Luxury browsing with Euro ﬂair in Bay Area's live/shop center
Finished three years ago, Santana Row already has the ambienceof a much older neighborhood. An amble beneath the mature oaks inthe park at one end of the linear outdoor mall feels a bit likewalking through a European village. Large sculptures by Frenchartists Andre Dumonnet and Christine Foulche are juxtaposed withantique fountains. One shop imported its 19th-century neo-Gothicfaçade from France. And the fragrance of fresh-bakedcroissants wafts out from the boulangerie Cocola.
The live/shop center―high-end condos and apartments topthe shops―specializes in designer boutiques. Pop intoBurberry for everything from perfume to the classic trench coatswith iconic plaid lining, or linger over the feminine clothing atAnne Fontaine, famous for its white blouses.
Quintessential Art displays colorful sculptural glass by KennyPieper and Bernard Katz and contemporary mixed-media paintings byMari Giddings and other artists. A few doors down, Vintage WineMerchants offers tastings and a selection that runs from goodvalues to pricey collectibles. Fortunately, the more than 900 winesare all identified with tasting notes.
A cup of rose petal- and lavender-spiked Earl Grey at Lisa's TeaTreasures is a nice break. Owner Patricia Ramirez stocks fine chinafor traditionalists as well as miniature purple tea sets for kids.If pearl tea is more to your taste, stop for a cold drink and a mochi sweet at Fantasia Tea Cafe.
Mutt follows another longstanding Frenchtradition―encouraging canine indulgence. The shop offers pink"Desperate Housedogs" T-shirts, spa-quality grooming products, anda white carrier with pink daisies that's just like the one JessicaSimpson owns.
Reenergize with a vital energy-point massage at Ayoma LifeSpa inHotel Valencia Santana Row, then step through the beaded curtainsinto the hotel's Vbar to try a Red Hot Mama―Bacardi silver,cranberry juice, and club soda. It pairs well with a plate ofsalmon and caviar on corn blinis. Bon appétit.
Santana Row (www.santanarow.com or408/551-4611) is framed by Stevens Creek Blvd. and WinchesterBlvd., near I-880 and I-280, in San Jose. Parking is free.
Anne Fontaine. 334 Santana Row, Ste. 1030; 408/296-6043.
Ayoma LifeSpa. Closed Mon; treatment prices vary, reservations recommended. InHotel Valencia Santana Row, 355 Santana Row; www.ayoma.com or408/423-5424.
Burberry. 333 Santana Row, Ste. 1015; 408/261-9100.
Mutt. On Olin Dr., Ste. 1065; 408/249-2345.
Quintessential Art. On Olsen Dr., Ste. 1175; 408/260-7500.
Vintage Wine Merchants. Wine tasting from $3. On Olsen, Ste. 1135; 408/260-1115.
Cocola. $; breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 333 Santana Row, Ste.1045; 408/551-0018.
Fantasia Tea Cafe. $; lunch and dinner daily. 378 Santana Row, Ste. 1115;408/260-1668.
Lisa's Tea Treasures. 10-6 daily, tea service ($20, reservations recommended) 11-4daily. On Olsen, Ste. 1145; 408/247-3613.
Vbar. $$$$; dinner Mon-Sat. In Hotel Valencia Santana Row, 355 SantanaRow; www.hotelvalencia.com or408/551-0010.