It is a long old haul from the UK and a big time difference of 8 hours, but it is worth it. Seattle is the gateway to the magnificent areas of British Colombia and Oregon which are fantastic places to visit (see our next newsletter, to subscribe email Sadly I only had a couple of days to scratch the surface of this vibrant city, home to the Seattle Seahawks and the Space Needle.

I stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel. It is a four star property which is boutique in feel. It is about a 20 minute drive from the airport and convenient for the shops which are about a ten minute walk away. It is a fifteen minute walk from the Space Needle and a 20 minute walk from Pike Place Market.

I had a corner room with a view of the Space Needle which was very spacious with a comfy bed, huge bathroom with a tub and walk in shower (good hairdryers), and work desk. You get a big bottle of complimentary water each night with the turndown. Rooms have a safe, an iron, coffee and tea facilities, an ice bucket, wine glasses and a well stocked mini bar. They have access across the street to Vida Spa which has a fantastic gym. The hotel bar has an outside terrace and Happy Hour is from 4-6pm each day. The staff are really helpful and the service was good. If you don’t want to spend the prices of the Four Seasons then this is a perfect spot. Rates start from about $285 plus tax per night so it is great value for money. There is a Starbucks next door (of course) which opens from about 5am and a huge, and I mean gigantic, Whole Foods down the steps and underneath the hotel where you can buy the most fantastic food and drink. Their hot chocolate is rather delicious. Opens at 7am. The hotel offers a complimentary car service within the central part of the city on a first come, first served basis. Book their town car service to the airport, it is $40 and you get a nice car and driver.

Restaurants are abundant and the seafood is fantastic. Try the Walrus & Carpenter over in Ballard for dinner (not open for lunch), Chandlers Crabhouse on Lake Union for excellent oysters and crab and Terra Plata for dinner which serves the most delicious sharing plates of carrots, tomatoes, roast pork and has a great wine list. Other recommendations were Canlis and Pink Door.

We had time to go up the Space Needle with its amazing views of the city and surrounding areas and to visit Pike Place Market with its plethora of food stalls with everything from doughnuts and bagels to Russian pastries, Chinese dim sum to slices of pizza.

I had a good blow dry by Catherine and a manicure at Gene Juarez salon which is a ten minute walk from the hotel, opposite Tiffany & Co.

The beds at the hotel were so comfortable that we slept fantastically each night in lovely sheets and with soft pillows. Not so sleepless after all. Heaven.

We are able to book flights from the UK, hotels, including the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle, and personalised tours all over this beautiful part of the world. We can organise private guides and drivers, book lodges and adventures so you can explore British Colombia and Oregon. Please email