By Dale Chihuly
American glass artist Dale Chihuly is known for his unique sculptures, which have been exhibited in more than 240 museums during his 50-year career. His latest exhibition, “Chihuly at Kew: Reflections on Nature”, is a display of 32 artworks at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London (until October 27). He lives in Seattle.
Seattle is a beautiful city, with mountain ranges, large bodies of water, lush parks and green areas; there is no shortage of beautiful views to appreciate.
My favourite is looking across Lake Union from my boathouse studio. From this vantage, I can appreciate the architectural structure of two bridges, two harbours, the Seattle downtown cityscape, the Space Needle [observation tower] and all the industry that happens on the lake.
Lake Union is a working lake, busy with a variety of maritime vessels, pleasure craft, and commercial fishing and other large boats. I like to watch the crews working as they pass by the boathouse.
I especially enjoy watching the rowing teams from the University of Washington and other rowing clubs practising in their shells and passing through the cut from Lake Washington.
Where to live — Denny-Blaine
I have lived in a few Seattle neighbourhoods; each has its own unique personality. I used to live in my boathouse on Lake Union, which I loved, but as my family grew we needed more space.
Now my wife Leslie and I live in a neighbourhood called Denny-Blaine. It is east of downtown, near a trendy neighbourhood called Capitol Hill, and offers great access to and views of Lake Washington.
What I like best about Denny-Blaine is the turn-of-the-century architecture. I am always inspired by beautiful architectural design. I also like the neighbourhood’s proximity to Madrona, a neighbourhood with great little shops and restaurants.
Where to eat breakfast
I love a little French bakery near my neighbourhood called Belle Epicurean on East Madison Street. They make great coffee and pastries: I recommend the pain au chocolat.
Where to have dinner
Leslie and I enjoy dinner at Il Terrazzo Carmine, a popular Italian restaurant that has been around since the early 1980s. The decor is charming, but I go there for the food. I have spent a lot of time in Italy and Il Terrazzo offers authentic flavours that remind me of my visits to the country.
We entertain guests there from time to time, and I prefer to eat in the bar, where it is quieter.
My favourite dish is gamberoni provinciale, or shrimps with wild mushrooms. Leslie often has the Maria’s Salad, named after the proprietor and widow of the restaurant’s founder, Carmine Smeraldo.
Where to drink cocktails
I am not much of a drinker, so when Leslie and I want to catch up with friends, we often go to the Goldfinch Tavern restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel. It is operated by Ethan Stowell, one of the best chefs in the US, so the food is creative and an exciting part of the experience.
The cocktails are equally creative, crafted from the finest ingredients. The restaurant also has a selection of mocktails [non-alcoholic cocktails], which I appreciate. We always enjoy great service and a warm, social ambience.
The name Goldfinch comes from the state bird of Washington, the American goldfinch.
Where to be outdoors
Beautiful gardens are among my favourite environments and I have done a lot of work in botanical gardens around the world. I always recommend visitors to Seattle go to the Washington Park Arboretum for an immersive nature experience in the middle of the city.
The lush arboretum’s 200-plus acres of gardens and wetlands contain so many varieties that you may never see everything.
To me, that is part of the thrill of being in nature — the unexpected appearance of something you have never seen before. I love to watch the arboretum’s colours change with the seasons. It is spectacular.
Photographs: Chihuly Studio; Edmund Lowe; Four Seasons Hotel Seattle; Dreamstime