Friends, I’ve been so excited to put this list together for you! The truth is, London is one of my very favorite cities in the world – I’ve visited a few times, and was lucky enough to live there once upon a time. It just never loses its luster. So, when I give you a list of my very favorite things to do in London, I know of what I speak. Read on
Those of you who hang with me on Facebook or Twitter will know I spent a fantastic weekend in Seattle recently. I was there to shop, to eat and to relax…it’s been a whirlwind so far this year, and I was in desperate need of a “minibreak,” as the Brits call it. But most of all, I was there to check out the beautiful Four Seasons Seattle. Dirty work, I know.
This was one of those trips for which you plan all sorts of lovely things to do with your time, but then you pull up to the hotel, and find yourself suddenly unable to leave. It was that wonderful. The property is perched right at the edge of the city, overlooking the water – the Seattle Art Museum is across the street, and my beloved Pike Place Market was two blocks away. Immediately, I started to plot. Walks on the pier, eating every meal at the market, a visit to the Gauguin exhibit…
But it all fell away pretty quickly. I walked in the front door, where I was greeted with the coziest lobby – fireplace and all.
I was tempted to plant myself in that chair and demand a cup of hot cocoa.
However, I was on a mission. So, I checked in, and was whisked up to my room. Where I found this:
And a view of this:
And a bathtub like this:
And somehow, it was hours before I managed to drag myself out of that room. I blame the bottle full of L’Occitane bath gel I poured into the tub…how is one supposed to leave all those lovely bubbles?
Once I did, I managed a bit of shopping – Barneys, of course, and a little heavy petting at Chanel’s boutique inside Nordstrom. I had big plans for checking out other neighborhoods, but the weather…not so much. Portland knows rain, but Seattle’s awfully good at rain and wind, and the combination defeated even my greatest retail ambitions.
Thank goodness I had a place to seek shelter. We headed back to the hotel, and got ready for dinner – we had reservations at the hotel’s restaurant, ART. Now, Portland has some pretty serious eats, so I wasn’t expecting to be bowled over. Plus, you always have to balance the fact that this is the Four Seasons and should therefore be amazing in every way with the fact that it is, still, a hotel restaurant – so it could have gone either way.
Would you like to see how it went?
They had Beecher’s mac & cheese on the menu, and doughnuts cooked to order, so right away, I knew I was in the right place. And miso black cod. And venison. Well, trumpet mushroom-crusted venison, if you want me to just torment you. ART is a totally different dining experience than anything in Portland, and – truth be told – I’ve missed that super-upscale experience. The one where servers intuitively know you want something before you even ask, where presentation is as important as food, where they’re actually trying to impress you, instead of just expecting you to be impressed. ART reminded me of my days in San Francisco, where you could really dine in style. The hubs and I were still talking about the meal two days later…it was that good.
I spent most of the next morning curled up in a chaise lounge, reading the New York Times (which the staff specially requested for me), drinking tea (after the conciergce insisted on sending up a hot water kettle for me), and gazing at that gorgeous view.
Until, of course, it was time for my hot stone massage. (Yes, this trip was rough. I don’t know how I survived.) At this point, I had pretty high expectations for loving the experience, and I was so, so ready for that 80 minutes of bliss. So, I headed down, and traded my relaxing setting in the room for this:
Not exactly a step down. By the time they’d plied me with piles of Chukar cherries and more relaxing tea, I was already in a pretty happy place. But the hot stones definitely helped. It’s my favorite treatment to get on a vacation, because it somehow feels so much more like a decadent treat than a traditional massage. And believe me, I floated out of that spa when I was done.
I did not, however, float out of the hotel. They didn’t have to threaten to evict me, but let’s just say it was a very, very reluctant pair of guests that checked out that afternoon. We left the car with the hotel (they’re awesome like that), and wandered over to Pike Place, where I picked up my usual 3 lbs of cheese from Beechers, my doughnuts from the little stand in the far corner of the market, and a few other goodies I couldn’t resist.
That, my friends, is an excellent weekend getaway. If you have one in mind, the Four Seasons Seattle is – bar none – the place to do it. I can’t think of the last time I left a trip so relaxed, stress-free and ready to face the world again. A huge, huge thank you to everyone there for hosting me!