Seattle for Labor Day weekend was such a delight! From Pike Place Market to Ballard, I had the chance to revisit some of my favorite places and experience some remarkable new ones.
I have yet to perfect the art of packing well for travel. The problem is that I never know what I’m going to feel like wearing until the moment I’m about to walk out the door. Too puffy for that dress I brought. Too warm for the jeans. Too rainy for those shoes. There’s always something that disrupts the outfits I spend hours perfecting, inevitably resulting in jeans and a t-shirt. Seattle has a casual demeanor to it and the dreary drizzle in the air makes me want to throw on a fleece sweatshirt and sip coffee on the docks. In fact, many people do just that.
One day I’m going to write a full-proof guide to packing efficiently. Not today, but one day.
Luckily Seattle has some of the best food I have ever had. That being said, I am not a foodie of any sort. I have food allergies so my options are usually limited and I consider Outback Steakhouse to have a great filet. That is the level of expertise my food critiquing holds. I am however, a huge atmosphere and service person. It is hard to create an experience that melds food, atmosphere and service in just the right way. So when I say I like a place, know that I am swayed by the overall experience, not just the food.
The above referenced packing debacle reared it’s disappointing head in my Seattle travels. However, I had a wonderful time exploring the city so am sharing my favorite places that I highly recommend should you find yourself in the area looking for amazing places to go.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect at the Thompson Seattle. It has only been open for about three months and some online reviews had commented on the staff having attitude. I could not be more impressed with this hotel. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, every experience was impeccable. It is a pricier hotel, so you should expect a higher level of service, but that is not always the case when staying at smaller hotels. Our first night was a late arrival so we headed to the rooftop bar, The Nest. Their bartenders make a killer old fashioned, so I knew it was going to be a great experience from that point on. The rooftop view alone is worth experiencing. It has a panoramic view of Seattle in a comfortable yet stylish atmosphere. The outdoor patio is larger than I would have expected but not overwhelming. Alex, the bellman, gave me some great recommendations and when I mentioned my love of oysters – he took the time to write down the best types to get in Seattle. Every bartender, server and concierge was beyond helpful. The rooms were comfortable and spacious (some have amazing views). Scout, their restaurant, has some of the best clam chowder I’ve ever had and by far the best Bloody Mary that has ever given my head some semblance of its normal brain capacity. Another great component is the location. It is only a block from Pike Place Market which makes it easy to explore downtown on foot.
If you have the opportunity to stay at this hotel please do.
Walk up and down Ballard Ave. and you will find nothing but great restaurants, shops and bars. It has charm and has more of a local vibe that is welcoming and relaxed, in an upbeat way.
We started our day here with Brunch and opted for the mimosa flight (Orange, Grapefruit, Pear, Apple) which was amazing. The Pork Hash and Eggs Benedict with avocado were simply delicious and hard to stop eating. The food was great, prices were very reasonable, the servers were incredibly helpful and it was all complimented by the charming atmosphere.
I’m an oyster fan and was told by many people that The Walrus and the Carpenter had the best in Seattle. I wish I would have taken the warnings that there is a long wait more seriously. We arrived 10 minutes after they opened and there was a line and an hour and a half wait. I was hungry so decided to pop into the adjacent bar Barnacle, which was empty, for a cocktail and appetizer. The albacore crudo is nothing short of amazing. They don’t have cranberry juice so used cranberry bitters and soda water for my mother’s vodka and it was delicious. Super nice bartenders and really great small plates. By the time we left it was a standing room of people waiting to get into Walrus and the Carpenter, but I would come back just to go to Barnacle. We never got to eat at Walrus but it is adorable and I hear, well worth the wait.
I have no idea why I didn’t snap a picture of the adorable house this Italian Trattoria is in. It’s very quaint and if it was a little warmer I would have sat on the patio which is drenched in charm. We started with the charcuterie board and some lovely Italian wine choices. I had the risotto and my mother had the spaghetti bolognese. Both were incredible. The service was on point with the waitress and hosts being friendly and attentive. San Fermo is my new favorite Italian restaurant and is appropriate for either date night or a good meal with friends.
Thanks Seattle – Until next time!