A Weekend Getaway in Seattleby Robert Wright, Jr.
A two day business trip took New York-based marketing exec and Kiwi contributor Robert Wright Jr. to the Pacific Northwest’s largest and most iconic city, Seattle. A tight schedule didn’t stop Robert from exploring some of the best the city has to offer when it comes to seafood and style.
The grand dame of Seattle hotels, check into the Fairmont Olympic Hotel for a reassuringly old-world hotel experience with all the bells and whistles. We happened to be here in the lead up to the holidays, when the hotel goes all out with decor, including a massive, glittering tree smack dab in the middle of the wood panelled lobby. Supremely comfortable, newly renovated rooms are the perfect counterpoint to the historic feel of the hotel’s common areas, spot-on service, and the classic French-inspired The Georgian restaurant. The soaring restaurant is the ideal spot to enjoy a pampering, formal afternoon tea.
Shiro’s sushi was founded by master sushi chef Shiro Kashiba (an apprentice to Jiro himself). Although he has moved on from his namesake restaurant, the team here keeps the flame alive, taking advantage of the bounty of the Puget sound to create amazingly fresh sushi. The delicious omakase menu here is a relative bargain compared to the other top sushi spots in town.
With a few locations around town, Taylor’s Shellfish is a surefire spot for the freshest seafood and a great selection of crisp white wines to accompany them. When we stopped into their Pioneer Square location, they had local clams that had been dropped off just moments ago (they even gave us a few on the house). Hint: order their delicious fries to go with your feast. Afterwards, stroll around Pioneer Square and explore its Renaissance Revival architecture and independent shops.
One of the coolest stores in the world has its roots in Seattle– modern design emporium Totokaelo. The first floor is dedicated to beautiful home goods and women’s collections, while the loft-like bottom level is given over to all of the latest men’s clothing and accessories. It’s worth coming just for a walk through the cavernous, beautifully white washed space. Within walking distance are a number of cute boutiques, coffee shops, and a tasty ramen shop a few blocks away called Tentenyu, which is the Seattle outpost of a famous Kyoto chain.
It’s worth braving the crowds for a stroll through Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market. Stocked with the freshest seafood, flowers, produce, and local must-see’s – like the world’s first ever Starbucks (way before pumpkin spice lattes were a thing). Nearby is Rachel’s Ginger Beer–the brew is handcrafted in Seattle from “fresh lemons, strong roots, organic cane sugar and good bubbly water” and is downright delicious. Taste your way through the market as you wander -it’s very hard to go wrong.