I met Aline in France, she was intern with me at Publicis! We’ve got friends pretty easily since then we’ve never stop to talk long hours on the phone as she was living her American dream in Seattle. Aline is faithful in friendship, really responsible, curious and smart. I was happy to be at her wedding, I won’t never forget this day!
Where to get a coffee? At Starbucks ! Don’t miss this opportunity, as Starbucks was born in Seattle in 1971. An English teacher, an history teacher and a writer partnered to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment (back then they did not make any latte to go). 40+ years later, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world with stores in 64 countries, including 1,200+ in the US!
Where to buy cheap stuff? Online! Seattle is a very spread city and rather than spending a day going from shops to malls to shops, I prefer looking for good deals online. If I am in a hurry, I go to TJMaxx for household/clothes/decoration items, Dollar Tree for party materials, JoAnn for crafts.
The best store? Nordstrom Rack ! I love it. There’s always a ton of dresses and shoes to choose from. I won’t go unless I have 3 hours to spend there.
A fashion accessory in Seattle? Seattle has never been, is not and will probably never be known for fashion. I found it annoying at first but there’s a very convenient side to it. Whatever you have in your dresser would work for whichever occasion. If you need an orange/neon yellow or baby blue parka and hippie rain boots, Seattle is the to-go city.
The anti-fashion place in Seattle ? Goodwill! It’s like a French « Emmaus ». People drop things off they don’t want anymore and Goodwill sells them and keep the money to help and train people. This is where I find all my vintage clothes and crazy outfits for even crazier parties.
The best neighborhood to get a coffee? Capitol Hill! It is Seattle’s most lively neighborhood, and also the center of the city’s gay and counterculture communities. When the sun is out, coffee shops along Broadway Ave open their terraces, and it feels just like Paris.
What do we have to eat in Seattle? Seafood! Seattle is a working port, encircled by water and loaded with fishermen, so we know what we’re talking about. Wild salmon cooked on ironwood sticks over an alderwood fire is a tribal tradition in the Pacific Northwest – and it is absolutely delicious. Our fishermen also bring loads of King Crabs back from Alaska, and it’s part of the food experience you can get in Seattle.
The touristic place you like to go? I am not a big fan of crowds so I avoid touristic places as much as I can. The Pike Place Market is Seattle’s touristic attraction by excellence, along with the Space Needle. I would rather go for a walk in the majestic Sculpture Park, where you can see the Space Needle between the legs of one of Calder’s famous red eagles.
The best baking goods? Tough question. Nothing will ever replace the “Merveilleux de Fred” in my heart, but I found the cupcakes at Cupcake Royale pretty good and surprisingly light (or kind of). They make their cupcakes from scratch every day, and mostly use local ingredients – except for the delicious Belgian chocolate.
Can you have a brunch in Seattle? Oh yes! Seattle has a ton of excellent places to have brunch. Portage Bay Café might be the most famous one; it’s an “all you can eat” kind of place, and you have to stand over an hour in line to get it. My favorite place is Hattie’s Hat, who makes the best chocolate chip pancakes I’ve ever tried (and I tried a lot).
A perfect day in Seattle? Any sunny day is an ideal day in Seattle 😉
How do you get around in the city? Mostly by bus. Parking is a pain in Seattle, and I hate driving. The bus is pretty convenient if you are not in a hurry ; it’s always running late and packed with (sometimes weird) people. When I’m in a hurry I just hail a cab or get a Uber.
What should you bring back from Seattle? Pictures and good memories. Seattle and Washington State as a whole is an amazing place to visit. You can find everything from snowy mountains to high desert, rain forests, volcanoes, remote islands and lively cities. If you’re lucky with the weather, you will get breathtaking views from wherever you stand.
Where do you go for a weekend outside of the city? I have a lot of favorite getaway spots. The Olympic Peninsula might be my favorite one for rainy weekends ; it’s a large arm of land in western Washington with high mountains, the Hoh Rainforest, and cute cities including Forks and La Push – where Twilight was supposedly filmed.
There are 700 miles of trails in Washington State of all levels and length, perfect for a 1-day getaway outside of Seattle. Two of my other favorite spots include Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens that are two snowy mountains/active volcanoes and offer trails with amazing landscapes.
Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocate of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.