5 Simple Joys: Seattle

I’ve always been a fan of the weekend trip: sufficient time to visit favorite spots, but not lingering to the point that you feel you’ve seen everything and wish that you’d booked an earlier return flight. (My motto: Always Leave Them Wanting More.)

And so, after years away (we last visited in 2011), I found myself booking an October weekend in Seattle, my curiosity piqued by Instagram’s serving up so many tempting places to see. From touchdown on Friday afternoon to wheels up on Monday, I covered as much ground as possible — mostly by walking, and given the rainy weather all weekend, I was elated when the sun peeked out for a few brief hours on Saturday.

My 5 Simple Joys from that weekend (instagram handles included for your ogling pleasure):

1. London Plane

My very first stop after hotel check-in — I determinedly walked through a heavier-than-usual Seattle rain to get there — London Plane is an assortment of all of my favorite things assembled in one place (that would be pastry, coffee, flowers, and stationery, lest you’ve forgotten). A bountiful, beautiful display of seasonal flowers await you at the entrance and set the scene. Just past that is London Plane’s coffee bar, perfect to grab a latte to go and perhaps a sweet (but please allow yourself a moment to admire the beautiful calligraphy delineating your choices). Have time for a longer stay? London Plane’s restaurant offers two levels of seating (upstairs gives you a bird’s-eye view of the space) and I can vouch for the deliciousness of their brunch offerings (yes, I made two trips). Not to be missed if you’re anything like me. // @londonplaneseattle

2. Flora and Henri

Once my long-time sources for simple, high-quality children’s clothing, Flora and Henri, established by Jane Hedreen in 1998, has recently been updated and repositioned as a full-on lifestyle store. In my opinion, this makes the shop an even more appealing destination: the airy new bricks-and-mortar space in Pioneer Square is a joy to wander, with items that are simple, functional, and beautiful, with the bonus that you have not seen them at every other retail shop. (In fact, many of the brands were new to me: a delight.) Especially strong were the selections of sweaters and books, which makes sense given Seattle’s weather tendencies. // @flora_henri

3. Le Pichet

I will admit upfront that dining, for me, is best when I can eat at the bar (even better if there is a selection of red wine from France). And so Le Pichet had me at hello. Charmingly cozy on a rainy evening. I stayed true to the classics, ordering a fresh salade verte with hazelnuts followed by bavette grillée, but I chose decadence for dessert: Le Pichet’s specialty, chocolat chaud, served in two dishes: one bittersweet chocolate; one whipped cream. Perfection.  // @lepichetseattle

4. Red Ticking

Pam Robinson has assembled the interiors shop of my dreams. Treasures abound, from the back of the shop,  given over to cubby holes filled with stacks of vintage floral and striped fabrics, to the center table, laden with beautiful dishes and housewares, to the perimeter, home to an abundance of accessories, from cushions to artwork to lamps to baskets to gift-worthy foodstuffs. Every item is artfully arranged and displayed, and the space is simply heaven. You’ll want it all, but it’s even worth a visit solely to window shop. // @redticking

5. Kurt Farm Shop

It is with sadness that I tell you about this delightful little shop, as Yelp reports it has now closed. No matter: Kurt Timmermeister’s charming jewel box of an ice cream shop was merely an introduction to learning more about Kurtwood Farm, Timmermeister’s Vashon Island dairy farm. (The shop’s closing will allow Timmermeister to devote more time to his farm and to photography.) For a taste of what you can expect, treat yourself to Farm Food, two seasonal booklets (Timmermeister describes them as serialized cookbooks) that celebrate life on the farm. // @kurtwood_farms

simple pretty seattle -- 5 simple joys in the city

photos taken and edited by jane potrykus

n.b. out of enthusiasm (or utter lunacy) i have started *another instagram account devoted to my favorite finds in the cities that i visit. please give @simpleprettycities a look + let me know what you’d like to see next

One Comment

  1. January 18, 2020 / Permalink

    Thank you for this. I have occasion to visit Seattle, I will pocket this for my next trip. Any more ideas for this city very welcome:).