It always surprises me how much a travel companion can shape your experience of a given place. I've been to Seattle before, mind you, but visiting the city with M, I felt like I saw it with new eyes. It was as though I could see myself actually settling in there, imaging what life would be like in this thriving city, hitting up the market on a regular basis for fresh produce and spending hours in one of the dozens of local cafes. Le sigh.
We were fortunate enough to have nabbed a room at the very charming Mayflower Park Hotel, situated mere blocks away from Pike Place Market, which served as the anchor point for most of our stay here.
We headed out from Portland around 6am to beat the epic morning commute in Seattle (well, most of it), so I was pretty excited when I found myself with a legit excuse to indulge in second breakfast once in town. My must-eat spot in Seattle? Piroshky Piroshky! This Russian Bakery is located just a few doors down from the OG Starbucks on Pike, and their potato, onion and cheese piroshky is one of my absolute favorite treats.
My other favorite noms while in Seattle: Rainier Cherries from the market. We enjoyed several bags of these while perusing the fresh offerings of local vendors. M was in awe; meanwhile, I had to restrain myself from jumping headfirst into the glorious spread of veggies.
And the flowers. Oh, the lovely flowers. Pale pink peonies were my favorites.
After a brief cat nap, we grabbed some lunch at Sound View Cafe, which is nestled in the market and overlooks the waterfront. It is a great, low key spot to grab some tasty fuel. (I splurged on this trip and ate some seafood. Gasp! I know, but when in Rome...)
We ventured a bit north to Lynnwood to visit M's homeland: Seattle Coffee Gear. This place is quite a gem. The staff is super sweet, and you can sample the impressive variety of coffee gadgets available for purchase. (M decided on a classic vacuum pot to round out his own impressive collection.)
Primed for a proper cup of Seattle coffee, we visited Victrola Coffee Roasters downtown at the recommendation of another local roaster. It was a good recommendation, indeed, and nice to watch the city roll by for a bit from our table near the window.
M and I wanted to splurge on a romantic dinner to celebrate our trip (and our engagement), so we spiffied up a bit and trusted good ol' Yelp with leading us to a great dinner spot. We ended up with reservations at Il Bistro, which could not have been more lovely for such an occasion. Located just off a cobblestone alley near the market, we were welcomed into a dimly lit bistro which we shared with just one other couple. I enjoyed a glass of Prosecco and the Ravioli di Pera (pear and gorgonzola...oh. my. stars.), while M opted for some Chianti and the grilled salmon with marscapone and English pea risotto. (The lighting didn't accommodate food photos without being totally obnoxious, so trust that it was lovely and delicious.) We grabbed a slice of marscapone lemon cheesecake to enjoy back in our room, tucked into bed, and happy as clams.
It was a very, very good day.
Next: Au Revoir, Pacific Northwest...