It was such a close call for us to either revisit Portland since falling in love with the city on our Honeymoon in 2015 or give it’s Northern cousin Seattle a try. Obviously we decided on the latter and I’m really glad we did. Seattle is a much bigger city than what we had anticipated but still manages to have a homely, small-town feel and the locals are the friendliest bunch of folk we met out of all the locals we came across on our trip ! There is a great foodie scene in Seattle, you really are spoilt for choice for artisan eateries, locally brewed beer, cider even wine and fresh produce farmers markets. What also really surprised me about Seattle was how pretty it’s suburban neighbourhoods were; Fremont for example, looks out at a picturesque harbour speckled with peacefully bobbing boats and Ballard’s leafy streets are dressed with twinkly fairy lights that coil around trees and frame shop fronts. We only had 48 hours in the city to cram in as much exploring as we could whilst battling an out of sync body clock and sleep deprivation (Seattle is 8 hours behind the UK), so we decided to spend most of our time in a couple of areas as oppose to spread ourselves too thinly. I feel like we only touched the surface of what Seattle has to offer and have a sneaky feeling we will return one day (armed with Nytol and severely strong coffee).
Sleeping Under The Stars (sort of)
Perhaps one of things that made our visit to Seattle so memorable was our choice of accommodation. As I mentioned in my previous post, paying for somewhere to sleep for 3 weeks is a big outlay so we tried staying at various different places to stretch our purse strings and also because it’s fun to mix stuff up ! So our shoebox sleepover in a Stranger Things esque caravan in someone’s back garden was a fantastic experience, even if we did need to sleep in 15 layers and take turns to pass through the kitchen area en route to the shower ! Link to the Air BnB here.
Okay this place is little touristy but it’s also quite iconic being home to the original Starbucks coffee house, though you’ll be lucky to actually get to see the shop front as masses of tourists flock with selfie sticks desperately trying to get their souvenir shot for Instagram ! Starbucks aside the best stuff is actually inside the market. Wander through crooked corridors and creaky, winding staircases to discover micros cafes, bars and eateries such as The Crumpet Shop and Stroryville Coffee before visiting the famous Farmer’s Market to pick up speciality foods to take home.
Perch yourself at Fremont Brewing Company, choose from one of 100 craft beers and ciders and take in tranquil view of the harbour and the impressive skyline of the city.
Glasswing, Capitol Hill
Located in edgy Capitol Hill, Glasswing is possibly one of the best concept store’s I’ve ever visited. Stocking an eclectic mix of homegrown brands as well as Scandinavian designers for men, women and the home, each carefully curated section of the store has been exceptionally well thought out. My favourite part was the vintage roll-top bath alternatively used as a huge planter to pot beautiful house plants within the botanical skincare area.
Moorea Seal, Downtown
This dreamy, pastel perfect lifestyle store is strangely situated in the financial area of the city though it is definitely worth making that extra effort to visit ! The visuals in the windows and within the store are beautifully designed and make an eye-catching backdrop to house locally made ceramics, jewellery, clothing and stationery.
Tides & Pines, Ballard
This native inspired indie store was so warm and inviting. Sometimes when shops try to be too many things, their initial intention can get lost and confused but this was totally not the case with Tides & Pines. Part clothing store, workshop space and grocer as well as stocking handmade pottery, native style jewellery, tapestry and more, this neighbourhood haunt was such a good example of what amazing things can be done in such a small space ! My personal favourite was being handed a complimentary glass of locally made, natural wine upon entering the store, I mean what more can you ask for ?!
Eats + Drinks
Little Tin, Ballard
Oh my word this place ! Imagine a little wooden cabin with a kind of built in tiki bar, chintzy faux ivy and red roses twining around iron fixtures and 1920’s silent movies playing via a projector and this is Little Tin. Also offering the sweetest table service and the best decadent cocktail menu too.
‘Celebrating Italian aprivito in a jewel box space’, Barnacle is a lovely little spot to enjoy really great aperitifs like Campari’s and Negronis paired with delicious bar snacks. I really liked the European-style decor of Barnacle with its copper-topped bar, pretty blue and white pattern tiled walls and rustic baskets filled with colour popping packets of Lays.
Furnished in dark antique wood, cosy dim lighting and adorned with souvenirs collected from around the globe, Stoneburner sits somewhere in-between an English pub and an Italian brasserie. Chef Jason Stoneburner’s venue focuses on stone hearth cooking with brick pressed meats, Mediterranean fare and uniquely topped crusty-yet-thin pizzas.
Up next, PART 3: 48 Hours in San Francisco coming soon.