When the weather is nice, sometimes you just have to escape the day and explore. I took full advantage of a sunny spring day in Seattle to wander the neighborhood of Pioneer Square, which, if you're not familiar with the city, it's a little ways south of the Space Needle, just a few blocks down from Pike Place Market. On a pouring-rain miserable day, you don't want to be out and about, but on a day as nice as this was, it was easy to wander the city, from Market to Square, and find yourself at London Plane.
The London Plane is a newly-opened storefront, occupying two corners of Pioneer Square's Occidental Mall, the quaint little section of cobblestone street that's dotted with sweet cafes and bars. I want to sing, "The rain in Seattle falls mainly in the London Plane," but that so wasn't the case on the day I visited. Gorgeous sun. Maybe not "warm," but warm for the early days of spring, which is still shaking off winter's chill. It was a perfect time to visit -- after the breakfast/lunch crowd, and before the post-work crowd hit the street, hungry for sun.
The larger space of London Plane is a bakery, cafe, flower shop and deli-style store, where you can get fresh pastries, charcuterie, sandwiches and salads, and also do some specialty grocery shopping. Containers of house made chicken stock, pizza dough and other raw materials are available for purchase, and it's hard not to want to pick up a bouquet of beautiful flowers, just because the blooms greet you right as you walk in.
"Little" London Plane is the absolutely charming wine bar and gift/book/wine boutique on the other corner of the building. It's hard not to be dazzled by the dried magnolia leaves pinned to the bar's ceiling. Natural light floods into this space as much as the bakery/cafe/larder space -- even more so in the wine bar side, as the sun is starting to set. Both locations are places of pure delight. It's pretty much all the objects of desire you want to complete your life: the perfect serving ware, glassware, cookbooks, art books, even the most simply elegant pair of pinking shears you'll ever see.
Frankly I was so overwhelmed by its Wonderfulness, I was kind of in a browse/fugue state. I definitely want to go back to the London Plane -- both spots -- to enjoy a sweet breakfast, shop for darling gifts, wander about the neighborhood more, since there's a bunch of new shops popping up in Pioneer Square, and then return to the Little Plane for some wine to finish off the day. Am already planning this Perfect Day in my head and I know it's going to be amazing, now that I've picked the perfect scene.
Jaunty Fine Print: Photography by Denise Sakaki