A walk through Watson Kennedy induces the best kind of browsing stupor, where every shelf holds a new hidden treasure, as if it were planted there just for you to find and make special. The kind of stupor, in fact, where you suddenly panic, thinking you must surely have been there for over an hour. And then you discover that it's only been 20 minutes, which is still about 15 minutes longer than it felt anyway.
Though the retailer (Ted Kennedy - remember we blogged his gorgeous house in Country Living?) has three locations in the Seattle area, our favorite branch is the one in a little courtyard just a half-block away from the Pike Place Market, shared with French restaurant Campagne.
Part of what makes the store so absorbing is the truly eclectic mix of merchandise on offer: candles and bath products cozy up to flea market finds like vintage playing cards, old keys, porcelain and woodblock letters, sheet music and books. Cleaning products have a place here, as well as a foodie section with olives, oils, condiments, sweets and glassware.
The whole experience is distinctly European. But for those of us who can't make it that far, or even to Seattle (or even off the couch), the online store — whimsically divided into the categories of Apothecary, Dining Hall, Laundry Room, Flea Market and Adornments — is here for you.