I discovered at the Shelburne Inn in Seaview, Washington that I am just a pushover for stained glass. The inn has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating hotel in the state of Washington, but that doesn’t mean that it’s frozen in the 1800’s. It has an eclectic and delightful mix of styles that take away any stuffiness that may be lurking in any haunted corners.
The dining room and pub feature Art Nouveau stained glass windows salvaged from a church in Morecambe, England. The woodwork evokes a country church or inn from old England. Ceramics by owner David Campiche and Native American art grace the public areas. Half of the inn was moved in the early years of the 1900’s to mate a Victorian Queen Anne inn with an existing building. The resulting twisting corridors add to the charm.
We were enthusiastically greeted by the owners and David Campiche (chef/owner/artist) carried our bags up the quaintly creaky staircase. If you have mobility problems, it would be best to book one of the ground floor rooms as there is no elevator.
The Shelburne Inn has a feel of a bed and breakfast, and indeed a fantastic Innkeeper’s breakfast is included with any of the 17 rooms. The rooms vary quite a bit in size and amenities – unoccupied rooms were open for viewing and some were tiny, but travelers can check the room details before booking. Rates are very reasonable ($149 -$199 at the time of our stay). Each is lovingly decorated. and some have balconies. We stayed in room 15, which has a queen and a twin bed, with private balcony and a shower rather than the tub. No pets are allowed. I was very pleased that there was no floral or perfumed scent, as I am allergic to many of those. Our room was quiet and the shower had great water pressure.
In every nook there are fun antiques and artwork. I wanted to faint onto the fainting couch next to the fireplace in the lobby, but I had too much on the agenda.
We came for the April Long Beach Razor Clam Festival and enjoyed harvesting our limit and attending the community celebration. David Campiche was seen assisting the student contestants at the World’s Largest Frying Pan Clam Fritter Cook-Off.
The inn is on Highway 103 on the southern end of the Long Beach peninsula. Dunes separate the town from the sea, so there isn’t an ocean view from the hotel. But it’s just a short drive or a quarter mile walk to the ocean. I have an uneasiness about tsunamis, so I like that it’s closer to the high ground at Cape Disappointment than the town of Long Beach.
The breakfast was excellent. If I were staying elsewhere, I would choose to go to the Shelburne as a breakfast customer. The dining room is beautiful with tables set with glass and china, the walls and ceilings finished like an old English country church. The orange juice and coffee served were great, and you have your choice from the menu.
I had the DDD special each day, seasonal creations by chef/owner David Campiche. The plates included a small bran muffin and a variety of sliced fruit in addition to the entree and breakfast potatoes. The first morning I had an omelet with wild mushrooms and housemade sausage. The next day I enjoyed the razor clam cakes with eggs. Each dish was beautifully balanced and seasoned. I appreciated the respect for locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients. My companion and I agreed this was a big step up from the wait-in-line-for-dull-pancakes experience we have become used to on the Northwest coast.
We stopped in at the pub on our second evening and enjoyed local craft beer and a cocktail. The pub menu looked great, but we were full from dinner at The Depot. I loved sitting beneath the stained glass windows enjoying a drink.
We weren’t able to enjoy dinner at the restaurant, but I’d enjoy their 3-Course Prix-Fixe for $38 with a choice of locally-sourced items (mussels, wild salmon, wild mushrooms, local wine). The Shelburne Beef Wellington earns high praise on TripAdvisor.com (as does the Inn, receiving their Certificate of Excellence).
My fellow writer Elizabeth Rose stayed at their China Beach Retreat, which offers a view of the bay – and the guests are treated to breakfast at Shelburne Inn.
I would definitely choose to return to the Shelburne Inn for upcoming events on the Long Beach Peninsula.
Sandsations – Sand Sculpture Contest
- WA State International Kite Festival
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.