All of Bittersweet's enormous cupcakes undergo a delicate upbringing from roots of real butter and other gourmet ingredients. Flavors range from classic chocolate to more inventive tastes such as PB&J, which is loaded with a strawberry filling core and given a top hat of peanut butter buttercream. If you prefer to paint your own cakesterpiece, customize a creation by pairing a cake flavor, such as lemon, coconut, or spice, with a buttercream flavor, such as orange, mint, or cream cheese frosting. Whether you phone in or drop in, be sure to peep through the bakery window on North Alfred Street and say hello to executive bakery chef Angel, who is known for melting the buttery hearts of swooning passersby by reciting romantic passages from the encyclopedia. With a dozen chances to spread your confectioned love, you won't have to play favorites with all the jury members.
Ten Thousand Villages in Alexandria is Northern Virginia's oldest Fair Trade retailer. Located on upper King Street since 1994, it has become the preferred source for gifts and home decor for many loyal customers in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, DC and beyond.
Walking into The Carlyle Club isn't quite time-travel, but it's not far off. Evoking both the look and feel of a swank, 1930s New York nightclub, the lounge and supper club combines swirling wallpaper, gilded mirrors, and lamp-lit tables with a robust entertainment calendar that encourages guests to strap on their dancing shoes and their singing-along snorkels.
Gallery Lafayette offers customized-framing treatments and original prints, watercolors, and gifts. Using special conservation glass and acid-free mat boards, skilled frame-ologists protect prized photographs and collectibles from the damaging effects of light, humidity, acidity, and Father Time's righteous fists for unblemished wall hanging. The average custom-framing order is around $180—combine two Groupons and frame your favorite oversized obedience-school diploma or Ken Burns–autographed placemat. Inside the gallery, customers will find an assortment of gifts featuring pen-and-ink illustrations of classic Old Town landmarks such as Captain's Row and Gadsby's Tavern. Images are magically transferred onto tote bags ($30), tea towels ($15.95), and more. Snag a set of eight note cards ($12.95) to start a one-man letter-writing campaign to rename the Route 1 IHOP to the William Howard Taft Memorial House of Pancakes.
Dr. Roy Heron, a bariatric specialist and veteran member of numerous local medical societies, helps patients attain svelte, healthy physiques through personalized weight-loss plans that highlight his signature low-carbohydrate philosophy. Backed by a motivating staff of nutritional counselors, Dr. Heron had performed more than 1,100 SmartLipo procedures and lends his extensive medical wisdom to the customized programs, each of which is tailored around clients’ unique health histories, dietary habits, and jumping-jack preferences. Tools such as BMI assessments, B12 injections, and appetite suppressants assist patients throughout the program, and minimally invasive laser treatments can help augment results by trimming lingering fat. To further fortify results, Dr. Heron can give thoughtful recommendations on valuable local services, such as health spas, fitness clubs, superhero meetings, and dermatology offices.
Verdigris Antiques & Interiors sells high-quality antiques and vintage decorations from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Packed inside a converted row house in Old Town, Verdigris lets antiquers and vintage votaries hunt through aisles of treasures like great apes hunting for tree trunks where they can hang their hats. Look for a bargain among the wide array of items under $80, such as a set of six vintage Florentine barware glasses for $68 or a black glass dresser box from the 1930s for $55. If the thought of so much merchandise to sort through sounds overwhelming, peruse the online inventory, which showcases more expensive collector's items such as a 1960s mod Italian plastic dome table lamp ($275), a pair of late-19th-century Victorian slipper chairs ($450), and a midcentury tete-a-tete garden bench ($985).