Last March in New York
Updated: Jun 20
At a time when we can't leave our house let alone cross geographic borders, I wanted to reminisce on one of my favourite holidays spent exploring the city that never sleeps. Whether it's sipping a cosmopolitan like Carrie Bradshaw or eating Macaroons with a touch of` Blaire Waldorf, New York is the home to our on-screen icons from Friends to Gossip Girl and Sex in the City. Whilst I can't promise an invite to Blare's annual sleepover, I can recommend the best places to eat, drink and explore this scandalous city with (not so little) H.
Known for being a filming hot spot in Gossip Girl, The Palace hotel is located in Midtown Manhattan. The rooms beautiful view of St. Patrick‘s Cathedral and the city's skyline makes you feel at the heart of the city. The hotel ground floor has high gold chandeliered ceilings and a gorgeous courtyard where many of the GG scenes came to life. Tucked beneath the lobby's grand staircase is the Troubles Trust cocktail bar, which became our perfect pre-drinks spot. We stayed on the 41st floor in The Towers and our arrival was greeted with a bottle of champaign and chocolate cake alongside a note which wished us Happy Birthday- a lovely surprise! We can see why the Van Der Woodson family took residence there.
Situated on the waterfront on Brooklyn Bridge Park, Cecconi's Dumbo is an elegant Italian restaurant with glass chandeliers, blue peacock chairs and monochrome mosaic marble floors. Pasta and rosé are my two favourite things and this spot for Italian sophistication was deliziosa!
This one is for those who want a quintessential New York sporting experience. We watched a local derby grudge match of New York Devils vs New Jersey Rangers at Madison Square Gardens. Just as you would imagine, venders sell pretzels and slush puppies whilst fans wave their foam fingers and shout very polite insults at the players. At half time, confetti is blown over the arena, cheerleaders swarm onto the ice, and the drummers start playing as mascots shoot merchandise out of giant canons to the stands.
This three-floored Asian fusion restaurant is designed to look like a majestic temple but has an ambience that resonates more party than prayer. They serve up a triple threat of Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine. Tao is also known for its 16-foot Buddha centrepiece and supersize fortune cookies. If the route to discovering Tao (a Chinese philosophy for finding 'The Way'), is a cocktail in one hand and sushi in the other, I'm converted.
I loved escaping the hustle and bustle of Manhattan for an hour to roam the urban park. We got lucky and almost had the whole rink to ourselves, which made for a magical meandering on the ice, encircled by the city skyline. If we'd had more time, I would have loved to rent a bike and cycle around the park.
If you want to get into the NYC spirit- then this multi-level 50s themed diner is the place to go. Singing waiters dance on tables giving you the Broadway experience whilst you dine on milkshakes and burgers. Their menu serves all of the American classics from curly fries to debaucherous ice cream Sundaes. However, If you hate queueing this place might not be for you as the waiting time can be up to an hour.
Williamsburg is busting at the seams with independently run boutiques and vintage stores, it's the perfect place for finding unique gems. The Artists & Flea market is a weekend-only indoor market with jewellery, handmade arts & craft items & vintage clothing.
After all those pancake stacks, there's no better way to get your body moving and mood boosted than a soul cycle class. The pumping music and motivating teachers will set you up for a day of hitting the city. With multiple studios around New York, you'll never be far from a studio.
This bar and cocktail lounge serves up an array of cocktails designed by their in- house mixologists. It boasts the highest bar terrace in this city with windows soaring 10 feet high and 30-mile views to the north, west and south. For nighttime panoramic views, you can't beat them.