Bounce Around Bellevue With a Spring In Your Step

It’s that time of year again when everything awakens from its winter sleep. We’ve been looking around our city and found some swoon-worthy sights that we can’t wait to share with visitors – mountain, lake, and skyline vistas from the top floors in Bellevue, the most scenic hole in golf, and up close with blooming botanicals. Be sure to share your viewpoint with a #MyBellevue on Instagram. With summer right around the corner, we’ve got your fitness goals covered with running route suggestions, drop-in classes at local barre and cycling studios, a fabulous new full-service gym, and a peek into the city’s best hotel fitness centers.

Unwind after a day of meetings with a glass of Washington wine – look for specials at wine-focused restaurants during March as we celebrate Washington Wine Month. For a deeper dive into the state’s diverse range of wines, consider a day trip to Woodinville just up the road, home to more than 120 tasting rooms. And we would love to host the whole family over Spring Break with local activities for everyone from tots to teens and suggestions for exploring further afield in nearby Snoqualmie Valley. So, stay a little longer and refresh that bounce in your step with a spring visit to Bellevue.

Wine and Trees

Images courtesy of Bellevue Botanical Garden, Wine and Trees by Sharon Linton

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Spring Break in Bellevue

Bellevue may be a business hub, but it’s also a prime place to bring the whole family for some leisure time. Spring Break is a great excuse to explore Bellevue and the beauty of the surrounding area.

Bounce Around Town

From toddlers to teens, fun activities are close at hand. Spend a morning at KidsQuest Children’s Museum perfect for stimulating those early childhood minds and bodies with interactive climbing and water exhibits, an art studio and learning lab, plus hundreds of classes each year. At Mox Boarding House, it’s easy to engage in a little old-fashioned fun. Borrow a game (and an associate to explain the rules if the game is unfamiliar) and head to the adjoining restaurant where large tables offer plenty of space for gaming and noshing.

Giant Chess at Crossroads Bellevue

Kids love the life-size chess pieces at Crossroads Bellevue. Challenge them to a game on the giant board or pull up a seat at one of the many surrounding tables for a regular-sized chess game. Crossroads also features a carousel, a soft-play playground at WiggleWorks Kids, Alter Ego Comics, and everything from board games to brain teaser puzzles at Uncle’s Games. Across the parking lot, drop in at Stone Gardens, one of the finest climbing facilities in the region with more than 21,000-square feet of climbing terrain suitable for all ability levels. There is even a climbing “ship” for the littlest climbers.

Stone Gardens Rock Climbing

Lincoln Square is a one-stop pop for entertainment from arcade-style games at Power Play to bowling at Lucky Strike Lanes. Catch a movie at the traditional theater upstairs or watch in style at Cinemark in Lincoln Square South featuring back rocker chairs and dining services. Bellevue Square, across the street features all of the shopping you can imagine plus the Kid’s Cove play area for little tykes and a game area that includes Jenga, beanbag toss and giant chess. At Bellevue Arts Museum, peruse the exhibitions or get crafty with the kids on Saturdays during the free weekly sessions from 1-3 p.m.

Explore Further Afield

Nestled against the Cascade Mountain foothills about 35 minutes east of Bellevue, scenic Snoqualmie Valley is a worth a day trip. A family-friendly itinerary is available at with recommended stops from Duvall to North Bend beginning with a warm beverage from Duvall Coffeehouse and a baked treat at Grateful Bread. Permanent art installations dot McCormick Park along the Snoqualmie River. Ten minutes south in Carnation, a 500-foot suspension footbridge spans the river at Tolt-Macdonald Park leading to miles of forested trails.



Lunch options range from a sandwich or hot slice of pizza at Blake’s Pizza, a full menu of comfort food and locally brewed beers at Snoqualmie Brewery and Taproom, to organic grab-and-go items at Heirloom Cookshop in downtown Snoqualmie.

Spend the afternoon exploring how railroads changed the landscape of the region at the Northwest Railway Museum, including a two-hour round trip train ride on Saturdays and Sundays, April through October. Since kids possess a keen sense of sugar-radar, they’ll likely march you right across the street to Snoqualmie Falls Candy Factory for a treat or three necessitating a whirl through Tollgate Farm Park in North Bend to burn off the excess energy.

Rattlesnake Lake

Georgia's Bakery - North Bend

Georgia’s Bakery – North Bend

Or start the day in reverse with a legendary maple bar or savory slice of quiche at Georgia’s Bakery in North Bend before heading up the trail to Rattlesnake Ledge – a steep but relatively short hike with big views at the top. Reward those hikers with an old-school burger or ice cream at Scott’s Dairy Freeze Ice Cream in North Bend or a slice of cherry pie at Twede’s Café made famous in the cult classic television show “Twin Peaks.”

If there is only time for one stop, don’t miss iconic Snoqualmie Falls visible from the top at the Salish Lodge or a quick hike to the bottom with views back up at the falls. During spring, it should be roaring with recent snowmelt.

Images courtesy of Crossroads Bellevue and Stone Gardens.  Rattlesnake Lake by Kaitlyn Brajcich.

Posted in Bellevue Indoor Recreation, Downtown Bellevue, Family, Newsletter, Outdoors, Things To Do | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

360 Degree Belle-Views

Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi - Bellevue, WA

Future Home of Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi

As our name implies, Bellevue is home to some beautiful vistas from soaring views atop a growing number of skyscrapers to landscapes both cultivated and wild. The most hotly anticipated view this spring belongs to Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi crowning Lincoln Square South at The Bellevue Collection. The luxury dining experience encompasses the entire 31st floor of the building affording 360-degree views through two stories of floor-to-ceiling windows that include Lake Washington, the Olympic Mountains, the Seattle skyline, with Downtown Bellevue Park in the immediate foreground looking west.

Daniel’s Broiler, located on the 21st floor of the Bank of America building, has long been a favorite dining destination in part because of the lovely west-facing views from the lounge. Sip on a glass of bubbly or a Manhattan while the sun sets – a perfect backdrop for a romantic evening.

Surely the most scenic park-and-ride in town, Evergreen Point makes the most of the 520 bridge’s location. Set above the freeway, the westward-facing viewpoint looks across Lake Washington toward the University of Washington, Seattle, and the jagged snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the distance. Park and look or continue along the 520 pedestrian path out onto the bridge span for views south where Mt. Rainier holds court on clear days. It is fascinating to watch the water react to the bridge – sometimes choppy with whitecaps on the south side and calm on the north side.

Bellevue Downtown Park

Bellevue Downtown Park and Skyline

As if the lush greens and magnificently landscaped courses at Newcastle Golf Club weren’t enough of a visual treat, check out the view of the Seattle skyline from Hole 10 on the China Creek Course, or play a game of putt-putt at the Rusty Putter.

Bellevue Views

Views of Seattle and Bellevue from Newcastle Golf Course

Take in a close up with nature at Bellevue Botanical Garden where colorful flowers and foliage carpet the edges of pathways that wind through the forest an a 150-foot suspension bridge crosses a ravine filled with ferns and moss-covered trees.

Future viewpoint: We are looking forward to the newly reimagined Meydenbauer Bay Park set to open by the end of 2018 that includes a pedestrian pier that juts out into the water giving visitors a look back at the 700-foot waterfront beach and hillside. The park will be the beginning point for the city’s Grand Connection pathway connecting the bay with downtown Bellevue through to the Wilburton and the Eastside Rail Corridor.

Images courtesy of Lincoln Square South by Sharon Linton, Downtown Bellevue Park by Merrill Images, Newcastle Golf Course.

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March Is Washington Wine Month

Washington Wines Cast Iron Studios - Bellevue , WA

Washington Wines

In celebration of Washington Wine Month, the Washington Wine Commission and Visit Seattle host Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event featuring more than 235 wineries, 65 restaurants, and 60 culinary exhibitors. Events span several days beginning with the swanky Red & White party at AQUA by El Gaucho on March 22, followed by farm tours and a new vintage tasting event on March 23, with two days of wine and food indulgence opportunities at the Grand Tasting on March 24 and 25 at CenturyLink Field Event Center. Relish the comfort of lodging in Bellevue, just a brief Uber or Lyft ride away from the main events.

Where to Enjoy Washington Wines in Bellevue

Bellevue may be best known for its cocktail culture, but there are plenty of spots to enjoy a glass or bottle of Washington wine. Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar has maintained a great reputation for its wine list thanks to company wine director and Advanced Sommelier Erik Liedholm. A recent renovation put the wine cellar front and center – a glass-fronted environmentally controlled room displaying the restaurant’s impressive collection of wines from Washington and around the globe. During March, Seastar will feature wines from three of the state’s most prominent winemakers: Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery including the 2013 and 2014 John Howie Cuvee’s, his collaboration with John Howie Restaurants from top vineyards in Walla Walla; Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellars, one of Washington’s first and best wineries with several vintages of the Reserve, Cabernet/Merlot, and Sangiovese wines on offer; and Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen of W.T. Vintners whose Chenin Blanc grape pomace was the source of Liedholm’s Arande Grappa at Bothell-based Wildwood Spirits.

Wine bottles are arranged floor to double-high ceiling in the semi-circular central bar at Purple Café and Wine Bar. Purple will feature Washington wine throughout the month of March in bottle, glass, and flight forms. The wine bar will also be giving away a pair of tickets to Taste Washington’s Grand Tasting on Sunday, March 25.

Swiftwater cellars - Bellevue, WA

Swiftwater Cellars

Based near Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington, Swiftwater Cellars recently opened a restaurant and bar on Main Street in quaint “Old Bellevue.” The wine list features glass, bottle, and carafe pours of its signature wines from the Columbia Valley. At Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar located at the lobby level of The Westin Bellevue, the focus has always been on premium Washington wines available by the glass, bottle, and flight. The creatively curated wine list highlights the state’s range of varietals. During March, Cypress will be discounting bottles of Washington wines by 10% and offering tastings with local winemakers once a week.

Cypress Lounge at Westin Bellevue - Bellevue, WA

Cypress Lounge

Wander Up to Woodinville Wine Country

Just 13 miles northeast of downtown Bellevue, Woodinville has the highest density of wine tasting rooms in the world. Between the Hollywood and Warehouse Districts, there are nearly 120 locations to taste the state’s wines from the original and grandest experience at Chateau Ste. Michelle to truly boutique operations at places like Adams Bench and Kevin White Wineries. Stop in at the Woodinville Visitor Center during March as they explore the state’s AVA’s featuring a weekend pop-up tasting from 11 am-3 pm on March 17.

New this spring, Certified Sommelier and wine educator Shelly Fitzgerald is hosting an evening series called Woodinville Wine Diva starting March 8 with “A Sense of Place” diving into Red Mountain characteristics, followed by “The Blinds” on April 5 where guests learn to recognize the smell and taste of specific varietals. The final session on May 3 is all about “Food and Wine Pairing” featuring bites by Chef Bre of newly opened Heritage Restaurant and Bar.

Novelty Hill

Images courtesy of  Cast Iron StudiosSwiftwater Cellars, Cypress Lounge, and Novelty Hill Januik.

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Spend Valentine’s Day in Bellevue

Love is in the air in Bellevue. Whether your significant other or your friends are in the mood for a special dinner menu, chocolate tasting, or couples cooking class, we’ve got you covered this Valentine’s Day. 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Beautiful Bellevue.  Here are some of Bellevue’s best places to dine out and feel the love this Valentine’s Day.

Frans Chocolates 

Pick up a heart-shaped box of chocolates at Frans Chocolates on Main Street in Old Bellevue. Visit Fran’s Bellevue location on Main Street for award-winning salted caramels, decadent drinking chocolate, and luxurious gift assortments.

Third Culture Coffee 

Indulge in some Dark Decadence and slurp down a warming latte at Third Culture Coffee. Emerging as one of Bellevue’s beloved cafes, Third Culture Coffee celebrates diversity through delightful coffee, dessert, and food; it’s the perfect place to enjoy a quic Valentine’s Day treat!


Spend a few hours at Whisk in Bellevue’s Main Street District, and you’ll unearth a new appreciation for cooking and entertaining with your significant other. Whisk’s inviting retail store and kitchen make for a perfect Valentine’s Day experience in Bellevue.


Central Bar + Restaurant

Central Bar + Restaurant will be holding a candlelight dinner for a special Valentine’s Day dining experience. Bring your special somebody and enjoy a four-course meal prepared for Valentine’s Day including specialty cocktails.

Bellden Cafe 

Enjoy some specialty brunch items at Bellden Cafe this Valentine’s Day. The perfect location for a mid-morning Valentine’s Day treat, Bellden Cafe offers scrumptious snacks and warming beverages.

Midori Bakery 

Midori Bakery is ready for Valentine’s Day with a wide selection of sweet treats including Honey Cinnamon Whiskey Macarons, Strawberry Basil Lime Tarts, Dark Cholocate Raspberry Gateau and so much more!

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Wintergrass Festival

Wintergrass Festival 2018

Outside the Hyatt Regency in downtown Bellevue, it’s a damp, dark February evening as the city’s tech workers and mall shoppers pull up their hoods and tighten their scarves. But, inside, the jam is on as multigenerational bluegrass bands spring up impromptu in the hallways, landings, and just about anywhere they can find a spot to set up. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, the Wintergrass Festival descends on Bellevue February 22-25 with a musical culture of the community, collaboration, education, and fun.

Wintergrass is a prime example of how to instill arts and culture into a community better known for its corporate persona. A family-friendly event, the festival features 30 bands from the USA, Canada, and Sweden and offers 60 workshops ranging from “Banjo 101” to “How to Grow a Band.” Headliners like Ricky Scaggs, Sam Bush, and David Grisman mingle and even jam with attendees when not performing on stage.

“The sense of music is everywhere. It’s like watching a hive,” says Wintergrass development and publicity director Wendy Tyner.

Bluegrass comes in many iterations at Wintergrass including traditional, modern, “jazzgrass,” gospel, and country. Instructor Rushad Eggleston comes to bluegrass with his cello – unconventional instruments are welcome. Even attendees without instruments can join the fun thanks to a stash of harmonicas in a range of keys available to borrow.

The festival has prompted many award nominations including Director Beth Fortune’s 2015 Grammy nomination as best musical director for her work with Wintergrass and as a teacher at Washington Middle School. Wintergrass won Event of the Year in 2005 from the International Bluegrass Music Association. But, the festival is most proud of its educational component working with underserved youth. Nearly half of the kids are given scholarships to attend the festival and participate in group workshops, bands, and get to see accomplished musicians make bluegrass magic. And kids under 12 can attend for free regardless of participation in workshops.

Approximately 250 youth are served by the following programs: Pintgrass (ages 4-7), Youth Academy (ages 7-14), Youth orchestras (6 regional middle schools), and the Rock City Songsters (ages 16-20) including a mentoring program where they learn about sound, the stage, and marketing. Wintergrass founding executive director Patrice O’Neil has been the creative spark in creating educational programs to inspire young musicians, says Tyner.

The festival draws 12,000-16,000 visitors annually according to Tyner. In addition to attendees, that number includes a huge number of volunteers, some of whom receive teaching accreditation hours for their service. Currently, more than 80 percent of visitors come from the Puget Sound area, but the festival would like to see that demographic expand to include people from all of the Northwest, West Coast, and Alaska. They are also hoping that Bellevue residents increase their presence this year.

“We are proud to be in Bellevue,” says Tyner noting that the festival brings in 2-3 million dollars in revenue for local hotels and businesses. “People come for the festival and then stay and visit Bellevue museums, restaurants, and stores.”

Though headliner shows frequently sell out on Friday and Saturday nights, most of the bands play twice during the festival. Thursday night and Sunday generally have the capacity to sell more tickets. Children’s groups perform on Friday night and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for one day up to all four days of the festival with reduced prices for military, Canadians, and seniors.

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While Away Winter, The Bellevue Way

From festive holiday events to vibrant musical festivals, Bellevue is the place to be this winter season. Bellevue Magic Season extends throughout the month of December anchored by a rainbow of twinkling light sculptures at Garden d’Lights (at Bellevue Botanical Garden), old-fashioned ice skating at the Magic Season Ice Arena (Bellevue Downtown Park through mid January) and more along with the Northwest’s largest nightly holiday performance at The Bellevue Collection’s Snowflake Lane.

Snowflake Lane

Magic Season Ice Skating Rink

Winter isn’t usually very white in this low elevation lakeshore city, but local ski resorts are less than an hour away on Snoqualmie Pass offering a downhill adrenaline fix, scenic Nordic trails, and snowshoe hikes. Warm up back in town with our winter beverage guide featuring coffee, drinking chocolate, and wee drams of whiskey. Or soak away the chill with a view in the window-side tub of W Bellevue’s Extreme WOW Suite – one of the city’s many luxury experiences highlighted in a specially curated list of local indulgences. But, nothing warms the heart quite like music. Enjoy live performances by Grammy-winning musicians and join the fun with impromptu jamming sessions and workshops at Wintergrass in February.

Article written by Julie Arnan.

Images courtesy of: The Bellevue Collection, Ice Skating Rink by Lisa Merrill Images, George White Photography.

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Warming Winter Beverages

Warming Winter Beverages

When “tis the season” becomes plain old winter and the body craves a bit of warmth, many of us find ourselves reaching for a cozy beverage whether said beverage is literally warm or known for its warming powers. Everything from coffee to Scotch can be found just around the corner in Bellevue. And what better way to experience the city than on two feet, coffee cup in hand?

The Northwest’s favorite beverage, coffee is something of a religion in this neck of the woods. Shots of Redmond-based Caffe Lusso (translation: Luxury Coffee) form the base of coffee beverages at Café Cesura located on 108th Ave NE. Roasted to “the point of nuance,” Caffe Lusso delivers consistent, balanced flavor perfect for starting the day. Bellden Café, located on Main Street, sources its coffee from Portland roaster Coava Coffee. Not only is the product delicious, but it echoes Bellden owner Claire Sumadiwirya’s dedication to charity and community. Each season, Bellden donates proceeds from a specific food or beverage item to a different charity raising both money and awareness for causes close to her heart (winter proceeds benefit the Overlake Medical Center Fund).

Turmeric Latte at Third Culture Coffee

Third Culture Coffee serves as a great weekend walk starting point, located just across the street from the south entrance to Bellevue Downtown Park. The menu offers an eclectic mix of caffeinated beverages including global specialties like the Spanish Bombon – a shot of espresso mixed with a dash of condensed milk; and Vietnamese coffee featuring a larger ration of condensed milk. Get it to go and take a loop around the half-mile walking path that circumnavigates the park. If it’s “12-o’clock somewhere,” Third Culture Coffee also serves flights of port that will have you cozy in no time.

Drinking chocolate at Dote Coffee Bar in Lincoln Square South comes with or without a shot of espresso, but the main event is the chocolate ganache base crafted by Swiss master chocolatier Ewald Notter. Traditional dark chocolate to progressive turmeric ginger lattes are available daily, while a peppermint-white chocolate lollipop can be stirred in seasonally. And the chai tea latte at Belle Pastry on Main Street is positively swoon-worthy.

Whiskey Double Dark Boozy Coffee at DOTE Coffee Bar


Mulled Wine

Mulled wine bridges that gap between warm and warming beverages. At Purple Café on 106th Ave NE, they infuse a house-made blend of cinnamon sticks, star anise, allspice berries, cloves, and black peppercorns with citrus peel, honey, and red wine to create a spicy-sweet sip-able beverage.

Monsoon Bellevue has one of the Eastside’s largest whiskey collections including bourbon, Japanese whiskey, Scotches, and Irish whiskey. Monsoon bartenders love to pour shots and flights from some of the more obscure bottles with a side of whiskey education if customers show interest. They also make custom barrel-aged cocktails – each available for a limited time only. Another whiskey hotspot, Lot No. 3 is an ideal place to request a warming dram or expertly balanced brown-spirit cocktail like the “Man of Constant Sorrow” made with Russel’s Reserve 10-year bourbon, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, China China Amer, and rosemary.

Spirits were first distilled by European monks for medicinal applications. Many of the more herbal liqueurs and aperitifs hail from this heritage including the Italian amaro spirit Fernet Branca, available at Civility & Unrest in Lincoln Square South.

Article written by Julie Arnan.

Images courtesy of: Third Culture Coffee, Lot No. 3.

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The Lux Life

The Shops at The Bravern

Bellevue offers many levels of indulgence allowing one to dip in a toe or plunge headfirst into luxury’s deep end.


Spahhhhh. Even saying the word is relaxing with a built-in sense of satisfaction. When Gene Juarez, a name synonymous with beauty in the Pacific Northwest, moved to the Shops at Bravern in late October, its famous “Day of Beauty” package found its rightful home. The six-hour plunge into aesthetic and wellness treatments includes a 90-minute therapeutic massage, a 60-minute facial, a spa manicure and pedicure, followed by an expert blow dry and makeup application. All that beautification can really work up an appetite. Luckily, the package includes a catered lunch ($475). Or try individual treatments at Truce, located on the second floor of the Westin Bellevue. They offer massage, facial treatments, nail services, and a full line of organic skin care products from Eminence.

Spa room at Gene Juarez Salon & Spa



But first, Champagne. Always. Civility & Unrest was founded as a high-end cocktail and Champagne bar and the list reflects that commitment from NV Krug ($700) and Dom Perignon ($400) Rosé to 2004 Pol Roger Champagne ($250), and up into the Champagne stratosphere with some 1998 Dom Perignon P2 ($970) or 2000 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay ($5,400). Ask about the collection of rare bourbon, single malt Scotch, and Cognac or try the “Head Over Heels” cocktail made with Hennessy XO, Absinth, and Peychauds bitters infused with strawberries and black truffles. Upstairs at the W Livingroom Bar, Louis XIII Remy Martin Cognac is poured by the glass ($350), but why not spring for the bottle ($10,000)?

Caviar, foie gras, oysters, filet mignon – the list of indulgent ingredients can be found on many of the city’s restaurant menus. At John Howie Steak (JHS), the Wagyu trio lets diners compare American, Australian, and Japanese versions of the world’s most tender steak ($250). Or play chef in the comfort of your own home with the JHS Steaks to Go program – 28-, 35-, and 42-day custom aged USDA steaks are cut to order and delivered overnight with seasoning and cooking instructions. Finish a night at JHS with the famed Kopi Luwak coffee service prepared tableside Turkish-style in gilded cup and saucer with naturally rich caramel and chocolate flavor ($45/cup).

Indulge your solid gold sweet tooth with an order of Chocolate Gold fondue at the Sugar Factory (also available at its bar, Chocolate Lounge). Gold-coated dark chocolate truffles are melted tableside and served with myriad gold dusted accouterments. The $1,000 treat serves up to six people and comes with a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and a glass of 50-year Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac. Guests also leave with a sweets-stuffed gift bag.


There’s not an evening on the planet that could not be improved by a red Ferrari, though the canary yellow McLaren MP4-12C may be hard to pass up when browsing the luxury rental options at Zadart Exotic Car Club & Rentals.

The company is the only one of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, according to the staff. Started by local teen Jonny Netz as a high school project, Zadart offers a fleet of current model luxury vehicles by the hour, day, and longer. The popular “Date Night” package allows customers to pick up the vehicle at 6 p.m. in time for a swanky night out on the town, returning the vehicle by 10 a.m. the next morning. Driving by busy sidewalks highly recommended for maximum preening impact. With a $500 credit card deposit, most vehicles range between $250-1500 per day. Hourly rates vary. 

Finally! Evidence that the best things in life really are free – personal styling at both Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus don’t cost a dime. The process at Nordstrom starts with an online contact form after which someone from the styling staff replies with a survey to narrow down a potential client’s needs, tastes, and budget expectations. On appointment day, the stylist gives the clients a fashion parade of possibilities. While the commission-based stylists would love to establish long-term relationships with clientele, customers are under no obligation to purchase.


Jewels in every color sparkle from beneath glass cases at Gordon James Fine Diamonds on Main Street. With 40 years of experience in the industry, Gordon has access to exquisite and rare stones like the natural fancy 6.94-carats pale greenish-yellow oval cut ring that graced my finger for a few luscious minutes one afternoon ($375K). Gordon and Gretchen Raine pay attention to comfort details when designing their pieces making for smooth bracelet backs and invisible closures, and lighting-catching details like using higher E-grade diamonds in the best-selling “Huggie” earrings to radiate more sparkle whether worn to a gala or under a ski helmet ($2,750).


A good night’s sleep is a luxury in and of itself. Treat yourself to a fantastic night in the Chairman Suite with views of the Seattle skyline at The Westin Bellevue, a brand focused on wellness and renewal featuring its trademarked Heavenly Bed® and Shower. Or go big with the Extreme WOW Suite at W Bellevue boasting idyllic lake views from a window-side soaking tub, future-forward tech, and 2,300-square feet of room in which to stretch out or curl up.

Skyline view from the Westin Bellevue


Article written by Julie Arnan.
Images courtesy of: The Shops at The Bravern, Gene Juarez Salon, Sugar Factory American Brasserie, Zadart, Westin Bellevue. 

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Bellevue Coffee Maker Spotlight – Meet Radhika

Image by Rina Jordan

Image by Rina Jordan

Located just half a block south of Downtown Bellevue Park, Third Culture Coffee has emerged as one of Bellevue’s beloved cafes, celebrating diversity through delightful coffee, dessert, and food. Third Culture Coffee offers a variety of artisanal beverages, ranging from traditional Indian teas to locally-sourced coffee blends. The abundance of natural lighting throughout the cafe helps create a soothing ambiance, making Third Culture Coffee the perfect place to relax with a tasty beverage in hand.

We are excited to introduce cafe co-owner Radhika Kapur, whose dedication and unbridled passion for her craft make visiting Third Culture Coffee all the more worthwhile.

What is your name?

Radhika Kapur.          

Which coffee shop are you with?

Third Culture Coffee.

What inspires you to come to work every day?

The belief that I can and will make a difference.

Signature coffee order?

I love experimenting and trying out new flavors so when visiting specialty coffee shops, I try and go for their signatures or Single origin Pour Overs. At Third Culture, I generally go behind the bar and whip up an experiment myself…some habits die hard I guess! And at other coffee shops where unique options are not available, a Cortado would be my first preference.

What is your favorite accompaniment to your morning coffee?

My preference here is distinctly Aussie. A crisp raisin toast with butter melted in, or toasted banana bread with butter …. its sublime! I am also very partial to a simple avocado toast to kick start my morning along with coffee.

When you’re not drinking coffee, what’s your go-to beverage of choice?

Sherry or Port from Purple Bar in Bellevue.

Do you have a favorite place in Bellevue?

Bellevue Downtown Park. It is Bellevue’s crown jewel, in my humble opinion. It’s a place for everyone, to relax, have fun & enjoy. It is beautiful at night & the kid’s playground is amazing and it brings the community together – right in the heart of downtown. I’m a HUGE fan!

If you were going out after work in Bellevue, where would you head?

I would be spoilt for choices really. Depends on who I’m going out with and what we are in the mood for. For drinks and appetizers, I would stick to Bellevue Way, there are so many options there from W to Joey’s. If the focus is on food, I’m very partial to Facing East, Din Tai Fung or the newly opened Lake House. And if I’m in the mood for catching a flick, Lincoln Square has great movie options with a late-night bite at Bollywood Café.

If a customer asked you where to go for “the best bite” in Bellevue, where would you send them?

Hmmm…That’s a tough one since there are so many options. I think our neighbors at Third Culture have great bites, whether it’s the Carmine’s, Park 99, Monsoon, Peony. As I have said earlier, I think we would be spoilt for choice.

What, in your opinion, is the world’s best coffee creation?

Cold Brew. The depth of flavor and you can do so much with it! It is incredible.

What activity in or around Bellevue is a “must” for those visiting the region?  

I think Snowflake Lane and ice skating in the Bellevue Downtown Park around Christmas time are awesome activities and an absolute must do for visitors.

Where’s your go-to happy hour spot?

With 2 kids and a crazy schedule, I have to admit I haven’t been able to make it to too many happy hours. I do like Monsoon a lot and since its right next to Third Culture, I am very familiar with their happy hour and really like it.

Where do you go when you’re craving something sweet?

Sweet = Drinking Chocolate, Sherry Affogato & Hot Cakes Molten Lava Cakes….my three favorite desserts, so thankfully I head straight to Third Culture.

Where do you enjoy drinking your coffee when you can take it wherever you like?

I love sitting next to the water, so the two classic water spots for me are Meydenbauer Bay or in Kirkland near the water.

What’s your favorite event in Bellevue?

I’m a huge Bellevue Arts festival fan. I wait the whole year for it and love spending my entire day in the fair. I also love the movie nights that are hosted in all the local parks. As my kids grow older I appreciate Bellevue for the community places and family spots.

How would you describe Bellevue to visitors? 

Bellevue is a charming, beautiful & diverse city where you can enjoy nature’s beauty along with family. It has good eats, hip places and lots of things to do through the year – shopping, trails, parks and so much more!

Stay tuned for more Bellevue Coffee Maker Spotlights from Visit Bellevue Washington. Also, be sure to pay Radhika and her crew at Third Culture Coffee a visit this fall and post your photos with the hashtag #MyBellevue!

Photos courtesy of Rina Jordan Photography

Posted in Bellevue Parks, Culinary and Wine, Downtown Bellevue, Hidden Gems / Local Picks, Private dining, Rainy Day Activities, Things To Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment