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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 10 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 32
Lavender Magic ...Sequim!
Arts & Entertainment
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Lavender Magic ...Sequim!

Sophistication and serenity across the Sound

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

Sequim offers a feast of festivals. Among the most popular are the annual Sequim Lavender Festival and the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire, both of which take place in July during Sequim Lavender Weekend. The Farm Faire features the Heritage Farm Tour, consisting of several lavender farms that share an easy-to-follow common route (shuttles and buses are available as well). The tour celebrates everything lavender, from the expected (lotions, soaps, sachets) to the more surprising (ice cream, sausage, lemonade, wines, cheeses). Learn the difference between culinary lavender and the types used for scent. While most lavender plants produce edible buds, certain kinds are definitely more delectable and digestible. Traveling to different farms is recommended, as each one has different booths to offer and unique demonstrations on the production and use of items such as lavender oil and lavender water. For a retail assortment of lavender products, visit All Things Lavender (theres also a Seattle location, at 76 Pike St.).

While the festival was extensive, not everything was lavender-related. The Northwest Raptor Center (www.nwraptorcenter.com) also had a booth and display. This society is dedicated to the rescue and recovery of injured wildlife - especially the raptor family. Rescued owls, hawks, and falcons were some of the beautiful and majestic birds on display.

Whether you embrace physical activity or prefer a laid-back atmosphere, the Port Angeles area holds something for you. Adventures Through Kayaking (www.atkayaking.com) is a wonderful way to enjoy incredible sights while getting in some exercise. Learn about marine ecology while viewing huge and colorful starfish and exploring the coastline while gently paddling. Colorful fish, eels, sea otters, and deer are often spotted along the way, either under the water's surface or along the shore. If you have young ones don't worry - two-person kayaks are available for the asking. All needed tools are supplied, including wetsuits, water shoes, life jackets, a waterproof bag, and a quick course in rowing, but you may want to bring plenty of suntan lotion, water, snacks, and a camera - a wide range of natural beauty awaits.

WINERIES
If unwinding with a delicious glass of wine is more your style, there are plenty of choices. Washington wineries have gotten lots of national (and international) attention and awards in recent years. While most grapes are grown in Eastern Washington, many actual wineries reside in Port Angeles, and are open for tastings and tours. Making a day of it and exploring several wineries is a wonderful way to see the area and enjoy some great red or white vintages.

Harbinger Winery (www.harbingerwinery.com) is conveniently located next to ATK, in case there is a division of interests. Say hello to owner-partners Holly and Sara in the tasting room as they pour samples of their award-winning 2010 Raspberry Bliss or 2008 Malbec. Pair these with a selection from their fine assortment of cheeses and chocolates. Camaraderie Cellars (www.camaraderiecellars.com) is a fine winery nestled in a beautiful garden. Owners Don and Vicki Corson will serve tastes from any number of their award-winning wines, such as their 2000 Merlot or 2004 Cabernet Franc. Enjoy it outside among jade statues and rock carvings. Olympic Cellars (http://olympiccellars.com) is another woman-owned/operated winery in Port Angeles. Kathy Charlton, Molly Rivard, and Lisa Martin have combined their talents to create 'Working Girl Wines.' These wines are created for the average (i.e., working) person to kick back with at the end of a hard day. Sinking into a glass of a medium-bodied floral vintage with hints of a fruitful flavor is a true delight, and these women make it easy to enjoy any of their fine reds or whites. Check their online schedule for outdoor concerts on the premises.

DINING
Food is always an important factor in any vacation. Quaint cafes and cozy restaurants await the willing explorer of these hamlets. An evening cocktail can be enjoyed at Sirens (www.sirenspub.com) with an open deck, or have a cold brew at the Pourhouse (www.ptpourhouse.com) if you are staying in Port Townsend. When you are ready to sit down for an evening meal, try the Ajax Café (www.ajaxcafe.com) in nearby Port Hadlock. Not only is it fun (the walls are lined with an assortment of hats for trying on and posing) but the food is good also, with a menu boasting fresh seafood and other delicious choices. You may want to start with the blue cheese and fig ravioli or a classic Caesar salad (with or without anchovy) before continuing on to the wild poached salmon with a Chardonnay cream sauce, or the stuffed pork chop with a braised fruit glaze. Be sure to check the café's live music schedule online. In Port Angeles there are plenty of local coffee houses to grab a quick lunch or snack on local flavors. For more of a sit-down meal, wander into Bella Italia (www.bellaitaliapa.com). This cozy place was in existence for several years before a certain vampire series made it famous. Start off with the house bruschetta - lightly grilled Tuscan bread enriched by garlic and olive oil, and smothered in Roma tomatoes. For a taste of Italy you may enjoy the chicken Saltimbocca, a very tasty lightly breaded breast with sage and prosciutto, baked with a cheese topping. If you are a fan of 'those' books, Bella's now-famous mushroom ravioli is always available. Now that the fad is passing into the twilight (ha!), it's easier to enjoy the scene with the locals.

ACCOMMODATIONS
The key to any location is a place to stay. Several choices are available depending on which town you're choosing. The Manresa Castle (www.manresacastle.com) is located in Port Townsend and, just as the name suggests, was built with Prussian castles in mind. Beautiful grounds beckon to weary travelers, inviting them to enjoy a cocktail and explore the castle gardens. Start the day with a complimentary continental breakfast as you watch the sun slowly stretch across the lawn. In Port Angeles, check out the Quality Inn Uptown. Comfortable rooms are nestled in a quiet corner at the top of a cliff with chances for a great view of an enchanting sunset.

A LAVENDER LOVER'S PARADISE
Sequim offers a feast of festivals. One of the most popular is the annual Lavender Festival. Consisting of several lavender farms that share an easy-to-follow common route (shuttles and buses are available as well), this event celebrates everything lavender, from the expected (lotions, soaps, sachets) to the more surprising (ice cream, sausage, lemonade, wines, cheeses). Learn the difference between culinary lavender and the types used for scent. While most lavender plants produce edible buds, certain kinds are definitely more delectable and digestible. Traveling to different farms is recommended, as each one has different booths to offer and unique demonstrations on the production and use of items such as lavender oil, lavender water, or lavender flavored baked goods. For a retail assortment of lavender products, visit All Things Lavender (there's also a Seattle location, at 76 Pike St.). While the festival was extensive, not everything was lavender-related. The Northwest Raptor Center (www.nwraptorcenter.com) also had a booth and display. This society is dedicated to the rescue and recovery of injured wildlife - especially the raptor family. Rescued owls, hawks, and falcons were some of the beautiful and majestic birds on display.

Whether it's a day trip or a 'staycation' overnighter, there is plenty to do on the north shore of the Olympic Peninsula. Take a ferryboat, enjoy the beautiful water, and let it prepare you for the many delights that can be found on the other side of the Sound.

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