Solvang's Sweetest Retreat

Sample pastries and wine in a town famous for pastries and wine.

FEW TOWNS ARE SWEETER... than Solvang. It's practically fact: The village is so quaint and so charming and full of windmills and nooks and shops and such that it is readymade for a needlepoint project or to be painted in watercolors. But when a place looks sweet, that sweetness has a way of popping up in other areas. One area that the the Santa Ynez Wine Valley burg absolutely rules is the realm of pastry-makery. For sure, the aebleskiver is that realm's king, as many an Angeleno will make the couple-hours-drive to snack upon the snack most associated with Solvang. But cakes and cookies and morning treats and more sugary classics dominate the Solvang eatery scene, so much so that when Taste of Solvang rolls around a whole event is given over to the dessert end of things. Well, and the wine end of things, too, which is no surprise as Solvang is plunk in the middle of a bevy of vineyards. It's Sips & Sweets, and it sprinkles the sugar crystals and spreads on the frosting on Friday, March 20.

"PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR PASTRY CHEFS"... will be pastrying up the plates of cake buffs while live tunes and dancing provide the get-up-and-move aspect. As for choosing your favorite? You can have a hand in picking the night's Best Dessert (capital B and capital D). Wine tasting shall abound, too, in the way it abounds in Solvang, and the cost for it all? Thirty bucks. It's a "bountiful dessert reception" so trust that you'll try a full and cakey complement of what Solvang is known for. But what if, as tempting as all of this sounds, you're still a savory person, with a penchant for skipping the sweet at the end of every meal? Taste of Solvang has a number of heartier happenings, including the Grand Tasting on March 21 (it used to be called the Walking Smorgaasbord, if you're a regular at this springtime sup fest). Tickets? Unhand that pastry and head this way, Solvang lovers.

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