan's Marin

877 Grant Ave., Novato. 415.899.1516.

Napa

Bounty Hunter

975 First St., Napa. 707.255.0622.

Sonoma

Upper Fourth

96 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa. 707.573.0522.

Honorable Mention

Vertex Climbing Center

3358-A Coffey Lane, Santa Rosa. 707.573.1608.


Spice: thanks for coming!

It's show and tell day in Dr. Deborah Kindy's Human Sexuality class, featuring a guest speaker from the Spice Sensuality Boutique , your honorable mention pick for Best Erotica Store in Sonoma County. Some 70 SSU students cram together for a literally hands-on education on sex toys. All eyes instantly focus on the buxom, young, dreadlocked woman at the front of the class—or, more pointedly, on the array of rainbow-colored products she is setting up on the teacher's desk.

Spice's Jessica Chavez, a salesperson and buyer for the store, introduces herself as an "engineering student who crunches numbers all day, but entertains her alternate interests by assisting people in getting more pleasure out of life." She begins her demonstration with the more straightforward sex toys, like tiny "bullet" vibrators, sized to easily be hidden in bedside drawers from curious kids, and allergy-free, 100 percent silicone, hot-pink 12-inch vibrators, but soon progresses to more complex models with multiple massage patterns and vibratory speeds. There is the smiling, blunt-snouted aqua-blue Diving Dolphin, which Chavez explains is a duel-bulleted vibrator and cock ring worn by a man to stimulate his partner and himself at the same time. There are velcro slings for more comfortable legs-in-the-air positioning, and of course there's the Rock Chick, a stapler-shaped vibrator with an internal G-spot stimulator and an external elliptical massager.

For those into anal sex, there are stringed beads (gotta have a retrieval system) and vibrating, egg-shaped anal plugs. Also demonstrated are eye-popping purple "rabbit" vibrators with hand-held controllers made famous by their use on Sex in the City . Chavez assures that these "are good for couples into voyeurism. Guys love a controller, and they can sit on a couch up to 20 feet away and watch, without any cords in the way."

We caress rubbery playthings of all shapes, sizes and functions, pass them around the room, pushing buttons and feeling just how hard or squishy they are, mischievously tapping each other on the shoulders with the extra-long versions. Chavez knowledgably answers all questions, adding that foot fetishists take note—the store also carries a vast assortment of shoes. As she packs up her wares, Kindy circulates a "Thank you" note around the room. One student writes, "Thanks for coming. Pun intended."

Spice Sensuality Boutique, 6597 Commerce Blvd., Rohnert Park. 707.588.0525. —S.D.


Best Place to Rekindle Love

Marin

Kitchen

868 Grant Ave., Novato. 415.892.6100.

Napa

Angéle

540 Main St., Napa. 707.252.8115.

Sonoma

Cafe Saint Rose

463 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.546.2459.

Honorable Mention

Ravenous Restaurant

420 Center St., Healdsburg. 707.431.1302.


Best Wedding Reception

Marin

St. Vincent's School for Boys

1 St. Vincent Drive, San Rafael. 415.507.2000.

Napa

Auberge du Soleil

180 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford. 707.963.1211.

Sonoma

Geyserville Inn

21714 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville. 707.857.4343.

Honorable Mention

Madrona Manor

1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg. 707.433.4231.


Best Picnic Spot

Napa

V. Sattui Winery

1111 White Lane, St. Helena. 707.963.7774.


Best Romantic Dinner

Marin

Fork

198 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo. 415.453.9898.

Napa

Brix

7377 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena. 707.994.2749.

Sonoma

La Gare

208 Wilson St., Santa Rosa. 707.528.4355.

Honorable Mention

Cafe Saint Rose

463 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.546.2459.


Best Boutique Hotel

Marin

Acqua Hotel

555 Redwood Hwy., Mill Valley. 415.380.0400.

Napa

First Place Tie

Auberge du Soleil

180 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford. 707.963.1211.

Napa River Inn

500 Main St., Napa. 707.251.8501.

Sonoma

Hotel La Rose

308 Wilson St., Santa Rosa. 707.579.3200.

Honorable Mention

Hotel Healdsburg

25 Matheson St., Healdsburg. 707.431.2800.


Best Weekend Getaway

Marin

Blackthorne Inn

266 Vallejo Ave., Inverness. 415.663.8621.

Napa

Solage Calistoga

755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga. 866.942.7442.

Sonoma

Jenner Inn & Cottages

10400 Hwy. 1, Jenner. 707.865.2377.

Honorable Mention

Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa

16702 Hwy.1, Bodega. 707.876.9818.


Best Couples Spa

Marin

Frogs Hot Tubs

10 School St. Plaza, Fairfax. 415.453.7647.

Napa

Solage Calistoga

755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga. 866.942.7442.

Sonoma

Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

209 Bohemian Hwy., Freestone. 707.823.8231.

Honorable Mention

Mermaids Spa

115 S. Main St., Sebastopol. 707.823.3535.


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