Lady in Seattle

Seattle is one of my favorite west coast cities in the USA. I have been visiting relatives there since I was a child, and each trip brings with it a deeper knowledge of the city and the diverse Seattle neighborhoods.

The Space Needle in Seattle Washington

First there were childhood visits to the Space Needle, then teenage trips to the famous Pike Place Market, and more recently, post-college visits to Rem Koolhaas’ Seattle Central Library.

Cheese shop in Capitol Hill in Seattle Washington

With the major landmarks and tourist destinations covered in past trips, my visit to the city last week offered me a chance to dig deeper into some of the off-the-beaten-path parts of Seattle.

Sculpture in Ballard Seattle

I arrived on Thursday evening. My cousin met me at the airport and drove us back to my aunt and uncle’s house in Laurelhurst. We spent a great night catching up over dinner on their deck, which overlooked Lake Washington and Mount Rainier.

Mount Rainier as seen from Seattle Washington

I have always loved their neighborhood, not only for its views but also for its beautiful homes with their pretty front gardens and peaceful ambiance. I wanted the evening there to last much longer, but between darkness and jet lag, I had to go to sleep eventually.

Mountains as seen from Laurelhurst in Seattle Washington

The next morning my aunt and cousin took me downtown to explore the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill. The pretty area was full of shops, restaurants, and markets.

Goods for sale at a shop in Melrose Market in Seattle's Capital Hill neighborhood

One such place was called Melrose Market. Inside the converted industrial space were a busy sandwich bar, a butcher, a cheese shop, a couple of gift shops, and a restaurant.

Sitka and Spruce restaurant in Capitol Hill in Seattle Washington

The restaurant was called Sitka and Spruce. We sat down there and ordered several plates to share, including a great plate of fool madamas. I also ordered a good glass of Washington wine to celebrate the trip and taste one of the region’s Rieslings.

Fool madamas at Sitka and Spruce restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle Washington

After lunch we headed deeper into Capitol Hill with a trip to a great local bookstore and a stroll through a design shop called Nube Green. Next door was Molly Moor’s ice cream, which tempted us with funky flavors like huckleberry chunk and peppermint with Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies.

Bookstore in Capitol Hill in Seattle

Speaking of food, that evening my aunt and cousin cooked up a Mexican meal of huaraches, which means “sandals” in Spanish. The flat corn bases topped with black beans, pork, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and red cabbage were the best shoes I’ve ever eaten.

Nube Green shop in Capitol Hill in Seattle Washington

To finish off the night and to celebrate our miniature family reunion, we opened a bottle of 1982 Porto Seguro vintage port that my cousin had received for her christening in 1985. After decanting, it tasted nice and smooth.

Seattle neighborhoods from above

The next day my cousin took me to explore another Seattle neighborhood: Ballard. Once a Scandinavian fishing area, Ballard is now home to fun boutiques, lively bars and coffee shops, and award-winning restaurants.

Scandinavian flags in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle Washington

We tried to go to one of the last of these, which was called the Walrus and the Carpenter. Unfortunately it was closed for Labor Day weekend. Instead we ate al fresco at a restaurant called the Golden Beetle. I had a breakfast pizza and my cousin a pastry filled with cherries and chocolate. Both were good, and we were glad to have eaten there.

Breakfast pizza at the Golden Beetle restaurant in Ballard Seattle

After brunch we spent time wandering through some of the shops in Ballard. We saw cute note cards and paper goods in Venue, pillows galore in Jax Joon, clothes in Ketch and Dolce Vita, and shoes in Re-Soul.

Paper goods in a shop in Ballard Seattle

Speaking of soul, that evening my aunt and uncle took me to a place called Jazz Alley. We had heaping bowls of gumbo for dinner, after which we enjoyed the music of the Rebirth Brass Band, a jazz group from New Orleans. They played a great set, at the end of which everyone in the room was dancing.

Rebirth Brass Band playing at Jazz Alley in Seattle Washington

The night ended on a high note (pun intended), as did my time in Seattle. The next morning we were all up early to head to other parts of Washington for weddings. As we waved good-bye, my family encouraged me to come back again soon for another visit. With so many great Seattle neighborhoods and so much to do and see, I think I will have to take them up on it soon.

3 Comments on Lady in Seattle

  1. Emily in Chile
    September 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm (3 years ago)

    That breakfast pizza looks delicious! I’ve heard good things about Seattle, but I’ve only been once and done the tourist thing. I’d love to go back and do this kind of wandering around eventually.

    Reply
    • aladyinlondon
      September 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Emily! Yeah, the breakfast pizza was really good! It’s always nice to visit a city multiple times so that you can do both the tourist attractions and the more local areas. I hope you get back to Seattle at some point!

      Reply
  2. Seattle
    September 18, 2011 at 9:05 am (3 years ago)

    A shame you didn’t get to try the Walrus! A must do next time you are in Seattle. One of the town’s best (semi) kept secrets.

    Reply

Leave a Reply