IFBC 2014 and Seattle – First Impressions

We spent the last weekend in Seattle – Peter explored the city while I was busy attending the International Food Bloggers Conference hosted at The Westin. This conference has been bringing together food bloggers from all corners of the country (and some corners of the world) every year since 2009. When we were still living in Europe, I was always envious of people who lived in the US and could easily travel to the conference location. So now that we live in California, this was my chance to experience first hand what a gathering of food bloggers is all about. Conference and air tickets and hotel reservations were all arranged well in advance. All I had to do was to remember the dates, pack my bags and make sure I was there, exciting!

Seattle Washington

One of the conditions to qualify for the discounted $95 fee for active food bloggers was that I would put up three posts related to the conference. So I thought I’d start by sharing my first impressions of Seattle – the home of Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, Nordstrom, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, etc.

We arrived early on Friday morning with the intention of taking in some of the sights before I got holed up in conference rooms for the rest of the weekend. The first thing we did was look for a place to grab some brunch – we had already been up for a few hours and were starving. So, the first place we laid eyes on after checking into the hotel looked good enough to plonk down and get some food. It actually turned out to be a very popular local joint called Icon Grill. We refueled ourselves with a classic breakfast of eggs, sausages and potatoes alongwith hot cups of that famous Seattle coffee.

Local Icon Grill Seattle

Icon Grill Seattle
Icon Grill from the inside featuring blown glass and other pieces of art from local artists.

Food in Seattle

And then we set off to explore Seattle, a city that kept reminding us a lot of San Francisco. The first stop was the famous Pike Place market. It was really crowded with tourists but I got a good glimpse of the lovely fresh produce and seafood on display, sighing to myself as I thought how lucky the locals were to have all this so easily available.

Pike Place market

Starbucks Seattle
The first Starbucks ever at Pike Place Market, Seattle

Flowers at Pike Place Market

Vegetables at Pike Place Seattle

Pike Place seafood

Fish at Pike Place Market

We also got a dose of culture at the SAM (Seattle Art Museum), a beautiful building only recently renovated wtih generous grants from various organizations including the Gates Foundation.  We then walked around some more and found ourselves on the top floor of the Columbia Tower, the tallest building in the city, to take in panoramic views of the city and beyond.

Seattle Art Museum

SAM Seattle
The porcelain room at the museum

After grabbing another quick bite to eat at the Steelhead Diner, we returned to the hotel. I was completely exhausted by this time and had to get some rest before heading down to the conference opening later that evening. More to come on that soon!

Tallest building Seattle

View from Columbia Tower Seattle

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